Jo's Reviews > Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
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Jun 27, 11

bookshelves: ya, creepycreepy, history-smishtory, when-can-i-move-in, you-got-a-friend-in-me
Read from June 15 to 16, 2011

WARNING: This review may contain excessive (and possibly incorrect) use of the Welsh language. Diolch.


Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Woaaah. Also, the sequel is going to be bendigedig!

High Points.
TERRIFYING. Originality. Kick-ass taids! Creepy but adorable children. Fairy tales… or are they? WW11. Cymru. Culture and heritage. Time-travel. Crumbling old houses. League of Gentlemen-esque locals. Ghosts, spooks and fire-throwers, OH MY. And, my favourite part of this book, the beautiful photos. Looking at them reminded me of the time where my grandma and I spent a rainy day in summer going through old snapshots. Everything looks better in sepia, right?

Low points.
I don’t mean to belittle Jacob (the MC) or challenge his intelligence, or any other sixteen year old's intelligence for that matter, but I have never met a sixteen year old boy who would use the word “torpor” in a sentence. Unless of course it was 'Um... what does 'torpor' mean?!' I’m supposed to be educated (pahaha)and there were some moments where I had to balance an Oxford Dictionary on my knee!
There were quite big chunks of descriptive paragraphs that, although beautifully written, I found it difficult to believe that Jake would really say things like that.
And speaking of outrageous horror that filled my being with cringe…. The love story? WHAT THE HECK. Just no… but more on this later.

Hero.
Besides his flowery language and horrifying taste in women, I liked Jacob. He was adventurous (because even though I would’ve thought it was cool, there is no way on earth I would have gone into that house. If I was the MC in this story, it would have been a very short book that would have ended with me sulking in the airport while my dad yelled “And you couldn’t have realised you were a wimp before we travelled a million miles to an island in the middle of NOWHERE?”), he is funny and he has the right amount of “Um, OK this is bizarre” moments that a lot of YA heroes seem to forgo in order to be all macho.
But, there were times that I didn’t really like him and didn’t agree with the decisions that he made throughout the novel. And also, he’s a pretty crappy son/grandson. Just sayin’.
BUT, I still love love loved this book and I think that Jake will be a much better hero in the inevitable sequel and I will be more inclined to root for him and be ready with fist-pumps and pom poms and the occasional high kick.

Love Interest.
I.. I just can’t deal with this. I honestly can’t think of any situation where this love affair would be acceptable. Even the gooiest of romantics would find this stomach-churning. It’s just weird. I’ll let you make up your own decision.

Baddie.
Holy guacamole. This book is soooo creepy and the baddie(s) do NOT disappoint. It was only in the final few chapters that we really got to meet them and find out about what they were after but argh, they were scary. I know I keep mentioning the sequel… but I really think with a little more detail and development these guys are going to make themselves known…. In my nightmares.

Theme Tune.

See My Friends- The Kinks.

I would like to see Jake’s friends. They are the coolest kids ever. Kind of like if the lost boys (the originals… not the mulletted vamps) joined forces with the X-Men. YEAH. It’s that cool.


Angst.
7/10. It would probably be a 15 if I included the angst I felt every time the love sauntered on the page, but this isn’t about me. This is about Jake and peculiar children who deal with angst in different and better ways than I. There are a lot of sadness and bitter-sweet ‘what ifs?’ in this book that made my heart hurt, especially concerning Abe, the sweetest grandpa ever.
One of the things I loved most was the subtlety of Riggs’ writing… the true horrors of the book are only alluded to and allowing you to fill in the blanks. There is definitely a melancholic feel to this book and I felt like I was watching an old movie where you know that there isn’t going to be a happy ending.
That may sound like a bad thing…. But it’s not at all, because the old movies are the best ones, right?

Recommended For.
People who are fascinated by old photos and could spend full days just looking through them. People who don’t mind being completely creeped out by their reading material. People who love the 1940s. People who love time travel in books. People who don’t really care for time-travel because it hurts their head to try and figure it all out (like moi), it’s really easy to understand and it’s exciting! People who have always wondered what happens behind the doors of the shambling mansions that loom on stormy Welsh mountains. People who don’t mind love stories that would be perfectly at home in the pages of a book written by Virginia Andrews. People who don’t experience involuntary muscle spasms whenever the words ‘bog’ and ‘man’ are mentioned in the same sentence….cheers for that Seamus Heaney *twitch*. People who are patiently waiting for their own peculiar powers to kick in… any day now, Jo. Any day.


I hear that Fox has bought the film rights to this and people are screaming for Tim Burton to direct.
But..I'm putting my foot down.
Guillermo del Toro is the ONLY person who could do this film justice. That man knows how to deal with creepy orphans who are also adorable.... but mostly terrifying.
I might write a letter to Mr Riggs suggesting this while I slurp a panad and eat rarebit and wonder what the heck happened to Gavin Henson's skin tone/career/life while listening to Aled Jones.


