Modern Fantasy · Review · Young Adult

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenSynopsis from Amazon:

A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

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 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.

Review:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs, starts with a family tragedy that forces sixteen-year-old Jacob to question his sanity. He finally saw a creature from his grandfather’s “fairy stories,” and when he tried to tell others, he was deemed crazy. In hopes of finally putting all of this to bed, he goes to the island his grandfather spoke of in his last words. There he meets the peculiar children his grandfather talked about. What danger faces peculiar children? Are the peculiars dangerous?

For those of you who follow jessethereader, you will know this is one of his favorite books. This book is amazing! It’s well-written, and I was hooked after the prologue. I had initially thought this was going to be a lot like Big Fish (2003), but I am happy to be wrong. The book was perfectly crafted. I love the photos (one of which is the cover) incorporated into the story. The concept of the time loop and the peculiarity of the children fit; I wish I could have learned more about how Miss Peregrine’s power works.

I’m a little confused on how the time loop affects its peculiar residents. I understand the pros and cons of suspending the aging process, but I don’t understand if it’s allowed for the residents of the loop to grow and change. It was the part of Miss Peregrine’s lecture about Jacob telling the “children of the past” about “the future.” One quote that keeps making me wonder if the children can develop is:

“It was as if the constance of their lives here, the unvarying days – this perpetual deathless summer – had arrested their emotions as well as their bodies, sealing them in their youth like Peter Pan and his Lost Boys.” (Location 1812 of 4246 on Kindle)

It may require rereading the passage.

Jacob is a great protagonist. I had my moments where I was frustrated with his insistence on his being insane, but it would completely change his character development if he easily dismissed the possibility of losing his sanity. Deciding whether or not he should stay and to whom he should show more loyalty is executed well. Even though the narrator is himself, I didn’t know every thought he had. I wasn’t sure what he was going to do on some major decisions.

Of the children of the past, I only observed some development with Emma. She was the one child that Jacob focused on the most, so it is expected.

The Kindle version had no formatting or grammar errors.

Themes include:

  • Time will catch up to you
  • There is no such thing as immortality; immortality is against the laws of nature.
  • “We cling to our fairy tales until the price for believing them becomes too high…” (Location 120 of 4246 on Kindle)

I recommend Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children to everyone who loves fantasy or coming of age novels.

Genre: Fantasy YA

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

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