Good evening! I hope everyone has had a good week (and for those fellow third years out there, I hope the dissertation hasn’t driven you off the edge – #wecandothis). Today’s blog post is about Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I wanted to read this book because I had always been intrigued by the storyline, and I also recently saw a trailer for the film adaptation, directed by Tim Burton (more on that later).
Author: Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1
Publication Date: 07/06/2011
Genre: Young Adult (YA) Horror/Dark Fantasy
Jacob Portman, a 16-year-old ordinary kid, starts seeing a psychiatrist after his grandfather is brutally murdered…by shadowed monsters with multiple tongues. His grandfather is the one who told him stories about the island when he was growing up and showed him photographs of the peculiar children. On a journey to discover the truth, Jacob travels to the island in search of the children’s home. What awaits him is more mystery, but also one big answer to everything that hasn’t made sense in his life.
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is a unique reading experience. Riggs spent a large amount of time searching through collections of photographs to find interesting snapshots that would fit into the book. A lot of the photos depict the appearance of the peculiar children, which helps to visualise the characters and the narrative. I really enjoyed this element of the book and I was also thrilled to discover that the second book, Hollow City, continues in the same way. It added another dimension to the story, whilst transforming the style of the story-world to reflect the vintage quality of the photos.
I also really liked the concept of the time-loops, since I have always been hugely interested in British war history, and the main time-loop in which the narrative is set is stuck in 1940, on the 3rd September. The historical elements and the vintage photographs were a perfect pairing. One of my favourite characters, Millard Nullings (the invisible boy), records all the details of the one day of history that they are trapped in. He knows the movement of every single person as well as the exact second that the enemy planes will fly across the sky.
“And earlier today I had gone inside it and come out someplace else: September third, 1940.”
Riggs weaves an intricate plot filled with intriguing characters. Jacob has to navigate between two time zones, trying to save everyone he cares about from evil forces, whilst trying to figure out where he belongs. I loved all of the characters, including Miss Peregrine, Emma Bloom, and Jacob himself. There is the small beginnings of a love story between Jacob and Emma, so it will be interesting to see where that goes.
Moving onto the recent trailer for the film adaptation, I do have my doubts. The trailer certainly doesn’t seem to reflect the same vintage quality of the book. From what I’ve seen of the characters in the film, they have focused more on their garish peculiarities than their complex personalities and individual motives in the narrative. Also, there seems to be some unnecessary changes, like the fact that Emma Bloom has the levitating peculiarity in the film, which a different character has in the book. But, I won’t be making any solid judgements just yet. It’s a waiting game now.
Let me know if you’ve read Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children and what you thought in the comments. Have a wonderful weekend!
Click here to buy your own copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children.