Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs


*Okay, I'm going to try to get through this whole review without using the word “peculiar” except when/if quoting the title of the book

This is an original and sometimes strange book that tells a story of monsters and the children they hunt. It is also a beautiful book with black and white photographs throughout and a cover that immediately made me want to pick it up and read it. Even the book beneath the jacket is a thing of beauty with gold lettering inscribing the name “Alma Le Fay Peregrine” and an old-fashioned feel that fits right in with at least part of the story. This book looks like it belongs on an old and forgotten library shelf waiting to be discovered. All of this combines to make you believe that you are reading a treasure trove of a book and if you like a good story then a treasure trove is exactly what you have here.

The beginning of the book is set in America and is both creepy and funny by turn. The plot twists and turns so, like Jacob, you can't be sure about the stories his grandfather tells him. Are they true, an old man's way of telling his grandson about his wartime experiences or complete fabrications? It is only after his grandfather's death that Jacob begins to find the answer to his and the readers questions.

The moment I really sank into the book, however, was when Jacob and his father arrived on the Welsh island of Cairnholm. A dark, misty place with limited access to the outside world and scary visitors that might not be all they seem, Cairnholm is the perfect setting for a fantasy story. The isolation really helps to focus the story and you cannot help but identify with Jacob in his desperation for answers.

Jacobs voice is a strong one with enough humour and intelligence to tell a good story. Unfortunately, the strength of Jacob's character does push some of the other characters to the background. The children in Miss Peregrine's charge all have their own unique gifts but, with some of the children, it seems that is all they have. There is no personality or depth to them and they can tend to merge into each other. Luckily there are one or two that stand out and they are enough to keep you hooked.

It did feel, to me, as if I was listening to an older Jacob telling the story of his youthful adventures just as his grandfather did with him and when Jacob reaches isolated Cairnholm there's nothing really to distinguish what era the book is set in. This gives the book a timeless feel but also separates the two parts of the story just a little bit.

The photographs are a fantastic addition and really help to tie the two different sections of the book back together. The fact that they are all real, unaltered photographs adds to the story and you can't help the niggling feeling that maybe just maybe somewhere there is a little island just off the edge of Wales and on that island there's a house and in that house are children and those children are.....well, peculiar (damn!)

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1 positive reader review(s) for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

More Ransom Riggs reviews

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in "Miss Peregrine's Home for Pecu [...]


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children reader reviews

from India

This book needs a more elaborate review. I personally felt the book was a drag because it started off slow and picked up pace only towards the end. Much of this book deals with the young protagonist coping with the loss of his grandfather which I found, frankly, very boring. One of my friends, however, who recently lost his grandfather could really connect to the story. This shows me how much deeper a review should go before putting a number on a book. Yes, for me, it was a 6/10. But if you want to know more and make a better choice for yourself, you should definitely check out my friend's review of the book here - https://www.booksnbutterflies.com/post/miss-peregrine-s-home-for-peculiar-children I am not just posting it for publicity but because this is an actually good review that I can vouch for having read the book beforehand.

from US

Poorly written ripoff of the Harry Potter theme. Anyone over the age of 6 should be offended by the nonsense plot elements and irrational actions, speech and thoughts of the characters. I listened to the audiobook all the way to the end because it was very well narrated, but the story left this reader uninterested.

from Avondale, Arizona

I could not stop reading this book. It had it all and I hope there will be another one soon. The only thing that bothered me was the ending, I was hoping to get a little more. I enjoyed all the twists and turns of the book that made it stay exciting the whole way through.

6.3/10 from 4 reviews

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