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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children…
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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

by Ransom Riggs

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,227736494 (3.7)485
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English (735)  German (5)  Hungarian (2)  Dutch (2)  Danish (2)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (748)
Showing 1-5 of 735 (next | show all)
Review Originally Posted At: FictionForesight

Nothing peculiar about how much I love this book… 4.5 Stars!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a fantastic combination of an incredible story and even more incredible images, that is utterly brilliant in execution.

A Quick Summary:

This is one of those books that’s rather tough to summarize without ruining the story. It’s why, I think, the summary that’s provided on the book is rather vague and almost misleading.

In any case, I’ll give this a shot.

Essentially, this is the story of sixteen year old Jacob’s adventures to discover the truth behind the stories his grandfather told him while growing up – fantastical tales about the orphanage he lived in, filled with “peculiar children” like an invisible boy, a girl who could levitate, and a boy filled with bees. Assured that these were just fairy tales, Jacob disregarded such stories until his grandfather was mysteriously killed. Taking his last words to heart, Jacob insists on tracking down the orphanage to discover for himself how his grandfather really grew up, and who the “peculiar children” really were. However, as Jacob learns the truth about his grandfather, he slowly discovers even more about himself, and the real world he lives in; and not every discovery is a happy one.

The Good:

Alright, so starting with the obvious seems like the way to go, so let’s talk about the photos. I would speculate that most of the buzz around this novel, originally, was because of the vintage and peculiar photos. They add a sense of wonder, of strangeness, of imagination. They bring about a whole to new level that’s just not seen often enough. Usually, it’s up to the reader to take the author’s words and form a picture for themselves; and that’s not a bad thing. However in this case, having the pictures doesn’t take away from the immersion and imagination that reading brings. It adds to it. It gives your mind a starting point to create an entire world, that’s probably not far removed from what the author actually had in his mind. Plus, since they were taken from the real world, they add that extra level of realism. More than anything though, I love that you can take pretty much any of these images, by themselves, and see all the genres that this book represents: fantasy, mystery, science fiction, horror, historical fiction, etc. That saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, holds up very well in this story.

So of course I had to talk about the pictures, but there are so many other great things about this book. Not the least of which is the plot itself. OK, so yes this book is very much like X-Men / Harry Potter. There is a group of children in a home / school environment that are unique and have special abilities. I see a lot of complaints out there because of this similarity, and to that I say “welcome to fantasy”. This is a very common trope in the fantasy genre, and it’s not going away anytime soon because people love it, myself included. So what that this book plays on that element, it works! I love reading about each “child” and what their abilities are. The fact that they all live together for safety and instruction seems like its common sense to me. All throughout real world history people who are different are targeted, and not nicely. Safety in numbers and privacy; a no-brainer really.

I’ll be the first to admit, I am not a time travel lover. Don’t get me wrong, I can find enjoyment in the idea of moving through time, but generally the execution falls short for me. I can’t even say it’s necessarily the mode of transportation; DeLoreans, phone booths, heck even hot tubs are all fine with me. I guess it’s just the confusion that tends to go along with time travel that gets to me. I don’t enjoy sitting there trying to unjumble my brain to keep up with the plot. That’s why I could not have been happier with time travel in this book. In fact, this book made me enjoy time travel again. It’s relatively simplistic, and actually takes more of a background role, despite its intrinsic importance. The whole “time loop” idea isn’t new, but I found it to be done quite well. I’m very intrigued to experience “time loop jumping”, and I simply can’t wait to see where all of these different loops are.

Alright, so we’ve covered the pictures, the general plot, and even the time travel, but what else makes this novel so great? Well, to be honest, quite a few things. The characters each seem refreshingly unique, with their own personality quirks that make them feel realistic, even in the most impossible ways. The dialogue is informative, intriguing and, at times, wildly hilarious. The setting is described almost flawlessly, to the point where the images were nearly redundant. Heck even the undertones were done quite well, keeping things on edge throughout the novel, without making it unnecessarily dramatic. The more I think about it, the longer my list of positives gets!

