Let’s talk about Ransom Riggs’s “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.” I felt like I judged this book very harshly because 1)My sister raved about it and 2)Ransom is Tahereh Mafi’s husband so by association he must be wonderful. (The Shatter Me series is still, by far, my favorite.)
I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t completely in love with the book. For starters, it took about 100 pages for me to actually get into the book and want to continue reading. That’s a while in book time. Speaking of time, the explanation for how time/aging works in the books confused me. It went over my head and I just had to ignore it. It could’ve just been me being stupid though. And for some reason I kept mixing up the “children.” I needed to go back to see who did what, except for Howard and Emma. There was also mention of small children compared to the big kids so I imagined the home had a bunch of children running about. But at the end, the boats had only the main children who were mentioned before, so I was wondering what happened to the other kids. Did they die? Were there even other kids to begin with? The last thing that I thought was weird was how Jacob decided to keep his distance from Emma due to the whole Emma-Grandfather relationship, but he changed his mind like two seconds later. Really?
Okay, I’m done with the criticizing. Of course, Ransom’s book is known for its use of old photographs. That was cool when I saw how he drew inspiration from them and incorporated them seamlessly into the story. The actual peculiarities that the children had were really cool. He had the usual superpowers that we all know (e.g. invisibility, strength) but he created some new ones, like the guy with the bees.
As far as characters go, Emma is the best of the children. She’s really the only one readers get to know well because of her relationship (which gradually becomes better and better at just the right pace) with Jacob. Her charm and wit are wonderful. I loved when we first met her. I really liked Grandpa Portman, too. I wish there had been more of him in the book.
The time loop itself was written about very nicely. I liked how peaceful the home was there in contrast to when Jacob first finds the home on the island. And seeing when and how the loops started over added to the coolness of the loop. Learning about how the time affects the children in the loop was heartbreaking. It sucks for them living in there, since they don’t really have a say in the matter of coming and going like Jacob.
The action toward the end: Yay! I love when books are all upbeat and the characters are in fight or flight mode. It makes for a very intense and entertaining read.
I’m not dying to read the next book–it can wait–but I am looking forward to what comes next. Now that the introductions are out of the way, I think I’ll be able to get into the next one more than the first.
Ransom gets 3.8 out of 5 stars from me.