Monday, July 2, 2012

Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Title: Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Series: The Miss Peregrine Series
Book #: One
Author: Ransom Riggs
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Source: Local Library 
Format: Hard Cover

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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. (taken from 
I really, really wanted to love Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. The incorporation of downright creepy photos is awesome. I couldn't get enough of the haunting images, and in the beginning of the story, I prepared myself for an intense thriller. However, as the story progressed, the plot began to drag. The characters lacked the depth I wanted to see, and I honestly didn't care about the story.

The characters are like bland pieces of bread. Yes, they may all have special abilities, but these abilities define their personalities. I never truly bonded with any of them, not even the main character. When bad things happened to any of the children, I just shrugged and moved on. I'm not heartless- Riggs didn't make me care for the kids. They were just names to me.

The "scary" creatures that pursue peculiars confused me (as did many aspects of the plot). It's as if a very complex plot lay unexplored behind the shallow story covered in the novel. Maybe if Riggs had gone deeper into the world of peculiars I would have gotten into the story more. In the end, I kind of gave up on  understanding or caring what happened.

Now, the one part of the book that I actually loved was the inclusion of authentic photos. The pictures, and their origins, fascinated me. The novel contains a letter from Riggs stating that every photo is unaltered. As hard to believe as that statement is, it got my mind ticking. How cool is it that these photos are real

Unfortunately, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children disappointed me. I had high hopes for this original looking book. If you have the time, you may want to consider picking it up simply to peruse the enchanting photos. The story, however, isn't nearly as interesting. 

All of that being said, the book trailer is one of the best I've seen. It makes me excited for the possible movie adaptation. Rumors have it that Tim Burton may be involved!

Rating: 3 Stars