Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children

Publisher: Quirk Books
Release date: June 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1594746036
Pages: 352
Goodreads || Book Depository

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.

MY THOUGHTS

45 stars

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!

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37 thoughts on “Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      I think you should give it a go if you’re curious! It wasn’t anything like I expected it to be. I mean, I knew there would be peculiar children and an orphanage involved but the whole plot and everything was really unexpected.

      The girl on the cover is one of the characters in the book! She’s really cute ❤

      Like

  1. Lydia Tewkesbury says:

    I LOVE this book! I used to have a copy but I leant it to someone a few years ago and they never gave it back. I have been thinking for a while I need to get another copy and then binge read the rest of the series. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much.

    I heard the other day and they are all found photographs as well, and that Ransom Riggs makes the world around the pictures he discovers. I get the impression he is something of a weirdo. I remember forever ago on vlog brothers he and John Green made a video from inside this creepy abandoned hospital.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      You should definitely get another copy! It’s so beautiful! ❤

      Yeah, I have one of the newer editions and at the back of mine there's an author Q&A section. He mentions that he found all these vintage photos of children and started creating stories about each of them, and then wrote a book based on them! I think that's so cool. I need to go and find that vlogbrothers video!

      Like

  2. aentee @ read at midnight says:

    I love books that are told in a creative manner, this series really speaks to me and my blogging style so I will definitely have to check it out – especially now that it comes with a recommendation from you. I adore the idea of the photographs and how they inspired the author to write this novel. Sounds like a perfect Halloween read!

    PS YOU WRITE NOTES WHEN YOU READ BOOKS? Let me bow to your dedication. I mainly just take down quotes I like and make up stuff, for shame!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      I think you’ll LOVE this! It’s got the most adorable yet strange and unique cast of characters. And the story really makes your heart race. It’s so cool that he was inspired by the photos he collected and then managed to go out and find similar looking ones that fit with his story too!

      Haha I don’t write that many notes and I just jot down random thoughts and quotes on my phone. I’m not dedicated enough to carry around a notebook or anything (unlike super dedicated and organised people like Chooi). 😀

      Like

  3. Anette says:

    I’m glad to see you enjoyed this more than I did! It’s always fun to see where opinions differ, I love that the part you found too slow was the part I found the most interesting hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Oh really? I thought that beginning to middle part was so slow and creepy. I guess I’m just not good with creepy things so I wanted that part to be over with 🙂 It was really good in terms of setting the tone of the book and everything though.

      It’s definitely interesting to hear everyone’s opinions on the book. I finished it thinking that it was wonderful and that everyone would probably like it but there are heaps of negative reviews on Goodreads.

      Like

      • Anette says:

        Haha, yes, I really enjoy creepy things so I was a little disappointed that I didn’t find this book very creepy at all. I thought that the beginning up until he met the children was really interesting and eerie, but then he met them and it went downhill for me. If you’re interested in my review, it’s here: https://anettereads.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/review-miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children-by-ransom-riggs/ But I understand if you don’t want anything raining on your parade so feel free to skip! hahaha.

        Like

        • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

          Yeah, we’re definitely the opposite 😀 I don’t enjoy creepy things at all so that was the aspect that I was really hesitant about.

          I’ll probably skip reading your review until I finish the other two books so that my experience of Hollow City and Library of Souls isn’t biased. Then I’ll probably go and search for reviews of all of these books to see what everyone else thinks 🙂

          Like

          • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

            Most people I talk to think Hollow City is better. I can see it being really good! I’ve heard a couple of reviewers say that Hollow City is creepier… but I’m not sure. I mean for me, the setting of the island and the Home was the creepiest part in Miss Peregrine’s, so I’m not sure if it’ll be just as eerie now that we’re off somewhere else.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      I was worried about that too, which was why I hadn’t read it until now. It’s not actually very scary. It’s more eerie and creepy just because it’s set on a remote island where there’s not really anything around or any phone reception… and you just get the sense that something is about to happen. But the creepiness and mystery kind of goes away after the first half of the book (or maybe I just got used to it?) and the last half is just really action-packed.

