ATWQ: Shouldn’t You Be in School?


ATWQ:  Shouldn’t You Be in School? (hard cover)

by Lemony Snicket

AR Level 5.1, 7 points

This is book 3 of 4 in the All the Wrong Questions series by the greatest author ever, Lemony Snicket.  Okay, he may not be the greatest author ever, but his books make me laugh, induce deep thought (mostly about his characters), and some of his lines, I just have to read over and over again, because they dance on the pages.  This story continues to follow Lemony Snicket and his colleagues in Stain’d by the Sea as they plot against the villain, Hangfire.  This time, Hangfire sets literal fire to buildings, and the children in town are kept drugged in a school across town and forced to help with Hangfire’s schemes.  We meet a few new characters, but most are carried over from the first two books.

What I liked about this book (besides the writing- Snicket really has a way with words!) is that we start to learn more about VFD (Volunteer Fire Department).  I enjoyed reading about the Baudelaires in A Series of Unfortunate Events, and this book excited me, because we start to make connections between the two series.  Obviously, Snicket is the same person, and we know this series takes place many years before the Baudelaires.  However, it was mentioned that Olaf’s name was written on a wall, and a colleague named Josephine appears towards the end.  I ended up reading all of the wikipedia pages on everything VFD-related.

What I didn’t like about this book is that I am not as connected to the characters as I was to the Baudelaires.  I am kept going by the writing and to see how the plot develops, but I don’t feel a connection to characters other than Snicket himself.

My favorite line of the book:  “The sun was having a tantrum so fierce that all the shade had been scared away.”  I love his way with words, I love his wit, and I love the way he teaches vocabulary (snarky as his lessons often are) through his writing.

Book 40 of 52

Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed


Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed

by E.L. James

AR Level???

Let’s be honest…  The books aren’t great.  They aren’t intellectually stimulating.  They didn’t get me hot and bothered.  But if you know me, you know that once I start, I have to see it through.  I hate stopping books once I’ve started, and the same goes for a series.  I enjoyed Twilight, and these are basically the same idea, but with lots and lots and lots of dirty, raunchy sex (which honestly, I could have done without, but I realize that is the basis of their appeal for 99% of their readers!).  It is predictable.  It is terrible writing (someone buy this woman a thesaurus).  It is a British author trying to be an American (someone please tell her we don’t watch a baseball “match”).  I think that reading these books actually made me dumber.

So while there is very little “take away” from this series, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t entertaining!  I admit I skimmed the dirty parts, because that isn’t my thing, but I did enjoy seeing Christian change, and find out what made him the way that he was.  I also enjoyed that I could read it with low expectations, for entertainment value only.  Would I read it again?  Not a chance.  But I will see the movie and complain about all of the changes they made!

Books 38 and 39 of 52