Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I first became interested in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children  when I heard it was being made into a new Tim Burton f...

I first became interested in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children when I heard it was being made into a new Tim Burton film. The synopsis made the book seem so intriguing, and I heard it compared to Harry Potter, so I was in!
I was able to snag the book from Amazon for less than five bucks, including shipping. I didn't really understand the deal with the "pictures and story entwining" until I got to reading through the book. Apparently the author, Ransom Riggs (and I'm convinced that isn't his real name) was a fan/collector of those creepy photos you'll see in links posted on Facebook about "The 20 creepiest pictures you'll ever see." You know, those pictures from a century ago where no one ever smiled and you just cannot figure out what was actually happening in the picture? Well, he started compiling these photos from yard sales and flea markets, and purchasing them from other collectors. Then he basically developed a story around these odd pictures. Eventually, after he'd started the story, he'd buy more pictures and then the story and photos influenced each other. 
So, throughout the novel, anytime a photograph is mentioned, the next page would be the photograph. It seemed kind of corny to me (the pictures with the story), and I found myself rolling my eyes at the pictures. I'm always interested in looking at those photos without a story along with them (they totally creep me out), but something about putting them together with the novel was odd to me. However, take out the pictures, and I really loved the actual story. I didn't see the big connection to Harry Potter that people had referred to, but I did see the connection to Xmen that I'd also heard of. 
I'd heard a lot of mixed reviews about the book- it's terrifying, it's not scary, it's a great read, it wasn't enjoyable, etc. So here's my two cents on that. 
The book is not a scary book. It's an adventure-y book about a boy who, as a child, was told stories about children with magic powers from his grandpa. Then his grandpa dies and he sets off on a sort of mission to discover more about his grandfather's life as a young boy. To me, the pictures are a little creepy, but I wouldn't call this a horror story. I would say it's on that same level at Harry Potter with mystery and magic and an important point to the story (friendship, bravery, etc.). 
I really enjoyed the book, but like I said, I wasn't a fan of the combination of story and photographs. I think if you go in reading it without any preconceived notions about it, it's very enjoyable. I also believe you need to be a fan of young adult fantasy-type novels to actually like it, as well.

Sidenote: I saw the preview for the film after reading the book, and I'm pretty excited to see the movie too. My only concern is it looks like they've combined some characters to make less characters, and switched some peculiarities around. Other than that, it should be pretty exciting!

Have you read this novel or any in the trilogy? What were your thoughts?

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  1. I felt the same way about this book. I expected it to be really scary and creepy but it turned out to be just an adventure book. And you're right, this is a good read for people who enjoy YA books.

    1. I made sure I went in reading it with no expectations but I had heard so many mixed reviews. I actually liked the second book much better.