The Bad:

Oh boy, even the best of books has a bad section. It’s only with the great ones though that I truly hate to talk about it! Look at it this way, if out of a 5 star meal you come across one or two bad bites, the whole meal isn’t ruined. In fact by the end of it, you’ve probably already diminished in your head most of that negativity. It simply doesn’t hold as much weight as it could have, because everything else was fantastic.

That’s exactly how I feel here. There were a couple of “bad bites”, but they seem petty in the scheme of things. In any case, I wouldn’t want it said that I didn’t provide a fair and balanced review!

So although the plot’s pacing was pretty on key throughout the book, I disliked how long it took for things to get really interesting. I mean, we’re talking about a quarter of the book before the plot begins to pick up. I get that there needs to be a back story laid in order for the rest of the book to flow, but I think this was a bit too much. I feel like we could have had a little less “before the island”, and instead focused even more on what happened “after”. The line “a little less talk and a lot more action” comes to mind.

Limited time and pages makes for limited characterization. I get that. I’m just a little disappointed that we didn’t get to interact and learn more about some of the faces we were introduced to. I suppose this will be easily reconciled with the next book in the series, or at least I hope it will!

Other:

2 quick points I wanted to make note of, but didn’t really feel like they deserved a good or bad label.

First off, I hear quite a few people complaining about how creepy they felt this book could / should have been. To that I say, well it is what it is. This is the story Ransom Riggs wanted to tell, and it’s obviously as creepy and mysterious as he wanted it to be. I was in no way upset by this. To me it paints a picture of more “misunderstood” children, rather than creepy psychopaths. They’re peculiar, and a bit off-kilter from societal norms, but that shouldn’t automatically make them creepy. It’s what lies beneath the scary photos that I was intrigued by.

Also, a quick shout out to the romance between Jacob and that certain somebody. Some people found it to be quaint and heartwarming (I was in this crowd), and some people found it to be rather disturbing (although I could understand this). Ultimately, I think this whole “relationship” added a bit of drama and some semi-realistic anxiety into the mix. I mean think about it, if this really was possible, it makes perfect sense. And both characters seem perfectly logical in accepting or rejecting such a relationship. So let’s see where this goes.

Overall:

Seriously, just read it. The positives far outweigh any of the negatives; great story, great pictures and great fun. There’s a reason this book has made it to numerous top 100 all-time fiction reads. If I’m being perfectly honest, I feel utterly foolish that I waited so long to enjoy this wondrous creation. For me, it’s one that I won’t easily forget. I can not wait to delve into the next one and I sincerely hope that Ransom Riggs decides to continue this series on past the 3rd book. At any rate, you can at least look forward to the 3 books and a movie coming soon. If the movie is anything at all like the book, I’m sure it will be an amazing success!

(www.FictionForesight.com) ( )
  FictionForesight | Apr 26, 2016 |
Jacob grew up loving his grandfather's stories about growing up in a children's home after being evacuated from Poland at the beginning of WWII. His grandfather's tales about the strange talents of the children in the home and the terrifying monsters that threatened them were entrancing for young Jacob until he reached an age where he realized that they couldn't possibly be true. That is until one summer night when Jacob finds his grandfather's body and sees one of the nightmare monsters from the stories he grew up hearing. As Jacob struggles to determine what is real he discovers a world far beyond his own imagining and discovers that he may have a more important role to play.

I'm late to the party on this one and I don't feel terrible about that. While the book was an enjoyable read and I do plan to pick up the next books in the series in very short order, I haven't fallen in love with the world Riggs has created just yet. Jacob is a decent narrator and the build up of suspense is done well but I was never quite sucked all the way in. In particular, I found the insta-love between Jacob and Emma a bit off-putting. The novel would have been find without a romantic subplot at all. The found photographs do definitely add an extra creep factor that make the book worth flipping through. ( )
  MickyFine | Apr 25, 2016 |
abandoned this one....I just couldn't get into it. ( )
  KristiAnneS | Apr 20, 2016 |
Jacob had a very close relationship with his grandfather. Throughout his childhood Jacob's grandfather told him tales of his childhood or growing up in an orphanage in Wales during WWII. After his grandfather was killed suddenly and mysteriously, Jacob needs answers. He goes to Wales in search of Miss Peregrines for answers. There he finds more than he anticipated. Namely, that the very place his grandfather lived is located in a time loop that he is able to travel in and out of. He develops relationships with his grandfather's old friends, and learns that he is among those with supernatural powers. It is a very entertaining and well written book. One of the best things about this books is the collection of vintage photographs that are included. They are strange but captivating, but best of all, authentic.

