Size Doesn’t Matter (25): Mini Reviews from a Lazy Blogger

Size Doesn’t Matter (25): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerThe Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket
Narrator: Tim Curry
Length: 4 hrs, 50 mins
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events #9
Published by Harper Audio on September 18, 2004
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery, Humor
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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three-half-stars

Dear Listener,

The word carnivorous means meat eating and this carnivorous volume contains such a distressing story that consuming any of its contents would be far more stomach-turning than even the most imbalanced meal.

It would be best if I didn't mention any of the unnerving ingredients of this story, particularly, an unruly crowd, a wooden plank, and Chabo the Wolf Baby. I also shouldn't mention the features of the interactive CD, which include:

Perplexing word gamesPhotos from The Lemony Snicket ArchivesArt from The Brett Helquist gallery

Sadly for me, I continue to research the lives of the Baudelaire orphans, but your time might be filled with something more palatable. With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

All that tedious beginning has proved worthwhile as the true plot of the series has heated up. The Baudelaires are beginning to uncover more information and they’re no longer being shuffled from one guardian to another by Mr. Poe. The holding pattern is over and the actual story is in motion.

In The Carnivorous Carnival, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny continue to make use of Olaf’s techniques against him; they dress up as two carnival freaks and get a job at the same carnival where he’s staying. They can snoop on his plans while they try to figure out what to do next.

What continues to leave me wanting are the characters. There’s plot development now, but the characters remain depthless. There’s some minor growing in the Baudelaires, but everyone else can be broken into three categories: kind victims, evil villains, or well meaning people who believe anything they’re told.

Size Doesn’t Matter (25): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerCress by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 4, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Romance, Fairy Tales, Retelling
Pages: 550
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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four-half-stars

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Often, I find that I pretty much agree with my earlier reviews when I reread something. In this case, though, I’m in a slightly different place.

Some of you may be aware that I deeply unshipped Cress and Thorne when I read Cress in October 2013. Otherwise I adored the book, which I still totally agree with btw. But Thorne and Cress were a major stumbling block for me.

I’m happy to announce that I no longer desperately unship them, though I haven’t gone on board the ship either. The biggest change is that I buy Thorne’s character arc this time in a way that I didn’t before. He’s not magically changed by Cress but by his blindness. There’s something Jane Eyre about the fact that he needs to lose his eyesight to truly see Cress.

And, this time, I like Cress a lot. She’s still not my favorite of the girls (Cinder forever), but, considering her circumstances, she’s remarkably strong. She’s clever, friendly, and does her best to remain upbeat. Despite the fact that she’s teeny, lacking in physical strength, and completely untrained, she does her best in the desert and tries to help out in the battles. Of course, I also like that she also loses her shit a bit in the battle because my god wouldn’t you? Her obsession with Thorne is also super believable. High school me was boy crazy enough and imagined falling in love with celebrities constantly, and I’m sure it would have been way more intense if I’d been stuck in a satellite tower for so many years.

Whether I can really get on board this ship is going to depend on Winter. I’m no longer against it, but I really would love to see Cress have the opportunity to grow a bit more and I need to be a bit more convinced that Thorne is into her specifically rather than into her the way he’s into every attractive lady he comes across, because for much of the book he was very much like “whoa step back but I’ll pretend I’m into it so that we don’t die” in a way that reminded me of Katniss and Peeta in The Hunger Games. Then at the end, he’s suddenly super serious which means it must have been a damn good kiss but like I’m sure he’s had those before?

I also inexplicably still ship Kai and Cinder even though their ship is so mild. I don’t know. I think it’s just because I see Kai as the Prince from Goong. Plus I love how completely useless Kai and Wolf are without their ladies. Just good for nothing.

*crosses fingers for Winter*

Size Doesn’t Matter (25): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerThe Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket
Narrator: Tim Curry
Length: 5 hrs, 52 mins
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events #10
Published by Harper Audio on September 18, 2004
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery, Humor
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

Dear Reader,

Like handshakes, house pets, or raw carrots, many things are preferable when not slippery. Unfortunately, in this miserable volume, I am afraid that Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire run into more than their fair share of slipperiness during their harrowing journey up--and down--a range of strange and distressing mountains.
In order to spare you any further repulsion, it would be best not to mention any of the unpleasant details of this story, particularly a secret message, a toboggan, a deceitful map, a swarm of snow gnats, a scheming villain, a troupe of organized youngsters, a covered casserole dish, and a surprising survivor of a terrible fire.

Unfortunately, I have dedicated my life to researching and recording the sad tale of the Baudelaire orphans. There is no reason for you to dedicate your-self to such things, and you might instead dedicate yourself to letting this slippery book slip from your hands into a nearby trash receptacle, or deep pit.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

Only three books left! It’s impressive how quickly you can binge 13 audiobooks when they’re all so short. The Slippery Slope is most definitely my favorite of the books thus far.

For one thing, there’s the surprise appearance of Quigley, and he and Violet quite get along. Of course, I thought she was into his brother, so now there’s a dramatic love triangle which lbr is probably just in my head but does really add to my excitement about the whole thing. If she was just with all the Quagmires for a bit, then I could see what was up, but a lot has been left to my imagination, which is frankly quite dangerous. Whatever, she and Quigley totally canoodled or something on that waterfall.

The other thing I really love about this book is that there’s been even more character growth than a possible future boyfriend for Violet. Sunny is no longer a baby; she’s a little girl and she’s developing more skills than doing horrific things with her four teeth. I also really enjoy that her language is less nonsense now and more big words, so I can actually understand her most of the time now.

There’s also been development in the villains. Some of them were betrayed and some chose to leave Olaf’s group. This shows that things are less black and white than they’ve been historically. There’s also the arrival of the two people who scare even Olaf, and I’m curious what the deal is with them.

It’s an interesting series because things I view as consistent flaws (repetition, for example) remain, but I know that they’re also strengths. As such, they’re never going to be my favorite books, but I’m very glad I’ve stuck it out to the end.

2 responses to “Size Doesn’t Matter (25): Mini Reviews from a Lazy Blogger”

  1. I’m so glad you no longer unship Cress & Thorne! Fingers crossed that you’ll at least a little bit ship them after reading Winter! I’m just happy to find another person who’s not all OMG SCARLET/WOLF OTP 5EVER. They’re my least favorite. *Shrugs*

    I really need to read all the Lemony Snicket books, too. I’ve only read the first one and I really want to read them all before the TV series premiers! I’m doing A Series A Month reading challenge in 2016 and these would be great for that! Hopefully my library will have all of them!
    Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (76)My Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Sorry to disappoint, but I actually do VERY ship Wolf and Scarlet. I mean, I know they’re all the terrible paranormal tropes (except that he’s not an abusive jerk), but I ship them so much anyway. *shrugs back* I hope I can at least get on board Cress/Thorne a bit, because man does not shipping that make you unpopular.

      The Snicket books have been a bit tedious, but they’re fun, esp on audio. The first four are a bit of a struggle but they diversify after that.

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