Miss Peregine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs Release Date: 6/7/2011 Publisher: Quirk Books Book #1 of the Miss Peregine’s Peculiar Children series Number of Pages: 352 Kindle Edition Source: MCL YA/Fantasy/Paranormal Rating: PG-13 Read 4/22/17 to 5/7/17
I was so excited when Liz picked this book for book club. It’s been on my TBR list for years! When the movie came out last fall I knew I wanted to see it, but I also knew I wanted to read the book first. Honestly, the reason I put off reading it was that whole thing I have of being afraid of things being to hyped up in my mind and ending up disappointed. I know my opinion isn’t the most popular when it comes to this book, but I wasn’t crazy about it. So here’s my review and I’ll give you book club info after.
As I said, I had high expectations going into this story. Believe it or not, I had no idea there were extremely strong ties to World War II in this book. In the very beginning, when I realized this, I was even more eager to dive in. I love stories and movies that take place in that era. Yet for some reason, I just could not get into this book! What makes it more frustrating on my part is I can’t pinpoint why that was.
This book is the first in a series, but it seemed to that through the years since it was published it had always been talked about as being fine as a standalone book. In fact, the second book wasn’t published until a few years after the first. Yet I got invested in a character that was a friend of Jacob only for him to never be seen again. The way it was written, I really thought he’d pop back up or we’d find out he’d been hiding something. Sure, that may come out in later books, but it seemed like a lot of time invested in a character for no particular reason I could see.
I really couldn’t stand Jacob’s mom (or most of his family for that matter). I kind of think that was intentional though. It still bothered me either way. So when Jacob and his dad get to actually leave home and Jacob will finally get to possibly see/meet some of these peculiar children I was once again onboard to be wowed. Ugh! Not so…again.
I truly do understand that this is a fantasy book. Total fiction. But the attitude of Jacob’s dad and the way he reacts (and sometimes doesn’t react) to things really put a damper on my reading. I hate giving spoilers and this isn’t an actual spoiler, but I am going to give a tad bit away here. I think I would have liked this book so much better if Jacob would have been allowed to travel alone. It may have been a tad unrealistic that his parents would let him do that, but the interactions with his dad while they were traveling seemed even more unrealistic to me. Worse, I found them to be unnecessary.
The mystery of the peculiar children was enjoyable. Following Jacob’s reasoning and prying kept me engaged and curious. Not that I would have wanted that portion to go on longer…then it would have passed into annoying. Meeting the children and hearing a bit of their stories was great. (See, I can’t figure out why I couldn’t immerse myself into this one.) I kind of felt I would have liked to have more back story on some of them. Again, I went into this feeling it could be a total standalone.
As to the standalone question…yes, this can be read as a standalone. But the story really isn’t resolved at the end. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a cliff-hanger, but it’s really not finished. Unfortunately, I’m not so sure I’m going to continue the series.
One last thing. This is marketed as YA, but please head my PG-13 rating. This is for the older YA crowd as there is quite a bit of violence and death in the story.
First, I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I am to tell you that I didn’t go to book club. My sister-in-law is very pregnant and had some issues Sunday morning. I live around the corner from her and my brother so they called to see if I could watch the other kids so they could go into the hospital. Of course, my niece and nephew come before book club! Thankfully all is good with the baby (who we hope to meet on Monday!), but due to the plans we had for book club I wasn’t able to join them later.
One of our members, Linda, heard there was going to be an All Things Detroit food truck rally at Eastern Market the same day as we had book club. She suggested we drive over there and have lunch at the food trucks while also discussing the book. There’s so much to do at Eastern Market and in Detroit on a Sunday afternoon so we were all in. So that’s what I missed out on. As of yet, I haven’t had a chance to have a real conversation with anyone so I’m not sure how it went but I’m sure they all had a great time.
This also means I didn’t get to hear what all the other ladies thought of the book. I will be seeing Liz this coming weekend and I’m sure she’ll fill me in. I’m curious to know what everyone else thought of the story and how many of them read more than the first book.
Even though I wasn’t there, I do know what our next book will be. We’re reading The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury. I’m not 100% sure of the date yet. Initially I was told it would be 6/3/17, but I guess Liz is doing the Tough Mudder that day so they changed it to 7/16/17. I may not be able to make that day due to the wedding so Linda (who is the next hostess) is thinking about the date still. I’ll let you know. Either way, the book is the same.
Sorry for the bummer of a book club post. Hopefully next time will go better for me! I’d love to hear from you if you had read along with us.