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

in a sentence or so: Jacob's grandfather filled his head with stories of monsters, mansions, and his friends with extraordinary abilities. despite being able to back up those claims with photos, Jacob didn't believe his grandpa until it was too late.

Jacob's grandpa has always told fantastic stories. he believed them for awhile, but eventually realized there was no way a teenager like himself could continue believing such ridiculous stories. one afternoon something awful happens to his grandpa and Jacob sees something that can't possibly be true. was his grandpa telling the truth after all? if there are really monsters out there, does that mean there are peculiar children with amazing abilities as well? determined to find out, Jacob and his dad head to the childhood home of grandpa Abe and start doing some research. needless to say, it leads Jacob down a path he could never have expected.

the photos in this book certainly amp up the creep factor. i mean, it is a mysterious read with some shady business and a bog and wet weather and small taverns so there's more to the spooky ambiance than just the photos. but the photos are what push this over the top from eerie to creeptastic. the background behind the photos - both for the sake of the narrative and how the author got them into the book - is pretty incredible as well.

while there were many things i can (and will) praise about this read, there were some pieces that left me scratching my head. for instance, Jacob's only friend is this redneck weirdo who kind of fizzles out of the picture. Jacob's family is very wealthy, and i'm not really sure why that's important. i have zero indicators as to why Jacob is some social outcast, but i guess we just roll with that. and then later, Jacob has a very brief encounter with two townies who treat him like crap. i didn't understand the purpose behind that, other than perhaps to illustrate Jacob as an outsider. maybe there's a series coming and the groundwork was laid for these characters...i don't know.

one thing i really did like about this book was the mythology behind it all. once you find out what Jacob's gramps was talking about, things start to fall into perspective. we see the many sides of human nature highlighted and explored in the second half of the novel. we see those who are perfectly content with their place in life. we see those who want more, we see those who hunger endlessly for more, and we see those who have no idea at all what to do with the lot they've drawn in life - all thrown into one supernatural melting pot.

if you're looking for a spooky read with a solid narrative and creative incorporation of photographs and a new breed of speculative fiction, this book is for you. plus, i just saw that EW listed in in their must list this week so that's pretty neato.

fave quote: "I had just come to accept that my life would be rather ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen." (8)

fix er up: i just could not fall into rhythm with this book. sometimes i had to force myself to read it and other times i was looking forward to it. could be a case of right book, wrong time - or it could be that i didn't connect with this emotionally.

title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
author: Ransom Riggs
publishing info: June 2011, Quirk Publishing
genre: Mystery, Fantasy, Horror

[ftc notice: i received a finished copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. i was not paid or compensated for this review.]

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.

4 comments:

  1. You are dead on about the photos upping the creep factor.

    Also, very intelligent observation about the whole study of human nature thing. I did not even think about it that way! But you are right, and especially with the hollows who just keep wanting more and more and more.

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  2. the photo slant has me interested. also, i received my hand drawn picture of M'Lady in the mail yesterday. that was an awesome surprise.

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  3. I was sent this book for review and I can't wait to read it! Everyone says is a little on the spooky side.

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  4. I had the same trouble with getting into a good rhythmic read. I was so sucked in at first and then... there was just this dead period where I was waiting for something to happen, for Jacob to get a real motive. After that lull I got back into it, but it was really frustrating to be waiting all that time for the plot to really move forward.

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