Author: Ransom Riggs
Book Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy/Creepy/Horror??
Type: Series – Book 1
Format: Paperback, 352 Pages
Publishing Date: June 7, 2011
Summary: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
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 the 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.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows. [summary from Goodreads]
My Thoughts: Last semester I took a class that focused on adolescent literature, which spoke directly to me because, as you all know, it’s my favorite genre to read. The last review that I wrote on Midwinterblood was one of the novels for this class and Miss Peregrine’s was another assigned reading that I hadn’t read prior to the course. Considering that this book came out four years ago and the third book in the series just released this month, I feel pretty behind schedule here. I mean, who hasn’t seen this creepy cover while perusing their local bookstore? I’ve seen it more times than I can list but I never thought to pick it up specifically because of the creepiness of it. That cover told me that it must be some sort of horror story and those are definitely not my thing. Well I was wrong and now, after reading it, I am bummed to have waited this long because it was surprisingly good.
Now, you may be wondering why I have only given it three and a half stars (flowers here) instead of five if I thought it was so good, and that is a valid thought. I’ve even had that thought myself because when I think about the book as a whole, it is a very well thought out story with an amazing concept to go along with it. The entire book is one of the most unique stories that I have ever read because not only did Riggs craft his characters in such a way that you both hated them and liked them all at once, but he also brilliantly used old photographs to further weave this elaborate backstory into the bizarrely magical world where Miss Peregrine and her peculiar children live. Just flipping through this book alone is like walking through some elderly relative’s family photo albums. It is a great idea and it worked seamlessly with everything that he chose to include in his narrative.
The problem is that I was halfway through the book before I got to the point where I didn’t want to put it down until I finished it and what kept me going up until that point were the brief allusions to the idea that this was a story wrapped up in the middle of Nazi warfare, which is a fascinating subject based on the sheer magnitude of events during that time period alone. But I digress. The halfway point was the moment where Riggs really hooked me and given the incredible praise for this novel by critics and the web chatter about it on other book sites, it should not have taken so long for me to care about this story. Having said that, however, I am very hopeful for the second book to pick up at the same speed as this one ended and catapult me back into this creeptacular world of mysterious happenings. *fingers crossed*
“Stars, too, were time travelers. How many of those ancient points of light were the last echoes of suns now dead? How many had been born but their light not yet come this far? If all the suns but ours collapsed tonight, how many lifetimes would it take us to realize we were alone? I had always known the sky was full of mysteries—but not until now had I realized how full of them the earth was.”