Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket


Page Count: 176
Published on: September 30th 1999
Published by: HarperCollins Publishing 
Genre(s): Fiction, Childrens, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Mystery, Adventure
Source: Print: Hardback
Age Rating: PG-10

Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon

My Rating: 5 stars

Twitter: @lemonysnicket



Goodreads synopsis: 

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.
 

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Hey guys!

        I was sure that I was missing out on an amazing series with all the hype that Lemony Snicket's books get. I'm convinced that this first book was actually quite perfectly average...now don't get me wrong, the writing was really nice and it was a really quick read and really action packed. I didn't like that Snicket explained words extensively, but I understand that this book, and the series it's in is meant for a younger reading audience. 
        I also noticed that the reoccurring themes in the first & second book (review coming soon) were: 

  1. Adults are stupendously stupid. I hate the choices the adults make in the book. They didn't use any common sense, and it drove me nuts!
  2. Lemony Snicket is a very cynical and smart man. He wants his readers to not only be entertained, but to learn something and enhance their vocabulary. That is why I understood the explainations of the bigger words. 
  3. The children--Violet, Klaus, and Sunny--- use their talents to solve their problems. They are also really hard working and good children throughout the book. They don't let their horrid predicaments get them down.
  4. The problem is always Count Olaf. I hate him so much. He is a horridly selfish man.
        OK, what I didn't like was that sometimes the scenes were a bit rushed and the characters didn't use their common sense as often as real people do. The adults, again, were SO awfully portrayed. OK guys I'm 17, and I may not get along with some adults, but I do know that adults aren't THAT stupid. They do listen to what kids have to say, and with kids as smart as Baudelaires you'd think that Mister Poe would listen to the kids, but NOOOO. Also, they're always explaining words to the children even though they know what it means. I don't know why, but the adults are SO ANNOYING! 

        Sorry guys! You should read this series, but take in mind that a younger audience may love it more than an older audience. I probably went into the series with all of the hype in mind, but just remember that most of the people who have read this were way younger than 17. I really like it, but it's not my favorite middle grade series. 

By the way! I hope you like what I've done with the look of the blog! My Aunt Sarah helped me with it this week, and I'm really happy with how it turned out!

Enjoy guys!
Olivia
~livthebooknerd~