One of the worst things that can ever happen to a smol and dedicated bookworm is when a book off their ‘most-excited-to-read-because-its-assumed-perfection-might-lead-to-brain-combustion-abd-maybe-I-love-that’ shelf ends up being A. MAJOR. DISAPPOINTENT.
And then the bookworm in question softly sobs into their pillow instead of all the gushing and talking-people’s-ears-off-so-as-to-torture-them-into-reading-said-book they’d assumed they would be doing. IT’S SAD, honestly. Because the world has ended like that. In a way. ITS SAD OK?? It can also be the #1 reason why aforementioned bookworm might choose the evil path and become the villain of their story. (10000/10 recommend this existential crisis if you’re trying to become a villain, by the way)
That’s what Miss Peregrine ended up being for me. NOW DON’T COME AT ME WITH BATTLE AXES AND SWORDS OK?? Hear me out!! I have reasons AND ALSO FREEDOM TO STATE OPINIONS. Plus, I LOVE sword-fighting so you’d probably die.
See, a fantasy book with slight horror elements featuring monsters and messing-with-time and gorgeous but also slightly creepy black-and-white photos of magical children (WHAT?? Pictures are amazing OK) sounds pretty amazing, RIGHT?? Add in a remote island located away from the rest of civilzation, a secret family history that died with your grandfather and no one else knows about, AND GOSH, IF THIS DOESN’T SOUND QUITE SIMILAR TO PERFECTION, YOU’VE NEVER EXPERIENCED LIFE AT ALL.
That is what this book promised to be. But that wasn’t actually what it ended up being. BECAUSE, COME ON, REBELLIOUSNESS RIGHT??
NO. In this case it was just pure disappointment. Books are, more often than not, WAAAAY different from what the synopses and the multiple reviews I have a habit of spending hours reading, suggest. AND YOU KNOW WHAT?? I LOVE that. Because SURPRISES!! And lets be real, SYNOPSES ARE SHORT. They hardly have the space to fit all the maginificence of books in them. But (SURPRISE!! ALERT!!) the synopsis of this book ended up better than the book. OPINIONS MAY VARY, OBVIOUSLY. But that’s what I think.
I am disappointed.
I am sad.
I am also an olive.
In a drop of ink:
→ spooky vibes that fell flat basically?
→ male narrator with no personality whatsoever
→ creepy-ish photos that may be the only good part of the book
→ maybe you shall end up obsessing over aforementioned photos
→ SO NOT ALL IS RUINED, RIGHT??
→ talks about believing in fairy tales
→ set on a remote island which has no wifi
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, 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 Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the 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. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
~synopsis from goodreads
THE CHARACTERS WERE ALL WANNA-BE COOL PEOPLE WHO TURNED OUT PERSONALITY-LESS ONIONS AND HIGHLY DUMB.
WHICH WAS THE WORST PART OF THE BOOK. I don’t usually bother that much with plots IF THE CHARACTERS ARE AMAZING LITTLE BEANS WHOM I SHALL LOVE FOREVER. Plot is always secondary, because come on, WE NEED MORE FABULOUS HUMANS RIGHT??? #YES. And the characters in this book seemed that way. In the beginning (which was glorious by the way). Jacob, the main character, dealt with trauma following his grandfather’s horrifying death and the sighting of his first monster EVER, AND IT WAS SHOWN IN SUCH AN AMAZING WAY, not taking away all the harsh details and the way it affected his life, AND I LOVED THAT. Before the event that caused said trauma, HE ALSO WORKED IN A GROCERY STORE and WAS A TERRIBLE EMPLOYEE BECAUSE HE HATED THE JOB AND WANTED TO GET FIRED AND SOMETIMES KNOCKED OVER STACKS OF GORCERIES IN HOPES OF SAID FIRING. And all of that was seriously FUUUUUN. And fun is what we live for right?? I LIKED THAT. His narration reminded me a little of Percy Jackson, honestly. WORST COMPARISON EVER, was the conclusion I was led to by the end. After the discovery of the haunted house and the further fliping of pages and the progression of the story, at some point its like all the monster-sighting-caused nightmares and the trauma just… disappear??? WHICH IS ALL RIDICULOUS. Plus he’s the very definition of a rich spoiled kid who hates his parents and ‘cares not about money’ because he’s lived a PREVILEDGED life, and honestly that was INSANELY ANNOYING. Because, kid, GRATITUDE???
WHAT EVEN WAS THE ROMANCE??? NO BUT SERIOUSLY IT WAS UNSPEAKABLY BAD OK. I do not exaggerate.
It was just SO problematic and EW and maybe I died a few times BECAUSE DUUUUDE, she was literally in love with your GRANDFATHER, and she may still look like a smol 16-year-old teenager BUT SHE’S OLLLLLD. AND she loved your grandfather. THIS IS BAD. And Emma (aforementioned love interest who was in love with the protagonist’s grandfather) JUST SEEMS SLIGHTLY MANIPULATIVE TO ME?? She’s the only one with any ACTUAL PERSONALITY but I have a hunch she might have a villain origin story later on. I’M SLIGHTLY EXCITED. But am still not continuing with the series. I do not usually put myself through such torture AND I AM NOT STARTING NOW.
