Double Review: The Ersatz Elevator & The Vile Village

Lemony Snicket
Harper Collins
Published 20th February 2001/24th April 2001
Borrowed from my boyfriend's bookshelf

I never finished A Series Of Unfortunate Events as a child so every now and then (like when I finish my book or the tablet I was reading on dies) I will pick the next one or two off my boyfriend’s shelf and slowly continue to work my way through the series. Yesterday it was The Ersatz Elevator and The Vile Village that accompanied me on my train ride home.

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The Austere Academy

Author: Lemony Snicket
Series: A Series Of Unfortunate Events, Book 5
Publisher: Harper Collins
Star Rating: 4/5
Date Read: August 12th, 2014
Read Count: 2
Review:
The woeful stories of the Baudelaire children continue in book five, The Austere Academy, when the siblings are placed in boarding school at Prufrock Prep. Violin playing Vice Principal Nero promises his advanced computer will keep Count Olaf why, even though the children don’t understand how it possibly could, while Violet and Klaus attend classes and Sunny works as Nero’s administrative secretary.

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The Miserable Mill

The Miserable Mill

Author: Lemony Snicket
Series: A Series Of Unfortunate Events, Book 4
Publisher: Harper Collins
Star Rating: 4/5
Date Read: August 12th, 2014
Read Count: 2
Review:
I feel like I just can’t help but enjoy these books. I am sure I read this one in my primary school days but I couldn’t remember it at all, so it was like I was reading it for the first time. I finished it in the train ride from my boyfriend’s house (where I access these books when I have nothing else to read) and was glad I had the foresight to grab number five as well, The Austere Academy, for the train ride home.

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Charlotte’s Web

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Author: 
E.B. White
Publisher: Puffin
Star Rating: 4/5
Date Read: July 2nd, 2014
Read Count: 3
Review:
I have quite a few review books to read, but I didn’t have any of them with me when I finished my last book on the train home from the city yesterday. But I did have this beautiful hardcover edition of Charlotte’s Web I picked up in a secondhand book store. If you’ve never felt sentimental about a pig, a spider and a rat (yes, I had a soft spot for Templeton!), then you should probably read Charlotte’s Web, no matter whether you are an adult, child or somewhere in between.

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Amir: Friend On Loan

Author: Amra Pajalic
Publisher: Grattan Press
Star Rating: 2.5/5
Date Read: May 5th, 2014
Read Count: 1
Review:
Thank you to Goodreads and the author Amra Pajalic for providing me with a copy of this book.

Amir: Friend On Loan tells the story of Amir and Dragan, best friends living in Australia but with different ethnic backgrounds. This has never been a problem for their friendship, until the ‘Serbs’ invade Bosnia. Dragan is from Serbia and Amir from Bosnia. This causes all kinds of problems with their families and friends, and the boys find themselves not allowed to be friends anymore.

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The Wide Window

Author: Lemony Snicket
Series: A Series Of Unfortunate Events, Book 3
Publisher: Harper Collins
Star Rating: 3/5
Date Read: March 24th, 2014
Read Count: 2
Review:
I couldn’t believe it when, staying the night at my boyfriend’s, I reached into my bag for large, well-thumbed (despite only being the first reading) copy of War and Peace – only to find it wasn’t there. Great. I loathe being without a book. I had trains to catch the next morning, for crying out loud! Couldn’t believe I’d done something so rookie-like as to forget to pack a book. Off to the boyfriend’s bookshelf it was (even though I also don’t like starting a new book when I’m in the middle of another).

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Tuck Everlasting

Author: Natalie Babbit
Publisher: Collins
Star Rating: 4/5
Date Read: September 25th, 2013
Review:
I didn’t read Tuck Everlasting as a child, though it is geared as a children’s book, in fact I’d never even heard of it til it popped up on my Goodreads recommendations and I then stumbled across it in a secondhand bookstore (they do wonders for me!). It’s not very long, only about 135 pages, and it only took me a train ride to the city to read it, but that does not make it any less impressive!

I don’t know what it was that so struck me about this book. I loved the descriptions, which painted a beautiful picture but weren’t overdone. I loved the characters – the Tucks and Winnie – the Tucks for their selfishness and their sadness, Winnie for her curiousity, her fierce loyalty, her willingness to help when she realised what was at stake.

I couldn’t help but wonder how the Tucks would perceive this world now, this fast paced world of technology and progress, as compared to the world in the early 1800s when they would have first realised that they would live forever. I wonder what they would think. Would it make them happy? Would they be disappointed at the way humans so carelessly treat their lives and this planet? Just a thought to ponder.