Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children was another family recommendation. This time from my sister. I didn’t hesitate at all, but quickly took it to read. Not surprisingly, I’m happy I did! I really liked this book, even though it was totally creepy. It was so interesting, and had such a steady pace, not rushing or drawing out too long. There’s no easy way to really describe it, so I’d say, just dive in and find your bearings.
Jacob is an ordinary boy in an ordinary town, who wishes for something more. He works at a store, which he hates, and has a grandfather whom he loves, but who is seeming to go crazy. He tells stories about his old friends who could do amazing things, like levitate, form fire out of thin air, and one who is invisible. He also has a collection of firearms and talks about monsters. Jacob enjoyed looking at the old photographs of his grandfather’s friends when he was young and believed in them, but now he is skeptical and worrying about his grandfather. One day, he goes to check on his grandfather, only to find him dead. The crazy thing is Jacob sees a creature with tentacles receding into the woods. His parents agree to send him to counseling after going through such a traumatic event which is causing Jacob horrible nightmares. Jacob’s therapist is a great help and eventually suggests that Jacob visit the island where his grandfather met all his old friends. Jacob’s parents reluctantly agree and he gets to go with his dad. Once on the island, Jacob quickly finds the home his grandfather stayed at, but is dismayed to find it in ruins. It’s not long after this, that he meets his grandfather’s friends, who are truly different and haven’t aged a day from their photographs. Spoilers: Jacob is soon swept into their world, where time stands still in order for them to be protected from “normal” humans, as well as from horrible tentacled creatures called HollowGhasts and human looking creatures called Wights, both of whom hunt peculiars for food (Wights doing the brunt of the work because they can blend into human society). Jacob is drawn to the peculiar’s world and enchanted with their life, feeling at home and safe with them and their headmistress, Miss Peregrine. He’s learning more about his grandfather (including the fact that he had dated, Emma, a peculiar who can form fire and who has taken a pointed interest in Jacob), and more about himself. He finds out that he is actually peculiar, like his grandfather. They both can see monsters, while everyone else cannot. Before long, this ability comes in handy as he spots both a HollowGhast and Wight on the island and therefore knows trouble it’s coming for Miss Peregrine and her peculiars. Everything comes to a head when the Wight breaks into Miss Peregrine’s world and captures her, while the HollowGhast tries to kill Jacob, Emma, and a few of their friends. He is ultimately unsuccessful (he dies), but the damage is done with Miss Peregrine. Jacob and his friends must rescue her and defeat the Wight, who has been disguising as Jacob’s therapist. After an epic battle, they kill the Wight and are able to rescue Miss Peregrine (who was forced to turn into a Peregrine – her peculiarity), but she is unable to turn back. They also learn that the HollowGhasts are working together to capture other leaders like Miss Peregrine (who alone are able to manipulate time) in order to gain more power and eventually master time itself. Jacob has to decide if he will return home to his ordinary life, or abandon it to live with the other peculiars. In the end, he decides to stay with his new friends and help defeat the monsters. He tries to explain things to his dad, who is incredulous and clueless, but knows he’ll never really understand, and then he leaves to start his new life.
Summing it up: This book was so creepy and so good. I definitely recommend it and can’t wait to read the other two books in the series!
All the best, Abbey