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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Book Review

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If you hadn’t heard of the massive success of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs in the past, then you must have by now, as the movie inspired by the first of the three installments in the Miss Peregrine Series came out on September 30th, this past Friday to theaters.

The series had been recommended to me by my neighbor who had read the first book and loved it. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children followed Jacob, a teenage boy with a grandfather who had been telling his families less-than-believable stories of his childhood involving a home where children with supernatural abilities lived for eternity.

Jacob has a special bond with his grandfather but eventually stopped believing in his stories and thought that the old black and white pictures he showed him were just trickery of the eye. Jacob’s grandfather became more and more paranoid about ‘them’ coming for him and Jacob and would made numerous calls to his family, insisting that ‘they’ were coming. One particular day, while Jacob was at work, his grandfather called in a panicked state, demanding to know where the key to his gun closet was. Jacob, used to his grandfather’s ramblings, drove to his house to calm him down but entered a dilapidated mess of knocked over lamps and strewn papers. He searched for his grandfather in the woods behind his home and found his grandfather barely alive, lying on the forest floor. In his last moments, he told Jacob a few cryptic phrases and made him promise to ‘find the bird’ before passing away. Moments after his grandfather’s death, Jacob spots a monstrous creature lurking in the forest and shined his flashlight on it to ward it off.

His life after the incident is full of grief and frustration. He goes to a therapist as per his parents’ requests and discovers that his grandfather did live in a children’s home, but it was because he and other Jews were on the run from Nazis during the war. Jacob feels that the only way to get closure is to visit the place where his grandfather used to live as a child. His parents agree and his father and him travel to a remote island to try to find the children’s home. There, Jacob does find the old home, but discovers some more secrets that he didn’t expect and finds out through a dangerous adventure that his Grandfather’s stories may have been the truth.

I liked this book and have purchased the second and third books in the series: Hollow City and Library of Souls. The inclusion of the creepy pictures in the text was one of the novel’s best attributes and added more realism and layers to the story, and the plot line itself was unique, while still appealing to the popular supernatural/fantasy genre favorites. Anyone who likes books in these genres or likes historical fiction would most likely enjoy this story. It’s also a medium-paced read, so if you are looking for a book to read on the weekends, you should pick this one up.

At times, the book could be a tad confusing with the different names of characters and creatures, but after about a third of the way through the book, you start to get the hang of it. I would recommend reading this book at least a chapter at a time, because you need to keep concentrated on the plot line as there are many twists and turns and time periods (you will know what I mean if you read it) and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children isn’t a read-during-lunch book. There are many secondary characters, and I felt that only about three were fully developed and the main character, Jacob, was more of a flat character and seemed to be the tool that the author was using his character to go through the journey, not necessarily be a part of it. There were some great scenes in the book, and Riggs did a superb job of wrapping in messages and the complexities of love and relationships throughout Miss Peregrine’s.

I would rate the story idea a 10/10 because Riggs combined so many genres in his book without making it cliche and predictable. Overall, however, I would rate this book with an 8/10 because of how the book was written and the sometimes lack of realistic reactions from the characters and how Jacob seemed to have things bounce off of him which should have been emotionally shocking.

If you do happen to read the book or if you don’t like to read, you can watch the movie for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The movie is still out in theaters, as of today, October the 20th, and was directed by Tim Burton. My thoughts on the movie were that it was disappointment because the second half of the movie (a good 45 minutes) had taken a whole new route from the book and I couldn’t find more than two percent of that section that actually happened int he book. Asa Butterfield, who appeared in “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” and “Ender’s Game” portrayed the main character, Jacob. I was disappointed at his acting because Butterfield was amazing in “Ender’s Game” but was wooden and unbelievable in “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”. To be frank, his monotone act did not help with the disorganized movie. Despite all of this and a few other pet peeves in the movie, I was still very excited to see the world of Jacob and the others’ brought to life and am glad to check it off my list of movies I need to watch.

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Book Review