Saturday, April 7, 2012

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

  • Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
  • Classification: Young Adult (Reading level: Ages 13 and up)
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books; Book Club edition (June 7, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1594744769
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594744761

"They're coming for me, understand? I don't know how they found me after all these years, but they did."

For as long as Jacob could remember, his grandfather had told him stories of a fantastical place "designed to keep kids safe from monsters, on an island where the sun shined every day and nobody ever got sick or died. Everyone lived together in a house that was protected by a wise old bird-- or so the story went." When asked what type of monsters the children needed to be protected from he would say, "They stank like putrefying trash; they were invisible except for their shadows; a pack of squirming tentacles lurked inside inside their mouths and could whip out in an instant and pull you into their powerful jaws."  Every time he'd describe the monsters he'd add some new lurid detail. The children of the island weren't like any others. They had magical powers some could levitate, some were super strong, some could turn invisible, practically anything you could imagine one of them could do.

It wasn't until he got older that he started doubting the stories his grandfather told him and started seeing them as tall tales his grandfather made up. That is, until the day his grandfather died and Jacob got a first hand look at the monsters his grandfather had described all those years ago...

I have to confess this story didn't really impress me at all. The vintage photos were pretty cool and the time loops were a fun concept, but somehow I expected something more exciting and scary. Plus, it seemed like the whole book was a set up for the second book and by that I mean nothing really truly extraordinary happened in the majority of book. If I hadn't been reading this with my Goodreads group  and been the discussion leader, I probably would have set this book aside and not finished. I just felt like I was waiting and waiting and waiting for something to happen and nothing really did until the last two chapters and then you get a cliffhanger. If you want me to be hooked on a book you got to give me some meat with the story. Something to catch my attention and keep it. I guess this one just wasn't my cup of tea. Perhaps it's one of those love it or hate it books and while I didn't hate it, it just didn't live up to my expectations and was just an OK read for me. Perhaps the next book will contain what I was hoping to see in this book, but I'll probably just wait and gauge whether or not I'll read it by what other people's reactions are to it. Overall, I gave it 2 out of 5 roses.

Fun note:
The making up of the story from pictures that the author found in collections of vintage photographs people owned was a pretty fun idea. In the back of the book the author lists whose collection each photograph is from. In a way, it reminded me of the Harris Burdick pictures that my son's English teacher gave his class last year to use as story prompts. The story associated with the pictures is that a man left them with a publisher saying he'd bring in the stories connected to them the next day, but he was never seen or heard from again.

For the full explanation of why I posted 'The Corrupted' movie poster below, see the comment section below the review. Basically, this reminded me of the creature described in 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children'.


  1. I enjoyed this one, sorry you didn't. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

  2. I wish I'd liked it too. It's a New York Times best seller and I was really looking forward to reading it. I grew up watching horror movies and perhaps that's what made this book less enjoyable for me. Every Friday my sister and I would watch Svenghoolie or Son of Svenghoolie or Elvira host some horror night on TV. I've watched Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (stupid, but silly), some of the first Dracula movies, and Silence of the Lambs and this was definitely not horror, and, in my humble opinion, not particularly scary. Maybe it wasn't supposed to be? I've also watched X-Files and Doctor Who (both old and new) and those, I feel, contain characters that are more interesting. From the description, I thought it might be more like the Spiderwick Chronicles, which I absolutely adored, but I didn't see anything new in this book. Even the evil creatures with the tentacle coming out of their mouths has been done. There are at least 2 movies that sported them, I think one is The Corrupted. I'm going to add a picture at the bottom of my review of the movie poster. If I can find the other poster, I'll try to display it as well.


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