Sunday 25 August 2013

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine #1)

I know, I'm way overdue with The Perpetual Motion Club, which seems pretty interesting so far. But my ARC reading time has been forcibly cut down, and I had this old thing lying around that I hadn't read yet. Also my review was written when I was high on adrenaline from watching City of Bones and listening to the soundtrack on loop.

Title: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine #1)
Author: Ransom Riggs
Genre: Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Horror, Young Adult
Publication Date: 7th June 2011
Trigger Warnings: Visually triggering, I suppose? There's some mild horror, especially in the pictures. Be warned.


A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And 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 who once lived here - one of whom was his own grandfather - were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason.

And somehow - impossible though it seems - they may still be alive


Wow. This book first caught my eye at an airport last year, but I never properly sat down to read it until now. Amazing.

As a (sort of) aspiring writer, I attended a writing course on drawing inspiration from pictures, and I swear to god, this book is exactly the kind of thing I wish I could do. According to an interview with the author, he came up with the idea for this story while collecting weird vintage pictures. And I know personally what its like to see a story come together like that. This was wonderful. I could study it. Honestly.

I loved how the pictures were directly incorporated into the story. And I also loved how each picture seemed to fit the context in the story and how the story weaved itself around the pictures. However some of the time it

Wow, I'm repeating myself a ton. But I just can't stop feeling jealous.

Anyway, as for the actual storyline, I found it pretty interesting. The premise, at least. The mystery was pretty intriguing, though you could kind of know how it would turn out a bit too often. However, it was still interesting to see the direction the story took.

Now, there is a matter we all need to discuss.

The main character. Jacob.

He's alright for a POV character, I suppose, but taking a step back to examine his personality, he is incredibly annoying. I suppose it could be the author's way os trying to portray a teenager, but this guy....let me just give  you a couple of examples.

Example 1: When he finds out about the monsters upon his grandfather's murder, he gets frustrated that people assume that it's a hallucination, sure but he' outright selfish when it comes to his parents, especially his father. He blames his parents for not trying to understand him, for not trying harder, and for pushing him onto the psychiatrist. He's completely blind to the fact that his parents are going through the same grief as him, having lost a loved one. He's totally insensitive to that. Douchebag.

Example 2: When he finds out about his superpower (I mean, who didn't see that coming, honestly), he gets angry. He flips out at Miss Peregrine, at Emma and everyone. He thinks only of himself without sparing any sort of consideration for the motivations and reasons of others for doing what they did. And he is rude about it. I mean, how much more unlikeable can you get?

Yes. You get the picture. he was selfish, whiney, annoying and everything negative you could use to describe, say Bella Swan. I swear, I'm not insulting Twilight. I credit the fact that Twilight has its interesting points, but there is a lot of negativity concerning Bella. Now take all those wonderful adjectives you use to describe her. Now throw it at Jacob. Not Jacob Black. This Jacob. Right there. Throw it. Hard. With a metal dart. A sharpened one. Yeah.

I hated the love story--it felt too rushes and too obvious from the start. Also it feel creepy. She dated his grandfather, for godssake.

One thing I can comment is that in the school, there were way too many minor characters to get confused with because they were all portrayed as static. And the storylines involving them were off topic and eventually became draggy.

And what happened at the end, seriously? I have absolutely no clue. I am so confused right now that I don't even... But I have to say the last chapter is what fanfictions are made of. It was adorable and hilarious. But strangely out of context in the rest of the story.

Grade: B. Pretty okay premise, but it just sort of gets progressively worse the more you read into it. 

1 comment:

  1. I've heard mixed reviews about this book so I haven't picked it up yet. I suppose I will eventually, but after reading your review I'm still not convinced that the horror and story is worth the hype.


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