Sunday 17 August 2014

A Series of Unfortunate Events

78411 78418

A Series of Unfortunate Events
Written by Lemony Snicket
The Bad Beginnings
Pages: 176
The Reptile Room
Pages: 192
Published by Scholastic, 1999

In this first book, readers are introduced to the unfortunate Baudelaire children -- 14-year-old Violet, 12-year-old Klaus, and their infant sister, Sunny -- when they learn they've just been orphaned by a terrible house fire. The executor of the Baudelaire estate -- a phlegm-plagued banker named Mr. Poe - sends the children to live with a distant relative: a conniving and dastardly villain named Count Olaf, who has designs on the Baudelaire fortune. Count Olaf uses the children as slave labor, provides horrid accommodations for them, and makes them cook huge meals for him and his acting troupe, a bunch of odd-looking, renegade good-for-nothings. When the children are commandeered to appear in Count Olaf's new play, they grow suspicious and soon learn that the play is not the innocent performance it seems but rather a scheme cooked up by Olaf to help him gain control of the children's millions. All this bad luck does provide for both great fun and great learning opportunities, however. Violet is a budding McGyver whose inventions help the children in their quest, Klaus possesses a great deal of book smarts, and Sunny -- whose only real ability is an incredibly strong bite -- provides moral support and frequent comedy relief. Then there are the many amusing word definitions, colloquialisms, clichés, hackneyed phrases, and other snippets of language provided by the narrator (a character in his own right) that can't help but expand readers' vocabularies. Though the Baudelaire children suffer myriad hardships and setbacks, in the end they do manage to outsmart and expose Olaf's devious ways. But of course, with luck like theirs, it's a given that Olaf will escape and return to torment them again some day. If only misery was always this much fun.


Overall I was disappointed by these books. I found them kind of boring and the writing style didn't tickle my fancy. I didn't enjoy the conversational writing style at all, there is one point where the author plain talks about nothing relating the book which I find silly because i'm not gaining anything about the books from it. I found the beginnings and the ends of the books enjoyable but the middle really let them down not sure what it was but i just found the middle hard to get though. I enjoyed the story and the ideas in the books. I thought they were quite unique and interesting. They aren't you bob standard happy joy joy Middle Grade book which I will admit I liked.
One thing I did love about these books was the illustrations and the cover.The front covers are a lovely mix of creepy and vintage looking and i feel they have great colours and the suit the book. The between chapter drawings were  beautiful and gave you a nice idea when paired with the chapter title of what was gona happen in that next chapter. So my opinions of these books aren't all bad but im sad to say i wont be continuing on with this series  
Although my impression of these books wasn't great I can see how people would enjoy them. I can also see how they would be great for younger people to expand there vocabulary's as allot of the longer, stranger words used in the text have there meanings explained.

2 out of 5 Stars

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