Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenHot
Once again, I am sitting here laughing at the difference between actuality and expectation. For a book that’s highly hyped, I had no idea what Miss Peregrine’s was about. Based on the cover, I was expecting a horror novel about a house full of creepy children who kill innocent travelers or something. Spoiler: this is not what the book is about in the least. In fact, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is something of a fairy tale, something of an allegory, and something real and powerful all at once.
Miss Peregrine’s opens in the real world with an ordinary boy, Jacob, and the stories his grandfather would tell them. With the innocence and imagination of youth, Jacob believed his grandather’s tales, but, as he grew, Jacob came to understand them as his grandfather’s metaphorical way of understanding the events of WWII. In an undertaking somewhat reminiscent of Art Spiegelmann’s Maus, Jacob’s grandfather retells the war in the guise of supernatural beings, rather than mice and cats. Such an endeavor makes the darkness and the fear easier to handle, putting some distance between oneself and the truth in a way that opens up the mind for greater understanding.
Following a family tragedy, Jacob is forced into counseling and finally sets off on a journey to Wales, accompanied by his father, working on the latest in a string of literary projects doomed to fail. In order to face his future and overcome his mental health issues, Jacob feels that he must confront his grandfather’s past. He wants to visit the home to which his grandfather went as a refugee, on a small island off the coast of Wales.
From this point on, the novel changes, becoming more fantastical, but always retaining a real sense of history and realism. One of my recent loves in fiction is magical realism, which Ransom Riggs does spectacularly here. Often, magical realism is the slightest touch, but, here, Riggs achieves that seem feel while building out a much larger fantasy element. There’s time traveling, wights, nightmare creatures, women who can change into birds, and children with powers. Somehow, though, it all feels so real, as though, hidden just beyond our site for their own protection, these people and abilities really do exist.
On top of that, the writing’s beautiful and complex. Though marketed more to young adults, Riggs’ novel is very Literary, with the capitalized L quite necessary. Miss Peregrine’s reminded me of so many things, but not in a repetitive or lazy way. It’s more like Riggs pulled elements together to form something new, while using popular stories to help achieve the proper tone and sense of familiarity that would play into the realism. For example, Riggs actually includes a couple of overt references to Peter Pan, which actually fits Miss Peregrine’s fairly well. A group of children in a land out of time fighting back a menace, and the child who comes from the normal world into this magical one. Of course, in Miss Peregrine’s, Jacob would be Wendy, which is good fun.
What Left Me Wanting More:
Though I didn’t feel much of an emotional connection, I didn’t mind that too much. In some ways, that freed me up to better appreciate the technical beauty of Riggs’ novel. I do, however, have one qualm, which is the weirdness of the romantic element.
The Final Verdict:
If you love beautifully-written stories or magical realism or dark fantastical tales, then you simply must read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It is not, however, a horror novel or particularly fast-paced. This one’s for the mood, the world building, and deep thoughts.
Jacob's grandfather has always told him stories about the people in the strange photographs he owns, and after a while, Jacob realizes that these stories are only fairy tales and that his grandfather's condition may be getting worse. One day, he gets a panicked call and later finds his grandfather dead, after seeing a horrifying creature that his friend claims wasn't there. He and his therapist come to the conclusion that the creature isn't real, that Jacob is just dealing with a lot of stress, and that it would be a good idea to go to the island where his grandfather sought refuge in the war.
He travels with his father, hoping to find out more about his grandfather's past. When he comes across a ruined house and a small, rather unlikable village, he soon learns that things are not as they seem, and that the strange people in his grandfather's photographs may still be alive after all these years.
I couldn't resist buying this book when I found it at the thrift shop. With the film coming out and seemingly everybody talking about it, I had to know if it lived up to the hype. I can't say that I share the same enthusiasm as many fans of the series, but it was very enjoyable, to say the least.
This book didn't blow me away, it didn't amaze me and it didn't seem entirely original. However, the mix of time travel, supernatural or paranormal powers and some sort of evil monster coming after the characters made this book an intriguing read.
There were several smaller twists throughout the book, however my favourite one took place near the end and I definitely did not see it coming! Those are my favourite kind of twists, and I was very satisfied with it.
However, I feel that the pacing of the events was a bit uneven and disappointing. The start of the book seemed to fly by very quickly, then the middle dragged on for a bit, and finally the ending flew by just as the start had. It took me quite a while to get through the middle portion, and at times I felt bored.
I honestly think that the best part of this book is the photographs. They're weird and creepy! They added a lot to the story, and I liked how they were integrated into the book and writing itself. They weren't just random photos, they tied into the story. I spent a lot of time looking them over, sometimes wondering if clues were hidden within the photos. I wish there had been more photos!
While this book was enjoyable, I don't think that it lived up to the hype. I liked the story and the pictures were a fun addition, but I'm not sure if I will read the sequel.
I recommend this to those who like time travel stories and YA books with creatures and people with strange powers.
I liked the twist at the end
As a child Jacob’s grandfather Abe, a World War II veteran and Jewish refugee, would tell him stories from his own childhood featuring flesh eating monsters and children with the most peculiar abilities.
Jacob as he grows older becomes sceptical of his grandfather’s childhood tales. Even though Abe shows his grandson a cigar box fill of old photographs as proof Jacob challenges Abe that his stories are fiction. Abe chooses never to mention the stories again.
