An out of practice reader discussing the books I get around to reading.
So back in August I bought Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs as a birthday present (gift card). I had heard very good things about the book from everyone I've encountered who'd read it and figured why not.
I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a quick read with a very compelling plot and interesting characters. I really liked his writing style. It was very fresh and unique and his imagination is quite amazing. The hollows, for example. I've never quite seen a monster like them. They reminded me of the monsters from Lovecraft's stories that my boyfriend enjoys talking about, but they still had their own unique twist to them. And he had an amazing ability to use language in a way that is simply stunning. For example:
"They were monsters with human faces, in crisp uniforms, marching in lockstep, so banal you don't recognize them for what they are until it's too late." (pg. 21)
Simple yet so, so stunning. In fact, a lot of his writing style reminded me of A Monster Calls, which, if you recall, is a favorite book of mine.
I really enjoyed the characters, especially Jacob. As a protagonist I could really root for him and I wanted him to succeed. I felt the anguish of his decision between staying in the loop and leaving, and I could really connect to the parts of the book describing his grief over losing his grandfather. What can I say, I'm a sucker for an adolescent in grief.
Miss Peregrine was fabulous. Not as fabulous as I thought she'd be, especially since she's being played by Eva Green in the movie, but she was awesome. I enjoyed having misjudged her character. I thought she'd be more quirky and a Helena Bonham-Carter character, but I liked that she was stern and serious. I feel like in stories like this one the older characters are too often made quirky, so it was a refreshing change. Also, given her situation and responsibilities, it makes sense.
The characters of the peculiar children were all really interesting. I think Bronwyn was my favorite. She just had an adorableness about her. I loved it when she tore the hull off the boat and just ran with it. It was fantastic. Like, "Yep, that is an adequate solution." I didn't like Emma. Like, not like in the "I hope she dies" kind of way. Just in the "You're my least favorite" kind of way. I think I found her character just a little wishy-washy. Like, she seemed one way one moment and another in the next. She was a fine character, I just don't think I'd get along with her.
As much as I liked the book, I do have a few critiques. I felt like the plot was a little slow. Not a lot, just a little, and mostly in the beginning. It felt like the conflict only took up the last 1/4 of the book, if that, so I would have liked if there had been just a bit more conflict. It is more of a mystery so I suppose that's why it took so long for there to be any intense conflict, but I wish there had been just a bit more danger for Jacob.
My second and last complaint is the chapter lengths were inconsistent. Super petty, but I wish they had been more consistent. It was a little annoying reading 10 page chapter, 10 page chapter, then SURPRISE this one's forty pages, have fun sleeping now! But that's more of a personal thing than anything else.
Over all, very good book and I would definitely recommend it. 9/10. I will be getting Hollow City as soon as I get more money. Not too optimistic about the movie at this point - Tim Burton's track record hasn't been great and some of the casting decisions bother me - but the book was good. Go read it.