Book Reviews, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult

Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1) by Ransom Riggs

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I picked up Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children back in October because I like to read “not so scary” books to get me in the Halloween spirit.  I know what you are thinking…

“If you read this back in October, why are you posting your review at Christmas time?”

What can I say?  I like to keep you on your toes.  I’m sure you all are sick of the book reviews of Christmas time reads, so I thought I would mix things up for you all.

You’re welcome.

It definitely does not have anything to do with the fact that I am behind on my reviews…still.  Nope.

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Author: Ransom Riggs

Genre: Young Adult • Fantasy • Historical Fiction

Version: Paperback (382 Pages)

Published: June 7th 2011

Publisher:  Quirk Books

Source: Purchased

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 Book Synopsis:

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

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My Thoughts:

I really enjoy reading books that are unlike anything I have ever read before, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was just that.   Riggs creates such an inventive and unique world here, and that is something I really appreciate.  I like how Riggs put his own spin on a few fantasy concepts that we have seen before, but not quite like this.  As far as genre goes, this was almost a fantasy/historical fiction mash up, which worked so well here.  This book actually reminded me a lot of  X-MenIf you think about it, they do have similar story lines: children who are “different” are taken in by a individual who has vowed to keep them safe from a world that doesn’t understand them?  Ring any bells?  Yes, I made this connection all by myself for ONCE!  It was a proud moment.

Eccentric characters are my thing, and there was no shortage of odd-balls in this book.   From invisible boys to floating girls, this book has them all.  I really enjoyed how these characters interacted with each other and formed a pseudo family.  I only wish that we would have gotten some backstory on Miss Peregrine and her peculiar children.  How did they all come together?  What are their individual stories?  I can only hope that these characters are going to be further developed in the next installments of the series.  This book was more about Jacob and how he connects to the peculiars.

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.”

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If I could describe Riggs’ writing, I would say it is very atmospheric.  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is not particularly scary, however there were a few parts that were a little unsettling… I guess it all depends on how active your imagination is.  I’m a pretty big wuss, so if I read it and made it through unscathed, then it is fairly tame on the scary scale.  Many of the negative reviews I read mentioned that they were disappointed that it wasn’t scary… to which I would say that this is more of a FANTASY book, not a horror book.  I don’t think this book was meant to be a horror novel, but rather a “peculiar” book.  See?  Riggs even gave us a hint in the title.  If it was meant to be scary, he would have titled it “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Terrifying Children.”

I think the photographs included throughout the book, which the characters were based off, really enhanced the eerie tones of the book. It also gave a level of depth to the characters, making them feel more real (technically they WERE real people, but you know what I mean) I find it fascinating that Riggs went through thousands upon thousands of pictures in private collections to find these photographs.

Pacing wise, this book is on the slower side in some parts.  Much of the action does not take place until towards the end of the book, so a good chunk of the book is building the world and giving us the back story.  I never felt like the book was dragging though, so this is not a criticism.  You just need to keep in mind that this is a series, so a good portion of this book is the set up for the subsequent books.  I was always engaged with the story and did not feel that was predictable.  There was one plot twist in particular that I did NOT see coming.  Mind = blown.

My only hang-up with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children would be the romantic relationship in this book was a little much for my taste.  If I am being honest, it made me cringe.  I really wish this had been done differently.  This is actually a concern for me in the next installments because I am nervous it is going to turn into some type of freaky love triangle.  Fingers crossed that it doesn’t…

 “When someone won’t let you in, eventually you stop knocking.”

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I definitely enjoyed this book and will be continuing on with this series.  The book ended on a big cliff hanger, so I have to read the next book to see what happens to this motley crew.  You have probably heard of the movie adaptation by now, if not you can watch the trailer here → Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Movie Trailer.  From what I’ve heard, the book and the movie have some pretty big differences.  I hope to rent it soon and see for myself how it compares.

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My Rating:

5-Star Rating System

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About the Author:

ransomriggsHi, I’m Ransom, and I like to tell stories. Sometimes I tell them with words, sometimes with pictures, often with both. I grew up on a farm on the Eastern shore of Maryland and also in a little house by the beach in Englewood, Florida where I got very tan and swam every day until I became half fish. I started writing stories when I was young, on an old typewriter that jammed and longhand on legal pads. When I was a little older I got a camera for Christmas and became obsessed with photography, and when I was a little older still my friends and I came into possession of a half-broken video camera and began to make our own movies, starring ourselves, using our bedrooms and backyards for sets. I have loved writing stories and taking photographs and making movies ever since, and have endeavored to do all three.

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booktopboarderHave you read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children?  What did you think?

Have you seen the film adaptation?  How does it stack up against the book?

Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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26 thoughts on “Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1) by Ransom Riggs”

  1. Great review Amanda! I was waiting on your thoughts on this 1st installment lol. My husband gifted me the trilogy boxed set last Christmas but I let myself be swayed by mixed reviews. Lately I’ve been seeing other trusted bloggers reviewing them in a positive light & it has reignited my interest…also I really want to watch the movie but the bookworm won’t let me break the unspoken rule of Read The Book 1st! *hides face* LOL. I am not a fan of super scary books but I got the vibe that this one was more “peculiar” as the wonderful author hints HAHA! I’m def going to read book 1 early 2017 to watch the movie & decide if I’ll continue with the series 🙂

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    1. I follow the bookworm rule of reading the book first, that way the movie doesn’t play in my mind as I read. I like to imagine things my own way, then the movie can either live up to my standards, or not… Lots of the negative reviews I read mentioned that they didn’t think it was scary, but I don’t think it’s fair to rate a book based off what you were expecting it to be… I think people looked at the cover and immediately think “horror” but it’s really not. I think Riggs did some really neat things in this book. It isn’t a favorite, but definitely a good read in my opinion 😊

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    1. Oh good to know! Let’s just say I though a certain family member was going to come back into play, which just would have been too much for me to handle lol. I was wondering if the movie would be ok for my 10 year old, but you answered that question too! Thanks for the intel 😉

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  2. Great review! Happy to hear you liked it because I’ve got it sitting on my shelf waiting for me! Just haven’t had a chance to get to it yet. I’ll be reading the book before seeing the movie though. What about you? Have you watched the movie yet? If not, are you going to soon since you’ve read the book?

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  3. So glad you were able to find appreciation in this one. I loved the story for the most part and am a fan. It seems to be that either you are or you are not. I am not seeing a lot of in between, so to speak. I agree completely about the romance haha. Your review has once again managed to do great justice. Lovely!

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    1. Thank you ❤️ Yes I’ve seen the same. I feel like many who didn’t care for it mentioned they didn’t think it was scary, which is a shame because I didn’t think that was ever the intention. I think people misjudge this book based off the cover and assume it’s scary 😕

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  4. Ah, sometimes I feel like I’m the only person on the planet who hasn’t read this book yet. I love your review, however! I keep getting mixed ideas of the genre of this book depending on whose review I’m reading– I trust you, however, so I’m going with “peculiar fantasy”. Well defined! 🙂 The idea of an impending love triangle is frustrating, but I imagine with a cliffhanger you’ll need to keep reading quickly. I look forward to hearing more about what you think (and seeing if Rebecca was just tricking you to encourage you to keep going)!

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  5. I love your review! I am currently working on writing mine for this book and I also read it in October! You’ve made me want to finish the series. I really wasn’t sure if I liked it or not, but I just got the second one from the library, so I’ll be reading it soon!

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    1. It sounds like you’ll be continuing on sooner than I will get to, so let me know how it goes! I actually haven’t read any reviews for the next books in the series, so I have no idea if they were well received by MPHFPC fans or not…

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