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Belle's Bookshelf

"With a dreamy far-off look, and her nose stuck in a book..."

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What Maisie Knew
Henry James
My Friend the Enemy
Dan Smith
Worlds of Arthur: Facts and Fictions of the Dark Ages
Guy Halsall
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs This review originally appeared at http://bellesbookshelf.blogspot.com/Every now and then, you come across a book that makes you think, "This is what books are made for. This is why I read." This was one of those books for me.Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children follows the story of Jacob, a boy who grew up idolising his grandfather and the magical, mystical people who populated the stories of his childhood. When he's 15, a horrific event sends Jacob in search of the truth behind his grandfather's stories. He ends up on a small island in Wales, searching for clues of Miss Peregrine, the woman who sheltered his grandfather during World War II, and the fate of the other peculiar children she watched over.I loved this book for so many reasons, not least of which was the completely unique story. I also adored the language; Ransom Riggs not only has the most awesome name ever, he also has a wonderful writing style. Every sentence is beautifully structured and every word is artfully chosen. On top of all this, the book itself is a treat. The hard cover has a nice surprise engraved underneath the dust jacket, the paper is thick and smooth, the title pages are great and the photographs - well, they're most definitely peculiar. Dispersed throughout the book and woven into the story, Riggs has brought together a remarkable collection of (apparently real) photographs that greatly enhance the reading experience.The characters are all well-developed and realistic (peculiarity notwithstanding). Jacob in particular is a strong and appealing hero, and I appreciated the fact that even in the most extraordinary circumstances, he reacted exactly as you think a 15-year-old boy would. There's a surprising amount of humour in the book, but there's also a lot of sadness and, as the photos on the jacket suggest, creepiness. The one thing that stops me from being 100 per cent satisfied is the fact that there are A LOT of loose ends left dangling at the end of the book. I was disappointed not to have more closure. I understand that there will be a sequel, but to me, each book in a series should be able to stand as a complete story on its own while also fitting into a larger arc. There is just too much left open for this to be the case with Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. It's a shame, because for the majority of the book I was thinking it would easily make it to the top of my all-time favourites list. As it is, it was still a wonderful read and I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel.