Friday, October 12, 2012

Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
By Ransom Riggs
Published 2011 by Quirk

What if the crazy stories about monsters that Jacob's grandfather told him are actually true? After the strange and tragic death of his grandfather, Jacob is left with the man's mysterious final words and the problem of everyone thinking he's crazy. When the final words lead Jacob to a remote island off the coast of Wales, nothing can stop his compulsion to go there and find the truth for himself. And what Jacob finds can't be unfound...

Excuse my melodramatic summary there, ahem. Anyway, I was so excited to read this book. It was being pimped hardcore at ALA Annual last year and I kept meaning and meaning to read it and just didn't get around to it (STORY OF MY LIFE). Finally, this summer, I picked it up I hate to say it but I'm disappointed. Most people who I've heard talk about this book seem to really love it. And, like I said, I was really excited to read it. It sounded like a really interesting story and I loved the idea of these vintage photographs being paired with the story. But it just didn't really work for me. In fact, I've put off writing this review because I don't feel like I have that much to say about it. I liked the photos and the amount of creepy and weird they added to the story. And I liked the idea of the story. I just didn't find myself all that interested in it as written. I didn't find myself particularly attached to Jacob and didn't really care if he figured it all out. Additionally, I know this book has some really unbelievable bits to it (being fantasy and all) but some things just bugged me. Jacob, who has been basically declared insane, is completely left to his own devices on the island. I mean, he literally disappears all day and his dad just kind of shrugs and worries about his own stuff. I found that a bit tough to believe. Maybe if they were the most uncaring parents in the universe, but I didn't really get that vibe either. I liked the peculiar children and learning about each of them, and I especially liked their relationships with each other and, near the end, their relationship with Jacob. But too often, I found myself bored with the book and wishing it was over already. This was a real disappointment for me.

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