Friday, June 29, 2012

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

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
Young Adult
Read From: June 17, 2012 - June 19, 2012

Cover Blurb: Love it. It’s creepy and intriguing and just shouts READ ME! Everything about it is attention-grabbing. It’s also a cover that you have to turn over so it’s not constantly staring at you and giving you nightmares. And I love the title’s font.

What I Liked: Like everyone else who has read this book, I loved the pictures. They added a very unique flair to the story’s atmosphere, and the fact that they are all real vintage photos just makes them all the creepier. I loved the story’s prologue - it was very engaging, promised a lot, and essentially did everything a prologue is supposed to do. And I loved the story’s premise. Jacob is also a pretty good protagonist. Given his recent family loss, and having his entire family thinking he might be losing his mind, Jacob’s slight attitude is understandable, though I honestly think he accepts his family’s opinion on his sanity pretty darn well.

What I Disliked: The story really didn’t deliver. Not in the way that the prologue, photos, and synopsis lead you to believe. I expected a psychological thriller, or at least a story with tons of twists and turns, a cliffhanger ending (because I already knew there was a sequel), and an overall spooky story. A perfect summer read. The story is spooky. At first. But the Author reveals all the plot-twists way too soon and all at once. And once the Reader “sees” the monsters - the hollowgasts - they are no longer scary. Not even a little bit. There’s also the romantic relationship between Jacob and Emma. In a story like this, any romantic relationship is going to feel sudden and rushed, and this one is no exception. There’s also the fact that while Emma is stuck in a time loop and therefore doesn’t age, there is still a HUGE age difference between her and Jacob, and she had romantic attachments to Jacob’s grandfather. Sorry, but that’s just weird.

Believability: Considering the nature of this story, it’s hard to talk about believability at all. But supposing for a moment - for just a moment - that this could happen, the Author did do a good job in creating an environment where it might be possible. An isolated little island in Wales is a perfect setting for weird events like this.

Writing Style: The Author’s writing is nothing to complain about or praise. It worked for the story, and was entertaining. The dialogue read the way people actually talk, so it was realistic.

Content: This was not something I was expecting. 5 g--damns and 9 s-words. The majority of it is in the beginning half, then once Jacob goes through the time loop, the language pretty much goes away, except for a couple of words. But I intend to take a little black marker to my personal copy when I buy this book.

Conclusion: It’s exciting enough, but I get the sad - and horrible - feeling that the second book is just going to dissolve into a new version of the zombie-smashing storyline. There’s no zombies, but the hollowgasts aren’t too far off in many ways. It’s looking less and less like a mind-twisting story and more like a horror story. Still, I can’t accuse the first book of being boring, and there were enough aspects that I liked to give it three stars.

Recommended Audience: Mystery Readers who like supernatural/paranormal-like mysteries would probably enjoy this, as well as horror story fans. Definitely an older-teen audience, and a girl and guy read.

Others in the Miss Peregrine's Series:
1)Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
2)Hollow City

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