Size Doesn’t Matter (24): Mini Reviews from a Lazy Blogger

Size Doesn’t Matter (24): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerThe Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
Narrator: Lemony Snicket
Length: 3 hrs, 4 mins
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events #3
Published by Harper Audio on September 16, 2004
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Adventure, Humor
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
three-stars

Dear Listener,

I am sorry to say that the lives of the Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus and Sunny, are filled with bad luck and misery. All of the stories about these three children are unhappy and wretched, and the one you are holding may be the worst of them all.

If you haven't got the stomach for a story that includes a hurricane, hungry leeches, cold cucumber soup and a doll named Pretty Penny, then this audio will probably fill you with despair.

I also shouldn't mention the interactive features of the CD, which include:
A perplexing word game
Photos from The Lemony Snicket Archives
Art from The Brett Helquist gallery

I will continue to record these tragic tales for that is what I do. You should decide for yourself if you can possibly endure this miserable story.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

It’s already obvious to me why I ended up stalling out on this series when I was younger. Written essentially to teach language and storytelling to young readers in a humorous fashion, A Series of Unfortunate Events is very repetitive and constantly teaching me things I already know. Also, I struggle with the mind-boggling incompetence of Mr. Poe. How even?

Aside from being predictable and repetitive, they are fun on audio. I was nervous about the change to Snicket’s narration. It was off-putting at first, but, once I got used to this new voice, he does better than I would have expected.

Size Doesn’t Matter (24): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerThe Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket
Narrator: Lemony Snicket
Length: 2 hrs, 56 mins
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events #4
Published by Harper Audio on September 16, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery, Humor
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
two-half-stars

Dear Listener,

If you have chosen to listen to this audio for pleasure, I advise you to put it down instantaneously, because of all the audios describing the unhappy lives of the Baudelaire orphans, The Miserable Mill might be the unhappiest.

This recording contains such unpleasantries as a giant pincher machine, a bad casserole, a man with a cloud of smoke where his head should be, and coupons. If you prefer stories that are more heartwarming, please feel free to make another selection.

I also shouldn't mention the interactive features of the CD, which include:
A perplexing word game
Photos from The Lemony Snicket Archives
Art from The Brett Helquist gallery

I have promised to record the entire history of these poor children, but you haven't, so please feel free to make another selection.
With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

Welp, I’ve reached the point where Snicket no longer gets three stars for doing the same damn thing over and over again. Even for young kids, four books that repeat everything has to be getting rather…miserable. I’m planning to read all of these because I do want to know how this series ends, but if Snicket doesn’t start pulling out some new tricks, the ratings might get low.

That said, the audiobooks are still a fun listen. I’m still enjoying, but I can’t say I’m particularly impressed with the storytelling at this point in the series.

Size Doesn’t Matter (24): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerThe Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket
Narrator: Tim Curry
Length: 3 hrs, 15 mins
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events #5
Published by Harper Audio on September 18, 2004
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
three-stars

Dear Listener,
If you are looking for a story about cheerful youngsters spending a jolly time at boarding school, look elsewhere. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire school turns out to be another miserable episode in their unlucky lives.

Truth be told, within the chapters that make up this dreadful story, the children will face snapping crabs, strict punishments, dripping fungus, violin recitals, S.O.R.E., and the metric system.

I also shouldn't mention the interactive features of the CD, which include:
A perplexing word game
Photos from The Lemony Snicket Archives
Art from The Brett Helquist gallery

It is my solemn duty to stay up all night reading the history of these three hapless youngsters into a microphone, but you may be more comfortable getting a good night's sleep.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

Praise Jeebus! Snicket finally added a bit of variety! The kids were sent to a school instead of a new guardian, and they tried something different when Olaf showed up. Also, they made friends! There’s even a glimmer of a ship for Violet. I am quite pleased.

Maybe it’s adulthood but I consistently struggle with disbelief in these books. Like, there’s no way this school could be accredited because all the kids learn is memorization of random stories and measuring. ???? I mean, it’s funny, I guess, but I just sit there going COME ON. This series turns me into Job Bluth is what I’m saying.

Size Doesn’t Matter (24): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerThe Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket
Narrator: Tim Curry
Length: 4 hrs, 17 mins
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events #6
Published by Harper Audio on September 18, 2004
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
three-stars

Dear Reader,

If you have just picked up this audio, then it is not too late to put it back down. Like the previous books in A Series of Unfortunate Events, there is nothing to be found in these pages but misery, despair, and discomfort, and you still have time to choose something else to read.

Within the chapters of this story, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire encounter a darkened staircase, a red herring, some friends in a dire situation, three mysterious initials, a liar with an evil scheme, a secret passageway, and parsley soda.

I have sworn to write down these tales of the Baudelaire orphans so the general public will know each terrible thing that has happened to them, but if you decide to read something else instead, you will save yourself from a heapful of horror and woe.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

It probably says something that there’s a minor twist in the guardian situation and I’m like OOOH HE REALLY CHANGED THINGS UP. :-p

Good job, Snicket. You set the bar so low plot-wise at the start that I am now super duper impressed if anything remotely different from the first couple of books happens.

