Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

9460487I have no explanation for why I am only reading this now, because after reading reviews and the synopsis for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, I was so curious that I went out and bought the book for myself. This happened almost a year ago. The best part of reading book reviews is that I knew that this is not a book that you must read in e-book format, but rather get the paperback. Why? Because of the vintage photographs in the book. The photographs are real, used from the collections of vintage photography collectors. I love that.

Jacob Portman is an ordinary boy who is about to lead an extraordinary life.  He idolizes his grandfather and from a young age his grandfather, Abraham Portman, has been telling him stories about his life and the children who grew up with him at an orphanage, under the care of Miss Peregrine. Abraham shows Jacob photos of his friends, weird pictures of a levitating girl, invisible boy and a boy who has bees living inside of him. Abraham Portman had a difficult life, experienced many horrors in his life and his son (Jacob’s father) believes that he is exaggerating the stories that he tells his grandson.

His grandfather believes there are monsters that are after him.  Is it the men he killed in the war? The men who destroyed his family? Is he imagining this all or is he telling the truth? When something terrible happens to his grandfather, Jacob finally sees the truth and it haunts him, so does what his grandfather pleaded to him. He needs answers, so he decides to travel to the island where the orphanage is, where his grandfather grew up. What he initially finds is an abandoned orphanage and no Miss Peregrine, but he persists until he finds her. When he does, he learns that what his grandfather told him was true all along, including the children! What happens next is Jacob and his new friends fighting off the monsters that haunted his grandfather…

This is not a horror as you would suspect it might be, judging by the cover alone, neither is it a thriller. To me, it was an eerie mystery tale and there is even an underlying story of unrequited love. If you expect a horror, you might be disappointed when you read the novel, but I LOVED it.  Once I got to about a quarter of the book, I couldn’t put it down. I couldn’t wait to learn what happens next. I could visualize the children, the abandoned orphanage… I enjoyed the story the author has written around the photographs, it is quite something “different” and I look forward to reading Hollow City, which is the second book in the series. I didn’t even know that it was a series.

I must admit that once I paged through the book and saw the pictures, I was scared to read it and that might have been one of the reasons why I delayed picking it up. Some of these pictures looks like the type of picture you may see in a promo of a horror novel or movie. I am glad to learn that the story wasn’t, but I do think that if you are a fan of horror novels,  you might think that the story didn’t do justice to the pictures. However, I loved the book and I think you should give it a try, if you find quirky reads like this one enjoyable.

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  • Ali

    This sounds quite fascinating Mel. I’ll add to my reading list.

    Ali

    • I think I should have mentioned in my review how beautiful (physically) this book is!

  • I have had this on my “list” for a while. I enjoy creepy mystery way more than horror, so I’m looking forward to picking it up!

    • I do hope you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy the read!

  • Told you! I knew you would love it! And you’re right the creepy kids can freak you out but it’s about so much more than creepy kids!

    • There’s a lot of underlying stories – love, bravery, etc. I am definitely going to read Hollow City, I’m only waiting for the paperback to be in stores. I don’t want the e-book.

  • My students are crazy about this book and are begging me to get the sequel, Hollow City. I have to read it already.

    • Ok then listen to them 🙂 I can’t wait to get my hands on Hollow City.

  • Good choice to get the paper version. I read an ebook and it is simply not working well!! Now on to Hollow City.

    • Good thing to read book reviews hey 🙂 Yes, I’m waiting for it to come to stores here.

  • I really need to pick this one up too! It just seems so unique

  • Fascinating and lovely review. Definitely something I’ll have to put on the TBR!

    • Thanks! I hope you will enjoy it, if only for the pictures 🙂

  • Totally agree on being glad the story didn’t have more “horror” in it. I loved the pictures and how unique this story was. Already ordered my hollow city!

    • It was unique yes, authentic pictures coupled with fiction. I am waiting for Hollow City to come to our book stores.

  • I read the e-book last year, and you are right, the photographs are much better in a physical copy. I enjoyed the story as well, but the end was a bit too open for my taste. I felt like it was written more for the sequel than to end the book, if that makes any sense. But I’ll read Hollow City as well. I’m just waiting for it to arrive at my library. 🙂

    • I am waiting for it to arrive as well. I get what you’re saying, it did feel that way. I guess I didn’t mind it that much, because I liked the story. The physical book is a beauty.

  • So glad you read this and enjoyed it. Going into it I was expecting more horror than there actual was. Like you say though some of the photos used are incredibly creepy!

    I was trying to hold out for Hollow City to be released in paperback so that it would match this one which I have in paperback. BUT I just couldn’t wait and ordered it today, so I’m hoping it is worth it.

    • Enjoy Hollow City! You know, you can always read the book now and later buy yourself the paperback copy… for the pictures 🙂

  • I enjoyed reading this one, though I’m still torn on if I want to dive into the next book in the series.

    • Oh well, it can wait 🙂 Pick it up if you see it in the library. As for me, I will probably purchase it if I see it in book stores.

  • Library one day…one day

    • Hope you see it in your local library…one day! 🙂

  • litandlife

    I’ve been on the fence about this one because I’ve seen mixed reviews but when you say “eerie mystery” that definitely appeals to me.

    • I do believe that there will be mixed reviews… As for me, it was enjoyable.

  • Great review! I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my list 🙂

  • I’m with Katie at Words for Worms, I did enjoy this book but I’m unsure about the sequel. I passed it in my local bookstore (the entire display was ravaged, there were only two copies left!) and couldn’t quite justify picking it up. I’m thinking library.

    Like you, I knew from the get go it had to be read in hard copy, even though I’m an admitted slave to eBooks. Thanks for linking up!

    • Finally I meet a slave to eBooks! 🙂 Usually everyone prefer paper copies of books… I must admit ebooks are quite convenient and I find myself reading more ebooks than actual books. I want to change that.

      I think if you can’t justify buying the sequel, then wait till it comes to your library (if you can wait…) I had this book for almost a year before I read it, so I’m in no hurry to own the sequel. Yes, I “can’t wait”, but I’m pretty sure if I have the book, it will still take me months to pick it up 😀

  • I saw this book while browsing through my online library and wondered whether I should borrow it.
    I definitely will now! 🙂

    • Word of advice, Tasneem: You must buy this in paperback! The ebook experience just aint the same 😉

  • I’m reading this book now, down to the last few pages. I love it too, and I’m sorry it took so long for me to read it! I borrowed a copy from the library, but this is one I’ll have to buy for myself. The sequel too!

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying it! Do you plan on reading it again once you’ve bought the book?

      • I’m planning to. Plus, the old vintage photos are fun to look at. 🙂

        • That’s what I always do. If I enjoyed a book that I borrowed from a friend and I buy it for myself, I always read it again. It’s like I can’t buy a book and not read it 😀

  • Isi

    This is also on my list since forever!! It’s in Spanish too, but I think I’ll read it in English. I didn’t know it was a series, but well, if you liked it, I’m sure you don’t mind to read them 🙂

    • I didn’t know it was going to be a series either, can you believe it. I was quite surprised to see that there is a second book when people started posting about Hollow City. Ok, read it in English 🙂

  • I’ve had my eye on this book for a while.. not sure why I haven’t read it yet. I must go out and get it. Great review.

    • Thank you! I’m pretty sure you will enjoy the pictures. Thanks for stopping by.