I know, I know, this post is late again! What can I say, I’ve been busy with Uni, but I’m back home for reading week this week, so hopefully I should be able to get all of my posts done on time! I actually intended to have this done on Friday but what with packing for home and going out with my flatmate and some friends, I didn’t have the time! For this week’s Friday Favourites, I decided I wanted to talk about a series that was one of my childhood favourites, A Series of Unfortunate Events. I’m going to do this a little differently to what I’ve done when I’ve talked about series’ before in this feature, usually I talk a little about each book in turn and do kind of a mini review of each of them, but it’s been such a long time since I read these books that I can’t really remember exactly what I thought of them when I first read them, plus there are so many books in the series, that it would take too long to talk about them all, so I’m just going to talk generally about what I remember liking/not liking about the series, rather than focusing on each individual book in turn.
One of the things I remember liking about these books were the characters. Of course I loved Klaus because he’s the bookworm of the group and as a bookworm, I love it when I see characters that like reading in my books because you feel like you have an instant connection with these characters (it’s like “oh, they get me”). Does anyone else get this feeling? Anyway, so obviously I liked Klaus but I also liked Violet, because she was really smart and she made all this cool stuff and I love reading about smart girls in books. Sunny is so young that she doesn’t really play much of a role, but I liked that even though she’s just a baby, she still has her own distinct personality. I liked (well as in liked to hate) Count Olaf, because he was a scary villain, but he was also funny and eccentric and weird, which kind of offset the dark tone of the books a little.
I liked the quirky style of the books, the setting is never explicitly stated which really allows you to use your imagination when picturing the world in which the books are set. I also liked that the time period wasn’t explicitly stated either, instead different aspects from different periods are used, for example there are some aspects from the 19th Century, some aspects from the 1930’s but also some futuristic, modern aspects to the book as well and I thought this mish-mash of different time periods was really cool. I also liked the way that the “author” (Daniel Handler’s pseudonym, Lemony Snicket) was incorporated as a character in the book, I remember thinking that was really cool. As far as I can remember, his writing style was really witty and engaging and I liked that it was somewhat humorous, to provide some comic relief from the events happening in the book. I also remember liking how each book ended with a kind of preview to the next book, it would always just be a picture with some kind of hint to the next book and it was fun trying to figure out what the next book might be about.
The first seven books are kind of repetitive, the Baudelaire orphans are moved about from guardian to guardian and Count Olaf tracks them down and using various disguises tries to steal their fortune. Don’t get me wrong, the books are good but they do kind of follow the same formula whereas the last five books focus more on the mystery of VFD. Still, I remember the stories were always fun and engaging. I also don’t think I read them in order, which whilst you probably should, since each book follows on from the next, it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the series not reading the books in order. I actually think I may enjoy the books more if I read them now as I might be able to pick up on some of the deeper themes that I probably missed when I first read the books. With so many books in the series, I definitely had my favourites and some that I didn’t like so much, in fact I remember liking the first half of the series more than the second half as once the stuff about VFD is introduced, it’s kind of confusing!
Overall, I remember this quirky, original series, as one of my favourites of my childhood and to this day, I’ve never read anything quite like it, so for that alone, it’s definitely a series that is worth reading, even if it is a little long (but the books are pretty short and I remember flying through them!).
I will be back next week with a new Friday Favourites post, but in the meantime, I’ve got a lot of posts to catch up on, so stay tuned!