Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

◆ Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
◆ Read June 2014
◆ English Edition
◆ 
❝  A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, 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. 
This book has been lurking on my to-read list, taunting me with its interesting cover. Now I've read it at last and it's everything I hoped it would be. As the title suggests, it's a peculiar book, but such an interesting read!

I'm just going to go ahead and immediately say what I loved best about Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: the design is so beautiful! Not only does it have a very attention-grabbing cover, the inside is filled with dozens of pictures of peculiar children and each new chapter starts with a vintage-like chapter page in dark colors. This is a book every reader should have on their bookshelf, if only to look and leaf through the beautiful pages.

Apart from that though, it really is an interesting plot. A young boy Jacob grows up with his grandfather's tales of the peculiar children he met in an orphanage during the war. Jacob has long since believe these stories to be lies, but an event encourages him to visit the orphanage for himself, only to find out all his grandfather's stories were real. There's a danger lurking though, and eventually Jacob has to decide where he belongs: in the real world, or with the peculiars. This entire concept is really unique to me and I loved every second of discovering all its aspects: the peculiar children, the loop, hollowgasts etc.

In addition to the plot in general, I really enjoyed reading about all of the characters, especially the peculiars. Each individual has a very interesting talent, but they also have very defined characteristics. They have a very distorted view of the world, especially the future in which Jacob lives in, which makes for some interesting remarks and attitudes.

Even though all these things lead me to love Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, there were some aspects of the novel that I did not like.

For one, despite the fact that the plot is so interesting, it was very predictable. I could from the beginning that Jacob would seek out the orphanage, that he would quickly feel affection towards Emma, that the loop would discontinue etc. It was still fun to read, but the predictability took away some of that.

Secondly, I had some serious issues with Jacob and Emma's relationship. Their scenes were cute, but I could not agree with it because of the fact looming over my head constantly that she'd had a relationship with Jacob's grandfather too. It's creepy in the wrong sense of the word and wrong on many levels. Jacob does feel repulsed by that thought for a moment and seems to realize that Emma only loves him because he looks so much like his grandfather. Yet he overcomes that repulsion quickly and wastes no time getting together with Emma. I can't forget about the precedent so this turn of plot annoyed me greatly.

All in all it's an amazing book though, worth the read and definitely worth buying!


4 stars because:
✓ Beautiful lay-out
✓ Unique plot
✓ Peculiar characters
✗ Too predictable
✗ Creepy relationship

 

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