I LOVE THE PHOTOS THOUGH
Because they were slightly creepy and GLORIOUS and the eyes in one of the photos were actually SCARY. Unlike the rest of this book. LIKE THE GENRE IT FALLS INTO IS SAID TO BE HORROR ON GOODREADS OK??? I was supossed to earn my medal of bravery after reading this, but it ended up being… a lie. IT WASN’T CREEPY IN THE SLIGHTEST and the synopsis likes to play games AND FOOL YOU. It succeded in doing that with me, SADLY. And I went in expecting a few days of sleep-deprivation because HAUNTING BOOKS. I did not get that. It turned out more like sleep-deprivation-because-I-can’t-stop-thinking-about-the-sheer-ridiculousness-of-this-and-WHAT-EVEN-IS-THE-HYPE. I. Do. Not. Get. It. There is nothing ‘haunted’ about this or ’dangerous’ like the synopsis likes to fool us into believing. I’VE READ FANTASIES WAY CREEPIER THAN THIS. HOWEVER, THE PHOTOS. Yes, I am OBSESSED, and am NOT mad about that because THEY’RE GORGEOUS. And its also nice how at least ONE ELEMENT of the book didn’t end up being my-excuse-for-soul-torturing right?? RIGHT.
THE SIDE CHARACTERS WERE BLANDER THAN HOSPITAL FOOD. AND SOMEONE REMIND ME WHO WAS WHO AGAIN???
THEY HAVE NO PERSONALITY BASICALLY. Just these all-defining magical abilities and REALLY BASIC NAMES and THATS IT. I don’t even remember anyone? This can, obviously, be blamed on my general lack of memory-when-it-comes-to-any-person-fictional-or-real-life BUT REALLY. Emma is the only one i remember (88 year old love interest IF ANYONE FORGOT) and she actually comes off as COOL AND BADASS IN THE BEGINNING and kidnaps Jacob and DOES NOT TRUST HIM. BECAUSE STRANGER. And you aren’t generally SUPOSSED to trust strangers. SO. I liked her. A LOT. (DID YOU NOT HEAR ‘BADASS’??? BADASSERY IS LIFE. I LOVE) but then… everything went downhill. AND THE HILL WAS STEEP. It was REALLY bad. I hate Emma.
Other than that, LET’S TALK ABOUT THE OTHER CHILDREN IN THE HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN (not book. You know, the hooome. Actual place) There was this one kid who could levitate and had to wear heavy metal shoes so she wouldn’t fly off into space and disappear forever. AND ANOTHER KID WHO COULD USE RAT HEARTS AND REPLACE THEM WITH A DEAD PERSON’S AND BRING THEM TO LIFE AGAIN (second best thing in the book, AFTER THE PHOTOS. BECAUSE BRINGING PEOPLE TO LIFE LIKE THAT IS REALLY COOL OK) and a girl who CAN BREAK ANYTHING AND IS HIGHLY STRONG. Oh and also Miss Peregrine (ruler of aforementioned ‘seemingly-haunted-house-which-is-actually-home-because-they-live-behind-in-time’ where all the magical children live) CAN TURN INTO A BIRD AND MESS WITH TIME. And I get how interesting all of it sounds, AND IT WAS, but also,, why would I care if the characters are all personality-less onions right?? SO I DIDN’T. I STARTED A REBELLION INSTEAD. #fun
THE FACT THAT I WENT IN WITH SKY-HIGH EXPECTATIONS DID NOT EXACTLY HELP
I’ve been recommended this book SO MANY TIMES and the HYPE is incredible. And I didn’t like it. WHICH IS AGAIN BAD. Because what if people ask for thoughts AND I SAY I HATED IT AND WE END UP STARTING A DUEL. See I love sword-fighting and believing in my opinions as much as the next person, but I’m pretty sure violence is punishable by law?? AND THE IMPENDING THREAT OF BEING SENT TO JAIL DOES NOT FARE WELL WITH ME. It would be a different thing if they had libraries obviously, BUT… WE CAN NEVER BE SURE RIGHT??
But yes, JAIL-THREATS ASIDE, I expected to come out the other side of this RAVING AND GUSHING AND SCREAMING. I did come out screaming. But… not in the way I expected. I WAS SO SURE I WOULD FALL HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE WITH THIS SUPOSSED MASTERPIECE. And I was so RUTHLESSLY DISAPPOINTED, it isn’t even funny, OK?? Maybe there’s also the fact that i expected TOO MUCH that was an even bigger letdown AND I WOULDN’T HAVE HATED IT AS MUCH IF IT WASN’T REBELLIOUS AND HAD NOT PROVED ME WRONG LIKE THAT. Excuse me while I SCREAM A BIT.
