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5/16 c10 22ZadArchie
I'm always up for tagging you in these review games because I really do enjoy reading your Miss Peregrine's stories. Though, I had to go digging through the review pages to find out where the last place I left off on this one was.

I like this chapter because it asks a lot of logistical questions regarding the world in which these stories take place. When you're dealing with time things and aging (or rather, anti-aging), you definitely have a lot of questions that require answers about the rules of this universe. I don't know exactly what I was expecting here when it came to the anti-aging questions. I suppose my mind immediately went to Interview with a Vampire, where the child in that still grew up mentally, but was forever trapped in a child's body. It created a situation where she had the mental capacity of an adult but mixed with the physical limitations and emotional maturity of a child. It's an interesting concept. But this certainly offered up something different, one that I hadn't considered, but find unique and interesting to this world. Mentally, these children still stay in the same place. As smaller children, it's easier for them to accept, but like you show, Emma being a teenager in that strange betwix-and-between place between adult and child makes things much more complicated and frustrating. It was a thrill to see you explore that, and I liked this short story for that reason.

I do feel a little disappointed that there is no clear resolution to this story. Emma desires for something more, or at least some form of consultation that it isn't all that bad, but she finds neither. She wants some kind of answers from those around her, but finds none that are satisfying. And despite her hope that "tomorrow is another day," that doesn't work either. I don't know whether to consider this decision in how your story is structured as brilliantly creative or something that drives me insane because the OCD notion that all humans have to feel something is "complete" isn't there. I'm not sure if this was also intentional, but I suppose it makes for good conversation on how to shake things up in plot structure.

Either way, I always love reading these stories for a reason: they make me think.

Best,
Zad
11/16/2020 c16 Guest
Thanks for updating!
6/20/2020 c15 16Switch-Statement
Hello there! I'm 2017tnt, and I'm here from the WA Review Challenge.

Long story short (no pun intended), this is a really solid story, and I will definitely be going back to read the other fourteen chapters after this is said and done.

The first thing that really drew me into the story despite knowing nothing about the source material were the two main characters. I really like how the history between them was made clear very early on, and the history between them seems real and well-defined. The little touches throughout like Abe drawing very specific connotations for the type of voice Miss Peregrine is using really make the relationship between these characters both closer and more realistic.

As for the story itself, it's definitely interesting. While I don't know what hollows are, the fact that they needed to be hunted down (as evidenced by the last paragraph) shows that they're a very real threat that cannot be discounted. Them being strong enough to make parents send their children off into time loops (or at least, away from home) to be cared for also solidifies their threat status. Furthermore, having Miss Peregrine's stay in a time loop make her adhere more strictly to tradition than that of Abe, who's returned to the "real world," is both a nice touch and makes perfect sense, as does Abe using the advances of the modern world in their argument.

The ending of the story was definitely my favorite part. Although the rest of the story (while solid tonally) was somewhat standard, the end packed a big emotional gut-punch I didn't expect going in. Abe spilling a secret that he kept repressed for decades to Miss Peregrine not only helps to make their bond even stronger (since she's the first person he opened up to about this information), it also does an incredible job giving him depth as a person and making him seem more real. And as for the very last paragraph, that does a great job of leaving me (and other readers) thinking about it for a long time, wondering what the future holds for the both of them.

Once again, great story. Keep up the good work, I can't wait to see more!

-2017tnt
5/21/2020 c14 Guest
I love these stories! You are a talented writer.
3/28/2020 c4 15She Who Loves Pineapples
This story was a bit less dramatic than the last few I read in this collection, but it still had heart.

I thought it was funny how the kids asked if Miss P would kill the bar owner so nonchalantly.

I also like how it was helpful for Emma to try to empathize with the bar owner and consider another perspective. That really can help a person think through their own problems.

