Posts tagged ‘Carlos Ruiz Zafón’

V.C. Andrews has got nothing on young fiction writers these days

“The Prince of the Mist” by  Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Published in 2010 (in English)

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs, Published in 2011


In 6th grade, I remember sneaking “Flowers in the Attic” up to my room, carefully walking up the stairs, hoping not to get caught. I knew if my parents found out what I was reading I would be in trouble (incest and severe child abuse are not necessarily what you hope your 13-year-old daughter is reading about). But I also knew that I wouldn’t be able to sleep until I had finished it.  I kind of felt the same way about “The Prince of Mist” and “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.”

Both books are written for young adults, so I have been slinking around kind of reading them on the sly – ready to say something ridiculous like “I just got done reading the collective works of Tolstoy” if anyone asks what I am reading.  Reading young adult fiction can be really fun but like any guilty pleasure I am, for some weird reason, always ready to defend myself. I also knew, once I started both of these books, that I wouldn’t be able to sleep until I finished them.  So while I didn’t have to read these books under my covers with a flashlight, in a way that was what I was doing.

“The Prince of Mist” is set during WWII (which seems to be the case with a lot of books I have been reading lately). A family moves from the city to a small seaside town.  The oldest son, Max, knows something is wrong with this town when they get off the train and he notices that the train station clock is running backwards.  The family quickly finds out the previous owners of their house abandoned it when their son drowned.  They also find out that something is terribly wrong with the house and their surroundings.  There is just enough to make this story work – an evil cat, a spooky clown statue and a brave kid who saves the day. I think my 6th grade self would have loved this book.  My adult self  thinks this would have been better as a short story because towards the end my attention began to wander.

I think everyone has read “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” but for those who haven’t it is really a good book.  It is not what I expected but it has that storyline that we all connect with. The ordinary kid who has no friends and who thinks he is a loser only to find out that indeed he is special and then amazing things happen to him.  There have been a thousand reviews written about this book so I will leave it at that (see below for links to other reviews of this book).  It is by no means the best book you will ever read but it is a great escape and a quick read.  Don’t let the fact that the author’s name is Ransom get in your way either.

I have no idea how V.C. Andrews holds up compared to these books. But from what I remember, I think I would rather read these books several times over before ever again having to wonder if Christopher will marry his sister and get out of the attic –  and wow was that a bad movie.

Now what did I do with that Tolstoy collection I was just reading…

October 11, 2011 at 8:42 pm 6 comments

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There is some great literature out there, but there is a lot of bad literature as well. We shouldn't all have to read it. These are my recommendations and thoughts about the books I read.


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