What I learned from ‘Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children’
Even before finishing Ransom Riggs’ book, I was beginning to have a familiar feeling—one deep within that spread all over and throbbed in the back of my skull. I’ve been having this feeling more and more often nowadays, and only by reading his book, things came to a head. I’m afraid to say my tastes have skewed away from the mainstream. I thought his book was crap.
Now, it’s not all Mr. Riggs’ fault. Hollywood has helped a lot in allowing me to see this. At first, I didn’t even notice. Avengers came to the big screen and…seeing it, I wasn’t positive what all the hoopla was about. Frankly, I thought Samuel Jackson’s acting and lines in the movie were atrocious. Don’t get me wrong—I’m actually a fan of Joss Whendon, which made me feel it was maybe a fluke.
But then came Guardians of the Galaxy, and after that, Jurassic World. Within minutes of these movies starting, I knew I’d hate it. The characters were flat, and overall, there was no story. My disappointment only grew further this past Christmas having seen Star Wars. I held J. J. Abrams to much esteem, but seeing his rendition of a galaxy far, far away ruined my stock in him. Chase scene after chase scene after chase scene doesn’t make a story.
None of this was disheartening until I realized that everyone else loved all these movies. They found them fresh and unique and amazing. I was a little disturbed by this because if they all felt that way, then what did it say about my outlook on these films?
And then came along ‘Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children.’ Everywhere I read, people were applauding and recommending it. It couldn’t get enough praise, but as you’ve already seen, I hated it, and this is why it disturbs me: Crap movies are one thing; but for the longest time, I figured at least books would keep their downy glow and ability to touch and amaze. But now that’s gone as well.
As a writer, this scares me too. Most writers produce stuff they would like to read, but if what I like to read is what everyone else hates, then what hope does my writing have?