I had heard of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs through internet postings, but I didn’t know a lot about the book. I only knew that it dealt with an orphanage and some rather creepy photos. That was enough for me to take interest in the novel. I’m glad I did because Riggs’ first novel was thrilling, well written, and quite peculiar.
The novel follows teenage Jacob Portman as he deals with his grandfather’s very tragic death. Jacob feels torn between two worlds after his grandfather dies. His grandfather used to show him old photos of children doing amazing things, such as floating off the ground. These photos were from an orphanage his grandfather stayed in while a child at the beginning of WWII. After seeking out the orphanage and confirming their truth, Jacob has to try to decide to accept these photos and the peculiar world they bring, or move on with his average life.
I found the story very intricate. Jacob’s mental state while dealing with his grandfather’s death is very relatable. Not only is he grieving, but he has to make very important decisions that will affect the rest of his life. Also, I really enjoyed the use of photography throughout the novel. I thought the old, weird photographs really added to the eerie feel of the plot. There were just enough photographs to answer some questions, but not enough to overwhelm me.
I only wish that there was more time to fully develop the conflict toward the end of the book. It felt a little rushed, since most of the book was about Jacob’s acceptance of a more mystical world. I was pleased to see that there will be a sequel, however, I feel like this first book could have spent more time explaining the back story of the end conflict.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children really did live up to its hype. There’s a perfect mixture of plot and story to really keep the reader interested. The use of photography only adds to this novel. The characters are well-rounded and offer elements of love, friendship, and surprise to the mix. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story.
Sarah Emily Lelonek has a BA in English Literature from Kent State University. She is planning on attending Graduate School for English Rhetoric and Composition. She enjoys traveling and gaming while on breaks from working on her novel.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Quirk Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.