Book Talk and Thoughts: Miss Peregrine’s book and movie

So a few posts ago I mentioned that I would be reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. And I did. I finished it several days ago actually. The problem is I don’t have much to say about it, but I’ll give you what little I’ve got. I feel that calling this a “review” would be a bit of a stretch, not only because I don’t have much to say about the book, but also because I’m going to talk about the upcoming movie.

It’s nearly impossible for me to talk about the Miss Peregrine novel without comparing it to the upcoming movie (September.)  I’m really looking forward to seeing it, or, as my inner valley girl would put it- “I mean, I’m like, SUPER excited to see that movie! Oh my god I can’t wait!”  I’m absolutely certain I’m going to like the movie more than the book. The trailers for that movie are amazing and they’re 99% of the reason I decided to read the book. Based solely on the 2 minute trailers available, I can see that the book and movie are going to differ in some major ways. In fact, I wonder if these major differences will disappoint or annoy the fans of the novel.

So . . . Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As I previously explained, I think it was about this time last year, or maybe during autumn and winter of last year, I kept seeing this book at my local grocery store. Copies and copies and copies of this book with the strange and creepy (yet alluring) cover would stare at me every time I walked by the book/magazine/greeting card section of the store; beckoning to me- read me, read me , read me. I can’t deny I was drawn to it. Not only does the cover of the book draw you in, the title does too. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children— that is a great title.

Despite its obvious success and mainstream popularity, despite its unique and alluring cover, I opted at that time not to read it. I can’t tell you how many times I picked up a copy and read the story description and plot synopsis. But I came to the same conclusion each time- too scary. I can’t do scary. No scary movies, no scary books. I didn’t want to read it because I was concerned it would keep me up at night.

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Turns out I was right. This book is scary. Those strange old photos in the book are very creepy and eerie and, yes, it kept me up at night. However, I am a bit sensitive when it comes to that stuff. I’m easily scared. My mother-in-law mentioned that it kept her up at night as well, but she really liked it- said she couldn’t put it down. That wasn’t my experience at first but, yes, towards the end of the book I couldn’t put it down. As quoted from the review in The Cleveland Plain Dealer, “Brace yourself for the last 70 pages . . . “
I definitely agree with that.
Apparently CNN said “Readers searching for the next Harry Potter may want to visit Miss Peregrine’s . . .”  It’s also been compared to X-MEN. (Entertainment Weekly) As for the Harry Potter comment, for me that would be a No. I don’t think so. This is not the next Harry Potter. Reading Harry Potter, especially the early years, is fun!
Miss Peregrine’s is . . . not so much fun as it is creepy and scary. Thrilling and suspenseful too! (To be fair.) But not exactly fun nor uplifting the way Harry Potter was (is) for me. As for the X-MEN comparison, yes, I agree. X-MEN definitely came to mind when I was reading this.

The movie previews made me think I had misjudged the book, but I don’t think I did. The previews of the movie present a quirky, colorful, fantasy-adventure, but I found the book to very dark, which is what I suspected in the first place. I like what McClatchy Wire Service said, “Got a tweener child with a taste for creepy horror and time-travel stories? Send them Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

“Creepy horror.” Exactly. Oh, and time travel.
This is such a crap “review” I’m doing here that I haven’t even mentioned the time-travel aspect of the book, which is a major part of the story/plot so how could I not have mentioned it?! I don’t know. I just don’t know. I have no satisfactory explanation. All I can say is that the whole time-travel part of the plot didn’t leave a big impression on me. I was too distracted by the “creepy horror.”

I will say this- the fact that the book contains old photos makes it very unique. That was a very creative idea. The photos definitely create a different kind of reading experience. The plot is smart and very well organized, which is very cool and impressive considering there is time-travel involved. The depiction of the Welsh island where the story takes place is very well done. The characters are good, especially Miss Peregrine herself, but I don’t think I’ll remember the personalities of the other characters as much as I will their “peculiar” abilities- levitation, fire, invisibility, etc.
All in all, I thought the book was ok. Most, if not all, of the reviews rave about this book, but I’m not raving. Just not my cup of tea, I guess. I like how the book ended- it had a well written ending, but I don’t feel the urge to read the next one in the series. With all of the books on my to-read list I doubt I will read the other books in this series.
I’ll just go see the movies.

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