(There are NO SPOILERS here!)
Before I delve into this, I have a confession to make.
I only read this book because of the preview for the movie coming out this year. The preview was just beautiful, enchanting and whimsical. Plus, Eva Green and that awesome actor from Ender’s Game (a nice movie, and an even better book. But y’all already know the book is better than the movie) are in it. And lastly, that song. It made my heart soar and I already bought it. So, after seeing all that Tim Burton awesomeness, I had to read the book. Had to.
But, I will say in my defense, I knew without knowing anything, that the movie was COMPLETELY changing what happened in the book. Sure, plot wise it is probably the same, but it’s not creepy and it may be a touch too whimsical. And the book wasn’t really creepy either (those pictures were though), but there was something just inherently off about the preview. I’ll give more detail when the movie comes out and write my review of that.
Anyways, enough about the movie (which I am definitely going to see).
First off, I don’t typically go for books with a male protagonist/narrator because I am a girl, and, for whatever reason, I feel like a second-hand lesbian when I read stuff from a male perspective (please do not be offended LGBQT community; no hate, all love). My reason is nonsensical, but it is what it is. Anywho! I was also worried about the teenage angst in this book because, ugh. But it was not terrible, and Jake’s sense of humor and sarcasm make it bearable for those not of teenage … age…whatever.
This is definitely a book I would classify as a bildungsroman (coming of age story) also because Jake is coming to a realization and the majority of the book is his coming to terms with this realization. But, as I stated before, Jake is not a whiny, “Oh my god, what’s happening? Who am I?,” character that takes the entire book to become proactive. He is a character that is very self-aware and not above making a joke at his own expense. He is also very relatable, even to a 21 year old. His parents are eh, but they’re mostly there for plot movement and Jake’s personal development. And boy does that plot move. Not too fast, mind you. You won’t be thrown into the thicket of the action, but it’s a good pace. Not too fast, not drag your feet slow.
The peculiar children all seem very dynamic as well. Even the characters I would venture to call stock characters have more development than most stock characters. And the characters don’t blend together. They each have their own identity and Riggs makes sure to stay true to these individual identities.
Well folks, that’s all I got for you! I might write a completely different review on Goodreads (check me out there!), but that is going to be completely based on where I am, what I’m doing, and time. Oh time. You slippery eel, you.
P.S. – Check out Ransom Rigg’s website. It’s awesome. (I’ll find a better adjective to overuse later.)