Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Posted 5 September, 2013 by Pushy in Featured, Pushy, Pushy Book Review / 19 Comments

I received this book for free from the Borrowed From Library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom RiggsMiss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine
Published by Quirk Books on June 7th 2011
Genres: Mystery and Suspense, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed From Library
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4 Stars

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

How Peculiar….

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is an unusual book.  Told in the compelling voice of Jacob Portman, this story is one part dark fairy tale, one part creepy campfire story, but 100% fascinating.  The story starts with tragedy and madness, heavy stuff no matter how deftly handled, and from there progresses into a strange tale of the supernatural variety, one which finds Jacob and his father traveling to a remote corner of Wales and encountering all manner of difficult to believe folks.

When Jacob meets the orphans of Miss Peregrine’s Home, he’s immediately drawn in by them and their struggles.  The children themselves are an odd assortment, but by the time the reader gets to their stories, one feels as if they left normal behind quite some time ago.

While I liked Jacob and his Grandfather there were plenty of characters I didn’t particularly like (although I wonder if we’re not necessarily supposed to like them).  Some of the children, who aren’t very child like for reasons the reader learns about later on, were rather unpleasant acting and I just got the strangest vibe from them.  I definitely wouldn’t want to hang out with this lot.

The “bad guys” though were nicely evil and I enjoyed Jacob’s story arc, particularly as he had to make difficult decisions and deal with their consequences.  Even though it’s clear that there are more books coming in this series, it’s definitely not apparent exactly which way Mr. Riggs will take this story, and I liked that there are so many open paths for him to take.

A most peculiar book, indeed. Definitely interesting, with strong world building.  Even if I didn’t LOVE all the characters, I found them all fascinating.

Rating 5

Get your own audiobook at Audible: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (unabridged, 9hrs 41min)

I enjoyed the audiobook version of this book but I suspect the print version was better. The narrator, Jesse Bernstein, did a very fine job of bringing the characters to live and portraying the emotions behind the story, but the print version had pictures included with it and I think they would have enhanced the story more. For once I think that if you’re wavering, go print not audio. Just my 2 cents.
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Lover of words and authors; absolute fan girl of books! Give me a good story, with characters I can love (and hate) and I'll follow you anywhere. Sing me a song of worlds I can dream of, and I'll listen forever.

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19 Responses to “Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs”

  1. Yes, Pushy – the pics in the book really made it! I enjoyed this – at least as much as I remember it since it’s been a couple of years. The pics totally creeped me out and really fleshed out the characters. Plus the backstory with the pics are super interesting. Some are authentic – just like the old circuses or vaudeville shows from way back when, and some are fabricated for the story. Either way – a lot of fun! I also enjoyed the whole time travel/wormhole idea… I even made my hubs read it!

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  2. I’ve heard about how the pictures really bring out the mood of the book, so I’m guessing reading it would have been a better experience for you, Pushy.
    I’ve wanted to read this one because it sounded so mysterious, but I never got around to it. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed them.
    Hmm… I wonder how I will feel about the orphans. I’m curious to know more about them though.
    Thanks for the fabulous review, Pushy! 🙂

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  3. I bought this book for my friend but haven’t read it yet. Se thought it looked interesting and I admit I thumbed through all the pics. It looks creepy as heck! Not sure if I could read it alone in bed at night haha.

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  4. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book, but I agree that the pictures would probably be what makes the book even better. For all that as a so-called adult I’m not supposed to want the pictures, I find that pictures often add that special something to a book. Thanks for sharing your review!

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  5. I really enjoyed this book. I picked it up on whim when it first came out because I liked the idea of incorporating old creepy photographs into telling a story. It was different and kind of cool. I don’t know that it was a really compelling read, but it was definitely interesting and I enjoyed it.

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  6. I read this back in 2011 and thought it was an interesting read. I loved the snarky humor and the vintage photos were really cool. I hated the cliffhanger, though and I am ticked the second book still isn’t out and it has once again been pushed out.

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  7. Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I forgot about this book. I bought it a while ago because I’ve heard such good things about it — and it sounds like you enjoyed the peculiar book as well — but I totally forgot I did that. Thank you for this review, now I’m going to go find where I put this book so I can read it. I hear Ransom Riggs is writing a sequel to it.

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  8. I listened to the audio book as well! I liked most of the voices – I think the only one that bugged me was err what’s her name the girl both Jacob and his grandfather had a thing for. It was a cool concept.

    Do you think those kids would really have stayed mentally that young for so long? I don’t think they would have.

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  9. Jay

    I was so excited to read this book and was let down 🙁 It did not keep my interest, even though it was the oddest book I’ve come across. It was confusing and I would not recommend it.

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