Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery, Fiction
Book Jacket Synopsis: “A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of peculiar 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, 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 decaying bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine’s 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.”
Review: I wanted to love Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Truly, I did. When a series is hailed as being “the next Harry Potter,” I automatically take interest; my ears perk up. Perhaps it was because Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has received such high praise that I found it to be underwhelming. Yes, I commend Ransom Riggs on excellent incorporation of vintage photographs into a complex plot; I was always eager to see the pictures that accompanied Riggs’ elaborate descriptions of peculiar phenomenon. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children successfully demonstrates a new method of storytelling that certainly has a powerful effect on the reader. Unfortunately, I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated as the novel progressed, largely because Jacob’s introduction and immersion into Ms. Peregrine’s world happens at an alarmingly fast pace. The first half of the novel is largely dedicated to Jacob’s attempt to deal with his grandfather’s brutal death. His grief, and subsequent attempts to overcome it, ultimately funnel into a plan to visit the remote island his grandfather grew up on in an attempt to reach some closure. As soon as Jacob arrives on the island, the book’s pace exponentially increases to an almost comical level. I also found myself easily predicting the book “twist,” which was disappointing. I agree with most reviewers on the things that Ransom Riggs did right: imagination, setting, character development, photograph incorporation. But this book gets 3/5 stars from me largely because of pacing.