Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
By: Ransom Riggs
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.
*This review is spoiler-free!*
As everybody has probably heard this book – and it’s movie, of course – there’s not much explaining to do about the plot and genre this book fits in. Although you’d firstly think it’s horror or creepy in some way, it really isn’t. I mean, a few of the pictures are vile, but aside from that, there wasn’t much creepiness in this book. This disappointed me a bit because although I’m not a fan of horror novels, I read this book for October’s pick of Hype or Like Friday. Yes, I read this book in October. That’s how behind I am on my reviews. But this book not only disappointed in the sense that it wasn’t scary, but also in the sense that it was boring, and our protagonist was boring. That was my downfall with this book, the fact that it took so long for anything to happen, as well as the protagonist having as much personality as a cardboard box.
So I think Ransom Riggs did pretty good with the world development. Or at least with creating an atmosphere with the island Jacob visits and the little bubble of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children that he enters. That part was done extremely well, I think, and sometimes world development is the most important aspect of a book. But good world building also needs good characters.
As far as the characters and their development goes, I think more could’ve been done. Jacob was overall a boring protagonist who was bland and nothing special. I liked how he was a male protagonist since there haven’t been many male protagonists in books that I’ve read. Aside from that, Jacob was still as – if not more – hormonal and annoying as the female protagonists I’ve read over the years. I’m not going to spoil anything in particular, but there was a relationship between Jacob and one of the peculiar that was just strange and downright wrong. The entire relationship is built from something that couldn’t in any shape or form be healthy or real, for that matter.
That aside, there were interesting supporting characters, the peculiar children to be specific, who had their own unique qualities. The only thing is, I felt like Riggs was trying so hard, possibly too hard, to make these children different and unique. I liked the uniqueness, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a difference between creating organically unique and fleshed-out characters, and characters who break stereotypes but aren’t all that unique as you’re led to believe at first. If any of that makes sense.
Now the plot, the plot was basically non-existent for quite a while. Jacob was basically just roaming around the island with no idea what the heck he was going to do next throughout the entirety of the novel. He didn’t grow a spine or part of a brain until the book was coming to a close. I’m hoping for a better sequel. Yes, I’m continuing with this book series. It was really good once the story started unfolding, and I did enjoy the writing style and the peculiar world that was being developed. Plus, it’s not like this is a very long series so I won’t have to suffer through a lot of books if they’re bad. But I’m hoping for improvement in the upcoming installments.
Let me know your thoughts on the book and my review in the comments!