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.
It definitely does not have anything to do with the fact that I am behind on my reviews…still. Nope.
Author: Ransom Riggs
Genre: Young Adult • Fantasy • Historical Fiction
Version: Paperback (382 Pages)
Published: June 7th 2011
Publisher: Quirk Books
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.
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-Men. If 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.”
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.”
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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Have 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 🙂