Title: A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning
Author: Lemony Snicket
Date published: September 30, 1999
Page Count: 176
A physical copy of the book was kindly provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Dear Reader,
I’m sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.
In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.
It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.
With all due respect,
My sister read this entire series when we were both much younger, yet somehow, I managed to never pick any of these books up until this past month! Don’t get me wrong, I’d been wanting to read these books for a while, but just never seemed to find the right time, or the right amount of motivation to do so. When HarperCollins contacted me about whether I wanted to read the first book in preparation for the release of the Netflix original series based on the books, I could not say no. It was finally time.
They sent me the book, and I found that I quite enjoyed it! Despite it being a middle grade book, and my usually being unable to click with books in this age grouping, I found that I really liked the note of this narrative. Unlike some other middle grade books, the narrator addressed the audience with a great degree of respect, despite the assumption that most of the audience would be quite young, and there were also some very useful vocabulary lessons peppered throughout the story. I liked how vocabulary was introduced to readers in a way that wasn’t superior, but rather as an explanation from equal to equal.
The plot itself is also quite good, and the mystery can be intriguing to even the most grown up of adults. The story flowed steadily in the first book, and I found the pacing to be smooth and enjoyable. The characters were also equal parts amusing and infuriating, while the dialogue between them all felt quite natural (at all times) despite some of the unusual circumstances taking place in this eerie and mysterious tale.
Overall, I recommend this book to children, teens, and adults alike!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lemony Snicket claims he was nowhere near the scene of the crime. He is the author of several other unpleasant stories, including those in the bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Lump of Coal.
THANK YOU FOR READING MY REVIEW! HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK? AND IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET, DO YOU WANT TO, OR NOT? HOW COME? LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!