Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
It’s still Spooky Saturday, kids! Isn’t that just grand? Anyway, this is probably my least spooky read out of the three I put up today. It had some traditional horror elements and was fascinating…it just didn’t make me peak around corners and under beds. Make sure you check out my other spooky reads!
Actual rating: 3.5 but I’m rounding up, because, hey, why not?
To tell the truth, this isn’t as peculiar as I was expecting it to be. I hadn’t really followed much of the hype of this book, and before my friend bought it for me to read, I didn’t even know the summary of it except there was creepy old pictures in it. And, you know, it was supposed to be very peculiar. And I also liked the t-shirt that Out of Print created.
So, little ole me, was a bit surprised when I found out what the book was actually about. Our main hero is a guy named Jacob, and he’s currently stuck. He has a job he doesn’t like, only one friend, and has stopped believing his grandfather’s unique and odd stories from his childhood. When his grandfather calls him in a panic, saying he’s in danger, Jacob decides to go and check on him. Instead of finding his paranoid grandfather, curled up and rocking back and forth, he founds him dying in the wood, clawed up and menacing creature that only he can see. A few weeks after his death, Jacob still hasn’t recovered, and after a finding an odd letter that refers to the former headmistress that his grandfather mentioned as he was dying. Jacob decides that the only way he will get resolution is if he goes to the island and finds answers from Miss Peregrine. Will he succeed? And just how real were the odd stories his grandfather used to tell him?
While I did enjoy the read, I didn’t really get all the hype surrounding it. I think Ransom Riggs has a very nice writing style, and his intriguing format of including pictures was a very nice touch. He really created a beautiful and haunting setting and I was enchanted by it. He is created a very interesting idea that I did enjoy.
What lost me a bit was the characterization and pacing. In the beginning, it was a bit slow and it took me a while to get into it. The later parts had me enraptured but that was basically the last 30% of the book that had me really into it. Everything else was…meh? I would read and read and go mehhhhhhh and then be like, ooh, cool picture! I didn’t fell fully invested until the action really picked up and got me enthralled.
The other part that bothered me was I felt there was too many characters at one point. I really couldn’t give you a full list of characters, and again, it was in that last 30% when I finally got some characters’ names and personalities down. I think there’s a Hugh, but I literally have no clue the point of him. Who was he? Other than a kid named Hugh?? They mentioned Victor as well at the end, and I literally had to pause for a few minutes and figure out who he was. I also didn’t really feel anything for them. I liked Jacob well enough and felt Riggs did good characterization with him, but I felt like the story would have been better without the romance. I felt absolutely nothing for him and Emma.
Overall, though, I thought Riggs created an interesting story and I will definitely be reading the second one…eventually. I have no real desire to read it soon, but I do know that eventually I will read it. There were a few issues with it but that last half was really great. I thought it was a pretty good read; however, with all the hype, I truly expected this to be great instead of good.
Verdict: does not live up to the hype but still pretty good.
Check it out:
Bonus question (because who doesn’t love a bonus question?): What did you guys think of the movie? So very different than the book, and I definitely had some thoughts.