Snarking aside, A Series of Unfortunate Events is really picking up now. The actual overarching plot has started to kick in with the triplets needing to be rescued and the mysterious tunnel to the ruins of the Baudelaire mansion. Tim Curry’s an amazing narrator, I’m having a lot of fun and am waiting for the end with

gif anticipation rocky horror

Size Doesn’t Matter (24): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerThe Vile Village by Lemony Snicket
Narrator: Tim Curry
Length: 4 hrs, 11 mins
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events #7
Published by Harper Audio on September 18, 2004
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
three-stars

Dear Listener,

Nobody in their right minds would listen to this particular audiobook about the lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire on purpose, because each dismal moment of their stay at the village of V.F.D. has been faithfully and dreadfully recorded on this program.

I can think of no reason why anyone would want to listen to an audiobook containing such unpleasant matter as migrating crows, an angry mob, a newspaper headline, the Duluxe Cell, and some very strange hats.

It is my solemn and sacred occupation to research each detail of the Baudelaire children's lives and write them all down, but you may decide to do some other sacred and solemn thing, such as listening to another audiobook instead.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

With The Vile Village, this series seems to really be heading for the end. There have been some real deviations from formula, and I could not be more excited. It’s still a three star for me, but a more enthusiastic one that’s super close to getting that extra half star.

This time, Mr. Poe shuffles the Baudelaires off to a village, VFD, where the Baudelaires hope to learn more about Count Olaf’s evil plan. It takes a village to raise a child is the idea behind the village raising the kids, and it’s a pretty clever twist on the new home for the orphans. Shockingly, the town of VFD doesn’t turn out to be a very good guardian.

However, the children actually do find a kind adult here, which automatically makes this book rather notable. He supports them in their habits, and they have a fairly nice time here, unfortunate events aside. There’s also the first real sign of a cohesive large plot with the mysterious arrival of a Snicket (though not a Lemony one) in the town of VFD.

Size Doesn’t Matter (24): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerThe Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket
Narrator: Tim Curry
Length: 4 hrs, 12 mins
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events #8
Published by Harper Audio on September 18, 2004
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
three-half-stars

The Baudelaires need a safe place to stay - somewhere far away from terrible villains and local police. A quiet refuge where misfortune never visits. Might Heimlich Hospital be just the place? In Lemony Snicket′s eighth ghastly installment in A Series of Unfortunate Events, I′m sorry to say that the Baudelaire Orphans will spend time in a hospital where they risk encountering a misleading newspaper headline, unnecessary surgery, an intercom system, anesthesia, heart-shaped balloons, and some very startling news about a fire.

As I predicted, the series is doing more new things in The Hostile Hospital. This one differs from all the other books in the series, and that’s such a good thing.

The Baudelaire orphans are finally taking in certain facts and manipulating their world. After six books of Olaf pretty much running circles around them because they can’t accept how their world works, they’re now trying to use the weaknesses of the people in their world to their advantage. They’re really fighting back. I am so glad they finally recognize that adults will never believe a word they say and that a costume will fool everyone.

The Hostile Hospital also advances the overarching plot, with evidence that the Snickets and Baudelaires are somehow related, and that Olaf’s plans didn’t start with the orphans. Also, one of the Baudelaire parents might be alive and in hiding. DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNN!

Size Doesn’t Matter (24): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerScarlet by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 5, 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Romance, Retelling, Fairy Tales, Adventure
Pages: 452
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

My questionable memory aside, I’m SO glad that I decided to reread these, because they’re so good. I mean, I knew that, but, with the way the series grows in scope, I’d forgotten how good the early books were since they were dwarfed by the later.

Scarlet is a truly remarkable book, mostly because it really shouldn’t work but it totally does. The romance between Wolf and Scarlet includes most of the very worst paranormal romance cliches, including instalove in ridiculous circumstances. And yet. I still ship it. A lot. Maybe it’s the way that Wolf guzzles down veggies at their first meeting, which is so not swoony as to be swoony in a guy like Wolf. Or the fact that Scarlet holds him at gun point and View Spoiler ». I don’t really know. Somehow though, it doesn’t come out infuriating but really shippy. There’s magic here is what I’m saying.

Here’s hoping that magic will get me to ship Cress and Thorne this time around. *crosses fingers* For a review of actual plot and stuff, check out my original review.

2 responses to “Size Doesn’t Matter (24): Mini Reviews from a Lazy Blogger”

  1. Hannah says:

    Ha, I’ve only ever read the first Lemony Snicket book, and I was an adult then – so whatever magic the series has was lost on me, it seems.

    But yeah, Scarlet and Cress are two of the strongest books in the series, IMO, and while Wolf and Scarlet, out of all the couples, have the tropiest-romance, I just can’t help loving them.
    Hannah recently posted…Review: Breakout (Dred Chronicles #3) – Ann AguirreMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      The series is only just starting to get substantially better at book eight. I think I would have been much more charmed as a wee thing, but I’m enjoying the audiobooks.

      I don’t get the Wolf/Scarlet magic, but it’s the best.

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