Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.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 w...

Title:Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Reviews

  • Giselle

    This book started with a bang. It was very creepy, exciting and really intriguing, but it all went downhill from there. Once the mystery around the house was explained - which was fairly early and without any nuance - it became a very boring and almost childish story, which I didn't expect at all.

    One thing I can say I enjoyed was the photographs- they're scattered throughout the book, all black and white and remarkably creepy. They add a nice eery touch to the story and gives it a really unique

    This book started with a bang. It was very creepy, exciting and really intriguing, but it all went downhill from there. Once the mystery around the house was explained - which was fairly early and without any nuance - it became a very boring and almost childish story, which I didn't expect at all.

    One thing I can say I enjoyed was the photographs- they're scattered throughout the book, all black and white and remarkably creepy. They add a nice eery touch to the story and gives it a really unique flair.

    The plot is what I didn't like. After its strong beginning, it fizzles into this bland and predictably dull tale. Don't get me wrong. It's very unique and unconventional so I can see it's appeal. It's also well written and does stem from great creativity, but I found it lacked too much detail and sophistication. The characters, too, fell flat and as a few things went unexplained we were left with scattered holes in the plot.

    This book is marketed for young adults but definitely feels more juvenile, like a child's fairy tale, which is not what I expected hence leaving me feeling a bit underwhelmed.

  • Tatiana

    Let me tell you a secret,

    is actually:

    (I don't think what follows is a spoiler, but am marking it as such anyway as some people think it is.)

    Rarely do I come across a book that is as far from what it aspires

    Let me tell you a secret,

    is actually:

    (I don't think what follows is a spoiler, but am marking it as such anyway as some people think it is.)

    Rarely do I come across a book that is as far from what it aspires to be as this one. You might expect

    to be a mysterious, deranged, quirky, horror-filled tale, but it just isn't. The novel was clearly written around a collection of peculiar and unsettling photos, but the narrative never reaches the level of creepy of the visual materials it relies on.

    Instead, it is a mediocre at best book that should have had 10-year old as its characters instead of teens. And instead of artsy, angst-filled photographs, it should have had more appropriate pencil illustrations

    to go with its

    plot.

    You don't believe me it's bad? Try reading the book or, better yet, listen to the audio version of it without the visual aid of the photos. See what you think of the writing then.

    The photos are worth looking at though.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Felicia

    This is kinda like uh...a hipster Harry Potter. Not a bad thing! I liked it a lot. There are tons of cool vintage photographs that lend the air of a turn of the century freak show. I loved the world and the vibe though.

  • Crystal Starr Light

    Hi! I'm tired of defending myself for what I wrote on this

    book. So I thought I would do a favor to all you super-fans out there that want to read a negative review of their favorite book (WHY??!?), and just hide it with spoiler tags. So now, if Goodreads hasn't goofed, you can just see this review and move on. Focus on reading books that you like instead of hunting down negative reviews for your favorite book. Or writing a review why you liked this book. You know, the reason we are all o

    Hi! I'm tired of defending myself for what I wrote on this

    book. So I thought I would do a favor to all you super-fans out there that want to read a negative review of their favorite book (WHY??!?), and just hide it with spoiler tags. So now, if Goodreads hasn't goofed, you can just see this review and move on. Focus on reading books that you like instead of hunting down negative reviews for your favorite book. Or writing a review why you liked this book. You know, the reason we are all on Goodreads in the first place.

  • Wigs

    I can't even.

    The poor execution of a good idea is just so upsetting to me.

    The main problem with this book is that the entire time I was reading I felt like a high school English teacher grading a student's paper, when in fact I am not a teacher or anyone who majored in English or writing. If I am simply a normal reader thinking this, then who the hell was working as the editor?? Did they not bring up these issues? Clearly the several people the author listed in his acknowledgements couldn't have

    I can't even.

    The poor execution of a good idea is just so upsetting to me.

    The main problem with this book is that the entire time I was reading I felt like a high school English teacher grading a student's paper, when in fact I am not a teacher or anyone who majored in English or writing. If I am simply a normal reader thinking this, then who the hell was working as the editor?? Did they not bring up these issues? Clearly the several people the author listed in his acknowledgements couldn't have been reading closely enough. The text was just screaming "amateur writer, please help."

    What surprises me is that the author's background is in film. Being that I myself have a background in film, I can tell you that the one thing that is stressed is making conclusive ideas. Do not bring up something that has no relevance to the rest of the story (because obviously in film, every second is costly, whereas of course in Microsoft Word there is so consequence to typing more characters.) What bothered me most was that the author seemed unaware about how to properly use the gimmick of his entire book: the old photographs, some photoshopped, some vintage original, to illustrate the world. He used several of these pictures simply to use them, and I find out later that they in fact contribute nothing to the story.

    That's right. There's no reason at all for them to be there.

    Often it seems the author was thinking "oh that's a cool picture, let's throw it in," when in fact there's no connection that it's in there, besides the narrator finding the picture. Here I'm speaking of the several pictures of Peculiars that we never meet, the clown twins (who we have TWO different photographs of at different times in the book, as if they have significance), the dog headed boy, the girl in the jar, the girl with the reflection....I could go on. Why include these photographs if they are not involved in your story? You may think they look cool, author, but it weakens your story when you make no mention of them in your story after you show their pictures. At least make up some sort of subplot about how they've been disappearing or leaving, as to why you've brought up characters simply for putting in pictures. The author states at the end of the book there are only ten children, so it's not like they're there and just not talking. So if there are only ten children, then the fact that all these pictures in there of much more than ten children makes it confusing and annoying. The lack of cohesion was just destroying my brain.

    Another thing that weakened the picture gimmick is that the multiple pictures of Emma were clearly different people and it bothered me that the author pretended that wasn't noticeable. The first picture of Emma was more about age 10/11 looking, and the fact that her age, or a description to indicate she's more mature, isn't stated til two chapters after we see that picture completely derailed me and what the mental picture of her was supposed to be. Then the comparison of the picture of potato peeling Emma with the last picture of Emma were not possibly believable as being the same person. I may sound picky, but if your book is centered around this idea, then make your concept strong! Horace as well, the two pictures we have of Horace aren't possibly the same person, and again, an issue with using about a 9 year old kid for his first picture and then a 17 year old boy's picture for the next. Consistency is important, and if he cared I felt he would have dug deeper into finding better photos for his characters instead of just saying "oh this might work." (And I'm not sure which ones were photoshopped and which ones weren't, but the perspective of Victor's bed in the mirror of that one picture is absolutely impossible, and it bothered me to no end looking at it)

    Aside from the fact that the entire book felt like it was created simply to show some 'cool vintage photos,' I felt that the author didn't have a full grip on his own ideas. He had good ideas, as complicated as they are. Nice settings, I enjoyed some of the scenes, like the glowfish, and Enoch's big moment, but the writing itself was rather weak. The thing that bothered me quite a lot for the first 2/3 of the book is that the reader is too smart for the book. This book is clearly meant for older teens, due to the language I couldn't say it's for anybody younger, and I know older teens are clearly capable of putting together the information presented and figuring out what's going on. However the narrator does not, and the reader ends up waiting several more pages each time for the narrator to figure it out and then state importantly that he's figured out what's going on as if it's a revelation when we've been waiting for the obvious for a while. Luckily though, at the end there were at least some things I did not see coming, which felt a bit better. However writing-wise I also found some general writing 'don'ts' that screamed out at me, like lack of pronoun clarification, use of cliche phrases ("face the music"), and using the same phrase over and over in only a few pages time ("torn to pieces").

    Additionally, the side story about Marcie (the one with the photo of the girl crouching waiting for the school bus) clearly showed me that the author didn't have a good idea of his own concept. I don't want to spoil the basic premise of how the world works, but if you think about it there's no way she could have been that age waiting for a school bus if you applied the rules of the world to her.

    And lastly, the way the book ended....is there supposed to be a followup book? I didn't believe so, but it's so unfinished I'm not sure. Perhaps he was going for a bit of both, like 'if this book does well I'll write another, but if not it doesn't matter.' I understand the reasoning of why it ended how it does: because of the way things turned out, the narrator is now in charge and has plenty of things to do with his life. But there's no conclusion whatsoever. The questions that such openness leaves hanging in the air just adds to the already mounting stack of issues with weak writing.

    Overall, the book had some good ideas, and the gimmick with the photos would have been nice, however the ideas aren't fully formed. With lots of editing and reinforcement of concept, this could have been a good book. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the people working with him on this book didn't bring up or didn't force the author to take a longer look at his numerous weak points, we end up with a book that feels flattened by the author's inability to form and communicate ideas effectively.

    This book is, sadly, a mess.

  • Khanh (the meanie)

    This is just one of those books whose hype I don't really "get." I read this years ago when it was newly released, and was

    . Upon my second reading of this book, my opinion remains unchanged.

    A few creepy pictures and some weird people do not a horror tale make, and honestly, that's all the story is. It's a book about stories, and too much attention is focused on the telling of those stories instead of developing the actual plot. As a result, the tale fell flat for me. It wa

    This is just one of those books whose hype I don't really "get." I read this years ago when it was newly released, and was

    . Upon my second reading of this book, my opinion remains unchanged.

    A few creepy pictures and some weird people do not a horror tale make, and honestly, that's all the story is. It's a book about stories, and too much attention is focused on the telling of those stories instead of developing the actual plot. As a result, the tale fell flat for me. It was too distracting, and it was nowhere as creepy or weird as it touts itself to be.

