Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine #1
Published: June 7, 2011
Genres: Horror, Supernatural, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover (352 pages)
A horrific family tragedy sends Jacob to a remote island off Wales, to the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, where he finds unusual old photographs. The children, one his grandfather, were more than peculiar, perhaps dangerous, quarantined for good reason - and maybe still alive.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is like Mary Poppins for creepy children. Or like an orphanage for superheroes but their powers aren’t always useful. They are just peculiar, which I thought was a good name for them.
The beginning starts out very eerie. I jumped a few times at loud noises when I was reading this at night. Why did my husband have to have a cold while I was reading this? GOSH. Every sneeze from him gave me a heart attack. The story kind of amped up how creepy the photos were. I’ve seen photos with glowing eyes before, but the story somehow made them a little more freaky.
There’s a haunted house and other horror elements, but then the story suddenly takes a turn into familiar paranormal territory and it wasn’t that scary to me anymore (except for that photo towards the end with staples in it. That one freaks me out). I ended up liking the kids even though they are a little bizarre.
I could tell the author, Ransom Riggs, got a collection of strange vintage photographs and imagined a story that would explain what was happening in all the photographs and somehow weave them all together. It gave the story a slight contrived feeling, but mostly I felt like it was a really creative idea. The plot slowed down a few times, but overall it had a nice leisurely pace to it. I mean, it’s a horror story and taking things slow adds to the atmosphere but sometimes it felt like nothing was happening and I wanted to move on.
Overall, it was a good story told in a creative way with vintage photographs that starts out mildly scary but mellows out as it goes along.
Content Rating: Medium, for a handful of swear words and some mildly gory scenes.