My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Publication Date: June 7th 2011
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Parnormal, World War II, Family, Photography
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.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children is no horror story.
This is precisely why I decided to give this book a go. Horror is my never-go-near genre. It represents for me what Lord Voldemort represents for the students of Hogwarts: infinite nightmares. So when I read that this bestseller steers clear of the nightmarish stuff, I couldn’t have been happier.
No creepy, eerie, ominous atmosphere. When you do sense a bit of that, 1- it never lasts too long and 2- it feels so forced that it ends up being dull. I’m sorry to say this, but Ransom Riggs should probably work on his skills for terrifying readers, if that’s what he wants to do to us.
But I was a happy girl reading this and being completely unaffected by the peculiar children. Sure, they’re sometimes performing gruesome acts, but very rarely. They’re more like superhumans than terrors meant to crawl into your mind and take possession of your thoughts.
I actually felt pity for them. They are sentenced by Miss Peregrine to forever relive the same day – in a loop of time. Their bodies don’t age, even if psychologically they feel older and more mature. They are eighty-year-olds with the body of children. Yet, they listen to their headmistress and don’t dare disrupt that loop of time created to shelter them from the dangerous outside world, during World War II.
But then Jacob comes along, from the future, and entices them with the wonders of the 21st Century. But who is this young man who is able to time-travel and whose grandfather died under mysterious circumstances? Jacob claims that there’s nothing peculiar about him, but what if there is?
It all probably looks very intriguing and unlike any young adult book you’ve read before. But it isn’t. It’s sluggish, the mystery doesn’t last for long, the romance is cringe-worthy and there is absolutely no defined plot. Jacob goes from a place to the other – from A to B and B to A – and it’s very repetitive.
I did like the pictures, which are apparently real ones and barely modified. I thought they illustrated the description of the characters well and gave you something to think about. Aside from that, Jacob is a decent protagonist and his narration amusing enough.
I wouldn’t say that it’s boring per se, but it’s definitely not what I expected from a bestseller with such a curious premise.
I will read the sequel, because the ending takes a new turn that surprised me.
Underwhelming, but not unreadable.