Upon realizing that I could get a Bingo by filling in the ‘Backlog’ square, I went searching through my Kindle library for something I’d bought ages ago but never actually read. This resulted, a little oddly, in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I’d bought it years back when it was quite popular, but never actually read it.
For those who don’t know the story, it’s about a sixteen year old boy named Jacob who grew up on his grandfather’s strange stories and accompanying photos about odd people with strange powers. His grandfather is killed in unusual circumstances and Jacob seems to be suffering from PTSD. In an endeavor to heal his trauma and find out more about his grandfather’s past, Jacob and his father travel to a remote island in Wales, where Jacob is tossed into the strange world that his grandfather had once been part of.
Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more back when I first got the book, but I really didn’t enjoy it now. I found myself just not caring: not caring about the narrator and his rich boy problems, not caring for the mysteries of his grandfather’s life, not even caring about the Peculiar children. Jacob, the narrator, just sort of wandered from one thing to another. The blurb I gave above covers almost the first half of the book, because barely anything of remote interest happens before then. Jacob was far too old to be such a wishy-washy protagonist in a YA novel. The whole thing felt like it should have been MG, except that there was some kissing. And the only character I even remotely liked was his poor father, who is basically only there to be a slight obstacle in the narrative from time to time. Okay, Miss Peregrine wasn’t bad either, though that might have been because I kept seeing her as Eva Green, since I’d seen the promos for the movie years ago (though not the movie itself.)
The whole book felt like setup for a series that I have no interest in reading rather than a complete story. And the images that the narrative was built around seemed superfluous and unnecessary. Even worse, it was clear when characters and stories were designed for the purpose of shoehorning the images in. The premise–a narrative built around these old pictures–sounds cooler than the actuality.
Bingo square filled: Backlog
Previous bingo squares filled: Underrepresented, Brain Candy, White Whale, Cover Art, This Old Thing, Throwback Thursday, And So It Begins, Birthday!, So Shiny!, Cannonbookclub, Listicles, Not My Wheelhouse