Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Peculiar indeed...

The title and the cover decided things for me, and between the two of those, I was half convinced this would read like one of those YA historicals ala-Vixen or Luxe (given the cover) or one of those Series of Unfortunate Tales (given the title.) Wrong on both counts.

The Good:

Pictures. Everything Jacob said when describing those portraits were accurate: creepy, formal and yeah, creepy. They remind me of my grandparent's portraits hung in the house my mother grew up in. Both those portraits are black and white, with them posed all very formal and serious. The peculiar part is how their eyes just seemed to follow everywhere I'd go, comforting and creepy all at once. Nah, just creepy. It is from my brother that I've learned to pay close attention to where the portraits' eyes go (or stay.) To this day, those pictures get my hair standing on end. The very same feeling I got as I looked upon the many varied, creepy pictures in this book.

And to think that most of them are real, not manufactured for the sole purpose of the book! Me thought that was just cool... and creepy.

Time travelling. Now this is time travelling that I can get behind: the last one I read *cough* Hourglass*cough*was too pat, too easy. This one had loops and Ms. Peregrine types, and there were consequences that made sense. To say that its version was different, is quite true.

His devotion. Unlike his father, our MC had really close relationship with his grandfather. Sure, he'd had grown up and consequently doubted his grandfather's stories, but he cared for the old guy. The old guy really was his hero. It was this devotion that eventually got him on his adventure.

The Bad:

See that last sentence there? The one that says eventually? Well, "eventually" was almost half the novel. The first half had a lot of the funny parts, though: a priveleged teenage boy trying to get fired; a priveleged teenage boy who wasn't so popular with but one friend. BUT it got tedious, I tell you. The first half read like a YA contemp with some scary camp story thrown in. To be honest, the first half was so different from the second that I thought there were two novels in there. The first bit was him lost, drugged up just to cope and mourning. The second half was him and the Peculiars; you can guess which half I preferred.

And the... WTF?:

As with most YA's, there's a requisite love. In Jacob's case it's Emma. Jacob had voiced my concern early on in their relationship. It's not the instant love connection that I frequently complain of because there was no such thing here; the icky bit (kind of) comes in if you consider Emma and her history, (view spoiler)

Given all that ~ the good, the bad and the WTF, I'd say give this one a shot. It's got so many things going for it.


1 comment:

  1. Plus it is easily one of the most beautifully bound and printed books I have seem in a long time. And priced reasonably. I thought the section before he got to the island moved along rather well.