Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

The latest book I’ve read is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The movie coming out prompted my book club to pick it as our first book this school year. I haven’t watched the movie so I have no idea how similar or dissimilar they are. I, however, did find out after buying this book that it is the first in a trilogy.

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The book follows protagonist Jacob, a teenage boy. He grew up being very close to his grandfather who would tell him stories about monsters. As he grew older, he stopped believing in his grandfather’s stories because there was no way they could be true so he chalked it up to make believe stories adults tell to children for entertainment. It didn’t help that his grandfather was getting older and becoming “crazier”. When he finds his grandfather dying, he thinks he sees something in the woods but doesn’t know what or if he’s just seeing things. This leads him on an adventure to Wales to find out more about his grandfather’s past and leads him to Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children. There he discovers so much he didn’t know about his grandfather as well as the world such as monsters do exist and so do time loops.

I thought the book was interesting but it didn’t have me dying to find out what would happen next. In fact, I would put the book down for days or a week or two at a time before picking it back up again. The book has a great premise and some really cool ideas but it just couldn’t capture my undivided attention.

I see this book in two totally different ways. On the one hand I would say it’s for a younger audience than the typical YA novel – like middle school age because some of the dialogue is not very sophisticated. But then, on the other hand some of the concepts (such as time loops) in the novel are pretty intriguing and advanced that it would prompt me to recommend it for high school. It’s interesting and maybe a little weird that the language in the book can be more low level yet have content that is much higher level.

I read that the author, Ransom Riggs, was inspired to write this novel through old photographs he found at garage sales and flea markets, etc. The kind of old pictures that look a little weird – think old photos from freak shows and creepy Santa pictures from decades ago. He sprinkled in photos throughout the novel and I’m not going to lie, some of them really creeped me out! If I was reading before bed, I would make a point to not look at the photos!

Overall, I thought the book was okay. Knowing that there are 2 more books makes the novel make more sense because this novel is essentially setting up the story. I’m not dying to read the next two books, but I do still want to know what happens to the characters so I plan to read the rest of the trilogy at some point, but probably not anytime too soon. There are a few other things I want to read first. When I do read them I will write and let you know what I think and if my thoughts on the series has changed!

I’ll leave this post with a quote I really liked from this novel.

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.”

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