Saturday, October 10, 2015

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Being a "Best Seller" Doesn't Mean Shit

By: Liz
Book review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Official FC Rating: 


This book is exceptionally deceptive. I read the inside cover and it sounded right up my alley: creepy, weird, a little spooky- perfect for autumn. So, I borrowed it from my mom despite her warning that it was “really weird.”

My mom, unlike me, isn’t much of a reader, but a year or two ago she was compelled to join some book club and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was their first book. Not shockingly, my mom never finished the book, but I figured that’s typical of my mom with fiction books, so that doesn’t mean the book is bad….

Let’s get some things straight: there are some weird books that are my favorites. Murakami’s books? All kinds of weird. This book, sure, is weird, but the bottom-line is that Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is just downright bad.

The book is about a 16-year-old brat boy, Jacob, who ends up journeying to a secluded island off the coast of Wales after his grandfather dies to explore Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, where his grandfather once resided. While Jacob explores the decrepit old home, he learns that the unbelievable stories his grandfather told him as a child of the supernatural children that resided there are not only true, but that the children and Miss Peregrine are still alive. However, everyone is in grave danger.

Reading my summary in the paragraph above makes it sound like this book has potential to be great- and maybe it would, if it was written by a more talented author. The writing was just…amateurish. I could have written something at least equivalent in quality, if not better, when I was in high school.

Half the allure of the novel is that the story is accompanied by antique photographs. However, the author incorporates the pictures in such a clunky way. The story would be happening and then it would suddenly be like “oh look, how convenient, here’s a picture of the thing.” And it was like that every. Single. Time. It reminded me of creative writing assignments in high school where you’d be given a random picture and told to write a story to accompany it- but worse. It just seems so obvious to me that the author got these weird pictures from collectors and then wrote the story.

Alright- let’s try to get past the poor quality of writing for a moment- the characters did not redeem the story at all. There was nothing compelling about them. Not a single character was relatable or, honestly, that interesting. Jacob, the main character, is God awful. I think the author was trying to go for a Holden Caulfield vibe, but failed miserably. Holden Caulfield is annoying in his own right, but Jacob is the worst. We’re never given any kind of characteristic to make him likeable. First off, in the first few pages Jacob is trying to get himself fired from his job, which was given to him by his wealthy family who owns a chain of pharmacies. Hello, ungrateful brat much? He dreads the day he will be expected to take over the family business, and naturally does what he can to fight against his preordained future. Jacob- whiny, privileged little shit.



I had to share my agony with my mother via text messages. My opinions clearly haven't changed.

Bottom-line: the author is transparent and uncreative. Besides the poor writing and weak characters that show his lack of creativity…look at this shit:

"The hollowgast." SMH
The “HOLLOWGAST”???????? Wow, what a remarkable similarity in sound to “holocaust.” This similarity would probably be just as obvious even if a part of the storyline didn’t have to do with the fact that Jacob’s grandfather was a Jewish survivor of World War II. Not only is this uncreative, it’s borderline offensive.

In conclusion, the fact that this book is a best seller doesn’t mean shit. This book is garbage. The pictures were better than the story. I’m amazed I was able to stand to read the whole thing. What. A. Disappointment.

~Liz

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