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 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.