Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs was a book I was eager to get my hands on and review.
What Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is about:
The story follows sixteen-year-old Jacob Portman, who following the death of his grandfather, is determined to find meaning in his last words. What he uncovers is the truth behind the images and stories recalled to him by his grandfather in his youth and a place in his own peculiar stories.
Jacob ends up at Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which is where his grandfather’s pictures were taken. The orphanage of sorts of ran by Miss Peregrine as a sanctuary for the peculiar children. However, the home is in a time loop during World War II, where the kids relive the same day over and over. Jacob discovers that the kids are being hunted down by the Hollowgasts and becomes their new protector.
What I thought:
I had high hopes for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
I felt a little disappointed by it.
The concept in its self is certainly original and highlights Riggs’s creativity. The photographs and scraps of letters were intriguing and unique, but I felt something was missing. What could have potentially been an eerie and chilling story fell short as cheesy. A large part of the dialogue was cringe-y and often unnecessary. Too many cliche remarks were made too often. As well as certain relationships just being uncomfortable to witness. Furthermore, I feel the ending was weak and rather banal. I turned the page expecting to find another chapter to conclude what was taking place to find that I’d come to the end of the book.
I understand that there is a sequel, but I think a certain level of catharsis should have been granted and the story could have been continued at a later point. However, I would hesitate to say that this is a “bad” book because it isn’t. I didn’t have to force myself to pick it back up again, but I wasn’t particularly compelled by it either. While I was surprised by certain revelations, and the plot didn’t progress like I initially thought it would, I was still a little letdown.
Maybe I expected too much, but what I thought would be a thrilling tale turned out to be un-extraordinary.
The Bottom Line
I don’t like giving negative reviews of books, especially given that this was Riggs’ debut. However, I have no intention of sugar-coating anything or lying so, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children doesn’t deserve a glowing review in my opinion.
It could have been extraordinary. This book deserved to be extraordinary because it was such a brilliant concept. Unfortunately for me, the execution fell flat and left a lot of be desired.
There is a movie the adaption in the makes, with Tim Burton, set to direct it. I’m not sure I’ll watch it, but an adaption does suggest that other people liked this more than me. If anything, the adaption may be a rare instance where I prefer the book to the movie!
Have you read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children? If so, what did you think?