Friday, October 12, 2012

REVIEW: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children  (#1)
Author: Ransom Riggs
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Acquired: Copy sent by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

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.


Main lesson learned after reading this book: Stop completely trusting reviews. I almost didn't read this book due to the abundance of negative reviews for it on Goodreads-but it was calling to me, in ways a book rarely calls to me, and I just couldn't ignore it. OH how worth it was to follow my gut-I LOVED this book. Yes, the synopsis is quite deceiving, but I think only for those who were expecting a horror. I tend to stay away from anything that scares me sleepless, so what I found within these pages was right up my alley.

The beginning started a little shaky (the tiny hiccup that stopped me from giving it 5 stars). I didn't grasp the closeness Jacob apparently felt to his grandfather. Jacob came off as more annoyed and impatient with him, as opposed to being his number 1 fan, which he admits to being later on in the book. I felt like I needed to have that idea instilled in my head right from the start in order to completely immerse myself in the story-his grandfather was the main reason for his actions.

However, aside from that, just thinking of this book makes me dizzy with love. I loved the concept, I loved the characters, and I LOVED the magic and intricacy that was the "loops"-a specific day in time that repeats itself. I loved Ransom Riggs' ability to blend his words into some of the most beautiful passages of descriptive scenery:

"A patchwork of sheep speckled fields spread across hills that rose away to meet a high ridge, where a wall of clouds stood like a cotton parapet. It was dramatic and beautiful, unlike any place I'd seen. I felt a little thrill of adventure as we chugged into the bay, as if I were sighting land where maps had noted only a sweep of undistinguished blue."

I even liked the villains: the 'wights' and 'hollowgasts.' I thought they were just scary and intimidating enough. Some reviews pointed out that they should have been more prominent throughout the middle part of the book, but I thought the lack of them there caused enough tension and anticipation to drive the story forward. I was on the edge of my seat, afraid they would pop up out of nowhere unexpectedly.

I thought the end was just enough of a cliffhanger for me, kind of Pirates of the Caribbean-esque. According to Goodreads, this was only book 1. I can hardly WAIT to see what book 2 has in store!

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