Monday, June 20, 2016

[Review] Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (#1) - Ransom Riggs: Creepy Photographs and Creepy Kids

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In MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN, Jacob, who grew up with his late grandfather's stories about an orphanage full of supernaturally gifted WWII refugees, is following his footsteps and trying to investigate whether any of the stories are true.

What intrigued me: I love scary things and creepy photographs.

This novel lives from its illustrations

The initial idea comes from actual creepy photographs taken in the past. Riggs constructed the narrative using them as a base and the result is phenomenal. It's super interesting to read about these special children and explore their world. However, I was under the impression that this would be just as scary as the pictures look.

Essentially, this is X-men for elementary school children. I never came under the impression that I'm reading YA, mainly because the characters all appear to be a lot younger than they actually are. There's a lot of antiquated language going on and if that kind of thing bothers you, you may not enjoy this novel. Sometimes I almost felt like the characters, especially the adults, speak as if they were talking to little kids. Generally I would even go as far as to say this is a Middle Grade read. I was hoping for more scary scenes, more things that make my skin crawl. However the novel absolutely works as it is and is quite interesting, despite not being what I expected it to be.

So much introduction

The novel takes an absolutely ridiculous time to take off. By the time Jacob gets to the orphanage, you're already halfway through. There is so much introduction that could've just as well been omitted and I felt absolutely cheated of my time by even bothering with the first 100 pages. All the reasons why Jacob comes to the orphanage in the first place and how his grandfather connects to it could have just been revealed later on instead of going through pages and pages of therapy sessions, nightmares, and teenage angst.

But when the novel introduces the peculiar children, I was immersed. I didn't want to put this down. I was glued to the pages, sucking up every bit of information and really, really wanting to find out how it all gets resolved. It gets better along the way and feels like Riggs mastered the character voices as the novel progresses. 




Overall: Do I Recommend?

If you're looking for horror, this isn't it. It's more of a heart-warming story about a bunch of creepy little kids, and it's definitely worth the read. If you don't mind Middle Grade. This doesn't read like regular YA. The pacing issues threw me off a little, but I recommend that you give it a try and push through!

Additional Info

Published: 7th June 2011
Pages: 352
Publisher: Quirk
Genre: YA / Horror

"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.(Source: Goodreads)

Have you read any scary books lately?

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