Life in general and other adventures

Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is the first book in the series. It is a mysterious paranormal fantasy, with a hint of time travel, for young adults. It was published on June 7th 2011 by Quirk and I won a hardbound copy from one of Sporadic Reads‘ giveaways. I read this from April 19 to 30, 2014, hoping I would finish it in time for the book signing. Spoiler: I didn’t.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children book cover

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1)

by Ransom Riggs

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

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, 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.

This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

The first time my eyes laid upon the cover of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, I immediately concluded that it was not a story I would like. The cover looked scary and the pictures in the book were creepy looking. I did, however, find it interesting because of how popular it became. It was in the top 10 list of local bookstores and I’ve seen it in book blogs.

I received a copy of the book back in December after winning Dre’s giveaway. I honestly did not expect to win, but I did, and when asked what book I wanted, I told her she could give me any book she highly recommended. Knowing her taste and how similar our interests are, I was confident that she would make a great choice. She had it sent to a branch near me so I could pick it up anytime. I didn’t even ask what title she chose nor did she tell me what it was. Now that I finished reading it, I can say that it is one of the best surprises I received.

After giving it some thought, I gave this book a Goodreads rating of 5. Initially I wanted to give it a 4, but I think it is amazing how Riggs used random photos and created a story out of it. I have tons of photos in our photo albums but I don’t think I could ever come up with something like what he did. The pictures are so creepy looking and accompanied with the story Riggs came up with, it felt so real.

After reading some Goodreads review, a lot of people say that it’s a rip off of X-men. Although it may be the case, I don’t hold it against Riggs. There’s still something new and different to this world.

As for the characters, Jacob is just a normal boy who loved his grandfather so much. He grew up listening to stories about the war and monsters his grandfather fought, and the children he grew up with. Jacob believed they were real because of the proof, the pictures of peculiar children his grandpa showed him. But as he grew older, the more it seemed like his grandpa was losing his mind. Maybe from PTSD or age. Everything changed when his grandpa was attacked and he saw who did it.

The peculiar children are just that, peculiar. They have special abilities, like X-men, and they live in a loop. The loop is like Supernatural’s every day is Tuesday. The day repeats on the same date every single day. This had to be done to save and protect the kids in Miss Peregrine’s Home. While reading, I kept thinking how come Jacob can go to the loop. He must be peculiar himself, but he was so ordinary and has no visible peculiarity unlike some of the other kids. The answer to this question was eventually revealed and it did make sense.

One thing I found disturbing, and Jacob did too, is his attraction to Emma, who happens to be his grandpa’s ex-girlfriend of some sort. Technically, Emma is about 80 years old but she is stuck at being 16(?), correct me if I’m wrong, so I guess that’s what makes it okay. I also liked that it didn’t entirely revolve around the love story, but the mystery behind the enemies. But now that they’re going after the monsters through loops, wouldn’t that become complicated in the long run? The time jump from one loop to another can cause confusion, in my opinion, and I am quite excited with the continuity.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book and it kept me entertained while on commute. I would recommend it to others who enjoys a good mystery with a supernatural twist.

 

UPDATE!

 

I was reminded that I joined CORL 2014 earlier in the year and part of the rules in the challenge is to link back or indicate that I’m participating in the challenge. Although I registered using my old URL, I hope it  doesn’t make a difference. Yes, I wrote a post about it and this is the first review I’ve written for this year. My bad. x.x

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