If you’re expecting a scary or spooky book, you’re going to be disappointed. This book is not scary so go into the book knowing that it isn’t. I’ve heard that a lot of people thought it was going to be really creepy and got let down.
Luckily for me, I went into this trilogy knowing that it was an adventure/fantasy book so I got a lot more out of it than others. After marathoning all three books, I can officially tell you this: Ransom Riggs is a genius.
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. 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 odd 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 quarantined on a deserted island for a good reason. And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive.
As aforementioned, this book is not a creepy book, it is an adventurous one. I tried to explain it to my Dad and I said ‘it’s got the plot line of a children’s book but it’s written in an adult way.’ And it’s true. A young boy goes on an adventure and makes new friends along the way who have powers. That’s pretty much the premise of the book but it’s so much more than that!
This is Riggs’ first novel and it’s such a brilliant debut. The idea is magnificent and the way the story is told with the pictures is also amazing. I loved the pictures. Some people said that the pictures weren’t scary at all and that they were boring – I didn’t think they were. They added a sense of realness to the story. There were pictures of people that looked like they could actually be the characters of the peculiar children, there was a picture of a boat, of a child, sat on a pavement in a bunny costume, of an old woman dressed all in black… They weren’t creepy (ok, maybe a couple was) they were just normal photos that had been taken and they had collected altogether and turned into a story which I think is so clever of Riggs. You would read a page, look at the picture and get a sense of how the setting looked like, how it might have felt, the way the characters may have looked. Sure, Riggs also included a lot of written descriptions about all of these but the pictures just added more.
The world that Riggs had created was also very intriguing. I loved the concept of the ‘loop day’, of peculiar children, of monsters and of a boy who thinks he’s got nothing to do with all of it until one day, he finds out he does.
The only downfall that I can say about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is the romance between Emma and Jacob. It was just weird. Emma had dated Jacob’s Grandfather. Jacob’s Grandfather and Emma were in love, and now Jacob comes along, Emma hasn’t aged a day and then the two of them fell in love. It just felt so weird and there was even a time in the book where Jacob says that himself. it was just strange and I didn’t get why Riggs had to throw that weird type of romance in.
Overall, this was an incredible book. It was incredibly written, there were incredible characters and the use of photographs alongside the story was fantastic. This is a spectacular debut novel from Ransom Riggs and I look forward to reading other books by him!