A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. Fiction is based on real black and white photographs. The death of grandfather Abe sends 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, and explores abandoned bedrooms and hallways. The children may still live.
There was never a question of “if” I would read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I was intrigued by the premise, and just weeks after it came out, I found out the Ransom Riggs also attended my alma mater, Kenyon College. While I thought that Riggs’ debut was creative and imaginative, I was hoping for more.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children sucks in the reader right away. Riggs successfully gets the reader thinking, “I’m not sure what’s happening, but I must know more!” One of his greatest gifts as a writer is creating haunting settings. It seemed that I was freaked out by most of the places Riggs described.
I enjoyed the storyline of this one. Riggs tied in a plot element that I wasn’t expecting, but it worked well. I just hope there’s a sequel, because this story had a few open ends.
My problem with this one? The world-building. I felt as though I didn’t have enough reasons about what everything was at the end of the book. The photos were incorporated well, but I wasn’t fanatical about the explanations behind them. Although they were fine, they needed to be fleshed out more.
Riggs's novel is creative and interesting, and I think that’s why it’s been successful among readers. While I enjoyed it, it wasn’t a standout read for me. If you’re looking for a surprising and creepy read, however, you should definitely check it out.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.