A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of peculiar 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 decaying bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine’s 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.
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is a fantastic novel, filled with mystery and excitement. I was so intrigued by what was happening that I did not take notes at all while reading, which is why this review might be kinda all over the place. And things will probably pop into my head after I’ve posted this review…
This novel follows our main character, Jacob, as he sets off on a journey to Wales to find out about his grandfather’s past. When he was younger, his grandfather would tell him stories about his time spent at an orphanage for peculiar children. As he grew older, Jacob started to believe his stories less and less, and eventually decided that they were just made-up stories. However, when his grandfather is brutally killed and Jacob is left with some strange clues and photographs, he sets off on a journey to find the orphanage and the truth.
I really, really loved this book! It was mysterious and eerie, and I thought the creepy pictures really added to the tone and atmosphere of the book. I’m not really a fan of scary books (I’m a big wuss), and I think this was just the right amount of creepy without actually being scary. This book has so many things that I love to read about. There are time loops and time travelling aspects involved and I loved these elements! Because of the time travelling, a lot of the book is actually set in the 1940s and I really enjoyed this. I absolutely love historical fiction, especially WWII historical fiction, so this book was right up my alley.
What I also loved about this book was that the tone was set from pretty much the very first page. We get the feeling that something is not quite right, and I was so immersed in the book from the very beginning. The book starts off with a bang – the tragic family incident occurs and we’re left bewildered and wondering exactly what happened. But while this book started off really strongly, the next 100 or so pages was kind of slow and draggy and it took me a little while to get through it. (But having said that, I think the slow pace really helped create this eerie and creepy atmosphere). It isn’t until we meet the peculiar children that the book started to pick up in pace for me, eventually reaching an extraordinary climax and twist that BLEW my mind. I have to say, I did not see any of it coming at all. The last 70 pages were so action-packed and exhilarating and I flew through those pages. The ending also had me very excited for the next book, Hollow City.
The characters in this book were definitely the standout for me! They were all so peculiar and had strange abilities, such as levitation, invisibility and the ability to make dead or inanimate objects alive. While these weren’t new and original abilities that we’ve never seen before, I loved the way the characters used these powers and how creative and clever Ransom Riggs was at incorporating them into the plot. I also really appreciated that there were so many photographs and visual aids in the book. Even though the descriptions made it really easy for me to picture what the characters looked like, I really liked being able to see pictures of them! And, even though I know some of them were doctored, they really reinforced the idea for me that these characters actually exist. There were times when I thought that the pictures broke up the flow of the text but that was a very minor issue.
This was such a magical read for me. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. It incorporates a lot of things that I love to read about, including strange family dynamics and historical elements. The characters were all really strong and fearless (I could never do any of the things they had to do!) and I loved them all so, so much. I flew through this book in just two sittings and I highly recommend it. The movie is going to be EPIC!