Extra Books – August 29 to September 3

  • The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa
    •  Published: November 2010 (English)
    • Genre: Science fiction
    • Why I picked it up: Enjoyed the first book in the series
    • Rating: 3.5 stars
    • Challenges: Global | 100+
    • My Thoughts:
      • I blazed through this volume! It had an intriguing premise: alternate universe-type where Haruhi goes to a different school and isn’t really very Haruhi-like. Which sounds dull, but you can count on Tanigawa to think up a crazy and attention-grabbing story.
      • That day three years ago…again, very central. I am excited to read more of this series, to see where it all ends up.
      • While I did enjoy this volume, the ending felt a bit rushed. What I liked best about this one was who turned out to be behind it all. It was very sad and melancholic.
  •  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
    • Published: June 2011
    • Genre: ?? Mystery with a hint of horror (those words do not do it justice.)
    • Why I picked it up: Aware of Ransom Riggs (he made those early college videos of John Green :P), saw a tweet that he had a YA novel out, the title definitely made it sound like it was for me
    • Rating: 4 stars
    • Challenges: 100+
    •  My Thoughts:
      • I wasn’t overly impressed with the story. It held my attention, but seemed to be lacking something, that spark that makes me fall in love with a story…I did enjoy the writing style (it’s been awhile since I read a book told from the perspective of a teenage boy not knowing anything about the strange situation he finds himself in) and the characters (they were all relatively unique and had their own voices). It’s okay that the storyline is a little weak. The characters and the photos still make this a unique and delightful read.
      • Another aspect of the writing I liked was that it was creepy without being gory, romantic without being mushy, and sounded like a teen without being condescending or generally unrealistic. A nice balance, that is.
      • As I mentioned, I’ve been vaguely aware of Ransom Riggs’ online presence. I remember watching a video back in January where he discusses his hobby of collecting old photographs…
      • This book contains 44 photographs and the majority are (you guessed it) peculiar. I didn’t recall the above video until I was halfway through the book and I thought, ‘Hm, I wonder if these photos are real, from his collection?’ I flipped to the back and there was a list of where all the photographs came from and a paragraph declaring ‘All the pictures in this book are authentic, vintage found photographs, and with the exception of a few that have undergone minimal postprocessing, they are unaltered.’ This is what intrigues me most about the book and why I love it. I love to be inspired by photos and I love that this strange story developed from these wonderfully strange photos. And of course, it makes for a very different read, with the photos being seamlessly integrated into the storytelling. I’ve never read a novel like this one.