Much to my surprise and pleasure, I’ve had extra time this month to read. I have set my 2015 goal on Goodreads to 30 books, and I have to read more than one book a month to accomplish that! If you’re not on Goodreads.com or don’t know what I mean, Goodreads.com is an online community of book lovers and they let you set a “goal” or “challenge” for yourself of how many books you want to or strive to read that year. Last year I conservatively set my goal at 12 books. One book a month. I could do that! And I did. But I didn’t get much satisfaction out of it knowing I used to read 30 books in just the three short Northern MI summer months when I was younger. Thus, I did more than just double that goal this year, I rounded off to an even 30. It is April 17th, 2015 today, and so far in 2015 I have read SEVEN books. If I keep this up, I will hit my goal! Ok enough blabbing from me and onto the book review…
This book is really cool because the author collects old vintage photographs from around the world, and the photos you see in this book are actual photos he has found at rummage sales, antique shows, etc., with minimal editing for the book. The photos are worked into the book as the main character’s grandfather’s photos from the orphanage he lived in as a boy, after he escaped the Holocaust. The orphanage is on a remote island and the orphans living their all have special abilities of all kinds, and are referred to as “peculiar.” The main character grows up with his grandfather’s stories of the orphans and believes them to be tall tales and fake pictures, until one day his grandfather goes missing and the only way to find out what happened is to go back to that orphanage from so many years ago.
I loved the main character, Jacob, and his narration. I thought he was funny and likable, and I didn’t have trouble becoming attached to him right from the first page (sometimes I have issues bonding with characters). I was sucked right into his relationship with his Grandfather and related with his confusion on the truth of his Grandfather’s stories. I loved getting to know the peculiar children and finding out their abilities. Although I am partial to Emma, my other favorite peculiar child was Olive 🙂 The story is weaved together nicely, and my only complaint is that the book ends rather abruptly. It’s almost like it ended mid chapter, at a cliffhanger, without bringing enough loose ends together first, but I think the author’s whole point is — go read book number two! Will I read book number two, you ask? Yes, eventually … I am not scrambling to go buy book number two though, probably because the story is a young adult story, and tended to be a bit childish, and I’m ready to read a more challenging book next. Don’t get me wrong, though, young adult/easy-reads/childish can be very good and very entertaining!!! I would recommend this book if you are into mysteries and the supernatural.
Very often I create a flowchart/map of the characters in the books I read and their relationships to one another, but sadly I do not have one to share with you for this book. I read it on my iPad’s Kindle app late at night before bed, so I did not have a change to create my chart as I read. I will, however, share with you my Goodreads status updates of this book. I didn’t update as much as I would have liked (will work on that), but I got a kick out of looking back at my reactions.
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Click here to take a quiz on how well you know this book! I got 11 out of 12 answers correct.
What did you think of this book?
Who was your favorite peculiar child?
Have you read any more books in this series, and how were they?