Curriculum Connections: Use photos from book as writing prompts; create movie posters (visualization); Characters traits ( )
  danielle.trotter | Apr 10, 2016 |
Excellent first 50. Then, for me, just ok, but I think kids would like it. Only, I'm not sure it isn't too violent? I'm not sure. I think kids (maybe tweens and even teens) will really like the pictures, but they jarred me out of the book. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 735 (next | show all)
Boken är knappast ett stilistiskt mästerverk. Dialogerna krystas stundom fram och vissa figurer är lika blodfattiga som de spöken som förföljer dem. Det som gör verket unikt är bilderna
 
The author’s ability to use the photos to play with the reader’s imagination, while still holding the tension of the plot, is extraordinary. This kind of device can feel like a self-conscious reminder of the authorial hand, but this is not the case in Miss Peregrine’s Home.
 
In Miss Peregrine’s, a teenager decides to investigate the stories his grandfather told him about an island off the coast of Wales. He finds more than he bargained for, of course, and there are adventures, involving a group of kids with remarkable abilities which are almost, but not quite, entirely similar to mutants from X-Men comics. For a story constructed to make use of a collection of vintage snapshots, it’s impressively cohesive, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with yet another recounting of the hero’s journey from callow youth to manhood. But the book never lives up to its own aesthetic, and the story refuses to get past surface level on the occasional odd idea or intriguing concept. Whatever its faults, Miss Peregrine’s only true sin is that, presentation aside, it isn’t really that peculiar.
added by jimcripps | editAV Club, Zack Handlen (Jun 29, 2011)
 
Those Creepy Pictures Explained

The idea for Miss Peregrine's Home popped into Ransom Riggs' head when he ran across some sinister-looking vintage photos, which ''suggest stories even though you don't know who the people are or exactly when they were taken.'' As he began writing, he kept searching for images, even combing swap meets and flea markets. ''I was developing the story as I was finding the photos. I'd find a particularly evocative photo and I'd say, 'I need to work this in somehow.' '' Most are reproduced in the novel ''as is,'' but a few have been digitally altered. Riggs says he ended up with more photos than he could use: ''I have a nice big fat backlog for the second book.'' — Keith Staskiewicz

added by kthomp25 | editEntertainment Weekly, Keith Staskiewicz (Jun 24, 2011)
 
With its X-Men: First Class-meets-time-travel story line, David Lynchian imagery, and rich, eerie detail, it's no wonder Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children has been snapped up by Twentieth Century Fox. This is a novel with ''movie adaptation'' written into its powerful DNA. B+
 
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Epigraph
SLEEP IS NOT, DEATH IS NOT;
WHO SEEM TO DIE LIVE.
HOUSE YOU WERE BORN IN,
FRIENDS OF YOUR SPRING-TIME,
OLD MAN AND YOUNG MAID,
DAY'S TOIL AND ITS GUERDON,
THEY ARE ALL VANISHING,
FLEEING TO FABLES,
CANNOT BE MOORED.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Dedication
First words
I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.
Quotations
COPYRIGHT PAGE NOTICES (for the Hardcover First Edition):

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Number: 210942876

The first printing line is: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
A MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

AN ABANDONED ORPHANAGE.

A STRANGE COLLECTION OF VERY 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, 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 who once lived here — one of whom was his own grandfather — were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow — impossible though it seems — they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

Haiku summary
Look! Creepy photos
winding into a story.
Sequel sure to come.
(_debbie_)
"But those monsters are
Only a story, granddad!"
"Oh, are you so sure?"
(passion4reading)
Wildly inventive
tale based on peculiar
vintage photographs.
(passion4reading)

No descriptions found.

(see all 4 descriptions)

After a family tragedy, Jacob feels compelled to explore an abandoned orphanage on an island off the coast of Wales, discovering disturbing facts about the children who were kept there.

» see all 4 descriptions

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