Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children By Ransom Riggs

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Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children seems to be extremely popular these days. Some of that may be due to the fact that Tim Burton’s movie adaptation is hitting theaters soon. I found it on my sisters’ book shelf and she told me it would be a quick read for me, so I jumped right in.

Let’s talk about this story…

I will admit that I was expecting another Asylum when I saw the photo pages and that it was YA. I was wrong on that front.

Jacob, our main character, is ordinary. That is what we start out with. He is ordinary with a crazy grandfather and though quite privileged, seems to be headed nowhere fast in life. Not too much of his life is talked about besides his lack of social life and that he is headed for a boring career in his family owned chain of  drug stores. That’s all we really need to know to know how boring his existence is.

His grandfather, on the other hand, is anything but boring. He has colorful stories of growing up at a children’s home during World War 2. Not just any regular childrens home for refugee children who have become victims of war, but one full of all sorts of peculiar kids and situations.

Naturally, nobody believes the old man since the world likes to thrive on the mundane and Jacob stops believing due to not fitting in at school with other kids due to gramps quirkiness.

As is customary of young people, everyone assumes that Grampa Abe has totally gone berzerk as his older years pass and nobody believes the unbelievable stories he’s telling now. Not to mention they won’t give the supposedly crazy old bat the key to his gun safe.

Then we start to wonder if young Jacob is so ordinary after all…

Here is where I will stop with the details. I think everyone knows a bit more of this story than I have mentioned to this point, but I didn’t and I feel I had a better relationship with this story because of such. Sometimes it’s worth a lot to not read the back of the book.

So, on to my opinions and thoughts…

This book was fantastic. I didn’t want to put it down and when I absolutely had to, I was contemplating what may come next. The characters were so well thought out and the story having such an attachment to historical events really brought it to life for me. The subject matter was far from teenybopperish. At times I had to wonder how old I would want my own kids (though I don’t actually have any of my own) to be to approach some of the deeper matters contained within. Saying that, they were all realistic matters, no matter if they are in a fantastic situation.

Family, love, relationships, war, mortality, loss. All these topics covered in a book made for young adults and done in a way so that anybody can embrace the world and people in it is amazing to me. Had I read this when I was Jacobs age (sixteen), I could have read it again at twenty and then again at thirty and taken away more and something different with each reading.

Books that I want to keep around to reread again and again over time are some of the best books in the world in my opinion. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys great characters and a well thought out backstory that comes across as neither hokey or unbelievable. It simply feels unbelievably believable…if that makes sense. Probably not. Just go read it.

If you have read it, let me know what you liked or disliked about this.

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