I’m often attracted to books because of the cover and I will admit that The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry is one I read because I was so attracted to the incredible artwork.
Since childhood, Lena’s been told she’s a goblin…a Peculiar, just like her always-in-trouble father. Her father leaves when she’s young, but on her 18th birthday, her mother gives her a letter from her father that sends Lena on a quest to find him and herself.
One of the first people we’re introduced to besides Lena, is Jimson Quiggley — he’s a librarian. There’s even some “you don’t have a library degree” snobbishness from Lena (her mom is a Children’s Librarian). So that made me love the book all the more. I mean, if you dig books, then definitely give this one a shot because they spend quite a bit of time in a super cool library.
While reading The Peculiars, all I could think about were the books it reminded me of. Most of them I really enjoyed, so that’s a good thing. First, this book reminds me of Chime, except that I like Lena and never understood Briony. Both girls have a “something” that makes them different, but don’t know what it is. I also get a sense of the Gemma Doyle series (A Great and Terrible Beauty) — a young woman out to find herself in a kind-of Victorian era (I’m not entirely sure of where The Peculiars takes place, but I do know it’s the late 1800s). There’s also a hint of Alexia Tarabotti here (Soulless). There are some steampunkish elements and, like Alexia, Lena is a girl that’s a little different from everyone else. Finally, I can’t quite place why, but something about Lena, the setting, or something, reminds me of Switched.
Definitely a fun read and totally refreshing to read something a little different from what I’ve been reading (which is mainly YA dystopias). (Though I am bothered that the name Lena was used…I mean, considering the popularity of Delirium, couldn’t a different name have been chosen?)
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review via NetGalley.