Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children


Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs

Series: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1

Publisher: Quirk

Release Date: June 7th 2011

Rating:

Four Stars

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

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 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.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“I don’t mean to be rude” I said, “but what are you people?”
“We’re peculiar,” he replied, sounding a bit puzzled. “Aren’t you?”
“I don’t know. I don’t think so”
“That’s a shame.”

When Jacob was a child he loved listening to his grandfather’s wild stories; about boys who were invisible, girls who could levitate, and children who had the strength to lift boulders over their heads. Stories about the adventures he went on and the monsters he faced and killed. But as Jacob grows older he starts seeing the wild tales of peculiar children and monsters as fairy tales told by an old man who was forced to live through the horrors of World Ward II as a Jewish child.

Then, one day, his grandfather is murdered and Jacob finds himself face-to-face with one of the monsters from his grandfather’s stories.

As he faces not only the death of his grandfather but the reality that maybe the monsters weren’t such wild stories in the first place Jacob becomes unhinged. He suffers from night terrors and such fear of the monsters coming after him that his parents have no choice  but to send him to a psychiatrist. Then he finds a letter in a book that leads him to Cairnholm, a small island in Wales where his grandfather spend his childhood and the place where the tales of the peculiar children originated from.

“I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen. The first of these came as a terrible shock and, like anything that change you forever, split my life into halves: Before and After.”

When Jacob arrives in Cairnholm however the orphanage he hoped to find, and the mysterious Miss Peregrine who wrote to his grandfather, is nothing more than a wreckage destroyed in the bombings of the Second World War. He’s lost all hope, there’s nothing in Wales that can offer him any peace of mind concerning his grandfather’s death.

Until he sees with his own eyes the children he’s only ever seen in his grandfather’s photos, until he follows them through a time loop and finds himself back in the year 1940 where Miss Peregrine and her peculiar children are still alive.

…The Characters

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.”

Jacob loves his grandfather, and loves his stories as well. After he dies there is a lot Jacob needs to discover about Abraham Portman’s life, and travelling to Wales seems to paint the older man in a much different light. Still Jacob remains determined to uncover the truth, and it’s only when he gets to Wales that he feels like he’s making steps in his recovery. Granted he has his moments of doubt when things seem to be working against him but he keeps moving forwards, trying to do what’s best to live up to what people see him as; a protector.

There wasn’t much of a family dynamic between Jacob and his parents. They didn’t understand each other and, although it’s obvious his parents care about him there is a void between the two of them. Jacob had a much closer relationship with his grandfather. Even when he thought the stories nothing more than fairytales he seems to see his grandfather as a hero, it’s why he is determined to uncover the truth about Abraham’s past.

“They were orphans of war, washed up on that little island in a tide of blood. What made them amazing wasn’t that they had miraculous powers; that they had escaped the ghettos and gas chambers was miracle enough.”

What I enjoyed the most about this book was being introduced to all the peculiar children; Emma who can create fire in her hands, Olive who is lighter than air and can levitate, Millard who is always invisible and spends his time spying on the townspeople stuck in the time loop with the peculiars. Enoch who can bring creatures and humans back to life and Bronwyn who is has an incredible strength. All of them were wonderful to meet, they had such different personalities and such different powers so it was great to get the know them and the full extent of their peculiarities.

Despite being trapped in a time loop for eighty odd years they are still very much children. They play, laugh, attend their lessons, and crave any information Jacob can bring them from the future. As someone new in their lives of the same day lived over and over again they seem immediately awe-struck by him.

…The Setting

“It was my grandfather’s island. Looming and bleak, folded in mist, guarded by a million screeching birds, it looked like some ancient fortress constructed by giants.
As I gazed up at its sheer cliffs, tops disappearing in a reef of ghostly clouds, the idea that this was a magical place didn’t seem so ridiculous.”

The small island in Wales where the orphanage stands is written in two very different ways. In the present day it is portrayed as dull and dreary; there are storms nearly every day and the island seems stuck in the dark ages with only one phone and no electricity after ten pm. There the orphanage is nothing more than the wreckage that was left after the bombs hit. However in 1940 the sun is always shinning, the orphanage is standing and it’s where Jacob can find all the answers he seeks about, not only his grandfather, but himself. The two feel like separate worlds and even without seeing the differences between 1940 and the present day it’s easy to tell what time Jacob is in throughout the novel. The world is dark; there are monsters around every corner but the small pocket of time Miss Peregrine has created is safe, a haven for the peculiar children she protects.


I did enjoy this book but felt it started off a little slow. The majority of this first book was more about Jacob’s discovery of the peculiars and his part in their lives; don’t get me wrong it was interesting to read but it felt like the plot was thrown into the last third of the story with little space to develop properly.

What did you think of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

Advertisements

49 thoughts on “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

  1. Great review! I’m happy to see that you (mostly) enjoyed this book! 🙂 I really loved the introduction of all the peculiar children. I adore reading about special abilities and powers, so this one was right up my alley. And I do agree that the plot was rather slow in this one, but I enjoyed slowly learning more about the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Anna! Yeah I did enjoy this book, it had its issues but overall it was an enjoyable read and it left me interested enough to pick up the second book pretty much straight away!
      Oh I loved meeting all the peculiars and learning about their powers, and about the world they lived in as well. If the plot has been a little more fast paced this would have easily been a five star book for me! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve had this book on my Kindle for way too long. Your review is making me want to read it sooner than I had planned. It almost reminds me of Shutter Island a little bit. I guess I better start reading so I can see the movie. 🙂 Awesome review, Beth!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t read this book yet and I keep thinking I should before the movie comes out (I LOVE the trailer), but I’ve heard mixed reviews for it! I’m glad you gave such a detailed review – the setting sounds absolutely amazing, and I do enjoy the ‘peculiar’ powers these kids have. Sorry to hear that the plot didn’t have time to develop properly, but at least it wasn’t a bad book. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah that’s the main reason I picked this book up now as well (because I needed to read the book before the movie came out, and the trailer looked amazing!)
      I’ve mainly seen positive reviews for this book but I can see how there would be negative ones as well. The setting was amazing, and so was the character development as well. Yeah the plot was an issue but it definitely wasn’t a bad book and it was definitely a non issue in the second book as well! 🙂

