Synopsis from Goodreads:
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
First line: “I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.”
My Thoughts (contains spoilers)
I’ve heard such amazing things about this book and have been meaning to pick it up for a while, and now that I have, I’m glad.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children follows the life of a boy named Jacob Portman – a Florida teen who’s a bit of a loner. Jake has grown up hearing tales of magical children living on an island off the coast of Wales from his grandfather, Abraham, who supposedly lived on this island when he was a teen. One day, Jacob gets a distressing call from his grandfather saying that the ‘monsters’ are coming for him and when Jacob finally finds him, he is mortally wounded and, with his dying breath, leaves his grandson with some seemingly random clues.
After months of therapy and pondering over what his grandfather’s clues mean, Jacob travels to the Welsh island that Abraham used to speak of, Cairnholm. This is where things get interesting.
This book pretty much grasped my attention from the very first line, even though I did get a bit bored during the time after Abraham died to just before Jake found the old photographs in the abandoned and wrecked orphanage on Cairnholm. Saying that, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially once I found out about the loop and Miss Peregrine began explaining everything about ‘peculiars’ to Jake – which is such a novel and interesting idea. Even though this book contains elements of fantasy it still felt like it could be real to me – like there could be a loop to the 1800s in my back garden that I didn’t know about – and I really quite liked that.
At the start of the book when Abraham was telling Jacob stories about his magical friends, they kind of gave me the creeps – especially along with the pictures – but when Jake eventually meets them they just seem like normal kids (well, as normal as they can be considering the levitating and mouths on the back of heads etc). I ended up being very interested in the peculiars and their special talents because some of them were just mad, like the boy who had bees coming out of his body. Overall though I really warmed to the characters, especially Emma and Millard; I like how feisty Emma is and some of the things that came out of Millard’s mouth were absolutely hilarious (words, not bees). I did quite like Jacob as well and felt monumentally bad for him when everyone thought he was crazy because he saw the Hollow that killed his grandfather.
One of my favourite parts about this book is the slightly creepy photographs dotted throughout. For me, these photos really brought the book to life and gave it a unique edge over other paranormal/fantasy books out there. I didn’t even realise until I finished the book that the photographs used were of real people, taken from personal collections.
Books set in the past always excite me so I can’t wait to get my hands on Hollow City to find out what’s going to happen with; the Hollows, if Miss Peregrine will ever be able to turn back into her human self and how Emma and Jake’s relationship will develop – especially since she’s his grandad’s ex *cringes slightly*.
I’m also super, super, super excited to see this on the big screen! I think it’s scheduled to come out some time this year and the cast seem great so hopefully it’ll be good.
Characters: 4/5 Stars
Plot: 4/5 Stars
Ending: 4/5 Stars
Originality: 5/5 Stars
Cover: 5/5 Stars
Thanks for reading,