Saturday, March 5, 2016

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

I need to start this review by saying, I wanted to like this book SOOOOOO bad! Actually, I wanted to love this book, I thought I would really love this book. What's not to like? First, the cover is amazing. It grabbed me the first time I saw it. I'm a sucker for a good cover.
I had some birthday money to spend, I was in my local bookstore and I had this book in my hand. I flipped it over, "A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of peculiar photographs."
Hello! Sign me up!
But wait! There's more! Flipping through the pages, I see that there are real photographs inside that go along with the story! Last and final hook:
Buzzwords like: "Tense, strange, thrilling, horrific, tragedy, dangerous..."
How does this get better? It's also a series so when I fall head over heels in love with it, I can go out and buy the rest of them!
HOORAY!!

Oh Ransom Riggs, it was the perfect set up and you got me. Unfortunately for me, this book didn't deliver. Not even a little bit.
First of all, the photographs. They are found photos from Ransom Riggs' collection, that's what the back says--and they are pretty strange and creepy. However, as a story telling tool, I found it to be a little forced. I feel like Riggs made the story work for the photos and not the other way around. I felt a little manipulated by the whole thing. Example:
"It was Halloween...My grandmother bought this ridiculous pink bunny costume and he put it on and sat in the driveway waiting for Grandpa Portman to come home from five o'clock until nightfall, but he never did...grandma was so mad, she took a picture of my dad crying in the street..."
Turn the page, an old photo with some kid wearing a bunny costume.
It doesn't even look pink. It's in black & white but it looks like a white bunny costume and the kid isn't in the driveway, he's on a sidewalk.
Meh.
If you're going to use props in your book, they better freakin' be tight. You know?
Secondly, this book wasn't scary or creepy or strange or anything. I actually didn't even think it was that original. The "Home for Peculiar Children" had an X-Men vibe. All these kids living in a mansion who had all these weird abilities?
Meh.
I wasn't thrilled.
The "threat" in this book...the villain(s)...not scary.
So I plodded along through the entire book, feeling a little bored, manipulated, cheated out of a creepy novel, which aren't good feelings to have while you're reading.
I even checked out the next book in the series from the library to see if it got better but it didn't--it got worse.
I know there are fans out there, I've seen the #bookstagram love, so I'm sorry if you're reading this review and hating me but I gotta be real! I have to be me. I hate when a whole community of people love something so, so much that everyone else is afraid to tell the truth.
Think of the story, the Emperor's New Clothes. Here is this guy parading around town naked and everyone is too afraid to ask why, for fear of being the one who doesn't "get it".
Well I don't "get" Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. It bums me out, but it is what is. I give it 2 stars. One star for the cover art and one star for the "idea" of the book and the 3 stars I left out are for Ransom Riggs not being able to execute.

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