The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket: B+

From the back cover:
Dear Reader,

If you have not read anything about the Baudelaire orphans, then before you read even one more sentence, you should know this: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are kindhearted and quick-witted, but their lives, I am sorry to say, 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, a signaling device, hungry leeches, cold cucumber soup, a horrible villain, and a doll named Pretty Penny, then this book will probably fill you with despair.

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

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

The plot of this book is essentially the same as The Reptile Room, though I did not like it as well as that book. Once I paused in my reading, I actually had trouble working up the desire to continue.

To successfully employ a plot formula, one should treat it as a template. A story structure or framework upon which new ideas may be secured, and which might actually inspire creativity by forcing one to find ways to innovate while maintaining the essential pattern. So far, this series doesn’t do that. Maybe it’s too early to expect significant variation, but I’d like to see some soon.

Once I got back into the story, I did enjoy the conclusion, especially the sequence where everyone is going “bluh,” Sunny’s use of a couple actual words, and the moral offered in the final few pages. Bonus points for trying to drill in the concept of “it’s” versus “its,” as well.

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