REVIEW: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs


I started reading Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children towards the beginning of June and expected it to be a nice, easy read for summer. I knew it was aimed at readers a bit younger than me but in my experience if the plot line is interesting then the style of writing shouldn't get in the way.

I must say, I did really like the concept of the plot. The whole idea of children with unique abilities, hollowgasts, Ymbrynes (I hope I never have to say that word out loud for fear of embarrassment) and wights is something I haven't come across before. Yes, there are many stories of humans with supernatural powers but Riggs develops this idea in such a way that feels brand new. (Here is where I admit I have not read any Harry Potter books, which is probably why I feel this way).

I was also really intrigued by the network of time loops that operated throughout the world and were dotted around in different points in time. I found it really interesting when it was explained that the peculiars who had used these time loops left markings on the walls with their names and dates, for example. I'd love to come across something like that as it makes history come alive, and so I really enjoyed reading about it. I would have liked these other time loops to be explored in more detail, but I have no doubt that the rest of the trilogy will get around to that at some point.

My favourite (and the creepiest) picture used
My favourite aspect of the whole book was the fact that Riggs used old pictures he found at flea markets and car boot sales to inspire him with the story. I love that. It reminds me of my Dad flicking through post cards in charity shops on the Isle of Wight, hoping he'd find a really interesting one to take home. I can totally see how they would act as a prompt for a piece of creative writing - I might give that a go in the weeks to come.

Okay, I have to address the relationship between Jacob and Emma. My first thought: ew. My second thought: ew? Something about dating the same girl your grandfather dated didn't sit right with me. I know its not incest but after much deliberation it still felt wrong. Another reason I wasn't a fan of the love birds is because there was a lack of substance to their relationship: it was never, ever explained why they were attracted to each other. It felt as if Riggs knew he needed to add a romance to appeal to the younger audience but wasn't invested in it enough to actually try. From what I had gathered from their individual character developments, Jacob and Emma aren't compatible, but they're the hero and the heroine of the story so they must get together, right?!!?

Moving on from the uncomfortableness Jacob and Emma make me feel, the whole Dr Golan fiasco really surprised me. I was honestly shocked by the turn of events and so I thoroughly enjoyed reading about his backstory and the cunning behind his evil. The evil characters are usually my favourite but Dr Golan seemed a bit dim at times which was disappointing. I'm sure this was done on purpose to make him less likeable but I was kind of rooting for his escape.

As much as I enjoyed reading it, there were certain aspects of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children that spoiled it for me. I have to hand it to him, Riggs creates lots of cleverly interwoven sub-plots throughout the book. However, he ruins it by unnecessarily spelling them all out and leaving nothing the imagination of the reader. I understand this may be because it is aimed at a younger audience but I still feel it would have had a bigger impact if the details were left for the reader to figure out on their own. But maybe I'm just being picky. Also, I'm not sure whether this is because I read it quickly or not but the ending definitely felt rushed. It was a panicked effort to tie all the loose ends together whilst also creating a cliffhanger for the next book in the trilogy.

Overall, I have no plans to continue reading the next two books but I don't feel as though I have wasted my time reading this one, which I guess is a plus.

Comments

  1. Hate forced romances. Is it really impossible for the main characters not to fall in love?!

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    1. Exactly! It is very frustrating, especially when its obvious the two don't have any reason to like each other!

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  2. Useful thank you. I was considering reading this - because I enjoyed the Tim Burton film - but now I think not!

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    1. Glad I could help! Yeah, I wouldn't say it was worth reading once you've seen the film. It's nothing special. :)

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  3. Yes, Jacob and Emma were very strange together. I wasn't a huge fan of Emma, to be honest. It felt very forced and like 'I must have a romance in my book because I need the young people to relate'. Maybe I'm just really used to reading books with slow burn and poetically written romances but it definitely didn't do it for me. And, I bring myself to be okay with the fact Emma dated Jacob's grandfather.

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    1. Yesssss I completely agree that it felt like the romance was forced, it just didn't make any sense! Yeah it's definitely more rewarding and satisfying as a reader when the romance grows gradually but I have a feeling that quick romances are just a general YA trope :/ The more I thought about Emma and Jacob's relationship plus Jacob's grandfather the more I realised it wasn't *actually* weird :)

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