Tucked away on September 3rd 1940 sits a large house. By September 4th 1940 the house is obliterated by a bomb, but September 3rd is an endless day, repeating in a loop for the people within it. Jacob Portman is now one of those people. Spurred by his grandfather’s death, Jacob heads to a small Welsh Island to investigate Miss Peregrine, where he ends up in two times. Now, and September 3rd 1940. But what is so peculiar about Jacob? Well, he can see the hollows.
The good Bits
– The images
They’re so creepy and they give the feeling of realism to the novel
Not only is he a pretty compelling character, but boys in YA lit are hardly ever given any time and so to have a male protagonist, I think, is pretty great.
Often in YA lit the protagonist is surrounded by the action the whole time, but I felt that with this that the action was happening everywhere. The protagonist wasn’t special, he just happened to be there when they needed him. I also felt like they probably could have gotten by without him. Definitely not as easily, but I felt that even though Jacob is peculiar, within that group he’s just like everyone else. I’m kind of sick of “chosen one” plots.
The Not-So-Good Bits
After the importance placed on Miss Peregrine’s Home, it takes 131 pages to meet another Peculiar from the Home and 148 pages to actually meet Miss Peregrine. I mean, I read it pretty quickly, so while it was annoying, it didn’t stop me reading. But if you have to stop and start a lot then I could understand why this book would be too slow to read.
Thoughts From the Back Cover| How we treat people
So we don’t have any peculiars so how we would treat them is fair game. You might argue that we’d treat them like gods or whatever, but what they are is different from “typical” humans. Who else do we have that are different? Well there are a few.In Australia the LGBTQ community have been in the news recently. They’re “different” from “typical” straight Australians. They may not have any powers (that they tell us about) but we sure as hell don’t open our arms to them. Honestly I think having powers would give the government greater reasons to ostracise them. “That LGBTQ person can fly, they’re flying up to your windows to spy on your children!” “That LGBTQ person is super strong, they’re going to assault our women in bars!” Let’s be clear, in no way do I believe this.
We have so many neuro-divergent people in our world and we can’t even deal with that either. (FYI, Neuro-divergent people are people who have a developmental disorder or mental illness – thanks urban dictionary) There is such a stigma around “divergent” people that I have a hard time believing that we’d stop ostracising peculiars long enough to understand their humanity. And that’s a problem. For the peculiars, and for the LGBTQ’s and the neuro-divergent people and anyone else who isn’t typical. So before you start judging people and putting them into little boxes, maybe think about their humanity for a second.
Get Reading. Get Travelling.