    There is a severe lack of character development. The children within the book are presented to us in a way one would display a circus freak. They are defined by their eccentricities, and they are without much personality of their own. In that sense, they really are no better than a circus freak, the way they are shown to us; there is little empathy within the reader for them, they are sidelined.

    Furthermore, it is slow. The book focuses too much on its own little meta-ness that it just lost me. I had grown bored by the middle of the book, and the latter was truly a pain to suffer through.

    I just don't get it. It wasn't scary. It was slow and boring. There's some interesting pictures, but come on, we have Google Image Search for a reason, as well as Reddit (/r/creepypasta!). For me, this book was a waste of my time and effort.

  • Rick Riordan

    This book has been getting a lot of well-deserved attention for the way it incorporates unusual antique photographs into the narrative. The premise: Jacob grew up on his grandfather’s stories about his own childhood during World War II. Supposedly his grandfather escaped the Holocaust by taking refuge on a Welsh island, at an orphanage that catered to children with strange powers. The grandfather even has photos to prove it. As Jacob grows up, he loses faith in his grandfather, and assumes the s

    This book has been getting a lot of well-deserved attention for the way it incorporates unusual antique photographs into the narrative. The premise: Jacob grew up on his grandfather’s stories about his own childhood during World War II. Supposedly his grandfather escaped the Holocaust by taking refuge on a Welsh island, at an orphanage that catered to children with strange powers. The grandfather even has photos to prove it. As Jacob grows up, he loses faith in his grandfather, and assumes the stories were fantasies, the photos faked. But when a horrible, inexplicable tragedy occurs, Jacob has to reevaluate. Could those stories have been real? Could this island refuge still exist so many years later? And is it possible his grandfather’s paranoia about ‘monsters’ wasn’t just paranoia? Even without the photos, this would be a gripping story, but the photos add an irresistible element of mystery. The first-person narration is authentic, funny, and poignant. I’m looking forward to the next volume in the series!

  • Emily May

    When I was a child, one of my favourite things to do was to look through pictures in books - children's picture books, colouring books, etc. - and tell stories in my mind with them.

    For example, a picture of two children holding hands would start this story of friendship, which would then grow with every picture, introducing grander stories and dragons, unicorns, whatever the pictures gave me.

    This story, for me, feels completely disj

    When I was a child, one of my favourite things to do was to look through pictures in books - children's picture books, colouring books, etc. - and tell stories in my mind with them.

    For example, a picture of two children holding hands would start this story of friendship, which would then grow with every picture, introducing grander stories and dragons, unicorns, whatever the pictures gave me.

    This story, for me, feels completely disjointed and messy. It is evidently framed around this marvelous collection of creepy, vintage photographs, but the story is not smoothly incorporated. It reads like you can imagine the author viewing each image and trying to find a way to fit it into the plot of the book.

    And if you're thinking of reading this as a creepy book for Halloween -

    . The narrative never delivers an atmosphere deserving of the photography. It's all a bit bland and never becomes anything more than a standard paranormal tale about teens/children with special powers.

    Additionally, the narrator - Jacob - is simply not a character I like to read about. I hate it when rich, privileged narrators constantly wallow in their own self-pity for no good reason. Here, he says:

    What??? He is from a ridiculously wealthy family and has two loving parents and lives in a huge house. He did have a part time job, but he took it for granted and spent his time showing up late and deliberately shelving things wrong because he wanted to be fired. He also did have a best friend, but his friend not surprisingly walked out after this exchange:

    I did not like him at all. Some unlikable characters are unlikable in a complex and interesting way, but Jacob is just a spoiled, entitled and selfish brat.

    Add that to the simplistic, yet messy, storytelling and this book was completely disappointing. I'm also tempted to say it "reads like a middle grade" book, but that would be an insult to some of the fantastic middle grade books I've read recently. It just reads like a not very good book.

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  • Christine Riccio

    Really enjoyed this!! Here's my booktalk!

    Can't wait to read Hollow City =D

  • Zoë

    Edit on January 9th, 2016: I haven't thought about this book since I read it in July and I really have no interest anymore in reading the rest of the series.

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    It definitely was a slow moving book, but the plot really held my attention and I loved the use of the pictures. Sometimes I felt like he tried a little too hard to make the pictures perfectly fit into the story which made it a little awkward to read, but they still made the reading experience more interesting. The book really rea

    Edit on January 9th, 2016: I haven't thought about this book since I read it in July and I really have no interest anymore in reading the rest of the series.

    ----------

    It definitely was a slow moving book, but the plot really held my attention and I loved the use of the pictures. Sometimes I felt like he tried a little too hard to make the pictures perfectly fit into the story which made it a little awkward to read, but they still made the reading experience more interesting. The book really read like a movie and I can't wait to see how Tim Burton's interpretation is going to turn out!


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