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Book Review: Library of Souls

Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18, 2016

Another Day, Another Series.

It's official, I have finished Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs and thus concluded Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series! It took me about two months due to the utter laziness I demonstrated in June, sorry not sorry. Anyway, I just finished it about five minutes ago, thus I am already writing my review and that is how it should be. I am not a professional book reviewer and I like to write when it's fresh. You know?



So, here's the thing. I had been seeing this series around for a long time now and was never really interested in it. Well, no that isn't really true. I absolutely loved how creepy and quirky it looked. I find that I am naturally drawn to things like that. Which is probably why I love Alice in Wonderland so much. I put off reading it for some time, then I found out Tim Burton is doing the film and I was sold. Now I know the trailer is all messed up, blah, blah, blah. He switched some peculiarities, whatever, I still think it will be very good. As I am a huge believer in reading the book before seeing the movie, I got to reading.

I am now at the end and I just had one of those moments when you don't know what to do with yourself after you finish a series. I just sort of stared at the book for a moment, took a deep breath, and then pulled out my laptop. It is currently 1:56 AM and I am here writing a review because as you know I have insomnia as of late. So, book three was just what I had hoped for. I tend to dislike a lot of endings of series, especially lately, but this one I was very happy with.

Yet, unlike the previous two books, I struggled getting into this one. I felt like it went a little bit too slow in the beginning, but it was so worth it. Just like Hollow City, Library of Souls picks up right after the previous book and Jacob, Emma, and Addison are on an adventure to rescue Miss Peregrine and the other children. Throughout the book, both characters really go through transformations, Jacob more than Emma. Emma's is more internal in a sense that she realizes that even though she always acts like she knows what she's doing, she really is just as scared as everyone else.

Jacob on the other hand really comes out of his shell in book three, more so than Hollow City. If you thought he had character development in that one, you are in for a surprise. At times, it was hard to stay on track as it mostly just the three characters for the first half to three quarters of the book. Usually that would probably drive me mad, but Riggs managed to keep me roped in. I have my favourite authors and it can take a lot to make that list because I am the pickiest person on this planet, but Mr. Riggs has made it! I loved this series SO much.

My favourite part was when Jacob really starts to understand his influence over the hollows and that in reality, they are essentially his. I would consider this to be his "Eureka Moment" in a sense. Jacob doubted himself a lot in the past books, and even though he still does at times, you can tell he isn't doubting his peculiarity rather himself instead. If that makes sense. To me, at least, I thought that he was sort of just letting his ability take over him rather him trying to control it.

At times, I was getting glimpses of classic literature and whether that was intentional or not, it was brilliant. I can see a bit of an homage to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein when they speak about how they created the hollows and it reminds me of Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. Then again, that is probably just me being a book nut again.

I always tend to go off on tangents when I write these, don't I? Meh, it's my blog, I do what I please.

Book three also touches on addiction and how it can drive you mad and like I said before, I may be reading way too into this, but I really liked that Riggs added that. It shows that even in a crazy, upside down world, these human issues still exist. A lot of the book reminded me of Charles Dicken's Oliver Twist when it came to the setting then morphed back into Frankenstein meets X-Men: First Class. If you've seen that movie, think about what Eric had to do when his mother was in the concentration camp and all that, it will make sense.

Haley, stay on track.

Right, well we do get to meet some new characters in Library of Souls and I really ended up loving Sharon, he's great. Also Nim. And PT.

For me there are parts that have to do with Jacob's "mental health" that really get to me. Obviously, his parents think he is crazy and that he needs to be put on meds and all that. I completely relate to that as I have been in the position of trying to explain my situation when it comes to anxiety, depression, etc and having nobody listen. I tend not to directly relate to fictional characters in a fantasy setting, but Jacob Portman has left a mark on me.

His peculiarity is that he can see what others can't and I feel like that all the time. Again, this may just be me, but as you know my favourite book "Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky is all about that, just with normal people. I always feel like I don't belong anywhere and that I am constantly on the outside looking in and observing EVERYTHING and yet I seem to be the only one that sees it. Jacob is hungry for adventure and when he finds it, he doesn't want to let go of it and I get that.

He is torn between his new life and his old and I can only imagine what that would be like. This book was the first book in a long time, when it comes to fantasy, that really made me think. It made me think about a lot of things: addiction, isolation, greed, poverty, love, loss, memory, and strength. If you are going through a rough time in life, you should consider reading through these books. I don't know, maybe it's just the insomnia talking, but these sort of opened my eyes. I could literally be the only one getting so deep and personal about a book about weird children, but that's the beauty about books. Books affect different people in different ways. One could read TFIOS and not feel a thing, then there is me who is balling in the backseat of her car while Gus says the words Christmas Tree (YOU KNOW THE SCENE, DON'T LIE TO YOURSELF).

I guess what I'm trying to say, after all that, is that I really enjoyed not only book three, but the whole series. Took me long enough to say that...(I'M TRYING). I give book three a 4/5 only because it was rather slow for me at the start, but I give the series a 5/5! Well done Mr. Riggs and I hope to meet you someday and discuss Fiona...you know what I mean, I need answers man.

If you have read this series or any of the books, I want to hear your thoughts!

Happy Reading!

- Haley

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