Thursday, 21 November 2013

Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine, #1)
Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine #1)
Author: Ransom Riggs
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious 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 abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather— were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.


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

The first thing that captured my interest about this book was how it looked like. It was one of those books that were sealed in a plastic cover every time I see them in the bookstore that the cover itself makes me want to tear the plastic and discover the mysteries inside. When I finally read it, my instincts were proven to be true—it was indeed full of mystery. It was full of mysteries that were not given away by the intriguing blurb. 

The concept itself was fascinating. The setting Riggs chose contributed to the air of mystery and intrigue that wrapped around this book. It was dark and strange but it definitely worked. Adding the photos was the cherry on top. Every time I come across one, I have to brace myself. For someone who likes black and white photos, I found others fascinating despite its oddness but others managed to creep me out. 

Jacob didn’t feel 16 to me at all. Maybe it was because of what his grandfather told him and what he saw when he died that made him feel mature to read. His bond with his grandfather was amazing. There are only few books I’ve read that have a character who’s so close to their grandparents but never came across one who’d travel half-way across the world to honor his last words and discover the truth about his tales. Unfortunately, it was sad to see how detached he was with his parents especially his mother. It felt like the only family member who really knew him and was close to him was Grandpa Portman. The highlight on the relationship of his father and grandfather was also sad, seeing how despite his father seems to not care about his grandfather and his stories, there was part of him that craved for his father seeing how Grandpa Portman failed. 

The island and what’s beyond it was in grayish scheme which seems to fit the eerie feel of the story. It was, in a way, an adventure I would probably not take in real life so I’m glad to be able to read it and experience it through Jacob. Magical might not be the word I’d use to describe it but it was surely fascinating. At first, I can’t help but be suspicious of Miss Peregrine and the secrets she’s keeping especially when the kids kept saying that there are things they can’t talk about but it’s also because they are looking out for themselves. 

I can’t wait to read the next book. This one did not end with a cliffhanger but enough to tickle your curiosity. What happens next? What happens to Jacob? To his dad? To the Kids?