At one point over the summer, I found myself having to kill some time at an Indigo. Not surprisingly, I found myself perusing the Young Adult section, horrifying myself with the quantity of vampire love stories, while hunting out the more interesting looking releases.
Then, I spotted the black and white cover of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The vintage photograph image of the creepy, little girl peaked my interest, because, seriously, how can old, creepy photos NOT peak your interest, right?
I picked up the novel and started flipping through it. The old photographs sprinkled throughout the book pretty much sealed the deal for me right there, despite not having a single clue what the book was about. I don’t know what it is about me and those photographs, but, it seems that you can sell me on anything if you throw them in. It’s like an extra interest bonus or something.
Hey Vic, want to rob a bank? I’ll give you these really neat creepy, old photographs. SOLD.
Hey Vic, want to burn all of your clothes? I’ll give you these really old, creepy photographs. SOLD.
It’s like the icing on the cake, guys! ICING ON THE CAKE.
Anyway, I digress.
I picked a random spot in the book and started reading a little snippit in order to get a feel for the writer’s style. I do this with every single book. It may only be a paragraph, or it may be a full page, but I always read a small, random section of each book to see how I feel about the style it’s been written in. I can no longer remember where I picked this habit up from. All I can remember is that I recall reading the suggestion to do so somewhere, a long time ago.
The style seemed good, the photos were spot on, and I loved the fact that the book had colour throughout. I’m always intrigued by books that have a print style slightly different from the norm. Miss Peregrine’s has a neat maroon filigree along the bottom of each page, as well as patterned chapter pages which add to the whole feel of the book, as silly as that may be.
I fell right into the story rather easily. It’s written smoothly and carries you along like a perfect wave from start to finish. It does feel jumpy, though, I suppose, at the beginning where the pace is quicker, moving almost… too fast? I understand that this is what gets the ball rolling, but it felt really quick and didn’t overly develop the one relationship between the main character and his grandfather.
The further I got into it, the more it reminded me of X-Men. The fact that the novel revolves around a group of gifted children isolated in a secluded historical home with a headmistress who cares for and helps them to develop and hone their talents is very similar indeed. Sure, that may be where the comparison’s end, but the premise is there.
Even though I found the book enjoyable and devoured it in only a couple of days, I found myself frustrated with the ending. Why? This book is obviously the first in what will one day be a series. I was blindsided, and I didn’t like it. I had no idea this was going to be s story involving more than one book, and so, expected a novel that would tie up its loose ends and complete properly. Instead, I closed it up, having one small plot point resolved, and a much larger, more vague adventure on the horizon… THAT I CAN’T EVEN READ ABOUT UNTIL WHO KNOWS WHEN!
I’m the type who delays reading a (popular) series until it’s a bit more developed as I prefer reading as much of the story as possible in one go. Injecting gaps between books only requires you to read the preceding novel before the newest, which, let’s face it, never happens. Then, I find myself confused in the newest book’s plot unless the author does a decent job of recapping what’s happened before, which, at the same time, can become irritating, I suppose, if you’re reading through them all at once.
So hard to please, I am.
Miss Peregrine was good. Heck, I may even say it was great. It had all the elements of interesting and fun with just the slightest bit of suspense and a dose of intrigue. It also had just the right amount of creep factor for others like me who just can’t handle books and movies that are too heavy on the creep.
Don’t read this novel late at night when the house is dark and quiet and you’re right at the point of the novel where they’re discussing Wights and you have to look at the accompanying photos and then decide, “Do I venture out of the bedroom, into the dark house, to use the washroom? Or do I stay here safe and warm?”
Getting up to go to the bathroom was the hardest thing I did that night.
Silly Miss Peregrine.