I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #1
Published by Quirk Books on June 7th, 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Time Travel
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.
If you haven’t heard of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, you may well be living under a rock. Aside from the movie adaptation hitting theaters later this year, this has been one of the most consistently hyped YA series for the past 5 years. And yet I’m only getting around to it now. Whoops. This book has a killer concept, but didn’t fully resonate with me.
The best thing and major selling point of Miss Peregrine’s has to be its concept. Ransom Riggs collected strange and eerie photographs and created a dark and twisted story around them. Peculiars are people with paranormal abilities, and after Jacob’s grandfather is brutally murdered by what looks like a monster, he discovers the old orphanage in Wales where peculiar children live in solitary – safe from the dangers of the outside world.
Most of what made this book so interesting is the mystery around it all. The plot is pretty much perfectly paced as Jacob makes the discoveries of the peculiar house, the abilities the children have, the how’s and why’s of their hidden home… and the impending danger they all face. It’s an innovative blend of genres, encompassing fantasy, historical fiction, arguably some science fiction, and mystery. Creativity? Check.
However, the number 1 thing that I always look for in books is a connection to the characters. And that’s where this book just didn’t quite make it for me. Jacob isn’t quite a static character and arguably he has a personality. He’s definitely coping with a form of PTSD, so there is some depth to his character. But still, other than that, he didn’t really jump out at me. There was a lack of a spark. There’s also some kind of beginning stages of a romance, but I felt basically nothing for it because it seemed kind of forced. And awkward. And I didn’t feel like I knew the girl well enough to really be cheering them on as being perfect for each other.
I will say that the plot really picked up at the end. There were a couple of twists and reveals that I really didn’t expect, and there were some pretty chilling and gruesome scenes to boot. I actually feared for the character’s lives, because they were in clear and present danger. The bad guys were beyond creepy. So if that’s the kind of story you’re after, you should definitely pick this book up ASAP.
At the end of the day, I get what this book was trying to do, but I don’t think it quite got there yet. A+ concept, but C+ execution. I still have hope though, because I feel like this book set up a lot of potentially awesome plot twists and surprises for the rest of the series. There’s still so much more in this world that we have yet to discover. And hopefully the characters will grow on me along the way. But this book alone, though cool for being so different, did kind of feel like it’s just doing something new for the sake of getting an “innovator” label. I don’t really know how I feel about that.