Title: Miss Peregrine's Home For Reculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Release Date: June 7th 2011
Published By: Quirk Books
Taken From Goodreads.
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And 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 who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather—were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate 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.
I've sat on this review for a little while because I wanted to let Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children sink in. And, if I'm honest, I wanted time to make up my mind about this book.
It didn't work. Letting my mind breathe like a nice red wine has not allowed the flavour of my thoughts to mellow and mature. This book was like wine in a lot of ways, I guess. There was subtlety, complexity and richness. Furthermore, it was a book I could only sip. I'm usually all for swallowing books whole but I couldn't gulp at this one.
And then there was the slight... bitterness. This book left a bad after-taste with me when I was done. Just like when you indulge in a few too many glasses of red, when I was finished with this I felt the face-palm of regret. I couldn't figure out why until I sat down to put my thoughts in line about this book.
I regretted the fact that I didn't love the book as much as I had so desperately wanted to. Ransom Riggs' writing is interesting and I loved the premise of the story. Unfortunately, the only character I liked was the protagonist, Jacob. Everyone else in the story either got on my nerves a little bit or drove me completely nutty with annoyance! In some cases this annoyance came from the characters' qualities. The love interest, for example, (whose name escapes me...) was really irritating! Take that and couple it with the almost incestuous fact that she was Jacob's grandfather's ex (I know, right?) and this was a romance that just didn't float my boat.
So many of the characters had such potential. There was one creepy li'l kid who could bring clay golems to life by giving them the hearts of living creatures. He was one of the few characters who had a bit more going on other than his peculiarity. In most other cases the peculiar children's little quirks were all they had. Their personalities weren't developed and there just wasn't much beneath the surface.
The pictures were disturbing, even more so after the Afterword at the back of the book. These have me curious about Riggs' up and coming work, Talking Pictures. Other than these visual interludes, I found little else about the book creepy.
So...where do I stand? Now that it comes to thinking about how many little stars to post below, I must admit that I'm a little bit stumped. This book has worked its way under my skin in spite of my disappointment with the book as a whole. I still want to read the sequel because there really is so much potential to this premise and these characters. I'm going to give this one a 3 star rating. A cynical little voice in my head is muttering that it should be lower. A bright little voice is chirping that it should be higher. Screw them both, I'm playing it safe and sitting my butt firmly on the fence!