Source: Bought at Supernova
Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Published: June 7th 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Paranormal
First Line: “I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.”
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.
Eh, eh….eh. Have you ever felt that after reading the synopsis of a book and hearing so much great feedback, you develop your own image in your mind of what the book’s going to be like? And then when you read the book, it just…isn’t?
Yeah. I have.
The novel was okay. That’s all I can really say. In my eyes, it certainly didn’t live up to all the hype surrounding it, and there were so many aspects that I wish had taken a different direction. I really enjoyed the beginning – I felt that it was very captivating and kept you interested, as well as maintained a healthy level of mystery. But it was at around the 1/3 mark that I got frustrated.
I went into the read expecting something creepy, a bit of a thriller-mystery, if you will. And while the first quarter was as I was hoping, by the time I reached the 1/4th mark the answer to the mystery was revealed. I was so disappointed! The novel could’ve been so much better if it had focused more on Jacob’s discovery of the peculiar children, him gradually slotting the pieces of the puzzle together until it all became clear. But nope! Just lay it out in front of us just as we were getting interested. And was I the only one that, after hearing of this isolated mansion full of…talented kids, immediately thought of X-Men? Because I swear, almost every time I turned the page I was expecting Professor Xavier to come wheeling in with his bald head and some philosophical quote.
The characters were alright, nothing stand out. I quite like the protagonist, and it was refreshing to read a young-adult novel from a male perspective. HIS WHOLE GRANDFATHER SITUATION BROKE MY HEART THOUGH. I’d definitely say that his grandfather was my favourite character in the whole thing, even though he wasn’t around for much. Just…sadness. So much sadness.
I didn’t so much enjoy the romance though…it felt irrelevant, as though it had just been thrown in there for the sake of having a romance. Plus, the love interest (don’t worry, no spoilers – I got your back) felt wrong. Just wrong. It made me feel like I was drinking sour milk, to be honest – you have a sip and then it doesn’t taste right, so all you want to do is wrinkle your nose and spit it back out.
The writing was pleasant, the stand out of the book I’d say. Ransom Riggs created a very atmospheric, dark mood which I enjoyed immensely and suited the storyline. It wasn’t too verbose, but wasn’t too brief. However, I was disappointed with the inclusion of photography – I’ve never really been exposed to many books that have an emphasis on illustrations/photography, and I was hoping that they’d play a bigger role in the novel. At first it worked, but as the story progressed it just became more irrelevant.
Overall, meh. I’d definitely say that I preferred the start of the book over the rest of it, but it still wasn’t a highlight. It’s good in the way that it’s suitable for both genders I think, but don’t go in with high expectations. It was an okay read – which isn’t bad, but it isn’t great. I am sad to say that I am disappointed. However, it was a good introduction into some darker, eerier books for Halloween so I guess I’ve found that silver lining. Unlikely to continue on with the series.