Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1)
Author: Ransom Riggs
Publisher: Quirk Books
Publication Date: 7 June 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Supernatural
16-year-old Jacob has discovered the ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores the abandoned building, he realises that the children were more than just peculiar – they may have been dangerous. And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive.
Every once in a while I come across a gem of a book that has everything I could possibly want: an interesting concept, fun characters, a gripping story, and a unique world. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has become one of my favourite books, because it ticked every one of those boxes. This is without a doubt one of the most original stories I have ever read. The characters, concept, and more made this an all-round amazing story. And while there is one aspect that made this novel slightly disappointing, it wasn’t enough to stop me from giving this book a 5/5 star rating!
What I loved most about this novel was the characters. They were well-crafted and felt like they were straight out of a dark and twisted (but awesome) fairytale. When it came to Jacob and his grandfather, they portrayed a genuine relationship between grandfather and grandson, setting the tone for the rest of the book, making it feel like quite a sentimental story. The peculiar children themselves, especially Emma and Enoch (my personal favourites), were also amazing. I love that Riggs didn’t borrow elements from other fantastical worlds (eg. witches, vampires). Instead, Riggs created his own set of fantastical “creatures”. The various peculiarities of the children make them stand out and I enjoyed reading about them.
Another great part of the novel was its concept. This goes hand-in-hand with the peculiar children as characters, because, again, Riggs has reinvented a world with time travel, monsters, and more, in an original way. He’s really made these elements his own in this novel, making it exciting to read because you are constantly learning something new. I love the idea of the time loops and how they are the force that separates the peculiar world from our own. Often in fantasy or supernatural novels, the worlds feel very similar to one another. They borrow elements from each other and don’t feel very unique. But the historical touch that Riggs has added to his concept of the peculiar world with the “time loop” idea really makes it stand out.
But I think what makes Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children the novel that it is are the photographs. The idea of bringing photographs together and building a story from them seems simple, but how often is the end result beautiful and not cringe-worthy? The photographs added a nostalgic touch to the novel, and they motivated me to continue reading just so that I could see more. The fact that they are authentic and untouched creeped me out a little, but it also made them even more interesting to look at. Whilst some of the photographs felt unnecessary, I really enjoyed the experience of reading the novel with the photographs added in, because they really emphasise the story’s tone and atmosphere.
However, I had one minor problem with this novel. The pacing of a novel, especially one where you expect there to be a lot of conflict and action, usually matches what is happening. Usually, when there are action scenes, shocking moments, etc., the pacing feels much quicker and more gripping. But this novel maintained a fairly slow pace throughout the story. The action scenes felt just as slow-paced as the rest of the novel, and even the ending scene, which tends to be the most gripping and action-packed part of any novel, fell short of being as exciting as I hoped it would be. Regardless, the actual ending of the story was good enough for me to still want to read Hollow City!
It’s really difficult to determine what makes the perfect book, but Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children really came close for me. The characters are wonderful, the concept of the story is original, and the photographs really bring all of those elements together quite well. But the pacing of the story fell a bit flat and could have made this an even more exciting read. Overall, I love pretty much everything about this novel and can’t wait to move onto Hollow City!
HAVE YOU READ MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN? WHAT DID YOU THINK? COMMENT DOWN BELOW AND LET’S TALK ABOUT IT! 🙂