Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Author:  Ransom Riggs

Genre:  Young Adult Fiction/Fantasy/Mystery

Format:  Kindle &  Hardcover

Reading Level:  14 and up

Rating:  3 out of 5

Synopsis:  The story centers around Jacob, a seemingly normal sixteen year old boy living in Florida.   Jacob was always very close with his paternal grandfather and had a special bond with him.  In fact it was Jacob who had a knack for dealing with his grandfather and talking him down in instances where others had difficulty.

As a child Jacob had always been enthralled by his grandfathers photographs and stories of the peculiar children he lived in the orphanage with as well as his life as a solider during the great war.  However, as Jacob got older he began to tire of his grandpa Portman’s tall tales in spite of his love and admiration for him.  Jacob’s grandfather also became more and more forgetful, unsettled and paranoid as time went on and everyone seemed to chalk it up to old age and possibly alzheimer’s. However, Jacob came to realize a little too late that had not in fact been the case at all and that his grandfather’s stories were not quite as embellished or as made up as he once thought them to be.

After being so deeply effected by not only the loss of his grandfather but by his brutal murder and the horrific creature he saw in the woods the night his grandfather died, Jacob finds his own life spiraling out of control.  He also can’t seem stop obsessing over the meaning of the mysterious last words uttered by his grandfather as he held the dying man in his arms. So his parents send him to see a psychiatrist in hopes that it will help him work through his feelings and issues in order to get back to some semblance of normalcy.

Although his parents are weary, they allow Jacob to travel with his father to the island in the U.K. where the orphanage his grandfather spoke of was located at his psychiatrists urging.  They along with Jacob, hope he’s able to find some answers or at least some information to give him the closure he needs.  However, it seems Jacob ends up being faced with many questions and revelations before he in fact comes to find the answers he is looking for.

My Two Cents:  I had come across this book a few months ago when it appeared on my Amazon book recommendations and thought it looked interesting so I added it to my wish list and did not give it another thought.  That is until I heard Grav3yardgirl, or Bunny as some may know her, talking about it.  I was looking for something new and different to read as I had just finished the last book in the Call the Midwife series by Jennifer Worth.

In all honesty this book ended up taking a totally different turn that I had anticipated it taking.  For one I did not expect that the book would take place in the present at all, nor did I have any clue that there would be the whole time travel aspect.  I suppose I thought it would be solely about the orphans residing at Miss Peregrine’s.

I think Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was interesting and while I mostly enjoyed the book, I found myself feeling much less enthusiastic about reading it mid-way through for some reason.  Okay I know it’s a work of fantasy/fiction but it just started to feel as though it was going all over the place with the jump between the past and present, his grandfather’s double life, the peculiar children, the monster, the WWII & Holocaust tie ins, not to mention the budding relationship between Jacob and his grandpa Portman’s former flame.

I will say that Riggs is a wonderfully descriptive writer.   I also quite liked how he incorporated the vintage photographs and how eerie they were.  The photo’s added an interesting dimension to the book in my opinion.  Sadly though, the photographs, particularly the images of the letters, do not translate so well on the Kindle.  So if you plan to add Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children to your reading list, it might just be worth it to get in hardcover, or paperback when it becomes available.

This was a bit of fun read and I would definitely recommend it if you’re interested in something really quirky.  However, I personally did not fall in love this book (that doesn’t mean I hated it either, I just felt sort of lukewarm about it, if you will.  Near the end, I was kind of ready to just get it finished so I could move onto something else though, to be completely honest.  Don’t necessarily let the fact that Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was a little too peculiar for my liking deter you though.  I say give it a read if it appeals to you because as they say, different strokes for different folks.

Please comment below and let me know your thoughts on my review as well as your thoughts on this book if you’ve read it.  As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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