Saturday, October 16, 2010

Show Me 5 Saturday: The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket

From That's A Novel Idea and Find Your Next Book Here

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) 

1 book I read: The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)

2 words that describe the book: Juvenile suspense

3 settings where it took place or characters you met:

Violet Baudelaire - A 14-year-old who, along with her two younger siblings, is suddenly orphaned by a house fire. But, that's not the worst thing to happen to the Baudelaires in this book. Violet is smart and cares deeply for her siblings, something you don't often see in juvenile or young adult literature.

Count Olaf - The Baudelaires' mysterious distant relative, Count Olaf is an eccentric, mean man who wants only the children's money. He forces them to cook and clean his house, and even attempts to trick Violet into marrying him. He's one of the biggest creeps I've ever met in literature.

Justice Strauss - Count Olaf's next door neighbor, she has a gorgeous library to which she allows the children access. She cares for the Baudelaires, but she's just another oblivious adult who only does what the law says is right.

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it:

I liked that Snicket didn't talk down to the readers in this book. He didn't simplify the language, yet he offered up explanations and definitions when he used a larger word. I think it's important for children's literature to challenge the readers instead of just being a breezy good story.

I liked the Baudelaire children. They are great characters who I just wanted to spend the entire book rooting for.

I didn't like that nothing really good seems to happen to the Baudelaires. I know that's the premise of the book, as this is a "series of unfortunate events," but it was just one bad, depressing thing after another. I don't think I can read the rest of this series if it's just all going to be this way.

I didn't like how creepy Count Olaf was. I'm sorry, but in a book aimed at older juveniles (Ages 8-12), I don't think it's appropriate to have an old man try to trick a young girl into marrying him, no matter that it doesn't really happen. Just a little too disturbing for me.

5 Stars or less for your rating?

I'm giving the book 3 stars. It was well-written, but there were just too many things I didn't like about this book for me to rate it higher.

The Whys and Wheres: Library

Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge


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