Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Blog 73 - Book Review: Lemony Snicket: The Bad Beginning

The Bad Beginning: Book the First (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

Author: Lemony Snicket
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 162 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: August 28, 1999

About the Book 
Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent children. They are charming, and resourceful, and have pleasant facial features. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky.

In the first two books alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, a lumpy bed, a deadly serpent, a large brass reading lamp, a long knife, and a terrible odour.

In the tradition of great storytellers, from Dickens to Dahl, comes an exquisitely dark comedy that is both literary and irreverent, hilarious and deftly crafted. Never before has a tale of three likeable and unfortunate children been quite so enchanting, or quite so uproariously unhappy.

My Review
When I was given this book, I had no idea what it was about. I had never even heard of it. But I opened it up and started reading. As I was introduced to the children of the story, and I just felt instantly sad for them. Here we have three children, that lost their parents to a house fire, and they now have to live with some distance relative that they either haven't seen or never met before. Then the relative tries to marry Violet so he could get their fortune. That is like insult to injury. 

What I liked - I really like how the author sets up book one with a beginning that shows exactly how bad things might get with these children throughout the next books. I also really liked that the children were able to outsmart the Count even though he got away from the police and everyone in the end. Though I found it a little predictable in the end, I was surprised to see that she outsmart Count Olaf and his theater friends in the end. I look forward to reading the other books in the series.

What I didn't like - I didn't really like that the author would have sections of the story filled with  sentences like "the word here means (insert definition here)" but I understand this is a Middle Grade book and some of those words might be above the children's vocabulary level. It just kind of took me out of the story that's all. I eventually got used to it popping up in the story but in the very beginning it was pulling me out from the story.

Overall - I enjoyed this story more than I thought I would. It has captured my curiosity and I look forward to reading the other books in the series. I would recommend these books to my friends (and their children who are at this reading level).

Until next time, Happy Reading!

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