Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Series: Miss Peregrine, Book #1
Author: Ransom Riggs
Published by Quirk Books, June 7, 2011
Hardcover, 352 pages

I’ve been planning on reading this book for a long time. I saw it in stores last summer, but I wasn’t sure that I would like it. I flipped through and looked at the pictures, which are real pictures that Ransom Riggs gathered and put in, and they just looked a little bit too creepy for me to enjoy it.

When I started reading Miss Peregrine, I wasn’t completely sure what to expect. I thought that it would take place in the past and be about all of these strange kids that were in the pictures. I was partly right, but Miss Peregrine ended up being a lot different than I was expecting.

The book revolves around Jacob, a teenager from Florida, who was told stories as a child by his grandfather about a place where he lived during WWII. Jacob doesn’t believe that the stories are true, even though his grandpa has pictures of some of the strange children.

As Jacob gets older, the stories become even less believable to him. His grandpa starts calling him and telling him to watch out for “the monsters.” Jacob later finds his grandpa near death, attacked by what the police decide were wild dogs. But at the scene of his grandpa’s death, Jacob sees a monster that his grandpa once described to him.

As the story continues, Jacob goes to therapy, where he is advised to visit the island where his grandpa lived—the same place where the strange pictures were taken. When he finds the house, Jacob starts to learn things he never thought were possible.

I won’t go say anything else about the plot, because it might get too spoilery, but I may have to mention some other things for my review, so just be warned that there might be a few more spoilers.

Honestly, I can’t decide whether I really liked Miss Peregrine or not, even though it’s been a couple of weeks since I finished it. There were parts that I liked a lot, and then other parts that were kind of a let down, or just plain unbelievable. I thought that the pictures were sometimes forced into the story, instead of flowing naturally. Sometimes they weren’t relevant to anything at all other than what was specifically inserted to make sure that they fit.

Other parts were hard for me to understand as well. The children at the home, who have special powers, have been living in a loop for some 70 years. How is it that they never age or get the feeling that they should go somewhere else? How are the rest of the people in the town still there when they also moved on to the next day, and there are different people in the town in current day? Overall, some of the plot points were really confusing and I wish they had been explained better.

There were good parts about the book, too, though. The story was fast paced and the characters were believable for the most part. I do hope that some of the confusing parts can be explained in future books in the series, though.

Overall, I didn’t  enjoy Miss Peregrine as much as I wanted to, but it may just not have been my type of book. I think other people might like it more than I did, so I’d definitely check it out if it sounds interesting to you!

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