If you haven't read this NY Times best selling book, now's the time since the sequel, Hollow City is due out in January 2014.
If the goal of a book is to make the reader think, this book is very effective. Sixteen-year-old Jacob has been told stories all his life by his Grandfather. He told him he had lived in a magical place with all these unique children looked over by a bird. The reason they were there is that monsters were after him, and this was the only place he'd be safe. Turns out that his Jewish Grandfather came to the island from Poland during WWII to escape the Nazi's. Within a few pages, Jacob gets a frantic call from his Grandfather and he goes to check on him and discovers him dying in the woods with long cuts across his chest. With a few last cryptic words, the plot line begins. If you haven't seen the book trailer it's awesome!
Riggs uses photos to embellish his story and they are old and eerily creepy to match the mood of his characters. Jacob uses the photos to find out about his Grandfather, and travels to the island to see if he can uncover any clues to his death. There he meets his Grandfather's playmates, each with their own special "power." Riggs uniquely leaves most of the adults generic as if they are the unreal characters in the book. With plenty of magic, mystical characters, and details it keeps the reader's attention, and the anticipation of the story to unfold. The book has been setup for a sequel (or two).
Before this book, Ransom Riggs' was most noted for his ongoing series at mental floss called Talking Pictures themed collections of found photographs that happen to have writing on them. These have been compiled into a book of the same name.
Though this book is cataloged in the Young Adult section of the library it would probably be liked by those adults who enjoyed Harry Potter or the Twilight series. Though not nearly as gruesome, it reminded me a little of young Stephen King's work, due to the detailing of his grisly antagonists. This NY Times best seller is fun to read, and according to Wikipedia the movie rights were sold to 20th Century Fox and Tim Burton is to direct.
If you like this story try these read-alikes: