Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Monday, September 19, 2011


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
★★★★


That cover, which as first catches your eye, then makes you do a double take, is what hooked me and so many other readers. The little girl, creepily staring back at you and ... floating?

The novel begins with Jacob, a 16-year-old boy, witnessing a murder. That horrifying event shakes him to the core and makes him begin to question the "fairy tales" his grandfather used to tell him. What follows is a fascinating journey with unexpected turns, but the less said about the plot, the better. The true pleasure of the book is being able to follow Jacob on his quest without knowing where it will take you. I loved discovering his grandfather's secrets along side him.


(Photos from the book)

My one complaint about the book is actually my favorite part about it as well. I know, not really fair is it? The bizarre photographs that pop up every few pages are both enchanting and at times distracting. Occasionally it felt like the author was crafting the story around the photos instead of using them only to enhance the plot. It seemed like there were multiple characters and plot points that he included purely to use one more cool photograph.

Don't get me wrong, the story is still infinitely entertaining and absolutely worth reading, but I do wish he had depended just a bit less on the images to avoid making it feel like a gimmick. The story was strong enough to stand on its own and I hope he scales back the photos in the sequel.

Final word, if you're looking for a good story which blends a bit of fantasy, coming-of-age and adventure, and throws in a few scares for good measure, this is a perfect choice. Pick up a copy in October to get in the mood for Halloween. I know I'll definitely be reading Riggs' next book when it comes out.

I read this for the R.I.P. Challenge hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings here.

For more R.I.P reviews visit here.

23 comments:

Jillian said...

I actually have this on hold at our library but it'll take a while before it actually gets to me! I'm #12 of 22 holds haha

Kristi said...

I didn't even notice the levitating until you mentioned it. Freaky cover. I'm glad that it was enjoyable overall. It is frustrating though when authors get too into the gimmick. Those pictures do look kind of cool though. I can see how you're torn as to whether it was too much. I'll have to see if my library has it. I need some good creepy October reading.

Amanda said...

I'm really looking forward to this one! I'm like 77th on the hold list at the library so it might take awhile, haha! But I'm glad to have the forewarning about the pics!

Mrs. Q: Book Addict said...

I think I'm going to pick up a copy of this one for myself. It looks and sounds really good. Strange photos have me curious.

Peggy Tryton said...

This one sounds fascinating! I'll have to get on the list in my local library.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

It makes me so happy that you all are library addicts like me!

Carl V. said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it so much. I didn't find the use of the images gimmicky but its a fine line, to be sure. I actually did like the idea of the story being built around images he found, sort of like found art projects. He repurposed these old and useless photographs and turned them into a larger work of art.

I'm with you on being ready to read the next one when it comes out. Pity we have to wait so long. This is one of the best autumn-worthy books to come out in a long time and will definitely set one in the right mood for the Halloween season.

Trish said...

Yes, I can imagine the pictures could get distracting . . . I still want to read it, though.

dooliterature said...

This one has been popping up a lot for this challenge! It sounds fantastic, and those pictures are really interesting. I can see how they might be a bit distracting.

Captain Nick Sparrow said...

I tried to win this as an Early Reviewer at LT. I'll have to pick it up anyway!

Kailana said...

I really enjoyed this book. The addition of pictures really added to it.

She said...

I just remember reading Ransom Rigg's articles on The Gloss, and that's made me want to read this one. Oh, and the pictures of course.

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

My plan was to get this one for the RIP Challange, but I now realize it's not going to happen. I'm glad you found it as good as it looks. Still plan to try again next year.

DesLily said...

I read this recently also and really enjoyed it.. most of it lol. I have to admit, if one looks at the cover one generally winds up buying the book! lol

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Carl V. - The photo thing didn't bother me until more than halfway through the book. It seemed like he was just introducing more characters to fit another photo in. I still really enjoyed it though.

Trish/dooliterature/Captain - Definitely worth reading!

Kailana - They made it a really unique read.

She - I'd never heard of him before reading this, but I learned later that John Green had worked with him on his writing.
Alex - It's worth reading for sure. I almost wished I'd waited so I would have read it closer to the release date for the next book.

DesLily - One of the few times it's good to judge a book by its cover!

Brenna said...

This sounds really good and super creepy - those photos are haunting.

Carl V. said...

I can see that, but then again it is called Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, plural, so it would stand to reason that over the years she would have collected a good assortment of oddballs.

Jenners said...

This does look delightfully creepy. Too bad the story was a bit weak.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Carl V. - True, it's worth reading regardless and sometimes it's nice to have something different.

Darlyn (Your Move, Dickens) said...

Great review. I've been thinking about buying this book, and the photos have convinced me. I want to see how they're incorporated into the story. :)

Carmen said...

I loved this book - even though it really wasn't what i was expecting :) Have to agree - I adored the photos.

Kayla said...

I want to read this book so bad! My mom really enjoyed it, and she listened to it on audio, so that showed me how great the story is even without the creepy photos.

Thank goodness I got a part-time job this week so now I can buy this book soon. Even though I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't spend all my money on books, I'm not sure how well I'll be able to stick to that. :)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Kayla - Listening to the audio of this one would be a completely different experience! As for buying books, I firmly believe in the Erasmus quote,
"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes."