By Melody Wolf
We all have that book series that defined our childhood. We related ourselves to the characters, imagining what we would do in every situation they were faced with. We day-dreamed about becoming a character’s best friend when we should have been learning about multiplication rules. We lost ourselves in the pages, but in a way also found ourselves (yeah okay – cheesy, I know). For me, that book series was A Series of Unfortunate Events.
It would only be right to focus on the book that started it all – The Bad Beginning. Rereading the first book was nothing short of awesome. I got to experience the emotions all over again – the hatred toward Count Olaf, the admiration for the Bauldelaire children, and the frustration toward Mr. Poe, who had to have been the most ignorant person of all time.
First of all, I have a confession. This was my first time reading a book in a long time. How long, you ask? Honestly, I’m probably coming up on a year since the time I’ve actually finished a novel. I know, I know – how can I work for a publishing company and not read every second of every day? The only answer I have for you is that I simply forgot how great reading is. Every time I finish a book, I find myself wanting more, but then life gets in the way. In a short period of time, I simply forget the value of reading. So when I picked up my favorite childhood book, I couldn’t help but experience that “at home” feeling again.
One thing that did not change the second time around was my feelings toward the tone of the book. I admired Snicket’s sarcastic tone, but I also found myself continually annoyed with his negative attitude. Obviously, this book is not the the faint-hearted, but it seemed as though half of the book was him discouraging the readers from reading. At some points, it really seemed to take away from the story. The narrator establishing his character is good, but the way he repeatedly inserted himself over and over took away from the storyline a bit.
Another thing I remembered while reading was how absolutely in love with Klaus Baudelaire I was. We all have that boy in a series that drives us up a wall with teenage angst. For me, that boy was Klaus. I can definitely see why I had developed such a massive crush on this boy. He was witty, caring, and undeniably courageous. Now, as a much older (arguably wiser) reader, I am filled with admiration for the middle child. I suppose it was weird reading back and realizing that it was no longer appropriate to be in love with the middle-child Bauldelaire due to our wide age gap – I don’t think I’ve ever felt so old.
Klaus was not the only Bauldelaire I remembered clearly. If I could pick a spirit animal, it would have to be Sunny Baudelaire. Throughout the whole series, she was kind of a bad ass. She did not let her age nor size deter her from becoming an important part of the sibling pack. She was determined to keep herself as well as her siblings as safe as possible, using her favorite asset (her teeth) as a weapon against any threat. If I could have half of the courage Sunny Baudelaire had, I would be in good shape. I also wouldn’t mind inheriting her cooking skills. I am a 20-year-old college student who burns water, and she is a teething toddler who can cook a four-course meal for Olaf and his acting troupe – I need to step up my game.
One thing is for sure: I carry a part of Violet, Klaus, Sunny, and even Count Olaf with me to this day. They taught me lessons that are impossible to learn in any classroom. To any parents, I strongly encourage you to teach your kids the value of a good book. I haven’t found myself lost in a novel in a long, long time, but that isn’t because there are not any good books. The truth is, some of the best childhood memories I have are on Saturday mornings – not watching cartoons, but getting lost in the lives of the Baudelaires. Read as much as you can as a child because there is nothing more nostalgic than reading your favorite childhood book twelve years later.