Author: Ransom Riggs
Genre(s): Thrillers/Suspense, Action
Number of pages: 352
Year published : 2011
Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5)
When I picked up Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, the vintage photographs interlaced throughout the book immediately caught my attention. Ransom Riggs spent years collecting these old, haunting photographs before he decided to publish them with a book. These photographs add another dimension to make this novel unique and they complement the story perfectly. The images add rich details that help the reader visualize the setting, but still leave room for imagination.
The story kicks off when the grandfather of the main character, Jacob Portman, is mysteriously attacked and dies while going for a walk. Jacob suspects that this is no ordinary wildlife attack – he believes monsters murdered his grandfather. To investigate further, Jacob convinces his parents to let him go to Wales for the summer, where he encounters an orphanage full of children with rare and strange talents and qualities. Jacob is trying to find out what this place had to do with his grandfather when he discovers what he thought was the impossible. The plot is interesting from the prologue on and the action keeps the reader on his toes.
One downside to this novel is the character dynamic. Frankly, they are not as developed as I would have liked. Jacob is a moderately relatable character who is adventurous, brave, and curious. The people he meets are interesting and different, but throughout the book I always wanted to know more about the grandfather and the children. If the characters were more deeply developed, I think I would have gotten more out of this book.
I would recommend Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children because it’s one of those books that you really can’t put down – I read it in two days. It was a very easy read that is meant for younger readers, but possesses qualities that make it enjoyable for any age. It was suspenseful, mysterious, and thought provoking with a plot that is complex, surprising, and intriguing. Ransom Riggs is actually an old college friend of novelist John Green, so if you are a fan of Green’s novels, definitely check this one out. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is haunting and mysterious – a relevant and quick read for the Halloween season!
Review by Colleen Brady, A&S '16