After Jacob finds his grandfather dying with chest wounds from a mysterious attack, Abe tells Jacob ‘Find the bird. In the loop. On the other side of the old man’s grave. September third, 1940’. What does this mysterious message mean? Even more did Jacob really just glimpse one of the monsters from his grandfather’s stories in the moonlight?
Following his grandfather’s death Jacob finds a letter postmarked from Cairnholm Island addressed to his grandfather from Ms Alma LeFay Peregrine.
Jacob tries to convince his parents to let him go to Cairnholm Island, off the coast of Wales, for the summer. Jacob’s psychiatrist Dr. Golan approves of the idea, so Jacob and his father set off. While there Jacob explores the island and searches for answers about his grandfather’s past.
Riggs initially envisioned his debut novel as a picture book. He was encouraged by his editor to use the photographs to guide the narrative and it really works. Each picture is perfectly selected and adds to the story.
The vintage black and white photographs are quirky photos the author collected and from the collection of other collectors.
The novel has been followed by two sequels Hollow City (2014) and Library of Souls (2015).
A film version directed by Tim Burton opened last month. It includes a stellar cast including Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Chris O’Dowd, Alison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp, Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson.
I did really want to like this book. I love creepy pictures and most of all I love when the creepiness is coupled with a Victorian style. Thinking back about Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar children I would have loved to enjoy it even more now that I know that Tim Burton is working on a movie about it. If there's something I love more than Victorian eerie pictures that something is undoubtedly Tim Burton. Still I prefer that I didn't know this at the time I read the book. I would have probably been biased. Needless to say I haven't enjoyed this book as much as I hoped to.
The story follows Jacob, a boy who's spent his early years idolizing his grandfather, a man full of stories to tell about his past, stories about wars, an orphanage and peculiar children who could turn invisible or who had an outworldly physical force. When Jacob is 15 he witnesses his grandfather's murder and the man's last words refer to some kind of monster who had been chasing him for ever. When Jacob starts experiencing panic attacks he is adviced by his psychiatrist to take a trip to Wales, the place in which his granpa had lived during his youth and from which all of his stories came from. This is supposed to be a way to give sense to his relative's last words. Now, Jacob, he is the usual uninteresting boy with the uninteresting life, he's got few friends and no life plans. Later on he discovers he's got da powah.
"I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was."
I'm not that bothered with tropes when they're part of a greater story but once in Wales the story seems not to go anywhere. Jacob meets the peculiars that could have been far more insteresting if they had been given a backstory and if they hadn't just been an amusing background. The romance was just cringeworthy. Miss Peregrine was the biggest disappointment of them all. They cast Eva Green to portray her in the movie and that was actually what I had in mind for her character (she also looked, in my head, just like Aunt Josephine from a Series of Unfortunate Events!). I thought she was going to be cool, tough, smart and mysterious, a female Dumbledore (don't ask, my mind does connections that not even I can explain!) but, in the end she had no peculiar traits and was just another character added to the pile. The story had all the elements to become a new favourite of mine but eventually just fell flat.
I will probably keep reading the series but I'll do it solely because of the upcoming movie. If it hadn't been a thing I probably would have given up with these books which is a shame, I've seen the author in few videos on Youtube and he seems such a nice and funny guy but this book just wasn't my jam.
If you aren't comparing it to X-Men.
I love supernatural books! I was excited to read it just because it had that very element of weird.
Now, the strange pictures, (that weren't actually creepy, just weird as shit. The story didn't really need them to accomplish this mysterious thing it was going for.
It got slow at times, but I cant say I didn't enjoy the story.
Overall, a good read. Something a bit different.(
I was actually reading this late at night, in bed (it was close to midnight because I had started it that evening and could not put it down). Yeah, you might say that wasn't the best idea. Those wrights certainly were scary, with their white eyes *shudder*.
I was totally on the edge of my seat (well actually I was in bed but you know what I mean) for the whole book and actually jumped whenever a scary thing happened. This is a completely amazing, original horror story.
I loved how the pictures worked perfectly with the story and added just another mysterious, creepy factor to this book.
Everyone must read this book. It is creepy and mysterious. AMAZING! I cannot wait for the second book, because, I mean at the end they were (*SPOILER*) being chased by evil people, their home was blown up, they might dissolve into dust at some point, and their guardian was currently a falcon. (*END OF SPOILER*)
Talk about making you want to find out what happened! EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK!!
This book reflects its cover, a creepy sort of style that follows the storyline the whole way through. I must say I was a bit frightened when Jacob was exploring the wreck of the house, I thought something deadly would jump out and bite him. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire story, and this book is truly unlike any horror books that I have read. It is a true original.
I don't think that the story should of been written in past tense, because it automatically gave you the idea that Jacob survives. It would of been more tensional if it was in present tense. The author must of taken ages to locate all these amazing photos, and even longer to incorporate it in the story. This book took effort, and it truly paid off.
I reckon that everyone must read this book. It has that creep factor, mysteries, the creatures out of nightmares and some seriously awesome powers. This book is way up there on the 'best-books-ever' list, and it surely will be on yours if you give this book a chance. It will blow your mind.