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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Lefty's Lowdown: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
(Book #1)
Published: June 7, 2011 by Quirk
Source: Purchased
Summary from Goodreads:
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
 The second I saw the movie trailer for this book's adaptation, I knew I wanted to read it. If you follow me on Twitter, you probably have seen my struggle with this book. I finished the last page with very mixed feelings, and, even a week later, I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about this book, so this review is going to be a little bit different than my usual reviews.


+ The writing - I enjoyed the style, and I loved Jacob's voice.

+ The photos - If a book has mixed media, I instantly like it more. And these aren't just photos; they're creepy af photos. And probably my favorite part of this book!

+ The peculiarity - I really enjoyed reading about the side characters and what their peculiar trait was. Some of the traits were more common (invisibility, fire balls), but some were much more unique (controls bees, back mouth)! It was a lot of fun!

+ The second half - I became pretty damn hooked when Jacob started unraveling the truth about his grandfather's past, and the truth about the peculiar children, and the truth about himself. It became exciting and fast-paced! Not to mention there was a little twist that I hadn't seen coming (even though I probably should have).


- The first half - It was so hard to make it through the first half of this novel. While I thought the writing was good, it just didn't hook me in. It was slow and drawn out. I really think Ransom Riggs could have cut out a good chunk of the first half and got to the good stuff quicker.

- Lack of connection - I liked Jacob's character. He grew a lot over the course of the novel, and, like I said above, I loved his voice. However, I didn't really connect with him the way I would have liked to.

- The romance - It felt rushed and, yes, WEIRD. If it developed more slowly over the course of the series, I'd probably be a bit more into it, but it felt a little forced this early on. (But it wasn't insta-love or anything, I promise.)

- The world building - I'm still just a bit confused about it all? This is probably more my fault than the book's fault, I just didn't think some aspects of the world were explained sufficiently enough. Maybe I'll understand it more as I read the rest of the series.

As you can see, I'm pretty torn. There were some aspects I thought were great, and some that made it really hard to get through this book. It took me two weeks to read this book, and for a little while, I began to feel slumpy, and I debated DNFing. I'm glad I didn't DNF, though, because by the end of this novel, I was hooked enough to want to continue the series! And I am unbelievably stoked for the movie!
Actually 3.5/5

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