MAYBE I SHOULD ALSO SHARE SOME BACKSTORY THOUGH
The first time I started this book was way back in december of 2020. It was a windy winter day and I’d just made a cup of hot chocolate and was sitting on the balcony (PORCH ACTUALLY, BUT SHHH), my tablet in hand, scrolling through the books app in search of something to read. I was feeling pretty good about the world. Except, perhaps, for the fact that CHOOSING BOOKS TO READ WAS DIFFICULT. So maybe I did this thing I’d seen online where you read the first chapters of five different books and then continue with whichever one sounds the most interesting to you. I KIND OF KIDNAPPED THE IDEA AND THAT WAS HOW MY SHADOW AND BONE OBSESSION BEGAN. But thats another story. One of the five books I’d chosen from was Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children, AND THE PROLOGUE WAS DELICIOUSLY INTRIGUING. I LOVED IT. And that IS kind of the reason I read the entire book again a few days back. The conclusion I arived at was thus: THE TWO YEAR AGO ME HAD NO TASTE.
BUT… I WAS ACTUALLY FASCINATED BY THE BEGINNING
So I have a SLIGHT monster obsession. THEY’RE CREEPY AND TERRIFYING AND CREATIVE AND JUST… FASCINATING OK?? I want to be a monster when I grow up. That’s why I read A LOT of monster books. It probably helps in my training AND NO ONE CAN BLAME ME FOR WASTING MY TIME DEVORING ‘FICTION’ AND ‘UNREALISTIC’ STUFF LIKE THAT. So obviously the beginning of this book MADE ME LOVE IT. There were monsters and stories and TALK OF DARKNESS and terrifying black eyes AND I WAS SITTING HERE ATTENTIVELY INHALING EACH WORD. Not recommended if your book shall be a major flop later on. IT WAS SLIGHTLY TORTUROUS AND VERY MUCH AN ACT OF BETRAYAL.
It actually had the potential to be cool and quirky and just generally AMAZING, but that obviously seems worthless so we got SOME HALF-COOKED PLAN with photos that are LITERALLY the only reason that 1 star I gave this book even exists
See. Like the world hating these magical kids?? PARENTS ABONDONING THEM??? This could have been built on AND WE COULD HAVE DEVOURED TRAGIC YET BEAUTIFUL BACKSTORIES and ended up sobbing a little maybe. OH BUT YOU FORGET, MY DEAR OLIVE, the children have no personality. SO THIS IS OBVIOUSLY OUT OF CONSIDERATION.
AND DID WE FORGET WE ALSO HAD TIME!!! TRAVEL!!! Messing with time is FUN. Probably also my third-greatest ambition in life after befriending a dragon and conquering the world. THIS BOOK ALREADY HAD THE MESSING-WITH-TIME PART (UNFAIRNESS) but decided that might be cast aside BECAUSE NOT GOOD ENOUGH RIGHT?? MAYBE THEY COULD HAVE TRAVELLED ANCIENT ROME. LOOKED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD. KIDNAPPED DINASOURS. THEY EVEN HAD THE OPPORTUNITY OK??? THIS. IS. DUMB. But maybe also it might not have worked?? I don’t even know at this point, BUT WHAT WE GOT WAS THE WORST-EVER INTERPRETATION OF TIME-TRAVEL AND I FEEL PERSONALLY OFFENDED.
Also, THE MAGIC. And the children’s abilities. APPARENTLY THESE MAGICAL ‘PECULIARITES’, as the book puts it, JUST SPROUT IN RANDOM PEOPLE OUT OF NOWHERE??? BUT WHAT ABOUT MAGIC?? LEGENDS??? SOMETHING??????? WHERE IS THE FUN.
Honestly, I mostly just HATED EVERYTHING and kind of want back the time I wasted on it. Finishing this book was like eating through a meal even though you hate it and then suffering later. IT LEFT A BAD TASTE IN MY MOUTH. And I was in a shitty mood all day after finishing. DO NOT RECOMMEND, BY THE WAY. So no. Thank you, BUT AM NOT INTERESTED. BYE NOW. (oh and I SEVERELY recommend you STAY AWAY from the book, if the review hadn’t stated as much. YOU DO NOT WANT THIS TORTURE) (unless you do, of course. IN WHICH CASE, GO RIGHT AHEAD AND BETRAY ME, EVIL OLIVE)
Have you read this book?? IF YES, THOUGHTS PLEASE!! I’D LOVE TO HAVE A SMOL BATTLE IN THE COMMENTS! (yes, SWORDS ALLOWED) If not, is it on your TBR?? Do you plan on reading this anytime soon, OR STAYING FAR FAR AWAY FROM IT FOR THE REST OF EVER?? What’s the worst books you’ve read so far this year?? I NEED ANSWERS PEOPLE.