Book: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Genre: Young Adult/Fiction/Supernatural
Summary: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of peculiar 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 decaying bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine's 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. -Quirk Books, 2011.
This wasn't a book that I chose to read on my own. A family member shared their copy with me and said I might enjoy it so I gave it a shot.
As always spoilers will be kept to a minimum.
I don't really have much to day about the book honestly, which is unfortunate because it's a nice, clever story. It's also YA, which I've always found difficult to review simply because I'm applying adult expectations to a teen novel. That being said, here's what I think:
The plot, while interesting and clever on the surface, does tend to suffer from pacing issues. I thought the first third was dragged out too long. I thought the final third didn't mesh well with the rest of the narrative. Riggs certainly created a sense of suspense and drama, but I had a bit of trouble keeping up with what exactly was happening; almost as if everything was happening too fast. On the other hand, this decision was probably the better one because otherwise he would be dragging out Jacob's decision on whether or not to stay with his family or the children.
It's definitely a creative novel - the play on the word "peculiar", the usage of different physical quirks in a fun, new way that hasn't been seen lately, and the rules governing a children's existence all contribute to the fact that the novel is based on creative, good ideas.
The characters are developed enough to satisfy the requirements of a YA novel. I thought that the plot honestly could've gone on longer. The place Riggs chose to stop at is fine, but it seems a little abrupt. Perhaps there just wasn't a better time to end it later. The usage of photographs to expand the universe of the novel is clever and it's a well-used idea.
Overall, while the story is nice, it's not one I would rave about. I have the second part of the trilogy to potentially read later, but I don't think I'll finish the trilogy. I'm not interested enough to keep reading.
I give Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children a B-.
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Thanks for reading!