Saturday, December 10, 2011

Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ranson Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children 
by Ranson Riggs
Published: June 2011
Publisher: Quirk Publishing

ISBN: 9781594744761
Available: Amazon


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.


It's hard to put into words what I felt when I finished ready this book. I absolutely loved it, but it was nowhere near what I thought it was going to be. As always, I fell for the cover. The creepy girl levitating in black and white was enough to get me interested, that it takes place in Wales was just a bonus. 

Throughout the book are scattered photo's that tie into not just the characters, but also the background story of Jacob's grandfather. They were creepy and dark, and some of them were disturbing, despite their innocence. The photo's alone were enough to keep me turning the pages. I felt like a kid again with my first chapter book, frantically reading just so I could figure out the meaning behind the pictures.

Photo's aside, the story is solid. Although it starts out a bit slow with information, it did have some immediate action that made me curious enough to not to skip pages. Jacob's character has some typical boy moments and he comes across as a believable and likable character. The other characters are a bit more on the eccentric side (apart from Jacob's parents). The mix of Peculiar's was great. Yes, there was almost an X-Men feel to them, but they have a believability to their reactions to their situation. Emma is the only one I found hard to follow. She swings back and forth with her feelings about Jacob and his grandfather, and frankly the idea of Emma and Jacob in a romantic relationship was the creepiest part of the book.

Riggs does do an amazing job with the time travel aspect of the story. I've always found time travel books a bit frustrating (check out my upcoming review of Julie Cross's Tempest for more about that), but Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children manages to explain it and still make it understandable. The idea of loops that allow a pause in time while the present continues on was intriguing.

I did feel as though the author was trying to leave it open for a sequel but I really don't feel like I'd want to read any further. My interest in the Peculiars was satisfied, and unless the concept sounded amazing I'd happy with the way this one ended. Sometimes, it's better just to stop while things as good. and I can't see this story getting better than it already is.

This is a definite recommend, and although it looks like it would be for older teens, I think younger teens would find it more enjoyable.  


  1. Angela, cool review. This is one I definitely want to read. Just haven't got around to buying it yet.

    BTW - Love the new look.

  2. Ang, I just downloaded a sample of this on my Kindle to see if I wanted to order it. Thanks for the review - it makes me eager to check it out.

    I like your site. It jumps out at you. Very well done.

    Susan Stec, author, The Grateful Undead: They're so Vein.