      You can definitely get through it! I read the first half at night and I was fine. It’s not the type of scary that you can’t distract yourself from. But just to be sure, I read the rest of it during the day in the crazy Australian sun and heat 😀 The movie might be a different issue though. I’ll probably need some hand-holding when I go to see it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Evelyn @ Books With Chemistry says:

    I leafed through the photograhs like crazy! They’re so creepy, aren’t they?! 😄 They say it’s real snapshots so that makes it all the more amazing. I’m glad this one made it to 4 stars for you, Jenna! You make me want to reread this again. And yessss. I’m with you THE MOVIE IS GOING TO BE EPIC! Can the year go by faster already? *cries*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      I was seriously considering giving this 5 stars… but I had to take off half a star because some parts were a bit slow for me. Hopefully Hollow City will blow my mind!

      It’s crazy that the film has such a huge release date! It’s got a Christmas release date?! That’s so insane. I don’t think I’ll be able to survive that movie. I’m the type of person who sometimes likes to see movies by myself… but I definitely won’t be able to see this alone. I’ll be too freaked out.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ayunda says:

    I’m glad you liked the book, I myself didn’t really enjoy it, I thought the characters weren’t interesting and the story wasn’t as eerie or have that mysterious vibe as I’d hoped it would be 😦 Nothing really scared me or creep me out

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Oh haha I think I’ve figured out the two camps. I think I enjoyed it because I don’t like scary things so this was the perfect amount of creepiness for me. I don’t think I could handle more. I can see why you didn’t think the characters were interesting. I myself didn’t find their abilities to be that special but I did think that they all had their own use in the book and I was amazed by the story he created based on the photographs.

      I have a feeling the movie will be much scarier though. Eep!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. cwreads says:

    I have adopted a new philosophy: IF JENNA LIKES A BOOK I MUST READ THE BOOK. I don’t know I feel like you and I have really similar tastes and I trust your reviews and opinions!

    Reading your review, I feel like this book mixes things I’m not terribly familiar (historical fiction) with stuff I love (the fantastical elements). I’ve heard that this is a bit like X-Men? Not sure about the legitimacy of that statement.

    Ah well, +1 to my TBR! Definitely going to give this a go. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      *tackle hug*

      Since posting my review, I think I’ve discovered two separate camps. If you like scary and creepy things, then you probably won’t like this book because it’s not creepy enough for you (unless you don’t go into it expecting a scary read). But if you don’t like scary things like me, you’ll find that it has a good amount of creepiness and you’ll probably enjoy it. I dunno. I still think it’s really great and enjoyable even if you don’t find it creepy.

      And I’m not very familiar with X-Men but I don’t think they’re that similar, besides the whole group of children with special abilities. I think some people were disappointed with the ‘superpowers’ in Miss Peregrine’s because they weren’t unique enough. But I thought they were used really well in the book.

      In summary, READ IT 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • cwreads says:

        Ooooh hmm I definitely fall on the latter camp, same as you! I can take any psychological horror but supernatural stuff just freaks me out. ;_;

        Hmm okay! I suppose whoever compared the two might have simplified it a looot. Okay but YES AFTER RUROUNI KENSHIN! The second book just arrived, hehe yaaay! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Summer @ Xingsings says:

    Just wanted to let you know you used “loved” five times in your review so this must be fantastic! 😛 I don’t watch a lot of booktube but sometimes when I do I like watching JesseTheReader’s videos and he loves Ransom Riggs. I’m very compelled to try this out one day… but I’m not a big fan of horror (even though I know this isn’t exactly hardcore horror). Anyway, via your GR widget, I see that you’re already on Hollow City! 😉 Hope you enjoy that one just as much or even more, Jenna!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      You need to try this one! It’s definitely not horror and I wouldn’t even call it scary. It’s more just spooky and eerie. And I think you’d love the pictures and the overall style and format of the book! Also this is one of those books where the paperback is just as beautiful as the hardcover 😀

      I’m almost done with Hollow City, so hopefully I can move on to Library of Souls soon too. I can’t believe I didn’t check this trilogy out sooner!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Summer @ Xingsings says:

        Haha, I guess I’ll consider it! It all depends if I cave in to the hype at the bookstore (but honestly, I’m trying to avoid them after my crazy splurge from these previous months). AND LOL. At this rate, you’re probably already down with Library of Souls!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

          Yes, omg you hauled so many books! Well, you have lots of time to get into this series before the movie comes out! I think it’ll be a good idea to read the books first because the format of them are so unique. And what I love about the series is that I haven’t really come across any spoilers in the community!

          Liked by 1 person

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