16 May 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children


So the book is really a mix of concepts you've definitely seen before but all mixed together in one story. A group of children that would be considered old fashioned circus freaks become the peculiar children in Miss Peregrine's home.

Jacob was raised hearing stories about these children from his grandfather. Of course as he got older and older he came to realize his grandfather must surely be making these stories up. No children could possibly shoot flames from their hands, lift things that adults cannot, etc. Pictures can faked, right? As he watched his grandfather die, confused and depressed about what he saw Jacob falls into a deep depression. A counsellor convinces his family that yes, he should go learn about his grandfather's life back on the island where Miss Peregrine's home had been. Perhaps he'll reconcile the stories with the truth and get some peace of mind about who he grandfather was since he was still getting letters from there a mere 15 years earlier, perhaps someone is still alive to help him piece it all together.

Instead Jacob finds a bombed out building - as in bombed back in the war in 1940 and no one from that house was seen alive after. So how was his grandfather still hearing from his friends in this house?

Every time Jacob feels he's finding any answers, he gets hit with more questions.

There's people that make no sense. Time structures that make no sense. But then again, Jacob has never really made sense so for him it's all a welcome change of pace to his usual life.

I really debated between 3, 4, and 5 stars. There are parts of this book that really work well and I loved. Other parts that are just slow and drawn out. As I was reading I kept thinking to myself please please don't try to turn this into a series - keep it one story. Don't give it unnecessary bad guys just to stretch it out. And sure enough there at the end… Stretching out the story with bad guys it doesn't need. Clearly trying to turn it into the now mandatory trilogy. There is so much that could have been done with the story without all of that. In fact it almost seemed as though the main fight scene was an after thought.

In the end I can't ignore what it did wrong, but do feel it's better than 3 stars. I just hope that in the next book, which will surely happen, the author works out the kinks and realizes this is more about the peculiar children and the lives they're stuck with and less about those silly bad guys and the drama they bring - just kill them off and deal with the kids, their real battles didn't even require baddies when people like Jacob or minutes spent outside of the loop cause their real issues - glimpses of what they're missing. 4/5 stars

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