When Miss P got so mad at the guy for calling her a freak, I think it would have had more impact if you could use more details to portray the effect those words had on the kids. Like how hard she had to work to build their self-esteem or how the kids reacted to the memories or knowledge of some of the kids specific memories. Especially Fiona’s own experiences with that if she’s had any (or if she hasn’t, something like “Fiona was one of the few kids who hasn’t been verbally abused and now her innocence is gone too” or something)

I like how Fiona was able to feel a bit better by considering how her loved ones would also be “freaks” if she was, that’s also a good way to come to terms with self-esteem problems in real life. That same principal of “You’d never talk to your best friend the way you’re talking to yourself right now, or even a stranger, so why do you think you deserve it if other people don’t?”
3/21/2020 c3 She Who Loves Pineapples
Ah, so I don't remember this happening, don't know if it even happens in the book, so I'm kinda lost on the context. Still, I have a weakness for fanfic that kind of delves into a character's mind in moments like this. Movies especially tend not to really explore a character's emotions when they're about to die/sacrifice themselves/etc, which makes sense because there's not really time - still, in real life you could think all of this in a matter of seconds. And I love this kind of drama haha.

So, I wouldn't say it was melodramatic... it's a dramatic situation. And a totally valid excuse for a normally stoic character to indulge in a little self-pity, as she sees it.

I like how she stays strong, shown by details like her telling her captor to shush, how she keeps cool and strategically gives instructions to her kids and Miss Avocet without letting on to that being what she's doing, how she makes sure the kids see her smiling. And it's a heart-clenching moment when the kids hug her good-bye and she tries to memorize the feeling.

I thought it was a bit odd that Miss Peregrine would be jealous of the thought of someone else caring for the kids. At first I thought, hmm, wouldn't she just want them to be safe? Then I thought, well no, people who care for kids are still human, they can still feel jealousy, they can still be insecure and what validation in their relationships and the things they've worked for. So if Miss Peregrine has spent the past decades focusing solely on these kids of course she'll be distressed at the idea of being replaced. Still, it felt a little odd when she hasn't really shown a sign of being insecure in her relationship with the kids before, or possessive of them.

But maybe it would feel a little more... uh, IDK, not immature on Miss Peregrine's part, if her thoughts had been presented differently. Like first she thinks about how the kids will be sad without her, and how Miss Avocet won't know how to do all the things Miss Peregrine does (which you did include), then have that transition to her thinking that eventually Miss Avocet will learn, and the kids will heal from the grief, and they will form a bond just as strong as the one Miss Peregrine had with them. Then she can feel sad about it.
3/12/2020 c2 She Who Loves Pineapples
Time After Time made me sad, but man, this story was truly a heartbreaker. I honestly got a bit teary-eyed.

I don’t remember this book series super well, but from what I do remember (correct me if I’m wrong) it didn’t spend a lot of time exploring the impact of Abe’s death on Miss Peregrine. I remember Emma being sad about it and Miss Peregrine seemed regretful that he had to leave and therefore die, but we see the whole story from Jake’s POV. Jake was obviously sad about his grandpa dying too, but a child losing a grandparent is a whole different kind of grief from essentially a parent losing a child.

Even though Emma’s grief isn’t the focus here, I like how you show the particular impact this has on her, how she realizes it sooner than everyone else yet tries to hold out hope longer.

The kids’ other than Emma’s cheeriness seems a bit creepy, though I suppose it’s an effect of how sheltered they are. Still, I imagine their reactions would be a bit more varied, even if they’ve all cheered up again soon. Exploring that just a bit more might make the kids seem less uniform… though it is realistic that they won’t get too upset about something that won’t affect their lives. And they know Miss Peregrine will protect them and not let her grief effect them – so they know it won’t affect their lives. As we see from Miss Peregrine getting out of the children’s sight and then immediately breaking down.

The paragraph that starts with [She tried to tell herself…] was where the emotion really hit, especially when you note that for her, it feels like he died as a young boy. It was also very touching that she remembered those words that had been important to Abe so long ago, though neither knew what they meant.

The letter from Abe was absolutely devastating to read, even though he tried to keep it lighthearted. To me it seems like one of the most terrifying things to lose the ability to care for yourself with and not drive anymore and such. However, knowing how Miss Peregrine is still thinking of Abe as a child makes it worse – watching your child age and be in such fear when you can’t sounds like the only thing worse than going through it yourself.

