Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
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 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….
My sister recommended this to me and given the synopsis (above) I was sold immediately. Plus I love YA books. What can I say? They’re on my level. I don’t review books here often but Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has just been Burtonized for the big screen so it seemed fitting – the trailer was released just a few weeks ago.
I can’t say I was hugely engaged by the book but that’s because I expected more ‘haunted house’ and ‘dead kids in the shadows’ type stuff. Sadly it’s not that sort of story – it’s more fantasy adventure and not nearly as creepy as I was hoping. I guess it has its moments of ‘horror’ but no more than say, the dementors in Harry Potter.
But that’s not to say it’s not a good book. I thought it was well written, descriptive and the story will appeal to others more than it did me. It’s part of a trilogy so readers can really get to know the characters and follow their adventure. There’s humour, sentiment, some great action scenes and a bit of romance too – which I can see the younger readers enjoying. I’m sure there must be a few young ladies already in love with Jacob?
For the most part I enjoyed the story which was a fun, easy read but it didn’t particularly grip me and I let much of it wash over me. I didn’t make much effort to keep up with secondary characters, their names or traits but remember I am 30 years old and expected something different. I don’t think it was a bad book in the slightest (and I’ve read 50 Shades of Grey). Anyway, I’ve already started the second novel in the trilogy – Hollow City, so I definitely did enjoy it. It’s worth noting actually that Hollow City already seems a slightly stronger book than its predecessor.
The coolest thing about the Miss Peregrine collection is undoubtedly the use of creepy old photographs which Riggs cleverly combines with his story. All the photographs are genuine, some from Riggs’ personal collection, others donated from fellow collectors. They’re fantastically spine chilling and you can’t help but wonder the circumstance of each photograph taken. It’s also cool that Riggs sat down and wrote three books based around these photos – they are all in the story, they contain characters in the story. It’s fair to say a lot of work went into that.
Personally I’d make the effort to read the books before watching the Tim Burton film – if you’re interested at all. Burton’s done his usual spindly legs thing and it looks pretty naff. Ironically as I was reading it I kept thinking how it would make a great movie but it seems as though a lot has been changed, much to the displeasure of the hardcore internet fan base – I genuinely find some of these teenagers terrifying.
And nothing against Eva Green but really? Miss Peregrine was old, not…..Eva Green. Though at least this must be one movie where she can’t get her tits out because contrary to popular opinion I am bloody sick of seeing them.