Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

miss-peregrines-home-peculiar_book-coverMiss 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 me this and given the synopsis I was immediately sold. 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.

Sadly I can’t say I was hugely engaged by the story but that’s because I expected more ‘haunted house’ and ‘dead kids in the shadows’ type stuff. It’s not that sort of thing – 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 – the front cover is misleading. And so is the synopsis.

But that’s not to say it’s not a decent book. I thought it was well written enough, descriptive and I’m sure the story will appeal to others more than it did me. There’s humour, sentiment, some fun action scenes and a bit of romance too – which I can patronisingly see the younger readers enjoying – come on, I’m sure there must be a few young ladies already in love with Jacob? Or do I just sound hideously like someone’s old (but well meaning) aunt.

For the most part I enjoyed letting this easy read wash over me but it didn’t particularly grip me and I didn’t make a huge effort to keep up with secondary characters, their names, traits or actions (sorry). But remember I am 30 years old and expected something  slightly different. I don’t think it was a bad book in the slightest – come on, I’ve read 50 Shades of Grey. Not The Da Vinci Code though.

And the coolest thing about the Miss Peregrine trilogy (yes it’s part of a trilogy) is undoubtedly the use of creepy old photographs which Riggs cleverly combines with his story. All the photographs are genuine (gasp!) – 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 the 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 recommend this book to younger readers and perhaps just avoid the Tim Burton film entirely. I’m not a fan anyway but looking at the trailer and his usual spindly legs thing, 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 for christ sakes. She was old and she was 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.

About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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50 Responses to Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

  1. Kevin says:

    I shall have to give it a read, the photos look very creepy indeed. But by the synopsys I would also expect and even hope for something more chilling.

    Also, Eva Green can play anything (if you’ve seen Penny Dreadful you realise she can do any type of character, and the weirder the better). And it’s Tim Burton, let’s just be happy it’s not Helena Bonham Carter or Johnny Depp.


  2. Jay says:

    I was wondering about this because indeed I did see the trailer in theatres this past weekend. Thanks for keeping us in the loop!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Zoë says:

    I still have to read this. Although hopefully not in jumbo script 😉

    As for Eva Green? I think the woman is super gorgeous – though foregoing the boobs is also alright. She is more than that.

    Great review !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Vern says:

    Well Emmy, this one one opinion on where I will disagree with you. I will never get tired of Eva Green or her tits. That said I am interested in reading this after I see the movie. I like having the movie to compare to.The photos do make it sound like a fun one to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmakwall says:

      That made me laugh out loud! Genuinely 🙂 that’s okay, I know a lot of people get pleasure out of Eva’s chest haha!

      It’s worth reading for the photos alone but the actual story isn’t THAT compelling, it wasn’t really marketed that well because it’s an adventure story but made to look like horror.


  5. Spot on review Ms Ems! I read this as soon as it came out and while I liked it, I wasn’t quite blown away (although I did find the format quite clever and different.) If you ever have the time, I recommend Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret. It’s described by the author himself as: “not exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all three. It won the 2008 Caldecott Medal, the first novel to do so since the Medal is awarded to picture books. I swear you would absolutely LOVE this Emma! Martin Scorcese adapted it to film in 2011 and it was excellent, but nothing could quite capture the magical experience of the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Urspo says:

    what a great title for a book. It sounds like a macabre “Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jwforeva says:

    Nice review!! I look forward to the movie and hopefully I’ll be able to read this someday. Sounds both peculiar and fun at the same time haha. Woots!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. beetleypete says:

    I don’t think I have ever read a YA book, Em. I am aware that I am not the target market, but I have to say that the photo of the two ‘clown kids’ is effin’ spooky. It’s a lot more scary than some horror films I have seen The film adaptation sounds like the usual pants. They can’t leave well enough alone…
    As ever, Pete. XXX

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great review! Maybe its because we’re around the same age that I didn’t like it as much either. I thought it was a little slow but I did get the second book shortly afterwards and since you say its stronger, I’ll take your word for it and start it soon 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmakwall says:

      Thank you Kim! Yes maybe it’s just our age, I was disappointed but I didn’t want to write a negative review as such, as I’m not sure it’s really aimed at me and it seemed a little unfair.


      One thing I was really confused about, was the synopsis saying the children “may be dangerous” – I mean, that’s the last thing they are! It’s very misleading.

      I started Hollow City last night and felt I got into it easier than this 🙂 now the background has been laid out and I know what to expect, I think I may enjoy it more! Ooh yes do read it, we can compare!!!! That would be great! 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • They were trying to the sell the story off in a misleading way. It was a criticism I had in my review and I didn’t like the ending because it makes it not so self-contained and manipulates the reader to pick up the second book to see what happens. Not a big fan of books that do that. I like it done a little more naturally.
        I will definitely be reading a physical novel soon. Just wrapping up the ebook I’m reading first 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • emmakwall says:

          It sounds ridiculous but I almost didn’t realise I was the only person who felt this way! I’ve just read your review and I think you’re absolutely spot on. I wish perhaps I’d made more emphasis on it not being a horror yet marketed as one…

          And I completely agree about the ending too, I never thought of it in that way but that’s so true!

          No probs 🙂 I’m a slow reader anyway! You’ll probably still be finished before me!!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Just head over to Goodreads, there are quite a few that I remember had similar feelings.
            I feel like a lot of movies and books do the false advertisement deal and it gets me a little frustrated because it shows a lack of confidence in what they’ve built.
            Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Hollow City! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

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