Review: Hollow City (The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children) by Ransom Riggs

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hollow cityTitle: Holly City
Series: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #2
Author:
Ransom Riggs
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Purchased (Hardcover)

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The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London the peculiar capital of the world. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reacting experience.

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When I finished reading Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, the first book in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series, I hadn’t wanted to read the sequel. In fact, I didn’t feel that the book really required a sequel. In my opinion, the first book could have been structured to be a standalone, but it wasn’t. OH WELL.

Anyway, I still hadn’t intended to buy this second book, but then saw it at Costco. Where I still didn’t buy it. I figured I’d get it from the library just to get it read. Then I flipped through it a bit, put it back, went home. THEN I saw that Jenni (previously of Alluring Reads, now of Xpresso Reads) had gotten a copy and was talking about how she was looking forward to reading it. AGAIN I hummed and hawed and before I knew it I was purchasing a copy online and when it arrived at my door, I tore open the package and started reading it immediately.

Peer pressure, folks. It’s how it’s done.

While this book doesn’t hold as much mystery as the first book, it was still a really great read. When I say “mystery” I mean that the first book was just so, well … peculiar. We didn’t know about the island, we didn’t know about the mysterious kids there. All we knew was Jacob, who was so human. So when these creepy pictures started popping up, as a reader I wondered what was going on. Who were these mysterious children? But now in this book we already know about them and their peculiarities. So there’s that certain air of mystery that’s lacking. We do meet some new peculiars, but since we already know that they exist it’s not as big of an event.

However.

This story isn’t the first story. In this story, the kids are heading to London to try and fix their beloved Miss Peregrine. There are plenty of weird things that pop up in the story, and more than enough weird characters. I thought I might not know who each character from the first book was in this book, but was happy to see a bit of a photo album in the front of the book, with a little blurb about each character that we had met in the previous story. I referred to it here and there, but found that it was easy enough to slip back into this intriguing world that Ransom Riggs had created. It’s a dark world, mysterious, and downright creepy at times.

And the photography! The entire time I was reading this story I kept wondering how Ransom created such a story. Did he find all these pictures and line them up in a story timeframe and then start writing? Or did he write and then scour for photographs? For me, that was the true mystery that remains for this series. The books are definitely intriguing and they’ve pulled me in and kept me hooked and I still wonder how they were made! It’s one thing to have someone illustrate stories, but these books are created AROUND photographs that the author had curated. It’s just fascinating to me.

I’ve heard there will be a third book in the series and I do think it will be interesting. We are left at the end of this book with a bit of a cliffhanger, not enough of a resolution as I had hoped, but enough to get me to put the next book on my wishlist. And I’ve even heard that Ransom won’t wait three years to release it, which will be great. And I can already say that I’ll be purchasing a copy. These books are true gems on my shelf. They don’t look like all the other books and have a certain special quality about them that makes them stand out.

If you read and enjoyed the first book in this series, I’m betting you’ll love this one. Full of mystery and intrigue — the perfect read for a dark and stormy evening.

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Review: The First Star to Fall (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1.5) by Diana Peterfreund

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the first star to fallTitle: The First Star to Fall
Author:
Diana Peterfreund
Series:
For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1.5
Date(s) read
: August 21, 2013
Genre: YA Dystopia
Source: Purchased (eBook)

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Discover how it all began…

New Pacifica was designed to be a tropical paradise, a refuge for humanity filled with natural wonders and technological marvels. A place of perfect peace, where “war” was only a war out of ancient history–or so the privileged teenage aristocrat Persis Blake had always been taught.
But then comes the revolution and the death of a queen, and suddenly it’s no longer enough for Persis to trust the words of her parents, the lessons of her teachers, and the decrees of the men in power.

One terrible night, Persis witnesses the truth: there are those who will stop at nothing to destroy her world… but is there anyone who could save it?

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Being a huge fan of Diana Peterfreund’s book For Darkness Shows the Stars, I’ve been very intrigued to try more of her writing. Seeing as this story is part of that particular series, I thought I’d give it a try.

This story is very different from FDStS. This is one of those “before” stories and I think it’s to coincide more with the second book in the series, Across a Star-Swept Sea. It was a little difficult getting into it, after I had invested myself in the characters from the first book, but it was still a good read. In this story we meet Persis, who is a teenage aristo, on the cusp of a revolution.

One thing that holds me back from saying it was completely excellent is that it was slightly confusing. It took me a few pages to get into it – until the revolution part – and even then I wondered what was going on. It might be because this book contains none of the familiar characters I had met in previous books of the series, but I do have hopes that Persis’s full-length story pulls me in a little more.

I am very interested to continue on with her story in Across a Star-Swept Sea.

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Review: Requiem (Delirium, #3) by Lauren Oliver

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requiemTitle: Requiem
Series: Delirium, #1
Author: Lauren Oliver
Date(s) read: August 25, 2013
Genre: YA Dystopian
Source: Purchased (Hardcover)

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They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.

But we are still here.

And there are more of us every day.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.

Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.

But we have chosen a different road.

And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.

We are even free to choose the wrong thing.

Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

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I have a bit of a thing when it comes to series finale books. I desperately want to like them – no, LOVE them – that I think I have way too high expectations. With this series, I loved the first two books SO MUCH that I was so scared to read the last book in the series. So much so that I put it off for MONTHS.

I don’t even know where to start with this book. I liked parts of it, but for the most part, I didn’t like it. First of all, we have the main character, Lena. The last book ended with her and one boy and now there are TWO boys and it’s like Lena completely changed her character. I was MAD at her for this. I think Aylee says it best in her review when she says, “Oh, love triangles – why must you make assholes out of people?” Word.

One thing I did love with this book was Hana. Honestly, I didn’t expect her character to be a huge presence in this book, what with her being “fixed” and all, but I think her story was the better one in the book. With Lena, I felt like her story was the same story we got in Pandemonium.

And the biggest downfall of this book? The rushed ending. We don’t even get that many answers – if any – by the end of the story. It felt way too open-ended to be a series finale and I didn’t like the fact that it was left for the reader to make an assumption as to what might have happened. I needed closure!

While I still adore Lauren Oliver’s writing and intend to read her future books, this one disappointed me. I was expecting so much more, an EXPLOSIVE ending, and that just wasn’t what I got. Here’s hoping other fans of the series felt different.

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