Wow, that’s a long title! Ransom Riggs’s debut novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has been getting a ton of buzz lately because 1. it’s just been made into a movie with an all-star cast (Allison Janney and Asa Butterfield in a Tim Burton move – yes please!) and 2. the final installment of the trilogy was just released. According to my Amazon account, I purchased this book just over a year ago. Which is how long it’s been collecting dust until I finally picked it up a few weeks ago. Hey, at least I read it, right?
After a horrific family tragedy, sixteen-year-old Jacob sets of of on adventure to a remote Welsh island. There, he discovers the ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, where his grandfather took refuge during World War II. But instead of the grand home his grandfather described, Jacob finds an empty, rotting shell of a house. And, according to the islanders, everyone in the house died after being hit by a German bomb. But Jacob soon learns that local legend is not the whole truth, and his grandfather’s death may not have been all it seemed. It’s just possible that Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children are alive somewhere on the island, with a very good reason for keeping hidden. And perhaps the stories about humans with special abilities and terrifying monsters that Jacob’s grandfather told him years ago are actually true.
I had pretty high expectations going into Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, because everyone seems to be talking about it. And, to be honest, the first quarter of the book went really slowly for me (though it’s entirely possible that’s solely because of the semi-reading slump I’ve been experiencing lately). But, despite my reading funk, I got caught up in the story somewhere along the way, and ended up finishing it in about a day and a half.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children wasn’t the amazing, groundbreaking book I’d kind of expected going in. But I really enjoyed it! I always like looking at vintage photographs, and I loved how much they are integrated in the story. There were a few instances where the inclusion of the pictures felt a bit forced, but, for the most part, I thought it was really well done.
Definitely recommend if you’re looking for a spooky YA read. I am really looking forward to the movie! (Did I mention Allison Janney? Yeah? Okay, I’ll stop.)