Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 10075
Unexpected - yet good
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
This book was peculiar. (I have found myself obsessed with using the title to describe the book. It is just so fun!) A good summer read, but a better fall read. Particularly a fall day in which it is raining and gloomy. Perfect. Not the best book for a hot sunny summer day - like the day I read it. Imperfect. Surprisingly though, much of the book takes place in a hot sunny late summer day. September 3, 1940. Imperfect. It should have been at the very least a breezy, cool autumn day. At least normal time was stormy/rainy/gloomy weather. Perfect.

I'll stop obsessing over weather. I do love weather though, it can make or break some books for me. I think more authors should describe the weather in more detail. Sometimes weather isn't even considered in books and we go through the book left to our own imaginative devices at how the weather is. A humid summer day, with storm clouds rolling in the kind of day that makes a person want to simultaneously stay outside and watch the clouds change and stay inside in the blessed air conditioning, that day slowly changes into a full out thunderstorm with thunder and lightning and high winds dark clouds making it seem much later than it actually is, that would be a perfect weather for a day in Beautiful Creatures. Or a fall day, bright and clear blue skies, crisply cold and startlingly alive with possibility, daring a person to explore the woods with trees changing leaves and as the darkness quickly comes build a bonfire and spend the evening outside staring at the stars, perfect weather for a day in The Thief. Like I said, weather can really change how I -at least- interact with a book. Not that books necessarily are any less good because they lack the weather description, but I believe more books need to include details about how the weather changes. It affects how a person may respond or react to a situation.

Anyway, now I will officially stop obsessing over weather.

I liked Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Everything was not as I expected but I still enjoyed it. It was creepy enough, though it never went all the way (for mE at least) and the plot was surprisingly faster than I thought it would be. I expected a plot similar to The Night Circus, but was actually given a plot more like Fablehaven. I also expected a focus on atmosphere - and the feel of the world - like the Night Circus, but was actually given an atmosphere more like The Replacement. I was expecting characters similar to The Night Circus, but got characters more like Leviathan crossed with Anna Dressed in Blood. Yet, while Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (here on out known as MPHfPC) felt similar to many different books it was also very much unlike any of the books I just listed.

So what was MPHfPC? For me it was essentially an adventure story, with some strange pictures thrown in to make things interesting and rather lovely descriptions. More than "rather lovely descriptions" actually. Through much of the book I was gushing over the detailed descriptions of places and spaces and people and objects. I loved that aspect of it. And for the most part the characters were fun, if some were underdeveloped it did not detract from the book as a whole for me at least. Jacob was a good - if slightly idiotic and slow - narrator to follow. Hopelessly naive and bumbling and at times cute. The plot kept me intrigued and moved along quickly and concisely, the description didn't overtake the plot and the book was kept a reasonable length because of it. For what the story was I believe the author balanced description and plot quite well. And left me interested in reading the sequel, without dying because of a cliffhanger.

So what didn't I like? The romance for one. It was just too weird that Emma loved Jacob's grandfather...and they fell in love so quickly, despite Jacob's initial repulsion and thinking that loving her was practically 'incest'. It just felt wrong and weird, and I didn't like it.

The paradoxes that could be created were never addressed. Not even by Miss Peregrine. Maybe it will happen in the second book? I hope so, because if not this will annoy me a lot. In 1940 Jacob is not yet born, but what will happen when he is born and grows up listening to his grandfather's stories...and then when his grandfather dies he goes to Cairnholm...yeah. Or what if he runs into himself. Or what if his grandfather runs into Jacob...etc. etc. etc. This could be a major problem.

At times I don't think the references to the photographs are done very well. He remembers in detail photograph's he glanced over once, recognized blurry faces, and referenced them out of the blue. It just felt like the author was trying too hard to connect the photos, when it might have been better to leave descriptions of some of them out of the plot line all together and just let the reader draw conclusions that "this" photograph describes "this" event. It would make some of the writing feel smoother.

I also wish that there had been more peculiar children, or that the ones were at Miss Peregrine's home had been more peculiar. Some of them were just strange, there peculiar traits perfectly useless and disgusting. Though perhaps that makes sense, not every peculiar trait could be useful or - I believe - the peculiar people would be living much different lives in many ways. However, I wish that the uselessness of some of the traits and the affect it had on those who held the trait had been covered more. The one time that stood out was Claire's during Jacob's first dinner at Miss Peregrine's Home. Or that the characters who had somewhat useless traits had been developed into the plot more instead of left hanging and useless.

All in all I enjoyed the book, it was a nice, quick read to get through and I am eager to read the sequel.

Soundtrack: Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0niLOyhCd5g

Premise - 4/5
Characters - 3/5
Writing Style - 4/5
Story – 4/5
Realistic(the plot made sense) - 2/5
Enjoyment – 4/5

Average Rating - 3.5
My Rating - 4
Cover – The cover is a picture taken from the book, and I think fits the desired feel of the book, but not necessarily the actual feel. I still think it fits the book well enough and don't think something else would have worked.
Good Points
Writing style
Premise
Plot
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