Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

Fall Book Club – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

12 Comments

It’s time for reflection!

I must admit, when I saw our September book choice, I went:

Eek!

Me + scary books =s Me having nightmares

I mean, look at the cover, it did not make me want to open the book.  Nor did the description which promised eerie things (courtesy of Goodreads):

A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, 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.

^Although I feel like this summary is somewhat misleading…but explaining why might spoil some things, so I’ll remain mum.

Anyway,

It didn’t terrify me like I thought it would.  Even the super creepy pics didn’t bother me, because they really added to the story.  No sleeping with the lights on or anything!

Right away, it didn’t exactly *feel* like a YA to me.  There was something “looking back-ish” reflective about the prologue.

Note: Here is a book where I think the prologue works well, because it sets up the story nicely.

Other thoughts:

I’m not sure how to accurately explain this.  A lot happens, but it doesn’t really seem like it.  I stayed a bit detached from the story.  The MC, Jacob, was likable, but I never got to really know him.  I wasn’t as emotionally invested as I wanted to be.

There was a slight bit of romance (which I’m normally all for), but even that felt a little odd and not just because of the circumstances.

Ransom Riggs was great at creating an atmosphere; I didn’t have any trouble imagining the island.  But I would have liked to get to know the “Peculiars” better because some of them were really interesting.  I liked Bronwyn for her bravery/sweetness and Enoch, despite his creepy “gift.”

Some of the time/space explanations were a bit muddled, but I’m the sort to question Newton’s laws, so it’s not surprising I’d feel iffy about that.  I did, however, figure out one of the twists, so I was quite proud of myself.

The ending was obviously setting things up for a sequel, but it felt a little “eh,” mostly because I was still a tad confused about the time/space  stuff.

All in all, it was a quick read and an interesting concept…just not my type of book.

Edit: I want to comment on your blogs, fellow book clubbers, so we can dish about this book, but my words keep getting eaten when I click “submit”…so sorry if you somehow end up with 500 comments from me b/c of this weird glitch.

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Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

12 thoughts on “Fall Book Club – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

  1. I agree with you pretty much 100%. The situation said MG to me, the voice was YA–but not always authentically so? Still, this book was so creative, and had such a great eerie mood, that I had fun reading it.

  2. I would have liked to get to know the peculiars more, too. Aside from Emma, the only one we really got to see was Enoch, and I still feel like there’s more to him I’d like to know.

    And talk about atmosphere. That’s the greatest strength of this book. He did a really wonderful job with that, and not just creating a vivid setting but making it eerie and mysterious.

  3. I agree that Riggs is best at atmosphere and setting. The island, the house, the photos — they were all lush and creepy and fully realized. I LOVED these pieces of the story. But when it came to Jacob & Co., as well as the time traveling, I had some of the same issues you did.

  4. Sounds like an interesting book. I’ll have to check it out. I’ve had the same thing happen with comments. I can’t figure it out.

  5. Yes, definitely, to wanting to get to know more about the Peculiars. Hopefully in the next installment we will…

    I felt the same as you about the ending. It all felt very quick and somewhat muddled, and I found myself really have to suspend my disbelief. That said, Jacob’s voice carried this book for me. Even though it wasn’t *quite* YA, I still loved his reflective view and slight snark.

    Great review!

  6. Skimming through all these reviews is making me KICK MYSELF for not reading it along with y’all.

  7. Just wanted to say that I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought the book and description made for a scary-sounding reading experience. Thank you 🙂

  8. I agree with a lot of what you said. What I found was that the pacing of the book jumped around a lot. By the end I enjoyed it, but the beginning was torture.

    I found the whole Jacob / Emma thing really awkward. When I review a book I generally have a section about the romance in it and all I could say for Peregrine was that the way it was written as (great word!) awkward and the situation felt creepy.

    I also agree that a lot of the characters besides Jacob and Emma needed more depth. Anyway, great thoughts. It was interesting to read your opinions.

  9. I have a copy. I was so intrigued by the description that I had to buy it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

  10. I agree that I would’ve liked to know the peculiars better – but I got the hint that his journey’s not done – so maybe we’ll see them more in a future book.

    It’s interesting that you said it was a fast read – I did not find it so. But I still really liked it, and have given it my daughter to read (she’s already half way through)

    PS – I was having trouble with commenting on some blogs (posts eaten – WTH?!) When I signed into my blogger account first, that seemed to help.

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