Title – ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’
Author – Ransom Riggs
Published – June 4th 2013 by Quirk Books
Pages – 382
Format – Paperback
Book Summary –
‘A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of 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 bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine’s 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.’
*Warning – Contains spoilers*
I’d heard mixed reviews about this book before I picked it up however it was a story that intrigued me so I continued on either way. Unfortunately I was met with a rather slow start. The first quarter of the book did almost nothing for me, I was struggling to continue throughout that whole section if I was to be completely honest. The pacing was completely wrong. For example when Jacob’s grandfather Abraham (or Abe for short) passed under slightly suspicious circumstances it seemed to be passed over awfully quickly. Also considering it was the only ‘action’ in the first quarter of the book I think it should have been delved into far more deeply. The other thing that was missed from this particular part of the book was the emotion. It just didn’t hit me that anyone was massively effected, including Jacob who was meant to be one of the closet people too his grandfather.
The story at the time was somewhat questionable as well. I don’t think many parent’s would allow Jacob to go a random island across an ocean in an attempt to sort out his head. Even if he was being accompanied by his father. I just found that element to be highly unlikely, however I guess that’s why it’s called fiction.
I was glad when Miss Peregrine and the peculiar children were finally introduced, although it took far longer than I would have liked for that to actually happen. When she was introduced the pace finally seemed to pick up somewhat. I liked that each of the peculiar children weren’t left out, we got snippets of all of them included in the book. They all played a part even if it was a minor part.
This is where the story line takes a little brain work to keep up with. Along with Jacob, the reader is finding out about this whole new world tucked away in a time loop. And with Jacob hopping from the modern day to 1940 all the time you do have to try and keep up with elements contained within those separate worlds. Plus I imagine for some it would be easy to get lost in all the background information Jacob gets fed throughout the story from an array of characters.
In terms of the characters… well lets just say that Jacob did’t really do much for me if I’m completely honest. It was to easy to predict him, he didn’t seem to have a lot of fire or spark in him at all which made him come across rather boring. Miss Peregrine herself didn’t play as much of a role as I thought she would have which was rather a shame to be honest. I think the story needed more of her in my opinion. Emma lacked a certain spark (no pun intended – her peculiarity is that she can create fire) for me as well, the developing relationship between her and Jacob was all but forgotten in the backgrounds. They just seemed to come together and that was that. There was no chemistry there… none that I could feel anyway. Millard and Brownyn were in fact the characters that stood out for me despite being ‘supporting’ characters so to speak. Their personalities were very distinct and strong and happened to bounce off the other characters presented in the book rather well.
I felt too much happened too quickly in the latter half of the book. It became a bit of a blur of events and nothing massively stood out for me. What I would have thought would have been a dramatic scene, where the children finally come face to face with the hollowgast.. who should have been the stuff of nightmares.. actually was far from scary or intense as it should have been. Even when Jacob killed said hollowgast it passed over rather quickly and lacked the intensity that I would have hoped for. Again it was the pacing that took a massive amount of enjoyment out of this book for me. It has a really great concept and the writing itself is perfectly fine and the added pictures in the book itself was a really nice touch, it was just the pacing and the way the story progressed that really knocked this book for me.
Would I suggest this book to other bookworms? Despite the pace I probably would
Will I be reading the next two books in the series? I would like to see how the story progress’ however it won’t be on top of my ‘to buy list’
Am I completely in love with this book? As much as I like the story line.. I’m afraid not
[I rate this book 3/5 stars]