      Like

      1. The trailer is super great – I love the song and couldn’t stop listening to it for a while after I watched it. 😛

        Ooh, have you read the second book too, then? Does it bother you that they change Emma’s powers from fire to water/air?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ohh yes the song is amazing, I need to download it for my iPod at some point.
        Yep, finished the second book yesterday and I’ll be starting the third tomorrow. They changed Emma’s powers in the film right? I got a little confused because I watched the trailer before reading the book and in the movie it looks like they’ve given Emma Olive’s powers and vise versa.

        Like

  4. I haven’t read this series yet, but I feel like the themes are interesting enough to overcome some of the flaws.

    I think the excruciatingly slow start, average middle and huge ending is another evolving trend (or a blast from the past, depending on how far back we’re going) – and you see it in lots of TV series now. It’s like the plot only thickens when we’ve earned it through some intensive character development.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s kind of how I felt about it as well, in any other book I possibly would have rated it lower but despite the issues I had this book was interesting.
      I do enjoy it in some books but in this one it just felt like the huge ending was kind of smooshed into the end. I thought the second book was a lot better paced and it still included the necessary character development!

      Like

  5. I’m glad you enjoyed this despite the issues you had. I really liked the first two books! I haven’t read the third one yet so I’m hoping the series ends well. I definitely see how they’re not for everyone though because they could be quite slow at times. I read the first book not long after it’s release so the photo concept was really new and unique at the time which I think played a part in why I loved it so much. I’ll be interested to see what you think o the rest of the series. Great review, Beth 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Overall I thought it was a good book, and the way it ended left it open for the second book to pick up the pace a little more. I finished the second book today and am hoping to pick up the third next week sometime.
      No not for everyone, I think you need to be in a certain mood to enjoy this book and luckily I was. I definitely enjoyed the photo concept, for me it’s still pretty unique, I don’t have any other books like it.
      Thanks Lauren! 😀

      Like

    1. Thanks so much Marie! 🙂
      Yeah I’ve mainly seen positive reviews for this book but I can see how there would be mixed ones out there for it.
      Overall it was a good book, definitely weird but it was really unique, there’s nothing else out there like it. I do think you need to be in the mood to pick it up though.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Although I ultimately rated this book low, I’m glad I read it because it’s so interesting discussing it with other people. I honestly think the movie will be way better than the book. Did you ever feel like Jacob’s voice didn’t fit his age? I totally agree that it’s slow to start.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it’s definitely a unique story, and I just finished the second book and I thought it was so much better. The main issue I had in this book was with the plot being so slow, and it wasn’t a thing at all in Hollow City.
      The trailer for the movie looks amazing! I can’t wait to see it.
      I didn’t actually notice that, I’ve already read the second but maybe it’ll be something I pick up in the third book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hopefully if you didn’t notice it, it won’t affect your reading of it at all 🙂 Will you review the series as a whole when you’re finished? That would be such an interesting review to read, especially since it seems to improve as it goes.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hopefully not, and if I haven’t noticed it so far I doubt I will in the third book.
        I’ve already published my review for the second book and I’ll be publishing my review for the third book hopefully tomorrow if I finish it in time, I guess that one will have a mini overview of the whole series but it will be more focused on the last book itself rather than the whole series.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I bought it at a garage sale a few years back and still haven’t read it…I see they’re making a movie now, so it must be entertaining. Are you going to read Hollow City? (That’s the sequel, right? I think I’ve seen it around…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are making a movie, it comes out at the end of September in the UK which is why I finally moved it up my to-read list! 🙂
      I read Hollow City today, and will be posting my review shortly. I enjoyed it a lot more than the first book so I have high hopes for the third book in this trilogy! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nope. Even when I ‘liked’ the first one, I wasn’t really interested enough to keep reading. (Pretty common thing with me. A series has to really grab me to get me to read on.) So when my opinion went down, it was definitely out of the question.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Great review Beth! I got the box set to this trophy as a Christmas gift from my husband with hopes of reading it this fall. Now that the movie is being released, I’m really looking forward to at least reading book 1. I hope the rest of the books are better paced, I love great character development but plot that unravels or is squeezed in at the end…not so much a fan of that 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lilly. Yeah I got all three books of the trilogy just last week but I couldn’t wait to jump into them, and given the movie is being released at the end of September I felt I needed to get around to them ASAP. Book one is good but I thought book two was so much better, there’s definitely more to the plot but still a fair bit of character development as well. I think even if you’re not a fan of the first one you will be by the time you’ve finished the second! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awesome! At least now I know there’s no second book slump 😁 the trailer for the movie looks extremely peculiar 😂 I’m def going to watch it even if I have to read the book afterwards. September is looking INSANE with all these book releases 🙃🙂🙃

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha! Oh goodness I guess it’s a good thing that we’re entering the fall season. I’m pretty sure September will be the first mth that I’m forced to have a TBR cuz otherwise I’d want to read them all at once lol. Epic Fantasy month 💕

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I have a TBR list for all months but it changes depending on what I read so maybe I shouldn’t call it a TBR list! 😀
        But yeah I know what you mean, given all the books being released during the second half of this year I possibly need to work out when they’re all being released and when I should read them all! 😀

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s