Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs• Hardcover: 352 p • Publisher: Quirk, 2011 • ISBN: 1594744769 • Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult • Recommended for: Anyone who enjoys creepy pictures with a plot to go with them. Quick Review: The pictures truly were the best part of this book. Which bugs me–pictures should complement a plot, not the other way around. The plot is definitely secondary to the pictures in this book. It’s all fun and games until you realize that you could have been reading a good book. Waste of time? The jury’s out on that one.
How I Got Here: As soon as I saw the cover of this book, I had to read it. So creepy! I figured it to be horror, or at least horror-related. I read this book for Dewey’s 24 hour Read-a-Thon.
The Book: Goodreads’ synopsis:
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.
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.
My Analysis and Critique: This book had great promise. Creepy photographs to go along with a quirky grandfather’s supposed tall tales. The grandfather gets murdered and so his grandson goes to Wales to investigate if there is any truth to the tall tales. I was intrigued– a creepy, potentially haunted wreck of an orphanage, bogs as portals to other worlds, mysterious, gory livestock killings all over the island. Then the protagonist finds the truth behind his grandfather’s stories and…it’s…boring.
At first it was interesting, but then I just stopped caring. There’s all this creepy build-up with wonderful descriptions of the island and menacing paranormal bad guys. Then, it ends up being hanging with the Lost Boys of Peter Pan. That is, if the Lost Boys were potential members of the X-Men. It ended up being that I didn’t care about the characters and I felt disconnected from the plot. The last chapters felt like a chore–I caught myself scanning the paragraphs rather than reading them. It’s apparent that there will be a sequel that I have absolutely zero interest in.
Overall, I blame Quirk. They published this book, as well as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Their books seem to be based solely upon kitsch and they are riding the kitsch all the way to the bank. They publish some fabulous coffee table books and gag gift books, but their novels are seriously lacking. Their plots are weak, but that’s okay because people buy their books for the “Quirk”y pictures. The pictures truly were the best part of this book. Which bugs me–pictures should complement a plot, not the other way around. The plot is definitely secondary to the pictures in this book. It’s all fun and games until you realize that you could have been reading a good book. Waste of time? The jury’s out on that one.
- Goodreads reviews