Curiosities in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

5/5 STARS

// GOODREADS //

Genre: Fantasy [Supernatural], Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Author: Ransom Riggs
Published: June 2011
Publisher:  Quirk Books
Pages: 352 {paperback}

Originally posted on Goodreads

This review is spoiler-free until I state otherwise


Initial Thoughts Upon Finishing

Oh wow this really was so good! I’m so glad that I decided to pick this up in the end because I loved it so much. It’s definitely really interesting reading the book having watched the film first because they have some really big differences but I thought both were fabulous. I can’t wait to continue the series and see what happens next – it’s sure to be fabulous!


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

For some reason, despite everyone raging on and on about this book, I just never got around to picking it up. It wasn’t until plans were made to go see the film that I suddenly went WAIT I HAVE TO READ IT FIRST. So for those of you who can’t find the motivation to pick this book up yet, please trust me, go buy at least book one (although really you’ll need all three) and just start reading. I dare you to not demolish the whole thing like a chocolate brownie.

And you thought you were going to stop at one

Miss Peregrine’s is a spectacular tale of the peculiar (oh, I make myself laugh) and it’s insanely brilliant and damn, I’m so glad that I read it. It follows a boy called Jake (Jacob) who’s grandfather has always told these strange tales. One thing leads to another and he finds himself discovering the very same children his grandfather grew up with. The peculiar children.

It’s exhaustingly brilliant

I don’t want to say too much more because it’s all terribly exciting when you have no idea what it’s really about but this book is your day dreams on paper. There is no other way to describe it. What I really loved was the action that coupled with the main mystery story line and the huge, endless and incredibly unique peculiarities of the children. I particularly love Hugo, bless him.


What I Loved

Obviously, this book spoke to my soul. As someone who used to jump on the trampoline pretending she could fly, the concept of the peculiars had me going MAYBE I HAVE A SECRET WEIRD THING TOO (I don’t, I double checked). I liked how an American boy voyages across the Atlantic to a small Welsh island to tackle some crazy myth. I loved that Jake finds the courage to deal with the, let’s be honest, terrifying atmosphere of the peculiar world, and I love that Jake is just all round badass.

#Badassery

I also particularly like that Jake is played by Asa Butterfield in the movie. But that’s another story.

I really appreciated that the book wasn’t too scary, either. This was definitely a concern of mine whilst I was reading it. I thought it was going to be some whacky book that’d keep me up at night, alas! It is not. To be fair, there is just one scene at the start which is a little scary (and hold on to your hats for that when you watch the movie) but after that it’s not so bad and fully embraces its awesomeness.

I loved Miss Peregrine herself. I think she was this excellent character and amazing at organising all the children. The children themselves were incredible and I can’t wait to (hopefully) meet more characters in the next two books. I love how Riggs didn’t decide that his characters would just wield elements, nope, he takes everything imaginable and turns it into a super power. I wouldn’t be all that surprised to meet a character who’s peculiarity was to turn into a lamp. You just never know.

Now, don’t read the next bit if you haven’t read the book! You’ve been warned (you can start reading again fro the “How the Movie Compares” section)


Spoiler Time!

SO MANY THINGS TO DISCUSS. Firstly, Jake is an adorable babe and I would please thank you very much kindly to you like to steal him. I thought he did an admirable job of just taking on this peculiar world and becoming an epic hero. One thing that I think I greatly benefitted from, having seen the movie first (mostly), was picturing his dad as Chris O’Dowd, because if there ever was perfect casting, that is it.

I don’t know what to think of the relationship between Jake and Emma, though. I find it a little weird that he’s mostly become a replacement for his grandfather. Was anyone else just a little creeped out by that? I think this issue was dealt better in the book than the movie.

The fandom, to me

I loved, loved, loved the peculiarities. I thought the fire of Emma was cool but I did quite like her with air control in the movie, too. I loved the bees and I LOVE MILLARD. He’s such a funny character. I might have nearly had a break down when he nearly died though.

Which is another thing we need to discuss. That whole ending was particularly badass. I’m glad that got Miss Peregrine back (even if she is stuck in bird form) and I’m glad Millard didn’t die, because that just wouldn’t have been cool. Enoch was so creepy though – AND COME SOMONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THE PURPOSE OF VICTOR? I don’t know if it was some weird pun on Riggs behalf (you know, Victor? Victor Frankenstein? Reverse joke? hahaha . . . no?) but I was really confused as to the Why of his character. I get that they didn’t want/need to bury him but ew.

Also, that ending with the Dad made me belly laugh. Truly. I wish it’d’ve happened that way in the movie because O’Dowd would have done the angry/stupefied thing beautifully.

I loved that Jake was the only one able to see the monsters, whose names I have forgotten, and I thought the whole eternal life blah blah blah was a good plot thing. Also, I really like the loop thing. I feel like I need to stop before this just becomes a list of everything that happened in the book.

But finally, this letter from Abe made me die of laughter:

“You are pretty like flower, have good smell also, may I pick?”


How the Movie Compares

I actually think the movie did a really, bloody good job. I highly recommend watching it whether you’ve read the book, are planning on reading it, or have no desire to touch the book with a ten foot pole (although, if that’s you then come on, man, you know you want to read it). I only got through about 100 pages before going to the cinema (unfortunately speed-reading is not one of my many talents) and I think that was an excellent way to do things.

The movie did change a lot of things however. Surprisingly, I don’t think this was detrimental to the story line and some things I almost preferred. Almost.

Like you didn’t see that one coming

Without spoiling you for anything, the two big things that were changed were the swapping of some children’s peculiarities, and the entire ending. Literally. The entire ending is completely different. I’d love to watch an interview somewhere (but I’m lazy) where the director explains this choice. It’s certainly interesting in any case to explore how the story could have gone in the book. I actually think it’s way less dark in the movie although I didn’t like the main evil guy’s character as much.


Summary

In short, just go and read the book. Trust me, you’re going to love it. I can just about promise you that. And if you’re still unconvinced, watch the movie. It’s almost better in that order because the book is SO good that watching the movie after makes it less good (just like my English, apparently). I dare you to not like this series. Excuse me whilst I gorge myself on book 2 and 3.

View all my reviews

// GOODREADS //



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 You might also like . . .

If you enjoy mysterious stories, The Thirteenth Tale is for you.

If you like schools with strange things happening at them, A Great and Terrible Beauty is for you.

If you like books where characters have unique abilities, Grave Mercy is for you.


 Have you read this? What did you think?

Share your thoughts below!


End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~

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8 thoughts on “Curiosities in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

  1. I have NOT read this one YET, but I’m planning on it! I’ve been dying to ask someone if they think it would be appropriate for and/or appeal to a 10-year-old boy? I’m always on the look out for books to read together with my son. Plus since there is a movie, I can bribe him to read the book with me in exchange for taking him to the movie 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gah, you need to get onto this series man! I actually would NOT recommend it for a 10 year old just yet – it has some pretty scary parts in it, especially at the start, and some bloody fighting towards the end. I’d definitely say both read and watch it yourself first and then make the decision because obviously you know him best!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha yes it does! I know exactly what you’re talking about – I think it’s a pretty universal system 😜 but yeah there’s vintage photos throughout the book too, so if his imagination is anything like mine, they might give him problems aha

        Liked by 1 person

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