REVIEW: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #1) by Ransom Riggs




Tuesday, November 04, 2014



My rating: 



Includes an excerpt from the much-anticipated sequel and an interview with author Ransom Riggs

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.




“I didn’t know what to call it, what was happening between us, but I liked it. It felt silly and fragile and good.”


REACTION AFTER READING THE BOOK:

The quote above from this book sort of already summarized how I feel about this book.
I liked it, but the wow factor wasn't there, much to my disappointment.

I had this book on my TBR for a while, and didn't have the urge to pick it up until this buddy read with Sal (hi Sal!). The thing that drew me to this book was the cover (doesn't it always? LOL). The creepy levitating girl on the cover. Ooooohhh.. It looks a bit ghostly and I haven't really read any scary books since R.L Stine's Goosebumps. I know. That was a pretty long time ago. But I was never really a fan of scary novels because I get scared to easily. But the blurb for this novel was pretty intriguing.

THE GIST

When Jacob was younger, he believed the stories his grandfather used to tell him. He believed him despite the impossibility and the weirdness of his stories. His grandfather fought during World War II.

But Jacob grows up. He started to find his grandfather's story less, and less believable. He finds that the pictures that his grandfather has been showing him, is nothing more than pictures with bad editing. And the stories associated with the pictures, were just product of his experience during the war.

I couldn't understand why he'd made up all that stuff, tricked me into believing that extraordinary things were possible when they weren't. It wasn't until a few years later that my dad explained it to me: Grandpa had told him some of the same stories when he was a kid, and they weren't lies, exactly, but exaggerated version of the truth - because the story of Grandpa Portman's childhood wasn't a fairy tale at all. It was a horror story.


When Jacob turned fifteen, something happened that none of them were expecting.

Jacob received a deranged call from his Grandpa Portman, about the monsters from his story. He was saying that they have finally caught up with him and asked Jacob for his key.

"They're coming for me, understand? I don't know how they found me after all these years, but they did. What am I supposed to fight them with, the goddamned butter knife?"


Jacob assumed that outburst might just be one of his Grandpa's panic attack. He tried to assure his Grandpa that no monsters from his past was out to get him. But Grandpa Portman warned him to stay away and don't come to his house.

But Jacob was worried about his Grandpa. So he decided to ask Ricky, his friend, to drive him over to his Grandpa's place... Only to find that the door to his home has been sliced open and his grandfather was nowhere to be found. Jacob looked around for him. His house was close to the forest... Instinct told him, he should look for his Grandpa there... lying facedown with gashes on his midsection and nearly out of it. He pushed Jacob to go to the island. The island he stayed in. The island he talked to him about with where the mysterious people from the pictures were from. And before he took his last breath...

"Find the bird. In the loop. On the other side of the old man's grave. September third, 1940.


Jacob saw something that night his Grandpa died. He saw something that could have been one of the creatures that his Grandpa was telling him about. He felt that he was going crazy. But after Jacob discovered the letter from one of the books his Grandpa told him to check, he was determined to go to the island, to go the house he grew up on, and finally end the madness that filled his head.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The cover of this book was enough to make me want to read this book. I mean come on look at it? Who wouldn't want to read that? The levitating girl on the cover and the blurb....

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.


I mean who wouldn't be captivated by peculiar and dangerous stuff right? LOL. I definitely was.

THE CHARACTERS

Honestly, I feel that I have not connected much on any of the characters. Plus, I think there were far too many unnecessary and under-developed character on this book. I felt that, it could have been done better.

Jacob: Okay. Jacob. Hmmmm. Did not connect to him at any level. His attitude was just... insufferable during the first few chapters. Like the other characters, there wasn't a lot of things I could tell about him aside from him being like every typical ya hero/heroine... Special without even knowing it. Yeaaah.. That was getting too old really. Really, authors should try something new with the protagonist, whether male or female.

Oh and there was also something that he did that bothered me really. The thing between him and the girl Emma. I'm not gonna tell you why, because I think it's a bit of a spoiler, but yeah. That relationship should NOT have happened. It feels weird. Peculiar. LOL.

Oh and family dude... Family.

Miss Peregrine: Well she definitely reminded me of Charles Xavier... only with Professor McGonagall's shapeshifting abilities. Nothing too special about her honestly. She was a bit stiff, and has that McGonagall feel to her I think. But yeah, nothing too special.

The Peculiars: Honestly, I could not remember any of the other names aside from Emma and Enoch (i think his name was)... They all have different abilities, but you don't really get to meet who they were. You only meet their abilities, and for me, that was a big let down. Emma was well... I dunno... didn't really like her too much to start. Plus, that thing with Jacob... *eye roll inserted here* Not too happy about that.

THUMBS UP

- The Photographs were both a thumb up and down for me... While I love the images, I felt that they weren't used to their potential.

- The concept. I love books with supernatural powers.

- The Loop. I'm not going to be explaining more about it, because it is also a spoiler.

THUMBS DOWN I think this is going to be long...

- Lack of characterization on the other peculiars. I felt that good characterization helps the entire feel of the book. I mean come on, who would want a good plot, but have dead characters right? I mean the readers should at least get to know the characters and not just what they could do.. Knowing who they are reading about, makes readers empathasize for the characters. If you don't feel anything for the characters, then there is something wrong. And this was sort of what happened to me with this book. I could not relate to any of them... except maybe Jacob's Grandpa.

- The photographs. I felt that the pictures were shown as just pictures of people... most of them meant nothing... just plain weird pictures. I wanted some backstory for the pictures, i wanted it really incorporated to the story, not picture being shown as what it really is... a photograph.

- I didn't like the pacing.

- The writing was pretty... okay... would have wanted it to be more.

- The ending. Jacob's decisions, I really do not agree with. Family Jacob!

FINAL RAMBLINGS

Okay so.. Yeah. What more is there to say? I dunno... This book was one of the most disappointing books I have read this year. I'm not really sure if I will ever read the next one.. I am curious about the pictures, but not too much of the story.

And the whole peculiar thing just sounded like a weirder and more uncharacterized version of X-men. No kidding. I already read a review that mentioned this and totally agree with her on the most part. Of course, there are differences like the loop, but then there is a mutant who has that power, but the way it was used in this book was pretty clever. I just really wish that the book showed more of the characters. There were a lot of interesting peculiars, but were neglected. I think because of the author's focus on the plot. I wish.. there was moreeeee....

Will I recommend it? I'm not sure. Probably not.


3 comments:

  1. I liked this book. I'm not crazy about it. I don't feel like because I don't plan on reading book two I'm going to miss something. I get where you're coming from. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've been looking forward to reading this book and hopefully will soon, though it's a shame you didn't enjoy it too much

    http://enchantedbyya.blogspot.com/2014/11/review-rising-tide-dark-innocence-maura.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great review! Please check out my review here.
    http://liveloveandlou.blogspot.com/2015/01/2015-reads-miss-peregrines-home-for.html

    ReplyDelete

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