It’as getting quite autumn-y here in the Northeast. I stomped in a pile of crispy leaves the other day, there are pumpkins on the porch, and it’s beginning to look a lot like Halloween. I was never a horror fan, although I can deal with small doses of Stephen King thanks to Amanda. I just read two odd-and-good-but-not-scary YA books: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Peculiar Children centers around a guy named Jacob who grew up with bizarre tales and photographs from his grandfather. Once Jacob sees something unnatural and terrifying attack his grandfather in the woods, he knows he must go to Wales to find the orphanage where his grandfather grew up– Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The book is peppered with photographs of the peculiar children, borrowed from vintage photograph collectors to illustrate the story. I got the chills in several places and was afraid to turn the page lest I see something scary. There is a SMASH-BANG twist near the end, and the book ends with no finality, which I liked. Ransom Riggs, please do not write a sequel– let that uncertainty lie!
The Name of the Star is the latest from Maureen Johnson. The main character, Rory, is from Louisiana but is spending a year in London at boarding school. Unfortunately, she arrives just as a serial killer starts killing women in much the same way as Jack the Ripper did in the 1800s. One night, Rory sees a man that no one else can see, and suddenly, her life and view of the world change drastically. This book has a great climax and will be part of a series. I am so looking forward to find out what happens next. The library-centered comic Unshelved reviewed The Name of the Star recently, won’t you take a look?
Finally, since it’s almost Halloween, it’s also almost time for All Hallows’ Read, brainchild of the awesome Neil Gaiman. Why give candy when you can give books?