I had some high expectations for this book, let’s just say I absolutely loved the movie!! Quirky, odd, unique characters, & of course time travel. For me I love seeing the different ways to portray time travel. And these time loops are different and kinda fun. Also loved how Jacob was portrayed in the movie. Now I was disappointed with certain aspects of the book, but we will discuss that later.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
Genre – Sci-fi, YA
Series – 1st book in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series
Rating – PG-13 for scary monsters and language
Jacob is like most smart 16 year olds; he keeps to himself and is close with his grandfather, Abe. When Jacob was little, Abe told him some of the most fantastical stories about living on an island during WWII with children with special capabilities. One day Jacob gets call from his grandfather who sounds distressed and in danger. Unfortunately by the time Jacob finds him, its too late. His grandfather is only able to whisper a few odd sentences before he dies. Slowly, Jacob begins to unravel the mystery surrounding his grandfather’s past.
My Thoughts –
Let’s start with what I liked : the first person narrative – for me this worked really well. You connect with Jacob and it was nice to see how to put together the pieces of the mystery. Jacob also has flaws & doubts; he is not perfect by any means, but it is a likeable character.
Abe – Also, really liked the grandpa in both book and movie. He is smart and an ex-solider who did his duty in world war II. He tried so hard to keep his family safe from the monsters. And yet he wasn’t the best dad. I feel like the things that happened during the war and his time on the island, probably led Abe to keep so many secrets that it was hard letting people inside.
Miss Peregrine herself – what a job keeping so many children safe and hidden while keeping the time loop going. She also was super knowledgeable about the world around them. She is able to multitask like nobodies business. Plus, I mean she can turn herself into a bird. That’s a pretty cool capability. Now, I do wish we could have spent more time with her, most of the book resolved around Jacob.
Last but not least the Setting – part of the story occurs in Florida, which I’ve visited several times. The author does a great job describing the scenery. Then we jump to the island off the coast of Wales. Which provided the perfect location!! All the rain and the small fishing village. Perfect!
One more note I loved how the author came up with the idea. He found all these old photos at flee markets and picked out the odd & bizarre ones and created a story surrounding them. Pretty neat!
Now on the Dislikes 😉
First, got to say did not like Emma and Jacob together in the book. Emma’s character just didn’t work. To me she was snobbish and the whole knowing Jacob’s grandfather was odd. Big pass for me. In the movie however, they switched characters and it was fine.
Also, the ending! Esh, like what even. We don’t get a good description of why the Wights are taking the ymbrynes other then doing a big experiment. The movie flushed out Golan better and gave him more motive then the book did. Left a lot undone. I wish it could have wrapped up a bit better.
Content – there is some language throughout, not overwhelming though, but enough to be annoying. Also the hollows are pretty scary kill/hurt several characters. Then you have a teen romance.
“It was my grandfather’s island. Looming and bleak, folded in mist, guarded by a million screeching birds, it looked like some ancient fortress constructed by giants.” (p. 70).
A patchwork of sheep-speckled fields spread across hills that rose away to meet a high ridge, where a wall of clouds stood like a cotton parapet” (p. 71).
“Trees burst forth from broken windows and skins of scabrous vine gnawed at the walls like anti-bodies attacking a virus – as if nature itself had waged war against it” (p. 83)
“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” (p. 351).
Overall, I preferred the movie, but the book has some good points as well. Love the author’s writing style. Certain characters were fleshed out, but the all the children at the home, kind of got put on the back burner. We don’t really get to know them that well. I did get hooked though and struggled setting this one down. 😉
Up next – I’m thinking about re-reading The Hobbit. Feel in the mood to go visit Middle-Earth!
How about you? How has your December gone? Have you read Miss Peregrine? What are your thoughts, book vs. movie?