If I am a connoisseur of anything, it is having an unpredictable attraction to stories of the spine-chilling, mysterious variety. A curious relationship, yes, but one I’ve always known. So it was without hesitance, after spying Miss Peregrine’s distinctive cover, that I went forth and removed the novel from the seller’s shelf. Hoping to find a rather eerie tale – filled to the brim with quirky characters and illusive riddles – I ventured into the unknown, turning page by page, only to discover the most unexpected: a story of heart, adoration and curiosity, with just a tad of peculiarity mixed in.
It’s the archetypal hero’s tale. Jacob Portman, your average nonconformist rich kid, seeks a way out, finding his life to be as normal and boring as any. The only solace he finds is in his grandfather’s remarkable stories and collection of haunting antique photographs. Levitating girls. Creators of fire. Invisible men. The weird and unusual. Jacob has never thought much of it, choosing to believe the extraordinary as nothing more than pure hokum. But when tragedy steps in, Jacob discovers it’s more than just fantasy and fable. Desperate for answers, Jacob travels to his grandfather’s childhood home in search for the infamous Miss Peregrine. Will she be able to help him? Or are the secrets she’s keeping more than he could possibly imagine?
In his debut novel, Ransom Riggs writes with a well-known time-worn model, but twists it into a new narrative of mystique and innocence. Though somewhat simplistic, you’ll find yourself enthralled with the novel’s thrills and chills, its magic and monsters. Miss Peregrine’s is not the first of its kind, but with the help of Rigg’s sparkling characters and Jacob’s witty inner-monologue, you’ll notice it’s particularly difficult to put the book down.
“I’m no expert on girls, but when one tries to punch you four times, I’m pretty sure that’s flirting.”
If anything, Miss Peregrine’s sets the stage for a bigger adventure; the start of an unsteady path, with infinite scenarios for these characters to live out (That means I’d like you to write a sequel, Riggs). There’s so much more to know, to uncover about the history of Miss Peregrine and Grandpa Portman – Jacob’s road to illumination. The novel seems to be a beginning rather than an ending; the storyline’s slow build giving us a small taste of what we could experience. It plays out as a steady quest for knowledge. The last chapter acting as a race, to finish, to defeat the evil that lurks around the corner.
Be it a well-written verse or a strange scene of whimsy, there is much delight to find within the pages of Miss Peregrine’s, that I can assure you. Action and romance. Unrequited love. Magic and mystery. Villainous plots. There is something for everybody in this home for peculiar children. You won’t find much dissatisfaction, only a wish to see more.
Book Rating: B-
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Have you read Miss Peregrine’s? Will you? What did you think of the book? Which character was your favorite? What was your favorite scene? Favorite line? Should there be a sequel? A film adaptation? Tell me in the comments!