Overall, this is a beautiful one-shot. But maybe you should take the song lyrics out, even though they are short? I wouldn’t want to risk it getting taken down, even though it’s a short excerpt and it’s not likely I don’t know if it’s worth the risk. Since it’s a well-known song most people can fill in the blanks anyway if you just mentioned the chorus played.
2/11/2020 c14 Guest
Would love a oneshot of Jake’s birth and Miss Peregrine telling Abe he is a peculiar.
2/10/2020 c13 68TolkienScholar
Hey, there! :)

I really love the minor details about daily life in the Loop that you include. Things like the tug-of-war against Bronwyn, which they never win, but they still keep trying and sometimes come close.

It's such a unique insight into Miss Peregrine that she reacts to the announcement of the birth of Abe's daughter - usually something that elicits unqualified joy, although Emma's response under the circumstances is also normal - by wondering if "she had failed Abe somehow, letting him grow up like this." I love lines like that that remind me how different their world is. She's got things to worry about that another mother wouldn't have to, and so her "son" having a child is going to raise some uncertainties even while she is happy for him. There's risk to Abe, as always, and now potentially risk to his child, too.

The bit about the children thinking the stork was real and was an ymbryne was brilliant and also adorable! And also Claire's confusion over whether the baby would grow or not.

I loved the glimpse into Miss P's mind as a young ymbryne, just starting out and still naive; she's so different from the wise and mature ymbryne we see today. That idea that "she would be the perfect ymbryne, that she would never make any mistakes" - what young mothers and young teachers are so inclined to think, and are so quickly disabused of. ;) I love how she decides not to judge the birth families harshly anymore after realizing that she can't give Claire what she needs right now; she's beginning to show that maturity already. The way you humanize Miss Peregrine without ever letting us forget how she's different is one of the things that makes your writing for this fandom so compelling.

And of course, your characterization of little Claire is precious. Claire is one of my favorites of the children, and you've made me love her even more. I love how you lean into her unabashed girliness, and especially how you bring it back around in the end with her mother having put her in a pink blanket "as if her mother already knew how girly she was." The bit about her enjoying helping in the kitchen and making things for the others was precious. I also love how you use Claire's age to show her innocence, how she's "the only one who [is]n't troubled by her past" and how she's willing to accept Miss P's explanations at face value. Her stubbornness about feeding and how Miss P had to go to such lengths to take care of her in those early days was very sweet.

I have just a couple little nitpicks. There's one point where you head-hop from Miss P to Claire and back without warning: "for the first time in her life, it occurred to her to wonder..." Maybe you could somehow indicate that Miss P is inferring that this is what is happening instead of making it sound like suddenly we're hearing Claire's thoughts? The other thing is that I don't really understand how Claire is now six when she came to Miss P as a baby, since presumably she's been living in a Loop all that time. Is there a way Miss P was able to somehow allow her to grow past the baby stage and then stop her at age six? I'm trying to figure it out, but I didn't see any clues in this chapter. Unless I missed something.

Anyway, the ending was lovely as well. You hint again at Miss P's impeccable sense of time with "Seventeen minutes. I'm about to put the kettle on now." And then ultimately you end it by once again humanizing Miss Peregrine for us, showing her acknowledgement that she's still not perfect but has to remind herself of what she is doing right. What a gorgeous story!
2/5/2020 c14 12Nubushi
Hello, I'm here from the WA challenge.

So, this story is like a miniature portrait: the conflict is on a small scale, a child who is unhappy because he got poison ivy and the conflict caused by him wanting his friend to do something she doesn't want to do, which is resolved by Miss Peregrine helping him realize he can do it himself. But it works really well, feeling like everything is just the right size, just like the proportions within a miniature picture would be appropriate to its size. Also, it just happened that the first three stories from this challenge that I read (plus mine) were all fairly dark and/or tragic, so it was really wonderful to come to this story after that.

I particularly enjoyed this passage:

"it always gave her a little thrill of excitement, like a part of her was growing along with the plant. She loved making leaves stretch up towards the sun, making colorful flowers burst open, making delicate seedlings poke up through the dark soil. It made her feel like a magician or the leader of an orchestra, ushering something new and beautiful into the world."

This was delightful. Also the part where Fiona went off to go grow dandelions-absolutely charming.

Your characterization of Miss Peregrine was fantastic; in such a short space of time, I felt like I could get a very well-rounded and nuanced view of her as a person: her strictness as well as her caring side, the complete trust the children have in her, and the way that she is so observant of the children's habits and what each child needs from her.

Just one sentence-level thing that I noticed:

"It was... ah, dish soap, vinegar, and salt, I think. I'm sure you make some."

Seems like you're missing a word. "I'm sure you can make some"?

So overall, you have this lighthearted, charming story, but in the end you have some lines like these:

"It could be dangerous if children grew too bored with a loop and became reckless. Victor's death had proven that in the worst way."

"she knew that what she'd said was true, that it would clear up in a few days. But she wished in her heart that it would last a little longer."

To me, it felt like the story started out as a sunny day, but then at the very end, a cloud came and covered up the sun. Very interesting choice to end the story with these sinister, sobering hints (though I'm sure it has to do with the fandom, which I am not familiar with, and what the overall atmosphere of it is like), but I kind of like that. It is just always interesting to see someone willing to take the risk of doing something other than the usual kind of story structure that readers would expect.

Overall, this was a really excellent story that made me so interested in the characters that I kind of feel like checking out the movie and/or book now. Best of luck in the challenge!
1/26/2020 c14 25CercandoUnaVoce
Dropping by from the WA forum. I literally just saw the film based on this book, so I am quite familiar with the world, but I have to say I still appreciated how you introduced the time-loop setting and described Fiona's peculiarity in quite a fandom-blind friendly way.

The characterization is on point. I especially liked how Miss Peregrine inspire fear, respect and kindness all together.
Hugh's reaction wanting to kill the poison ivy is so relatable and true to a child's mindset.
Fiona on the other hand is so innocent and kind, so used to growth and life-giving, that she didn't even think her peculiarity could work the other way around.
I guess I have to keep in mind they are just children because I thought Fiona could have said something like 'how would you feel if someone would kill all of your bees just because one of them stung him?' or something alike, and I thought that Hugh would understand that argument well... Or at least Miss Peregrine could have explained him that way... Well, just my thought because the story works pretty well like you wrote it anyway!

I admit that I was quite confused about the development of the flower-meaning-based theme in your story until the very end. You have the 'cheerfulness' in Fiona's desire to grow the dandelion for Hugh bees, one point. But the 'happiness' was a little more challenging to see until the end, where I loved how you used Miss Peregrine's thoughts to explain the real meaning and the real importance of happiness to the reader. It makes such a general theme not banal at all.

This is a little story that makes you think. Well done and good luck with the challenge.
1/25/2020 c14 68TolkienScholar
I really love the way you show us two different perspectives on bad things happening, Fiona's childlike perspective of just wanting Hugh's misery to go away and obviously thinking it's a good thing that in the time loop "nothing really bad ever happened - nothing that Miss Peregrine couldn't fix," and then Miss Peregrine's more mature perspective of being "grateful for these little storms of trouble that passed through their loop sometimes." Miss Peregrine is looking at the big picture and recognizing that "Happiness that the trouble was over always lasted longer than the trouble itself," and so she's willing to make some sacrifices of not just the children's comfort but her own to ultimately keep them happier and, most importantly, safe.

I also enjoyed the exploration of Fiona's and Hugh's emotions and how expertly Miss Peregrine handles that situation as well. She calmly reassures Fiona that she won't make her use her peculiarity to hurt the plants she loves (and gently rebukes Hugh for his lack of empathy) but finds a way to help Hugh deal with the problem that teaches him an important lesson about agency and work ethic.

Nice work! You do such a great job portraying Miss Peregrine; I love seeing the way you explore her role as a mother. Very well done, and good luck in the challenge! :)
1/2/2020 c14 99Sara K M
Hi, Rebecca. Reading this for the WA Flower Language Challenge.

