The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket
Uncle Monty appears like a kind-hearted and secure person. The Baudelaires like him and it feels like they have finally found their perfect caretaker. They each have their own room and their own duties for the trip they’ll be taking. They’re very eager for the experience and everything seemed to have clicked together. Until Stephano, Uncle Monty’s “assistant”, who is really Count Olaf in disguise, appears in the picture. Everything falls apart as the children desperately tries to persuade the others that Count Olaf is up to mischief once more. But no one even looks twice before dismissing them. Once again the children are left on their own to survive.
It feels that every time they’re given a slight crack at a new life, it’s snatched from them. The relationship between the siblings is exceptionally strong and their strengths really compliment each other. They make an extraordinary team & they each pull their weight when needed. The story shows how sometimes adults dismisses children as a reliable source. But many times because they don’t notice them, children often hear the most I rate this 7/10 as I still really enjoyed it however, why is the only adult helping the Baudelaires an incompetent banker? Shouldn’t there be other RESPONSIBLE adults involved in the process before giving the children to the next caretaker?
The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
The children have managed to escape being captured by Count Olaf yet again and now they are at their new guardian, Aunt Josephine. She lost her husband and now lives alone at the top of a cliff, in a house that is right above Lake Lachrymose. However, she worries about everything that might possibly happen, and completely obsessed about grammar. The circumstances there are quite boring but the peace is quickly broken when Violet runs into “Captain Sham”. The children immediately recognizes the man as Count Olaf Right away. However, no one believes them that Count Olaf is back to his old schemes. Therefore, the children are on their own again.
By the third book of this series the formula is already really obvious. Mr Poe pushes the kids to another rookie relative, Count Olaf turns up in a disguise and the children recognizes him automatically. All the adults just dismisses them and their accusations. Count Olaf almost captures the children. They then use each of their own skills (Inventor, book worm, and biter), the children forestall Count Olaf and the follower chosen . Mr Poe coughs, calls the police, and lets Olaf escape; and repeat. Because the pattern is obvious and annoying I am enjoying the series less and less, I would rate this book 6/10. At the start it was interesting and intriguing, but now its really irritating.
The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis
It takes place during the Golden Age of Narnia, with the Pevensies ruling at their peak. The two main characters and horses are escaping from Calormen and travelling north of Narnia. On their travel, they learn of the Prince of Calormen’s plan to overtake Archenland. They then have to race the Calormen to Archenland in order to warn the King of Archenland of the incoming attack.
Although the story is set in the countries to the south of Narnia (Calormen and Archenland), which gives it a quite different experience then the previous books. I always find the visual imagery and the feelings of each character as they evolve fascinating. But he revived his deceitful, dirty, turban-clad race, the Calormen. A lost fair skinned boy grew up among them and he is depressed until he is finally reunited with the beautiful, white, and kind people of Narnia. His representation of the people of Calormen is dreadful . When he says “Calor-men”, by calor is he implying people of the hot countries or is it the not inconspicuous way of indicating colored people? However, the descriptions reveals it all; the people are described as dark skin, wears turbans, and savage slave owners. Their leader is a dishonest war-dealer. This land and its people are consistently compared against the fair-skinned, wise and free-thinking people of Narnia and Archenland. However, all of this could be seen from another point of view. Lewis may have been trying to describe the life as it was years ago in that area. There were slavery in those communities too as it was in the western world, and there were child marriages in their society. Besides that, the story came off strongly and all the scenes and visuals are really detailed. I still really enjoyed the story and how it was different from the first two and I rate it 8/10.
Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane by Suzanne Collins
After Gregor swore to never go down to the Underlands again, the Underlanders kidnapped his little sister to lure Gregor down. As he is essential in another prophecy that requires him to find the great, evil white rat called the Bane and slay it. He has to decide between his own personal morales and the future of everyone’s lives.
It’s much darker and gorier, characters still dealing with their grief from the previous book, with ethical dilemmas, some dreadful consequences that will affect all the Underlander’s future,allies not being understanding and good as they appear. Twitchtip is so sassy and really adds a huge element to the book. Photos Glow-Glow and Zap were really annoying but humorous as well. I really like the new characters that had been added and unlike other stories death is actually a thing in this series. I would rate this 9/10 and I can’t wait to read the next one.
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson was always said to be “special” because of his behaviour but he had no idea how special he really was. After just narrowing escaping death. he arrives at Camp Half Blood and immediately sent back out on a quest. Zeus’s lighting bolt has gone missing and Percy has to return it to him or else a war is going to erupt.
After I first finished reading this book, I was confused about the mythology parts. But after researching and finding out about the relationships between each character it become much more clear. Throughout the entire story, the adventure is written through the eyes of Percy Jackson. Because it isn’t told in a 3rd person’s view, it makes the entire story come to life and each emotion the character feels can be experienced by the reader. I have read many books from the 3rd person’s view, or it changes POV. throughout the book; it leaves less space for surprises for the reader but it gives the reader and anxious feeling on what is going to happen when the secret is revealed. I prefer 1st person view than 3rd person as I do love a good twist. In this story, Percy Jackson is a person who’s fatal flaw is wanting to save his loved ones. His rivals often use it against him, and he is forced to decide on what is more important. This leads the ethical questions that he often ponders about. I would rate this book 8/10. I actually tried to read this book a couple years ago and I had such a hard time connecting everything, so I gave up before finishing chapter 2. Now I am really glad I revisited it and I am excited to finish the rest of the series as well.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter is in his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry and his friends investigates the deadly Sirius Black, an escaped prisoner from Azkaban who they believe is one of Lord Voldemort followers and the reason Harry’s parents died. Now the rumors are that he is coming for Harry as well.
There’s a distinct change in mood, style, and a maturation in the writing and scenes. As the characters grow older, the challenges they faced became more intense and grave. The schemes became shadier especially in relation to Sirius and his connection in the murders of Potter’s parents. It all just got so much better. The entire story felt less soft and less feel-good. For the first time it seemed like if Harry didn’t gather up his confidence he could actually die. He owed tons to Lupin here, a hugely essential one in the development of Harry. This one is my favorite so far and I would rate it 9/10.
The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis
As the children finds out about Narnia and witnesses the creation of it, they continue on their valiant quest to save a life. While trying to outrun an evil sorceress who tries to suppress them. I noticed many parts of this book is connected to Christianity. This is another series that my mom is making me read… as it is for my novel study. At first I was reluctant but after finishing the first one I am already quickly devouring the next. I found the old English confusing at times but I definitely recommend it. I would rate this 9/10 as I just loved how Lewis described the creation of Narnia, it just felt so magical and realistic.
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
Up until now, the three hard working Baudelaire children have lived a fairly regal life; until a devastating fire burns through their home with their parents inside. The deaths are suspicious and no one really knows how the fire began in the first place. Now they have nothing left and Mr. Poe, their banker, has to find a relative that’s willing to take the responsibility of caring and raising them.
“Mr. Poe opened his mouth to say something, but erupted into a brief fit of coughing. “I have made arrangements,” he said finally, “for you to be raised by a distant relative of yours who lives on the other side of town. His name is Count Olaf.” ~ Chapter 2
When the children are arrives at their new caretaker’s home, they desperately hope their life will turn right side up. However, Count Olaf’s only goal is stealing their family fortune and the Baudelaire children must find a way to shield themselves from his nasty schemes and escape from his clutches.
I rate this book 7/10, it was easy to read and has tons of dark humor. It really shows how crazy things can get when unbalanced people take control of other people’s lives especially children’s. I definitively recommend this book and I regret not reading this years ago when I first saw it.
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
When Gregor fell through a laundry shoot while following his little sister he discovered a whole world called the Underland. There humans live anxiously beside beside giant spiders, bats, cockroaches, and rats. But their peace is about to fall apart and Gregor will have to decide where to place his loyalties, how to survive, and is given the opportunity to find his lost father. He wants no part in their war, instead he just wants to go home with his little sister. But he falls upon a prophecy that forces a role onto him that he has to play. However, if he goes on this quest, it will change the Underland forever and the decision is in his hands.
I used to have this series at home and it was only after I joined a book club at the library did I find interest in this book. Now I can finally read the rest of the series and find out what I have been missing out on. I rate this book 9/10, as it has really deep descriptions of everything that makes you feel like you can actual see everything. It’s easy to read and it contains tons of emotions.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter is starting his second year at Hogwarts. Harry expects it to be a normal year after his struggle the year before but going against his wishes a secret chamber opens, muggle-born students are being attacked and Harry must put his life on the line once more.
Harry Potter finds out he can speak Parselmouth and is mistaken for the heir of Slytherin. And on top of that he has to tolerate the new Defence against the Dark Arts teacher ,Gilderoy Lockhart, who is a self-centered, fake, lunatic teacher.
I enjoyed this book because it is packed with fantasy, action, and imagination. I would rate it 8/10 as it was dark and mysterious at parts and I really adore this story.