I’ve not done a post about a book in a while, so to make up for it, this book will talk about all 13 books in the Series of Unfortunate Events book series. Don’t worry, this won’t be a long post, but there may be spoilers.
Now, I had read these books when I was younger. When Netflix came out with their series for the books, I decided to re-read them so that I could refresh my memory. I didn’t allow myself to watch the series until I had finished reading the books, so that was fun.
For those who are not familiar, these books are aimed towards younger/middle age children. I don’t typically care what age group books are aimed at. I read what I want.
The first book, The Bad Beginning, starts out with the three Baudelaire children being told by Mr. Poe that their parents had perished in a deadly fire. This is just the start of the children’s unfortunate lives.
One thing you will quickly notice about the books is that Lemony Snicket enjoys alliteration. He also tries very hard in every book to convince the reader to stop reading the books, or to turn their attention to something different.
In The Grim Grotto, which is the 11th book, he repeats information about the water cycle. While it may sound like these diversions from the main story would be annoying, it really isn’t. (At least not to me) To me, I think they are fun and make Lemony a character. It is meant to be a retelling of a story, so it makes sense that Lemony would get to have his own attitude.
Book after book, the children have to face Count Olaf. Each time they discover who he is right off the bat, yet no other adult in the books ever recognize him. It becomes frustrating at how dense the adults are.
If anybody reading these books ever think that maybe things will change for the Baudelaire and that they will get to live a happy life, you are sadly mistaken. Lemony Snicket even assures you that nothing is going to change for them.
Guardian after guardian is killed by Count Olaf. They get accused of murder. They have to run around the hinterlands and hitchhike with strangers. Sleep in an unfinished hospital wing. Sail in a broken down submarine. Get separated from each other. And almost thrown down a mountain. Those aren’t even the worse things that happen to them.
But, finally, you make it to The End. A small glimmer of hope shines inside of you. “Maybe,” you think to yourself, “Things will change for the Baudelaire children.”
You wouldn’t be completely wrong, but you won’t be right either. Count Olaf is there and some dumb adults that don’t think for themselves. The island turns out to be a safe place for the children. They believe them about Count Olaf. They even lock him in a cage on the coastal shelf.
Yet, something is fishy about the island and Ishmael, and it’s not just the ceviche.
Ish turns out to know everything about the children and he claims that everything he does is to “protect” the villagers. The children could stay as long as they “don’t rock the boat,” but they are Baudelaires and they can’t stand injustice. So, of course, they rock the boat.
They get themselves isolated on the coastal shelf with Olaf and stranded Kit Snicket.
Oalf manages to enact one more crazy plan and releases a deadly poison on the island. The children find out that the apple tree on the island can help, but they can’t get all of the others to believe them. Instead, they ship out with Ish.
I won’t go into any more detail. I will say, the exact outcome of the Baudelaires or any of the other characters that didn’t die aren’t shared. You’re left to wonder how things worked out for them. If they were about to go back into the world without being chased by the police. Or if they joined VFD. Of if they found the Quagmire triplets.
This seems to be a problem for some people. I update my Goodreads when I finish a book. When I added The End, I noticed there were a few people who didn’t like how he ended the series. They didn’t like the mystery that was left. They wanted it wrapped up in a pretty little bow, and that the kids lived happily ever after.
I get that, but, I also understand why it was wrapped up the way it was.
Lemony Snicket never hid the fact that the Baudelaires’ story would be a series of unfortunate events. (It’s the name of the books.) Plus, the books are supposed to be written by a person sharing what he has learned. I feel the way the last book wraps things up fits in with the whole premise of the books. Diaries and journals are rarely wrapped up into pretty little bows, and that’s basically what these books are supposed to be.
I love these books. I always have and always will. When I have children, they will read these books. They may seem morbid to some, but I think they also teach a lot of valuable lessons for adults and children alike.
Grab your copy of Loved by Death on Amazon. Make sure you keep an eye on Loved by Death: Book One of The Wolfsbane Chronicles. You never know what kind of sale you might find.