Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – Thoughts

I changed the subject for this post from ‘book review’ to ‘thoughts’, because I won’t be reviewing the book as such in this post. I will be talking about other things, peculiar and normal, that went through my head when I read the first book from Miss Peregrine’s series. For those who don’t want to read about my ramble, in short, I loved the first book and the author’s ingenious style of creating the stories from real pictures. I had bought the entire series, along with the recently released Map of Days, and intend to finish reading all the books this year, and watch the only movie adaptation that was released too.

So here’s a funny and peculiar thing that I noticed while reading this book. The mood that I am in lately, my favorite song to listen to, a song that I’m relating to these days a lot, is ‘What’s Up’ by 4 Non Blondes. If you haven’t heard the song, you can check it out here. There is a line in the song, where they sing, “and I, I’m feeling a little peculiar“, and I startled because I was feeling peculiar, while reading a book on peculiar children! The strangeness doesn’t end just there. Last weekend, my husband bought me a new bottle of Gin to drink. And you won’t believe what was written at the bottom of the bottle. Here’s a picture, and it made me startle and laugh! (Clue: Look under the tiger’s legs, at the fine print :D)

img_7782

Rather ‘Peculiar’ botanicals 😀

What would you call all this? Magical? Peculiar? Spooky? Strange? Funny? – Whatever it was, it made me laugh and wonder at the same time.

The story in the book was quite straightforward. I had guessed along the first quarter of the book who the bad guy was. But I don’t think that was the point of Ransom Rigg’s story. He wrote a fictional story based on real life spooky pictures of children, that he salvaged and collected. What a novel and brilliant concept, I kept thinking. Some of these pictures really had me spooked, I must say.

There was also this theme about children having to constantly fight monsters – whether they are human monsters such as the Nazis or fictional monsters such as the Hollowgasts or the Wights. I know this book is categorized under Young Adult Fantasy genre, but lately, I’ve been thinking, we shouldn’t have a genre called YA Fantasy. Why? Well, because I’m 36, have a family and a stable job, and yet I relate to the questions these teenagers have about themselves, who they are, what they want from life, about finding and defining love, all the same! In fact, I have started to love the YA genre – be it fantasy or contemporary. Why is that adults get boxed into stereotypical roles and stories, as part of adult fiction? Why are adults never confused, or why don’t 40 year olds ever get into an adventure, or discover a magical land, or find love or find themselves, I thought.

While I was reading this book, I also wondered, aren’t we all peculiar one way or the other? Maybe it isn’t something magical, but all of us have some powers, and all of us have dark, spooky thoughts and secrets going on in our heads. Sometimes we feel the world is out to get us, and that we need to talk to a therapist. Other times, we fantasize about strange and unnatural things, or conjure up dreams to escape the reality of our lives and world.

I haven’t watched the movie adaptation yet, but that’s next on my list, and I’ll add a short review of the movie adaptation thoughts in a separate post.

Questions to you guys:

Have you read the Miss Peregrine’s series? Did you enjoy it or were completely spooked out by the pictures or both? 😉

Do you agree that adults can enjoy YA too and there should be more of us reading YA? 😀

8 thoughts on “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – Thoughts

  1. My Mashed Up Life says:

    I read this last year, and thought it was OK. I think the concept of writing a story based around historical photographs is really cool. I think I actually found the photographs in here more interesting than the story, but it was still an enjoyable read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gray Gal says:

    I did not read it, but I listened to it as an audiobook. The Halloghasts gave me nightmares just envisioning them. One night I was afraid to go out alone and my friend laughed at me. They look really creepy in the movie.
    As for the YA statement, YA books tend to be more coming of age books. It’s not necessarily against Adults not being able to enjoy them, it’s more or less the theme of the book. Children books focus on morals. YA books focus on learning who you are. Adult books are pretty much anything life related (good or bad, funny or sad, horror or adventure). So you could argue that the reason you are liking YA books a lot is that you are finding things about yourself that are changing your perception of life. That’s when I enjoy the YA genre. When I’m uncertain or confused. Otherwise, I prefer a non-fiction story or something more detail oriented.
    I LOVE THAT YOU HAD SO MANY PECULIAR COINCIDENCES!
    What did you think of the time loop? And the love interest?

    As for the peculiar question, I would like to believe that the definition (in this book) is about those who seek truth. Our protagonist (his name escapes me at the moment, was it Jacob?) was an average boy up until his Grandpa died. At that point, he has to decide whether he would believe his Grandpa’s stories, or refuse for the sake of normalcy. All those peculiars existed and were hidden from the world, not necessarily because of their powers, but because the public refused to acknowledge them due to their differences. To acknowledge these beings would mean to acknowledge that we are not fascinating or special. Jake found the time loop when he decided to search the truth instead of just believing what everyone told him. And when he believed the truth, even if he wasn’t sure of it, he was able to start seeing the monsters. That theory doesn’t hold well in the other books though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Prachi says:

      Those pictures spooked me out more than anything else in the book! I can’t imagine how it would sound on audiobook though, definitely spooky I’m sure. I won’t laugh at you for feeling scared, I’d be scared right beside you. I haven’t watched the movie yet though, it’s on my list. Have you read the rest of the series? I like your take on why we like YA, maybe that is the case for me.
      At first I hadn’t understood the significance of the date that Jacob’s grandfather had given him to find the bird, but later when Miss Peregrine explains the time loop to Jacob, it made sense to me. But it made me very uncomfortable. Imagine living years and years on the same day, not even a century! Just reliving a day where everything else remains the same but you have different experiences maybe. How monotonous and prison like would life seem! I also wasn’t expecting the love angle between Jacob and Emma. Not because Emma would’ve been older than his grandma in the real world but because she was his grand father’s love and she loved him so much. How was she able to forget Abe and move on to Jacob so soon? Was it because Jacob looked like his grandfather? I couldn’t digest this that much.

      Like

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