Warning– some people may find this review a little harsh. If you’re bothered by this, then
GROW A PAIR PUMPKIN BEAR, THE WORLD IS HARD AND MEAN.
Or you could click away. Life is full of choices.
For those of you not crying into your Elmo bib right now– on to the review.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Back of Book:
An invisible boy. A girl who floats. A boy with bees living inside him. What sounds like a circus act are just a few of the children living in Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children. When Jacob Portman discovers the orphanage may be in danger from the same monsters that killed his grandfather, he must summon all his courage (and peculiar talents) to rescue the children and possibly save the world from destruction.
The Weatherly Channel says:
What I liked about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs was the author’s name.
Look, I really tried to like this book. I really did. You can tell I’m being sincere about this because I used italics to indicate how very serious I am. And really, it wasn’t the book’s fault. Well, not completely. Well, let’s call it half and half. I listened to it on audiobook from Audible, and I think the narrator had at least a small part in how difficult it was to force my headphones into my ears, knowing this this could be the time the Sisyphusian* struggle ended with me giving up and letting the boulder roll over me to squeeze out my brains like toothpaste in order to escape.
Ok, I’m exaggerating. And using terrible metaphors. It really wasn’t that bad. At times, I was even kind of rooting for the main character, whose name escapes me at the moment, and who was in all honesty not much of a character. The story had a beginning, a middle, and an end, and at times I know I was listening to his plight without really disliking it. But the whole package was just not… good.
The thing was, it just had so much potential. I mean, it had the shambly old house; the timid but eventually courageous teen boy hero; the completely-disposable parental figures that are conveniently uninterested in their child’s whereabouts until nagging is needed to make the main character look put-upon; and, oh yeah, a bunch of kids with special abilities who may or may not be dead.
With all of this, I feel like I was right to expect just a little bit… better. All of the elements were there, but the final product felt a bit forced, a bit cliche, and a bit spoonfeedy. I know, I know, it’s a kids book. Here’s what I say to that:
That’s not an argument. Don’t even. Don’t even. I’m talking to you, thinking that. Don’t even. Children’s books can be scary, and smart, and heartbreaking, and complex. This was really trying to be that, it just fell a little bit short.
Ok. I give it… 2.5/5 stars. That’s half-awesome, half-something else I wasn’t that impressed with. Read it if you want, it’s fast and who knows? You may like it some. Don’t listen to the audiobook if you can help it. Also maybe read it while you’re eating fries or spaghetti or something equally as delicious and distracting so the experience bumps up to like a 3 or a modest-but-pushing-it 3.5 and isn’t so-disappointing-it-kind-of-makes-you-sad-inside-but-also-mad-cause-like-come-on.
And this concludes the bitchiest review of a children’s book on record! Oh Miss Peregrine. I’m so hard on you because I expect so much of you… You’ll understand when you’re older. Or possibly in the sequel (which, let’s be real, I’m not gonna read.)
(I felt kind of bad about how mean this sounded, so I included a picture of me from a few weeks ago at NOLA Mardi Gras, which I hope illustrates my intense devotion to being responsible, and therefore establishes me as a trustable source for literary criticism.)
*is this a word? do I care? why can’t the internet agree on a proper adjective form of Sisyphus? Non-answers to these questions and more brought to you by The Weatherly Channel, LLC, Copyright 2014. Tune in daily! ish.