Book Review: A Series of Unfortunate Events

Now that I have a Nook and have been reading a LOT more, I decided to write some book reviews to fill in gaps in between concerts and other fun things 🙂

Recently, I finished Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.  This was a series of 13 books and with the exception of Book 13, each book had 13 chapters, no doubt a play on the fact that it is an unlucky number.

The first 2 or 3 books were made into a movie starring Jim Carrey, which I had actually seen several years ago. Usually I like to read books before watching movies associated with them to see how close what I pictured in my head matches up with how the characters were cast and the set was designed, but lately I’ve been a bit backwards with that.

The books follow the lives of the Baudelaire’s; Violet, Klaus and Sunny who we learn have just lost their parents.  The books are geared at a bit of a younger crowd than me, but I enjoy reading younger books as they are generally fun and quick reads.  As the series went on, each book got longer and longer and I grew more and more frustrated with the characters, to the point that I had to stop reading the series for a bit and started an entirely *different* series in the middle! (Perhaps a review of that series to come, but I still have a couple more of them to read!)

We follow the 3 orphans and in each book they are placed with a new caretaker because something unfortunate has happened to the one before. And that unfortunate thing is Count Olaf – who is a bad, bad man out to get the orphans fortune.  The kids continue to tell their caretakers that Olaf has showed up (usually in a poorly made disguise) but no one ever listens.  This drove me absolutely crazy, but I had to keep reminding myself they were children books and if Olaf was caught in the first book it wouldn’t make for 12 more stories in the series! (A feature I did like – was that whenever the author used big words or phrases that he thought the reader might not know, he would define and explain them. While I consider myself to be fairly intelligent, some of the words I wasn’t entirely familiar with so I enjoyed this ‘feature’)

Throughout the books the children use their skills to make friends and sneak out of the clutches of Olaf.  Violet, the oldest, is an inventor who when thinking up something to invent pulls her hair back with a ribbon.  Klaus, the middle child, loves reading and researching and was always excited when he found a library – no matter what the topic of the books were.  Sunny is the youngest, and she is a cook but also has super sharp teeth and could bite through anything, which came in very handy in a couple of the predicaments the children found themselves in.

Overall I found the books to be a nice read and could finish about half of it in an hour or so before bed.  It was great, fun reading to wind down with at the end of a busy day!  The best part is – if only one of the 13 stories interests you, they can also be read as completely stand-alone books – each book is indeed a different story, so even though I took the time off to read a couple other books, I could easily jump right back in to the series.  Although, I do recommend you read them in order as characters will make a bit more sense to you that way!

Category: Book Review
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