The book cover alone was what spurred me on with interest for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, though admittedly, when I finally did pick it up, I had to do a double-take on it. Where was the horrific creepiness? Where was the promise of eerie, spooky children? But I’m getting ahead of myself.
MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
by Ransom Riggs
Quirk, June 2011
YA paranormal fantasy
Rated: / 5 cookies
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.
Old photographs? Eerie cover connotations and the promise of spooky children with spine-tingling histories? Yeah, I was game for it, even though it’s not normally the kind of book I tend to read. Horror and I don’t mix, at least, not unless there’s a great deal of Fantasy or Something-Else in it. But I did want to read Miss Peregrine’s because the cover called to me, and I was prepared to be spooked.
But a third into the book and I was a little confused as to what I was reading. I knew the pictures were going to play huge roles in the narrative (like, creepy additions that made the reader visualize without further explanation), but I didn’t think it would go along the lines of “I remember what this-and-this looked like from a picture I saw in this-and-this photo album.”
So I was slightly annoyed up until things finally escalated halfway into the book, where Jacob meets the children in the pictures. From there it got more into the realm of supernatural/horror to scifi&fantasy where *SPOILERS* a time-looped orphanage contained kids with magical abilities. Oh, and their headmistress/matron is a shapeshifter who can manipulate the confines of time itself. *SPOILERS*
And from there I read on, and on, and on, because it was entertaining. I liked the peculiar children in their little pocket of time, and I found them intriguing. I really want to know more about the ymbry-whatchamacallits, and I’m only bummed that the damn book is not a stand-alone and has a sequel. I’m glad Jacob did come to his own and conquered his doubts in the way that he could, and at least there’s some resolution toward the end–though, as the first in a series, obviously there are some cliffhangers as well.
Something that did come off as Blah, though: that romance. Ew. Not shipping it at all. I like Emma as a character, sure, but lordy. Also, while I did pick up the book for the stunningly strange pictures contained within, I’m not sure I liked that little tidbit at the end where the author passes the photos as “authentic save for a few touch-ups.” It kind of killed the speculation.
4 out of 5 cookies! I’d read the sequel.
One thought on “25 Reads: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs”
I’ve been wanting to read this one. I’m not usually a spooky kids sort of reader either. I couldn’t resist and read the spoilers. I was worried when you said the first half was slow, but now I totally want to read this sooner rather than later!
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