Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs — A Review

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

RaeleighReads rating: 5 out of 5 coffee cups

“Scattered toys, evidence of children long gone, lay skinned in dust. Creeping mold had turned window-adjacent walls black and furry. Fireplaces were throttled with vines that had descended from the roof and had begun to spread across the floor like alien tentacles.”

A perfect marriage of literature and visual arts, Miss Peregrine’s is a brilliant book, and I’m recommending it to everyone.

First, this book is gorgeous. I know, I know, I shouldn’t be dazzled by the trappings, but seriously just go look at this thing. The paper is heavy and thick. Each chapter begins with a decorative page, and each page itself has a decorative swirl along the bottom, denoting the page number. Interspersed between and integral to the story, are wonderful old photographs that Mr. Riggs found, collected, and incorporated. The book itself is a work of art, and I love that!

Now, if it had only been pretty to look at, I wouldn’t have given it five coffee cups, but Miss Peregrine’s is also a compelling read. If I had had zero distractions, I would have gobbled this thing up in one sitting. Alas, life happens so it took me two days to read. But as my family can attest, I was loathe to put it down.

Now then, Miss Peregrine’s follows the story of Jacob Portman, a wealthy, slightly awkward sixteen-year-old with no real life aspirations. But then, Jacob is catapulted into a world he was not prepared for, and I absolutely adored the way he rose to the challenge. Mr. Riggs’ character development is magnificent; all of the characters, even the peculiar ones, felt so real to me. Also, there is a subtlety to Riggs’ writing so that you aren’t even cognizant of the change that is occurring in the characters until it has already happened. And then you just kind of sit back and say wow.

The book is categorized as young adult, and I absolutely think young people can and do enjoy this immensely. That said, Riggs’ writing has a sophistication to it that I believe many adult readers will appreciate. To sum it up in three words: I am impressed.

I was expecting a lovely fantasy story, a quick YA read. I got all of that, but I also got wonderful craftsmanship and artistry. I loved this; go get it!

Some opinions you may be interested in:

I loved the cover of this book, and it all started out well. Alas, about half-way through the story lost steam.“– BrooklynReader on Amazon

In short, this novel was a disappointment. With it’s cast of children with special talents and it’s just-odd-enough matriarch, you would assume the story would practically write itself, but I found the novel boring and slow.“– Sarah M. Ruggles on Amazon

Some other opinions you may find useful:

“Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is a wonderfully original and inventive book with colorful characters, a mysterious tale woven together with threads of historical relevance, and incorporating unforgettable vintage photographs which bring the story to life.”—Geeks of Doom

“Riggs deftly moves between fantasy and reality, prose and photography to create an enchanting and at times positively terrifying story.”—Associated Press



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