Warning: Spoilers Ahoy
Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is about Jacob, a 16 year‑old‑boy living in Englewood, Florida. Shortly after the story begins, Jacob’s grandfather dies and Jacob believes he has been killed by a rather creepy monster. Jacob eventually travels to an island off the coast of Wales in order to find out more about his grandfather’s history and the mysterious orphanage that he was sent to during WWII. Jacob finds the orphanage, which is stuck in a time loop such that the kids in the orphanage never age. Also, the kids all have magical powers.
This book sucks. The orphanage is straight out of the pages of X‑Men, except it is filled with 80‑ and 90‑ year old children. They’re old, but they still act like kids. My favorite part is how grandpa’s old flame is all over young Jacob. Yes, Jacob is snogging his grandfather’s old girlfriend, who is now almost 90 but appears to be 16. Super.
For that matter, Jacob is a terrible character. Riggs doesn’t bother to develop him at the beginning of the book beyond him being a rich, spoiled, suburban white kid. That is who he is at the beginning of the novel, and we know nothing more about him at the end of the novel. Oh, except that he disappears to another time, leaving his family with almost no explanation.
Moreover, the photographs that the novel centers around are superfluous. Riggs aptly describes the photos, and including them is overkill. Either don’t describe them in detail, or don’t include them. I don’t need to be beat over the head, nor does any 13‑yearold I know who would read this book. Several of the photographs had no relevance to the book, and seemed to be included simply because they were cool. And several of the photographs were supposed to be of the same person, but were obviously of different people.
I will say that there are two “bad” types of characters in this book, and one of them is legit creepy. The other is not‑at‑all‑creepy and never had me worried about the characters’ safety.