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

Storyline Rating : 4/5 stars

Series : Book 1 in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Brief Summary from Goodreads :

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 were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.


My Point of View :

I enjoyed reading the novel – surprisingly, since I thought it was paranormal horror genre. The last time I read a horror genre novel (years ago), I had nightmares and lose sleep in the process – (*sigh*) such vivid imaginations I have. Why would I think it’s horror genre, you ask me? Well….the cover is black and white with a creepy looking girl on the cover, you can’t blame me for thinking it’s about some girl haunting some place or maybe some “Conjuring”-like story. That….was until I saw the trailer to the movie. It was nothing like how I thought it would be, it seems like it’s about children with peculiar traits/abilities living on an island protected from monsters that can only be seen by this one boy, Jacob. I really have to stop judging books by its covers – a difficult habit to lose….seriously.

That said AND also finished the first book, it’s still not the kind of book I would normally go for – non-romance. However, I still gave four stars because I love those hauntingly peculiar pictures (apparently they’re real and unedited) that are included into the novel. It helps me imagine the characters better and understand what’s being describe. Even the tone of the writing sounds as hauntingly peculiar as the pictures (not something I can explain, you will just have to read the book if you are interested) – whether it’s intentional or not, it is still a feat.

A bit about the story – Jacob grew up listening to the fantastical tales his grandfather told. But as Jacob grew older, he begin to doubt the credibility of the stories – even when his grandfather showed him pictures. Until his grandfather left him a dying message with his last breath AND Jacob also saw something or rather a monster on the night his grandfather died. Nobody believed Jacob when he told them about the monster he saw, even his parents. Later, Jacob follow his grandfather’s dying message to an island, where he discovers that the tales his grandfather told was….indeed real and he have the same ability his grandfather had – the ability to see hollowgast, which is a type of monster that eats “peculiar” to gain a physical body.

Despite reading the book with no specific expectations in mind, the one thing that I did not expect was time-travelling. There is an alternate timeline to the island where Jacob went, where the same day is repeated again and again for years – a loop. The “peculiar” knows about the loop, but the “commons” repeatedly doing the same thing over and over again not knowing about the loop. I am still confused as to how time continues for Jacob’s original timeline. And I can’t say I understand why there is a loop in the first place, as the children will not age and not allowed to leave the loop for a long period of time or they will die. If they are going to die anyway, they should have died when they should. It’s kind of cruel to keep them from dying but “locked-up” in a “cage”.

At the end of the novel, Jacob and the other “peculiar” children somehow leave the loop to find sanctuary elsewhere under certain circumstances (read the novel to understand, no more spoilers). So, I think I’ll read the series just to see how it all ends. You should probably try reading the novel before watching the movie, as the novel may explain somethings clearer than the movie.
P.S. Miss Peregrine look so much more beautiful in the movie than the book. (*laughs*)

Favorite Quotes : None from this book.

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