Publisher: Quirk Books (very fitting, eh?)
Publication Date: June 7th, 2011
Song I Played While Reading: Disarm You by Kaskade
Rating: 3 stars
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 Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores it's decaying bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine's 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.
I don't even know where to begin with this emotionally confusing book. First of all, I've heard nothing but great things from all the booktubers, especially Jesse from Jessethereader. It's one of his all time favorites, so I was pretty damn excited to start this and see what he always raves about.
You know when you read a book and you have such a hugely different view point from most of the readers out there that it feels like you've read a different book? Thats how I felt in this situation. Miss Peregrine's was a weird combination of boring and enjoyable. I almost want to say enjoyable boring, because honestly thats how I felt most of the time; bored. I was expecting more; more adventure, more creepiness, and more of a lively world filled with 'peculiar children'. They weren't very peculiar to me, and instead came across as annoying and childish. Only a few seemed genuine to me, and even then I'm hesitating to even say genuine.
Jacob was a solid narrator but supremely bland. There was no winning attribute, something that made me connect or even really like him. I also couldn't picture what the hell he looked like, since Riggs failed to mention even his hair or eye color, and that is a huge pet peeve of mine. How am I supposed to enjoy a character when I can't even picture what he looked like? It's like a gaping hole in my mind, a missing puzzle piece that would have helped make the rest of the story fit together.
Riggs writing wasn't anything special either, and the ending seemed incredibly rushed but also incredibly dragged out, if that makes any sense. It was a long, long climax, but it was written so dryly that I felt like I was reading a play and the characters were just going through the motions, with very few thoughts or feelings behind it. I almost skimmed it, but managed to push through since I was curious to know how Riggs would wrap it up.
I tried really hard to not use the word boring a lot in this review, but if I did I apologize. Every aspect of this story, from the plot, to the characters, and to the writing, was just so BLAH. It was a pretty steady story, with a few interesting moments that got me excited and thinking it would finally pull me in, but then nothing would happen. I definitely recommend reading this if you haven't, since most people have really seemed to enjoy it. I'm hoping that, if I do pick up Hollow City, it'll be much more exciting since we've gotten most of the world building out of the way.
"I thought mom would object- three whole weeks!- but the closer our trip got, the more excited for us she seemed. "My two men," she would say, beaming, "off on a big adventure!"
I found her enthusiasm kind of touching, actually- until the afternoon I overheard her talking on the phone to a friend, venting about how relieved she'd be to "have her life back" for three weeks and not have "two needy children to worry about."
I love you, too, I wanted to say with as much hurtful sarcasm as I could muster, but she hadn't seen me, and I kept quiet. I did love her, of course, but mostly just because loving your mom is mandatory, not because she was someone I think I'd like very much if I met her walking down the street. Which she wouldn't be, anyway; walking was for poor people."
"..what an unchallenging life it would be if we always got things right on the first go."
""You're right, Dad. Dr. Golan did help me. But that doesn't mean he has to control every aspect of my life. I mean, Jesus, you and mom might as well buy me one of those little bracelets that says What Would Golan Do? That way I can ask myself before I do anything. Before I take a dump. How would Dr. Golan want me to take this dump? Should I bank it off to the side or go straight down the middle? What would be the most psychologically beneficial dump I could take?"
"It was difficult to argue, since our only remaining options were either giving up or running into a hail of gunfire.
"Fine," Emma said. "If you really think you can make it."
"Someone's got to be the hero," he replied, and walked off across the hull.
"Famous last words," I muttered."