Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Synopsis (for those who haven’t read it):

Florida teenager, Jacob Portman, has recently lost his grandfather. His last words were rather odd, though, going on about a bird and a loop. Luckily, Jacob connects these last few mumbles to the children’s home in which his grandfather grew up.

His grandfather, Abe, always told Jacob stories about the children’s home, which usually sounded a lot like a fairy tale. He often told stories about an invisible boy, or a levitating girl, or even a boy with bees living in his stomach. But, by the time Jacob was a teenager, he had already outgrown those fairy tales of peculiar children.

Jacob soon discovers that they weren’t just fairy tales. They were real, and so were the kids. Not only that, but also that they were still alive.

Jacob travels to the loop in Cairnholm to meet the kids, and the trip was much more than extraordinary.

(If you haven’t read the whole book, you may want to stop here.)

Characters

Jacob:

Jacob appears to be a decent protagonist with a decent personality. To me, he doesn’t come across as too interesting, but he’s your typical teen boy (other than the fact that he can see hollows.)

He can be pretty sarcastic at times, and pretty heroic. But most of the time, he just gives off Percy Jackson vibes.

Miss Peregrine:

Miss Peregrine is a rather strict headmistress. She clearly doesn’t want her wards to know anything about the future, which bothered me a bit. It’s understandable that she wants to keep the kids safe, but could you imagine not being allowed to know anything about what’s going on in the world? Must be horrible.

Anyway, to me, one of the most memorable traits that she possesses is her awkward gait or limp. I rarely notice small details such as that, but for some reason it really stuck with me.

Miss Peregrine is an ymbryne, which gives her control over time loops and she can turn into a bird. It sounds like a pretty cool set of abilities, but it also comes with a ton of responsibility. An ymbryne’s job is to take care of peculiar children, hence her position.

Either way, she’s basically a really stern bird-mom.

Emma:

Emma Bloom is a “teen” girl with fire powers. (I put teen in quotations because she’s not really a teenager, but that’s a discussion for later.) She’s immediately aggressive towards Jacob as soon as he gets through into the loop, which made me really nervous for Jacob. Seriously, she sounds like she could kill him.

Eventually she calms down a bit, and they fall in love! Which is really sweet if you ignore the fact that Emma dated Jacob’s grandfather. (Ew.)

Still Emma remains strong-willed throughout the novel.

Olive:

One of the youngest (physically), Olive Elephanta provides a lot of cuteness for the entire book. She’s absolutely adorable! She’s much more bubbly and friendly than the rest of the kids.

Her ability to float can also come in handy in tough situations.

Claire:

Claire Densmore, also a younger kid, is much more timid than most of the other kids. She’s rather quiet, and shy about her backmouth. Miss Peregrine mentions that she prefers to dine alone, but is in no way ashamed of her peculiarity.

Unfortunately, Claire just didn’t stand out to me. I don’t think it was just because she was timid. Besides, Fiona is more timid, but still manages to be an interesting character. I often find myself forgetting that Claire even exists (even if that is a bit harsh.)

Bronwyn:

Bronwyn Bruntley is such a mom! But in a good way, of course. She just has a way with kids and her friends. She’s got that warm mom feeling to her that makes my heart scream. She’d probably take a bullet for her friends and I find that admirable.

Also, she’s really strong! Just like her brother, Victor, who was killed by hollows, she has this super-strength thing going for her. She’s just all around a likable character.

Hugh:

Hugh Apiston might actually have one of the coolest peculiarities ever. Just imagine having bees living inside of your stomach. I’m assuming most people would be horrified. That is, unless you’re a Hugh fangirl. (Or a beekeeper.)

Anyway, Hugh is one of the few characters whose ship I agree with. “Fugh” is an amazing, iconic ship that you should look into. They’re literally so cute together.

Enoch:

He makes me want to scream.

Sure, Enoch O’Connor has his redeeming moments, but they are pretty rare. It really depends on what you consider to be redeeming. Personally speaking, Enoch rubbed me the wrong way in 90% of the book, and only because of his sarcastic nature.

For example, tricking Jacob into seeing Victor’s dead body wasn’t cool, considering that the poor kid had no idea what to expect. Jacob didn’t know much about Miss Peregrine’s home yet, so this could’ve easily made him more afraid of staying.

Of course, to match his moody behavior, Enoch’s peculiarity is that he can raise the dead. Definitely a cool ability to have if you use it for good.

Fiona:

Fiona Fraunfeld is probably the mos timid of the group, but still manages to be very present during the story. This obviously makes me love her as a character. She also has the peculiarity to control plants!

I absolutely ship her with Hugh, which I think is reasonable, considering their seemingly close relationship.

Millard:

Millard Nullings is definitely my favorite character in the series so far, probably because I relate to him so much. He’s probably the most book-smart of the gang. He was even working on research for a book he was writing! (Until their loop was raided and they were forced to flee.)

I literally cried when he got shot. He’s such a memorable character to me, and the idea of the series going on without him was devastating. Luckily, the shot was not fatal and he survived.

But still, imagine being able to shoot an invisible kid! Must take good aim…

Horace:

I find Horace Somnusson to be one of the most boring characters of this book, despite his strange sense of style. In fact, in the first book, there’s not much else to him besides his clothing style and his prophetic dreams. I’m hoping that the second book will give him a bit more…

Dr. Golan:

Dr. Golan (or whatever you choose to call him because he has pretended to be many people) might really be one of the most terrifying villains I have ever read about. Imagine someone stalking you your entire life without you even noticing. Creepy!

Other Opinions

The entire concept of this book is pretty unique, making it much more fun to read. The whole idea of the kids not really aging at all and staying in the loops for hundreds of years is incredible. You could be looking at an eight year old, and she’s really like eighty. The hollows and wights are truly terrifying, along with the idea of how they came to be. The whole universe in which this takes place just makes you want to read more. Not only that, but also the idea of using vintage pictures to tel the story is brilliant! It brings so many characters to life!

Overall, this book continues to be one of my favorites. I can’t wait to continue the story!

-Lauren C.

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