Have you read this series before? I assume Julia has, but this book confounds me. I don’t really know what to think about it.
Title: The Bad Beginning
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events; Book 1
Author: Lemony Snicket (Pen Name)
ROTS Setting: Orphans, Dark, Disturbing
Synopsis: (Insert mildly condescending synopsis here.)
Recommendation: Not recommended for younger readers. Mature themes include foster parental abuse, child exploitation, physical abuse, child brides, and hopeless reality.
This book is odd. There are certainly some very good aspects, but also some very disturbing ones too. My feelings are mixed, obviously, so bear with me while I sort it all out.
The style of the whole book is remarkable as well. The way it flowed and how it conveyed the story was captivating.
But in the reverse, that dark tone and hopelessness seemed inappropriate for the desired audience. Also, the dialog and characters were very flat. Beyond what was required in the roles there wasn’t much else. The size of the book and the desired audience explains most of that but then is in conflict with the tone. The plot outline is pretty good, but many elements felt too convenient and unsatisfying.
For a more mature reader, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book, but not for the ages it’s geared toward. Morbid curiosity can only go so far before it becomes harmful and I shudder to think how a kid in the foster system would react to this book.
I think my brain can not reconcile the dark, morbid themes with a children’s novel. And for that reason I won’t be reading any more in this series.