February 9, 2017

Book Review | The Reptile Room

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The Reptile Room is the second book in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, a thirteen-book series documenting the lives of the Baudelaire orphans. After living with their evil relative Count Olaf the children are sent to live with Dr. Montgomery Montgomery (whom they call Uncle Monty), an energetic herpetologist who is a ray of sunshine in the childrens’ gloomy lives.

This was, and still is, one of my favorite books in the series. After the terrifying experience of living in the villainous Count Olaf’s house, I was relieved that Violet, Klaus and Sunny were able to find an adult who seemed to respect them and wanted what was best for them. Uncle Monty embraced the skills all three children had and was encouraging them to expand these abilities within his Reptile Room. He provided them with a loving and comfortable home and seemed willing to keep them safe from harm. I wish that he could have featured more in later books, but the Baudelaires rarely have anything pleasant like that happen to them.

The Reptile Room features the first appearance of Count Olaf in disguise. Olaf can be a sinister character, but he definitely stepped it up in this book, always being around the children and wielding a sharp knife which he threatens to use on an infant. Stephano in the movie was played up as a more silly character so I’m interested to see how he is presented in this new television show.

My favorite thing about this book was the reptiles. The Incredibly Deadly Viper and all the other creatures were so interesting to learn about. I’m not normally someone who likes snakes, but after reading this I might look into more books featuring or about herpetology.

As I said before, this one of my favorite books in the series and I am looking forward to watching this episode in the new Netflix series. I highly recommend you check this one out if you haven’t already.

What is your favorite book from A Series of Unfortunate Events? Are you going to check out the show? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

February 7, 2017

Book Review | The Bad Beginning

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The Bad Beginning is the first book in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. This book introduces us to the Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus and Sunny, as they are placed in the care of the cruel and calculating Count Olaf following the demise of their parents. Using their intelligence and unique talents the orphans must find a way to keep their inheritance out of the hands of their evil guardian.

I was introduced to this series by my third grade teacher, who used to read the books to our class. I have read them multiple times throughout the years and still find them entertaining as an adult. I love all the Baudelaires. I dressed up as Violet one year for Halloween, using costume inspiration from the movie that was released in 2004. I used to try and memorize everything I read so I could be like Klaus, who was able to pull out useful facts in even the most stressful of situations. I didn’t really try to imitate Sunny since she was a baby who liked to bite things, but I was impressed with the level of understanding an infant, even a fictional one, seemed to have about these terrible situations she was in.

I had not read this book since high school, so for about five or six years, but since the Netflix show was coming out, I thought it would only right to give the first four books a reread. Despite the large gap of time, this is probably the book I remember most clearly. I think it’s because this was one of the first audiobooks I ever bought. I swear I listened to it so many times I probably could have recited the whole book. Even after all this time, Olaf and his acting troupe terrify me (especially the Hook-Handed Man), I find Mr. Poe frustratingly incompetent, and I still desperately wish that I could give the poor orphans a hug and help them get out of that terrible situation.

One of my favorite scenes in this story (maybe even in the entire series) is Violet making the grappling hook to save Sunny from the top of Count Olaf’s tower. Violet had the incredible ability to make something functional out of limited resources. She only needed three things to make her grappling hook and managed to make it work until she was caught by the Hook-Handed Man.

This is simply one of my favorite series of all time. I highly recommend reading these books, and I hope that the new Netflix series will inspire a new group of people to go out and grab themselves a copy of these books.

What are your thoughts on this series? Did you read them as a kid? And what do you think of the new Netflix series? Leave a comment below!

Thanks for reading!