Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Jacob has long heard stories from his crazy grandfather about Miss Peregrine's home, where Jacob's grandfather lived after becoming a war refugee--stories about children who could float on air, create fire in their hands, and lift boulders too heavy for any human to lift. Although Jacob's grandfather also has a set of photographs to support his stories, the entire family seems to agree that the photographs have obviously been doctored, though they can't really imagine why, other than the idea that Jacob's grandfather must have essentially crafted his own world after the terrible events that he experienced during wartime. However, after a horrific family tragedy, 16-year-old Jacob sets off to a remote island to learn more about his grandfather, as well as the mysterious Miss Peregrine who took him in.

It's no secret that I love to read. I read a lot, and the only downside to that fact is that sometimes the books start to feel a little repetitive--the characters, the plots, the dialogue. Sometimes, I feel like I've read them before, even when I haven't. Reading Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was the first time in a very long time that I felt like I was reading something truly new. Something I hadn't experienced before. You see, Miss Peregrine also uses strange and unusual photographs found at thrift stores and flea markets coupled with beautiful and engaging prose to weave a unique and engaging story.

All that said, there were two downsides to me when it came to reading Miss Peregrine--the first being that I checked it out on my Kindle from the library. While it was still readable on the Kindle, it was sometimes hard to really appreciate the beautiful black and white photos, and especially to read the accompanying text that occasionally went along with them. This might not be a big deal for some people, but I'm a total nerd for black and white photography, and probably would have enjoyed seeing the photographs in hard-copy a bit more. Second, I was initially pretty disappointed when it came to the ending since I didn't realize until several days after I finished that this is actually a series...which I suppose isn't all that bad since I loved the book. That said, I think the second book isn't slated to be released until 2013, and I usually just prefer to wait to read a series until all the books have been released (I've read that Tim Burton may direct a movie adaptation of the book, so perhaps that will tide me over!).

Overall, I found Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children to be really unique and engaging--I was more excited while reading it than I have been about a book in a long time, even though the book skews a bit sci-fi/paranormal, which is not often my genre of preference. Overall, it's definitely worth a read, just consider going with a hard-copy rather than the reader version!


  1. Ok, so I have this on my kindle (and have since Christmas 2010) and I just can't seem to finish it!! I'll have to go back and start fresh after your glowing review. =)

    megs [at] Shine On

    it's the last day to enter my giveaway!
    check it out here

  2. This book has been on my to-read list, but I didn't realize it was part of a series. I'm wondering if I should wait. Is it a big cliff-hanger? I don't fare well with those.

  3. I have this book on my to-be-read list. I know some people who really liked this book and others who didn't like it at all. It seems to be pretty divisive. Glad to see that you really enjoyed it!

  4. We were supposed to read this for Book Club in November but it got changed b/c one of the girl's only wants books that are available at the library and it was a long wait, I was so bummed. I also didn't realize it was a series - I'll have to put it on my list again based on your review.


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