Books · reviews

Book review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Man, am I back-logged on reviews! Despite what my sidebar has said for the past few months, I finished Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children waaay back in February (according to my Goodreads page). I just haven’t been able to accurately voice my opinions on it, because I loved it so much. Well, here goes nothing.

A review of
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
By Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine cover
Cover image courtesy of Quirk Books.

Published by Quirk Books in 2011

What’s it about?

Jacob’s grandfather, a child refugee sent to England during the Second World War, grew up on an island with a bunch of rather peculiar children: children who could levitate, children with the power of invisibility, children with incredible strength. His grandfather also told stories of terrifying and nightmarish monsters. Jacob has grown up listening to his grandfather’s stories, always believing, until one day he doesn’t. But, when tragedy strikes Jacob’s family, he comes to suspect that maybe the playful stories about levitating girls and invisible boys weren’t just a fantasy; maybe the monsters, too, were real. Accompanied by his father, Jacob travels across the pond to visit the mysterious island his grandfather lived on, and soon begins to unveil a dark and dangerous history.

What I liked most:

– Ransom Riggs’s use of photographs to enhance and propel the story along. Not many books use photographs/illustrations so extensively nowadays. What Riggs had done here is create a seamless reading experience in which the photographs are not only an integral part of that experience, but also improve upon it. Ask Samantha over at Fabulous Fabris!, she tried reading it via audiobook and it just wasn’t the same.

-The unique story. Aided by the photographs, Riggs doesn’t just tell a story of a young man coming to terms with his family history, he also tells a mystery, and a fantasy, and a horror story all in one. At times you won’t know what to make of it, but that’s okay. Every page offers something new and unexpected, and just when you think you know where it’s going, the story changes.

– The darkness. This is technically a YA book, but what I liked the most about it was that it doesn’t shy away from the horror aspects of the story. There are some really tense moments, and because the beginning of the book sets the stakes high, you’re never quite complacent with things. This is a world in which the danger is quite real, and Riggs moves you towards that danger page-by-page, just as Jacob experiences it. The reader, like Jacob, might be lulled into a false sense of security as the magical aspects of the island begin to take you, but then Riggs changes everything up. The fog clears and you’re left standing in the bog, exposed to the truth.

What I liked least:

– This is going to be a tough one. I liked this book a lot. I’ve already recommended it to everyone I can, and even now, two months later, I’m finding it hard to find a fault. In fact, I’m going to have to break the “rules” I set out to keep in my last post on reviewing books. I just loved this too much to complain about anything. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads without hesitation.

To sum up:

I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in young adult literature with a fantasy/horror twist to it. The villains will keep you both disgusted and fascinated until the end. You’ll be left with a feeling of yearning to start the sequel.

Rating: 9/10

 

The story continues in:

Hollow City
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you like this, you might also like:

Abarat by Clive Barker
Abarat by Clive Barker
For a dark fantasy, with monsters and necromancers, try: Sabriel by Garth Nix
Sabriel by Garth Nix

 

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