Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Book Cover
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Quirk Books
June 2011
Miss Peregrine's series (1/3)
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. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
Adapted from : GoodReads

When this book first came out, I remember seeing it everywhere and being mesmerized by the cover. The eerie aged photo combined with that beautiful calligraphy really made me swoon. But I wasn’t really reading then, because things in my life were hectic, and so I forgot about it. Then, a couple weeks ago, I saw a movie trailer and for some reason the name was really familiar. I looked it up and sure enough, this beautiful cover pops up on my google search. A little sleuthing told me that not only were they adapting this book into a movie, but 2 more books in the series has been released. That was when I decided I needed to hop on this bandwagon and see what all the fuss was about.

The Good and the Bad

I took my time with this novel and read it over the course of 4 days (anyone who knows me well knows that I like to devour my books in a day or two.) and so I really got to think about the story in between my reading sessions. After finishing it, I still am not 100% sure that I loved it, but I overall, I enjoyed it. The action sequences felt very much like Harry Potter (at least in my humble opinion) which made me feel almost nostalgic, but I did not connect as much with the story itself as I thought I would.

What kicked this book’s ratings up were 2 big things: The writing style and the old photos that Riggs uses as inspiration.

The prose is really, very beautiful. I don’t normally comment on writing style because it isn’t something that typically sells a story for me, but as I was reading, I couldn’t help but notice it. It is at times punchy and urgent, other times leisurely and flowy, but whatever the tone, it always matched the moment perfectly. The inner voice of Jacob was funny and childish one moment, but very self-aware and mature the next. I felt that this really reflects a real inner voice.

In the copy that I got of the book, there is an interview with Ransom Riggs at the end where he talks about the origins of the photos that are featured throughout the book. Riggs states in this interview that he started collecting vintage snapshots, and realized that the ones with children were always the most intriguing.

Cover and book images Source: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

He began to wonder what their stories were. As it was impossible to find out, he decided to make them up, and this guided his character creation process which then guided the story. He further states that he continued to collect as he was writing, so sometimes he would come across a photo that he really wanted to include and would find a way to work it into the story. In this way, they are very interdependent.

The one negative I will say about this book is the pacing. At times I found it to be very slow, and maybe that was why I in turn read the book so slowly.

In The End

Though I liked the book overall, I don’t think I will rush into reading the next one just yet. I want to give this series some time to breath, and then maybe I’ll move on to Hollow City (I learned my lesson with the Wondrous Strange series).

ALSO, sort of relevant, sort of not, but I took another look at the movie trailer after reading the book, and there are some questionable changes (SPOILER: For instance, they seem to have merged Emma and Olive into one character. Not entirely sure why. Maybe they wanted to cut down on characters? Maybe they wanted to make that really cool looking underwater ship scene from the trailer work? We will see. I reserve my judgement for when I see the movie in September…)

But enough with my thoughts, what did you think of this book? Did you love it, hate it? Have you been wanting to read it? Let me know in the comments below!