Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, # 1) by Ransom Riggs

Release Date: June 7th 2011
Published By: Quirk
Pages: 352
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: 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.

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.

Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a phenomenal blend of wonderful words and strange and intriguing vintage photographs. Ransom Riggs has not only written on amazing novel, but has spent a lot of time searching for images to compliment his story - not only to give you a visual representation, but also creating a feeling of suspense, wonder and mystery.

Before, Jacob lead a somewhat ordinary and boring life. After, his life will never be the same.

Before, Jacob was your everyday 16 year old boy. Well, maybe not like every sixteen year old. He is from somewhat privileged upbringing, but his life is rather dull. He only has one friend, and works for his family’s company. The only thing that seems extraordinary to Jacob, is his childhood memories of stories his grandfather told him. Stories of mystery and terror from his grandfather’s childhood in an orphanage on an island off the coast of Wales, where he was friends with peculiar children who were invisible, or who could fly, or who had bees living inside of them. These are stories that Jacob once believed, but as he got older he realised these were stories for young children, and therefore, he left the stories behind in his childhood.

Then Jacob’s life is turned upside down. And Jacob (and everyone else) starts to think that he is losing his mind to the nightmares his grandfather once told him. Is it possible that his grandfather was really running from the monsters that he often spoke of? Is it possible that the photo’s found in grandfathers house belong to those stories that he heard as a child? Determined to learn the truth about his grandfather, Jacob sets off to find the mysterious island that his grandfather so fondly spoke of, to find the Headmistress of the orphanage who may be able to explain his grandfather’s fanciful stories, or the reasons behind them. Did his grandfather belief in monsters stem from trauma of being a Jewish boy during the World War II? Did he really leave behind a beautiful island home to fight monsters - or where the monsters his grandfather fought the ones in a Nazi uniform?

Jacob must decipher this grandfathers nonsensical last words, and to do that, he must enter the world that grandfather told him about as a child. Once Jacob arrives to the island, you are transported into a world of mystery. With every step to learn more about his grandfather, Jacob finds himself uncovering more of his grandfather’s secrets. The island is full of secrets, and Jacob is determined to uncover them all. Then, there was After.

Sadly, I cannot tell you too much about After. This would be giving too much away about the story, and I don’t want to ruin this experience for you. But, let me tell you, what an experience it is! Ransom’s writing style is superb, filled with beautifully eery details that are wonderfully complimented by the use of vintage photographs throughout the book. The combination of words and images take you on a spooky and magical journey throughout the island, throughout Jacob’s grandfathers past, and of course, into Jacobs’s future.

I think Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children opened the door to a wonderful world, and I am looking forward to exploring that world in the upcoming sequel. So many things, and characters, have been touched on, but yet not fully explored. I found that we met a lot of different characters, but yet they are still a mystery - and I want to learn more about them (well, except for Enoch, he creeped me out big time). There are so many layers within this storyline, and it seems that in the upcoming sequel we will be exposed to a lot more of this strange and creepy world, and I cannot wait to see what happens next.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is magical, enthralling, suspenseful, haunting, compelling and original. I adored the use of the vintage images (which are all real by the way), as they are equal parts striking, terrifying and intriguing, with each image providing lasting impression on the reader. The plot, the characters, the hauntingly beautiful words and the haunting images are weaved together masterfully, creating a wonderful and unique book that is as captivating as it is intriguing.


“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.”

“When someone won’t let you in, eventually you stop knocking.”

“We cling to our fairy tales until the price for believing in them becomes too high.”

“Sometimes it’s better not to look back.”

“…slow and drunk is no match for fast and scared shitless.”

“But these weren’t the kind of monsters that had tentacles and rotting skin, the kind a seven-year-old might be able to wrap his mind around-they were monsters with human faces, in crisp uniforms, marching in lockstep, so banal you don’t recognize them for what they are until it’s too late.”

What do you think?

  • I’ve heard of a lot of good things about “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” but I generally shy away from scary books because I have an extremely low threshold for horror. But this book does sound really interesting. How scary is this book exactly? I want to try it out… maybe reading it in broad daylight might lessen the fear?

    • Kristy says:

      I certainly recommend this book! I think it is amazing. But as far the scariness goes - I don’t think it is so much “scary”, it is more “creepy” and “eerie”. There is no horror scenes for example, so it is not scary in that respect, but there is certainly a feeling of something mysterious and strange (in a good way). But, as I am unsure of how low your threshold really is, maybe try the broad daylight suggestion :) I really hope you enjoy it!
      Kristy recently posted…W..W..W.. WednesdaysMy Profile

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