Released: June 7th 2011
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
A mysterious island.
An abandoned orphanage.
A strange collection of very curious photographs.
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 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. (from Goodreads)
I didn’t really know what to expect when I started Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children - I was intrigued by the creepy cover, but I didn’t know much of what the story was about. I was delighted to find that the book was surprisingly awesome! Full of mystery, intrigue and wonderful characters, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar children was an amazing read!
The book begins by introducing our main character, Jacob, who has just lost his grandpa, the only person he ever really looked up to. Grandpa used to tell Jacob stories from his past - made-up fairy tales to entertain a young child. But just before he died, Jacob’s grandfather acted as if the stories were true, and soon, Jacob is on a trip to Wales, trying to piece the clues his granddad left him. What he discovers changes everything – Jacob realises that maybe his grandpa’s stories weren’t made up after all, and soon he is very real danger – just liked his grandfather was before he was killed.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was a brilliant read, and I was hooked from the very beginning. Jacob was an interesting protagonist – he was a bit of a loner, and didn’t really have any friends, and sort of felt like he didn’t fit in with the world he was living in. This had a great impact on how he viewed his situation when he was in Wales – was there really anything for him to go back to in America? Jacob was also very attached to his grandfather – he respected him a lot, so it was really difficult for him to watch his grandpa die is such a horrible way. I felt like I could really connect to him when he was going through a tough time, trying to figure out if what he saw when his granddad died was real or if it was his imagination playing tricks on him from the shock. I also liked the way he got along with the children at Miss Peregrine’s home, and I loved getting to know them all and see their friendships develop. They also seemed to really take to Jacob quite quickly, and I enjoyed reading about them together. The only thing I’d say about Jacob that was a little off was the language he used – I had to keep a dictionary near because sadly my vocabulary is nowhere near as varied as his was!
I pretty much liked all the characters in this book (except the bad guys, of course), but I especially liked Millard, a boy who was just beyond funny (but in his own quirky little way) and Emma, the first girl Jacob met in Wales, who was feisty and fun. While I think the relationship between Jacob and Emma was a little...weird, to say the least (you’ll get it when you read the book), I did enjoy watching it progress, and I like the way they interacted with each other. I also really liked Miss Peregrine – it was obvious she cared a lot about the children, and even though she kept a lot of things hidden and was a bit strict at times, it was for their own protection. She was very wise, and I liked the way she spoke as if she knew exactly what the person she was talking to was thinking.
The most fascinating part was of the novel was when Jacob was unravelling his grandfather’s past – I was so absorbed in the story that I felt just as excited as Jacob whenever he discovered something new. There were so many questions, but it all boiled down to this: was Jacob’s grandfather really crazy, or was there any truth in the things he said? A lot of things are cleverly revealed and I loved the way the mystery unfolded. I also felt the wonderful photographs really added to the story, and made me picture everything clearly – I felt even more involved in the story, and could really relate to the situation everyone was in.
The ending of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, I warn you now, is a very action-packed, tension-filled and suspenseful one. There are twists that will shock you and make you desperate for the next book! ‘m really looking forward to the sequel – I can’t wait to get back to the amazing characters and wonderful world Ransom Riggs has created! My only complaint, and this is nitpicking here, about the book, is the sometimes incorrect use of British slang. This only bothered me because I’m actually British and I hear this phrase all the time, but I noticed the phrase “taking the piss” (excuse my language :P) was sometimes written as “taking a piss” but used in the same context. These two phrases mean very different things, as you can guess. To “take the piss” is an expression meaning to mock or ridicule, so the mix up of those two kind of made me laugh :P.
Overall, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was an excellent book, and I’d recommend it to people who like mysteries with a twist. I’ll definitely be reading the next book in the series!