As always very late to the hype train here, I got lucky enough to read Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children only last month, thanks to Fernanda’s wonderful gift. Better late than never, right, and I am so glad I did because, if in some parts the book was not as incredible as I thought it would be, still, it was a wonderful and quite unique story.
AN ORIGINAL IDEA
“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.”
As children, we all believed in fairy tales of some kind – I guess, or maybe it was just me. This book really spoke to me in a way that it completely turns this inside down. While you’re growing up, fairy tales fade away as the harsh reality take their places, and some of the magic disappears for sure. With Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, we get to believe that there are actually strange things, miraculous and inexplicable things happening in life and that was such a lovely, interesting and unique take in fantasy books, thanks to the author’s implication in the story.
See, this story started with the quite unique pictures that the author started collecting, peculiar picture for sure, of children, adults, pictures with a strange atmosphere coming off them. A picture of a girl flying above the ground, a picture of one lifting weights seeming WAY too heavy for his silhouette, and so on. As the pictures are scattered through the pages of the novel, it makes this story somehow grounded into our world, kind of brings out the strange atmosphere of the novel, of the children, and definitely gives this book a something more.
A MYSTERIOUS AND SUSPENSEFUL STORY…AT FIRST
“…so one day my mother sat me down and explained that I couldn’t become an explorer because everything in the world had already been discovered. I’d been born in the wrong century, and I felt cheated.”
This story is about Jacob, a teenager with a pretty average suburban life in the 1940’s. His grandfather always told him stories about magic, powers, children with unique abilities and this house he used to live in, on an island close to England. If Jacob did not, as he grew up, believed in him, his grandfather dies in strange circumstances and everything changes. A trip to the very island and the peculiar children turns his whole life upside down. From the very beginning of the story, my curiosity was piqued and I kept eagerly turning the pages trying to figure out the strange events happening, there was enough mystery and suspense to keep my attention a lot. Unfortunately, as the story went on, I somehow found myself a bit less captivated by it all – once the big revelations and discoveries had happened, I somehow found myself a little less drawn into the story for some reason, which is quite of a shame because the beginning made me think this might be an unforgettable read for sure.
THE CHARACTERS: A STRONG CAST
“I knew there was something peculiar about you,” she said. “And I mean that as the highest compliment.”
The characters, however, were sort of a strong suit in this story, most especially the main character, Jacob. From the very beginning, I found myself caring for him and for what happened to him: his curiosity, his determination, his overall trail of thought was very understandable and I found that he was an interesting, relatable leading character to the story. Another thing I really enjoyed in this story, was the family, and most especially Jacob’s father presence in this story: he was, to me, especially at the beginning, more than just a side character that was there just for the sake of Jacob having parents. We actually knew about him, his interests, what drove him forward, his frustrations and so on, I really appreciated this.
As soon as the character’s cast grew and got more intense with the peculiar children, I have to admit that I found myself a little bit lost at times – so many different characters, so many names and abilities, I kind of had a hard time remembering who was who. Thankfully, towards the ending, the cast reduced a bit to main sidekicks to Jacob, I appreciated that a bit more as I felt a little bit less confused. I only hope that these characters will grow and be individually shaped better in the next books for me to get them, with individual scenes or so on.
The one character we got a good look at, was obviously Emma, one of the main characters as well and Jacob’s, well, love interest thorough the story. I have to admit that, if I could understand the attraction between the two, I felt a bit weird-ed out by it all and thought that the book could definitely had done without that romantic part. I did not entirely feel the chemistry between the characters here, which is a shame. SPOILER: Also, erm, why would you date your grandfather’s love interest, yes that is plain weird.
I might have mentioned a couple of issues I had with this book here, but I did really had a lovely time reading this book. If the strong suit definitely is the setting and the atmosphere of the story, the author’s writing was also definitely something to love: quite simple yet manages to hold your attention, especially in the first part of the story. I am still very curious about the rest of the series and I do hope that the promising idea, the mystery, suspense and thrill I fell in the first few pages of this story keeps on going in the next books, to make me love this even more.
Final rating: 4 drops!
Do you want to read Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Chidren? Did you read it and if so, did you enjoy it? Share your thoughts in comments!
Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, Published by Quirk , June 7th, 2011.
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.