You can also read the review for this book and others along with a whole lot of other exciting stuff on my blog here.
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Reading Progress

06/16/2011 page 58
16.0% "I swear everytime I look at this cover I can hear Spanish orphans gigglings. That's OK... but as soon as I hear gutteral clicking this book is being shelved."
06/16/2011 page 58
16.0% ""evading drunken maniacs and watching birds evacuate their bowels on rocky beaches."- Yep, sounds like Wales to me. :-P"
06/16/2011 page 179
51.0% "It turns out peculiar children singing old songs is another of my phobias. *shudder*" 4 comments
06/16/2011 page 231
66.0% "This book just took a turn for the 'ick'... I'm not entirely sure what to say about that."

Comments (showing 1-26 of 26) (26 new)

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Wendy Darling Ughhh, I want this book!!


message 2: by Onni (new)

Onni Stone This is the best review ever!!


message 3: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Haha, thanks Onni.
Have you read this? :)


message 4: by Isamlq (last edited Jul 24, 2011 03:21AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Isamlq "Love Interest.
I.. I just can’t deal with this...It’s just weird. I’ll let you make up your own decision."

I totally agree!


Cassi aka Snow White Haggard I WANT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

People who are fascinated by old photos and could spend full days just looking through them.
This is me!!!! LOVE! When I go to antique stores I love looking at photos you may find. I especially love daguerreotypes


message 6: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo I think I need a new hobby.What do you reckon?.
Cassi, you should read this if you love them! The pictures are amazing and really fit in with the story. :)


Cassi aka Snow White Haggard I've actually seen that video before & find it fascinating.

I love everything about old pictures. I have some tiny (like 2 inches at largest) pictures from my Papaw's house that he took during WWII. Pictures are something we take for granted today, but they used to be more treasured & precious.


message 8: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo I completely agree. My grandma has some absolutely stunning ones in a box and everyone looks so much more glamorous and classic back then.

I love black and white photos... even pictures I take with my own camera. :)


Petra X aka Bubbles Sanctaidd afocado stwnsh!


message 10: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo I am now forever going to refer to guacamole as 'avacado mash'. ;)


Aly (Fantasy4eva) I quite enjoyed this one. I know, the romance! WTF is that? I don't know what the hell is going on there. I adored the pics. The last one is my favourite. Stayed with me for a while :)


Petra X aka Bubbles Jo wrote: "I am now forever going to refer to guacamole as 'avacado mash'. ;)"

Couldn't get any closer! Stwnsh is such a lovely word though.


message 13: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo 'w' is 'ooh', isn't it?

My Welsh is a bit rusty :)


Petra X aka Bubbles More the 'oo' of look, but then I speak with a S Wales accent so you might say it differently!


message 15: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo I can't actually speak Welsh, I just went to uni in Bangor and most of my friend spoke it as their first language. I picked up how to pronounce most sounds like 'ff' and 'dd'... and of course the important word: panad.


Kindra Miller I'd still rather go to hogwartsXD


message 17: by Maree (new) - added it

Maree Wow. I knew I wanted to read this, but I think I need to read it soon.


message 18: by Emily (new)

Emily I bought this today :) I am kinda worried about getting freaked out, though. I scare easily, to say the least.


message 19: by Maree (last edited Jun 17, 2012 05:19AM) (new) - added it

Maree That's why I'm still a little hesitant too Emily. I really can't stand anything scary haha I'm a big a wuss


message 20: by Donna (new)

Donna Osekavage Read it. He/she is right. It's a good book.


Laura Definitely agree about Del Toro.


message 22: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Munoz I want this book soooooooooooo badly ! ;) Thankgoodness X- mas is here! :) :) :)


message 23: by Kami (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kami Totally with you on the love story. Almost as creepy as the shrink.


message 24: by Juli (new) - rated it 4 stars

Juli Pennock I liked this book more than you did, but I LOVED your review!


Amanda Velasco Well, about the way he speaks...you say no 16 year olds talks like that and I agree, but they never tell us that he's telling the story at that age. He could just as well be telling the story when he's much older. There's a big difference in the way he says his dialogues and the way he makes descriptions and tells the rest of the story. It does seem strange, but it's explainable.


message 26: by Angie (new)

Angie So I know the sequel just came out but I've never read the first book and I was looking into it. But I've seen a few bad reviews here on Goodreads yet I have also heard lots of recommendations for this. When I read your review, it makes me believe this is one of those books that doesn't suit everyone. Either you like it or you don't. But your review was really great and it got me very interested in reading it. Hopefully I'll buy the book soon and the sequel as well. Thanks for the great review and definitely checking out your blog! :)


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