Thursday, January 19, 2012

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Ransom Riggs, the author of Miss Peregrine's Home was inspired to write the book when he found some creepy old pictures of children in what appeared to be supernatural poses - such as the cover shot.  He wound up finding several collections of these photos and used them to illustrate his YA novel.  The premise is interesting: a school for kids with supernatural abilities discovered by a young boy whose grandfather attended the school.  And the pictures themselves are wonderfully creepy.  As far as the book itself, well...

Writing
Basic YA fiction-style and generic quality.  Not great, not awful.  No complaints but also no raves.

Entertainment Value
This part is tricky.  I loved the first half of the book.  I was deliciously creeped out by the tragedy that occurs in the main character (Jacob)'s family at the beginning of the book.  I was intrigued by the school and what would happen when Jacob found it.  I was really into it.  And then things started to go downhill.  The last half of the book was a struggle to get through.  Once Jacob finds the school and meets the students, the book totally shifts gears.  I felt like I was reading two different books by the end.  The second half was slow and drawn out with a surprise cliff hanger ending.  Not only did I not enjoy the second half, I was super annoyed by the "surprise" sequel.  There's no indication on the cover or the GR page or anywhere else that this is a series book, but at the end we are left with a major cliffhanger ending.  When you look up the author on GR you can find out he has a sequel planned.  Because of how slow the second half of the book is, it really comes across to me as a case of the author drawing out what could have been a stand alone book into a series to sell more books.  I was not impressed.

Overall
I didn't hate the book.  If you really wanted to read it, I don't think you should avoid it just because I didn't like it.  I didn't dislike it so much that I'd specifically recommend against reading it.  But my recommendation if you're on the fence is that you check out the pictures and save your time reading something else.  I won't be picking up the sequel.

4 comments:

  1. Your review is exactly what I expect and is why I haven't decided go for it or not. I feel like I will read it to experience the full package but then I think should I just 'because'......

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  2. I really loved the addition of the pictures into the book. I really don't think the story could have carried without them. I agree, though that it did seem rather fragmented. It definitely didn't live up to being on the B&N best seller list for me.

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  3. I read this earlier this month, but haven't done my review yet. But maybe i'll just point to your review, because you pretty much said everything I was going to say :)

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  4. I was really underwhelmed with this book but I did love the creepy pictures! Great review!

    Giselle
    Xpresso Reads

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