Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Page Count/Review Word Count: 384
I wasn’t too sure what to think before I started reading this. It’s one of those books that I’ve heard a ridiculous amount about, and I’m pretty sure a movie adaptation was being filmed at the same time as I was reading it. Good. It’s one of those rare novels that you pick up, read and just don’t want to put down. It was annoyingly good – because it lived up to the high expectations that I had – but it wasn’t perfect. Little things annoyed me, like the Americanisation of the phrase “taking the piss” and the occasional sentence that jerked me out of the story and pushed me to analyse the author’s writing style.
That said, it’s basically flawless if you ignore the minor flaws. Okay, sure, sometimes you’ll see the odd cliche that you’ve seen a hundred times elsewhere in YA fiction. But if you’re not a young adult, why worry? You know how Die Hard is corny, ridiculous and a lot of fun to watch? That’s what this book is look. It’s like freebasing peculiarity, and it’s as addictive as it’s bad for you. It’s not ‘high‘ literature, but it is a fun read which you’ll whizz through whether you’re into young adult books or not.
Loosely speaking, the story follows a sixteen-year-old as he discovers that his grandpa’s old stories are more than…well, stories. His grandpa was killed by a monster, and before he was killed, he talked about a children’s home where everyone was remarkable – some would say ‘peculiar‘. Jake, our protagonist, ends up discovering the home itself, trapped in time in the middle of the Second World War, and the story is about the adventures he has with his new friends. And the narrative itself is presented alongside a series of photographs which show different elements of the story. I feel like it shouldn’t have worked, but it did.
As for me, it hasn’t exactly changed my life, but I will be checking out the rest of the series. If nothing else, it’s hard not to be drawn in by Riggs’ storytelling, and it’s also the perfect length for what it is.