I love the way you write Hugh's additude because of the poison ivy. "She'd suggested all sorts of games to Hugh - jacks, go fish, I spy - and each time she offered to let him go first... still grouchy." It's typical for anyone, especially a child, who is feeling uncomfortable. Also love the way Hugh is still scratching even though he's not supposed to. :)

It's perfectly understandable that Hugh expects Fiona to "kill" the poison ivy, especially considering it's a nuisance to all humans. But I can see why Fiona, who is tenderhearted and loves growing things, wouldn't be comfortable with the idea. She loves her plants, so it's almost like killing a person to her. :(

I like the referenced to Miss Peregrine being "scary," too. I have a feeling because she's so strict, a lot of children would see her as scary. But the children who live with her know her better so it would be "silly" to be scared of her, as Fiona decides. It's such a great way to show how different a character can be/seem depending on which POV he/she is shown from. It's one of the reasons why I enjoy reading different POVs so much.

This story is also a great lesson for Miss Peregrine's children not to depend on each other's peculiarities too much, especially if the child doesn't want to use them for a certain reason. Olive can light a fire, but you can also make one with matches. Fiona might be able to kill the poison ivy, but you can also use weed killer.

It's nice that Fiona plans on cheering Hugh up with some dandelions. I have to say though, I think it would satisfy the prompt a bit more if you extended the story a bit so Fiona was able to show Hugh the new dandelions she grew him, though.
10/11/2019 c9 Sara K M
Hi, Rebecca. I’ve decided to read your chapter nine of “Peculiar Stories” for the Short Review Game.

To begin with, I think your opening is great. “They arrived with no warning, like hunting birds dropping down on their prey….” It establishes that the new arrivals have bird forms, which is important in this fandom, I think. Your language also shows how surprising the “new arrivals” are to everyone else. Miss Avocat and Miss Cuckoo aren’t expected by Miss Peregrine or any of the children. Finally, from a reader’s perspective, it’s a great attention grabber. ;)

Your characterization of the children is perfect, from how exciting is for the children to see these visitors. (Which makes sense, if they live the same day over and over again.) To Fiona’s insecurity about her self – worth. And finally ending with the sweet image of little Claire getting hurt and cuddling against Miss Peregrine.

I also really appreciate your characterization of Miss Peregrine. She’s very protective of her children, overprotective many would say, considering she automatically ass assumes Miss Cuckoo and Miss Avocat are going to try to remove one of the children when all they want to do is talk. She also has a very different opinion about discipline than most caregivers of that time would. (“Well, I think good old – fashioned spankings are necessary to keep children in line,” Miss Cuckoo snipped.” “And I think it’s something only sub – par ymbrynes resort to,” Alma snapped back.”) On the other hand, she may have good reasons for that opinion, if so many of her children were mistreated because of their peculiarities before they came to live with her?

My favorite scene with Miss Peregrine is the end, though. Where she automatically picks up Claire, and the little girl cuddles to her. Such a nice image of their close relationship and the comfort they both take in each other.

I do appreciate the visual cues you use for the different characters in this chapter as well. (“But Alma saw Enoch glance over his shoulder as he stepped into the September sunshine – his dark eyes narrowed beneath his messy bangs, as if he sensed there was something wrong, too.”… “She bent down and picked up Claire, and as she did, Miss Avocat saw how the child fit on Alma’s hip like a missing puzzle piece,…”) Those details allow the reader to picture these characters easily, but they also flow right into the story naturally.

I do think this chapter could benefit more from those visual cues from Alma, Miss Cuckoo, and Miss Avocat, though. Particularly concerning Miss Cuckoo and Miss Avocat, considering it seemed they arrived in bird form and switched to human form? Perhaps an extra sentence about how their feathers looked? Or the way their feathers faded in favor of hair?

But over all this chapter was meant to show Miss Peregrine’s close relationship with her children and how Miss Avocat and Miss Cuckoo see that relationship, and I think it does it well.
10/3/2019 c1 2Count Jim 'tribbles' Moriarty
I'm glad I read this, even if I exit at this first chapter. I found your fic on the review game thing, and it's frustrating that I can't give you more in that context: I've had no exposure to this universe until now. So I'll leave you with simple encouragements: Well done. I already find the characters likeable, the prose is nice, there's a good hook and mystery to come; looks good.
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