Year 7 pupil Elsie reviews Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events – The Bad Beginning
A Series of Unfortunate Events – The Bad Beginning is about three siblings – Voilet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire – whose parents die in a fire. Just after that tragic event, they are placed into the hands of their closest-living relative, evil Count Olaf, who will stop at nothing to get their fortune. They manage to escape him again and again, but Count Olaf will soon find them again.
What I liked about this book is the mystery that surrounds the story. It also has a lot of sadness, but the gripping words that the author uses makes the reader want to read on and on. The narrator introduces new words that you may not know, but always gives a definition, which is in context. It has an unconventional ending because it has an unhappy ending – we are repeatedly told by the narrator not to expect a happy one!
My favourite character was Sunny Baudelaire, even though she is a baby. She’s quite smart and has a sense of humour. She has very sharp teeth, and likes hard food, which is unusual for babies – her gnawing through things also helps the three children get out of scrapes. In conversations, she says what her brother and sister are too polite to articulate themselves which provides humour in an otherwise dark and somewhat miserable story.
The children did feel real to me in some ways, but not so real in others. Some ways they were real were:
- They love one another
- They miss their parents
Some ways they weren’t so real were:
- They have super-human abilities; Klaus is intelligent, he has an ability to read and digest difficult written information. Violet loves mechanical engineering and inventing things, and Sunny has razor sharp teeth to bite through literally anything.
- Sometimes they are too polite!
I would recommend this book to pre-teens who want something a little bit darker and more mysterious but not too scary.
I wouldn’t compare this book to anything I’ve read before, it’s completely different. This book is the first out of the 13 that there are. I’ve still got six more books to read out of the series, so I could answer that question better when I’ve completed the entire series.