It’s a Very Popular Night to Leave Town – (“Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights” – A Book Review)

“Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights?” (All The Wrong Questions ?4)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Published: 2016

On Goodreads

WITN

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt Full bolt

 

Why are the snack so terrible? Why are we stopping? What’s the rest of the story?

A train ride! The big reveal! Librarians! Volunteers! A series finale! Lemony Snicket jumps on the train that run through the town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea where many familiar faces are also leaving town. Usually the train doesn’t stop until it reaches the city, but tonight it did. A murder is afoot and Lemony is hot on Hangfire’s trail. In this epic conclusion, will he finally discover who this villain is? Why is the Bombinating Beast important?

 

Before proceeding with this conclusion, here are a few other questions to consider:

  1. Do you think your curiosity might get you in trouble?

[ ] No.       [ ] What kind of trouble do you mean?

  1. If you are following someone and they go someplace dangerous, are you curious enough to keep following them?

[ ] Yes.     [ ] What do you mean by “dangerous”?

  1. If someone offers you an apple, should you take it?

[ ] That sounds familiar.     [ ] Bad apples are bad news.

  1. A train departs from Stain’d-by-the-Sea late at night and travels at top speed toward the city. When does it arrive?

[ ] Just in time for a crime to be committed.      [ ] Too late.

 

Lemony Snicket is in the thick of it when Hangfire kills somebody important and frames S. Theodora Markson for it. With the help of his allies, Lemony hopes to solve the case and stop Hangfire before the train reaches the city, and more importantly, before somebody else winds up dead.

 

Final books of a series make me sad. It means the end of a story and if it’s a really good one, like this one was for me, then you don’t want it to end. I tried to take my time with this book so that it would last, but there was no chance of that. This book, like the ones before it, moved fast from one moment to the next. It was a wild and unpredictable train ride. I couldn’t put this book down.

Many characters returned for this epic conclusion. From Sharon Haines of book three to Ms. Murphy the actress from book one. Like every great finale, there was nostalgia for the previous books. And that was really emphasized through the characters and their stories. I really enjoy when a finale can slip in things that remind me of its previous books. Its reiterates the journey that got me and the characters to this end game.

I really loved that Lemony wasn’t alone and that his friends: Moxie, Jake, Cleo, and Kellar were with him. However, every move he made toward finding Hangfire risked him losing them and that made me nervous. This series is fantastic for making you jittery with anticipation. I know I was.

The mystifying element that Lemony Snicket usually brings to his stories, like the poisonous fungus of The Grim Grotto, for example, is brought to life. Shocked and stunned, the mythical beast that Lemony has been surrounded by throughout the series isn’t so mythical, putting the people on the train in even further danger. It was actually a little scary. Lots of teeth and rather ugly.

WITN - Villains Wiki

All of the questions ever had are answered in this book. The simple answer is one I didn’t expect. It was heartbreaking and shattered everything I knew from the previous books, putting what I knew about the big cameos and Kit Snicket’s arrest together. I was mindblown.

mindblown

And yes, I imagine Milly Bobby Brown as a young Kit Snicket.

 

The end or is it? While the series ends with this book, it didn’t feel like the end at all. It was left trailing and I took it as only the beginning of something else. After all, this does take place before A Series of Unfortunate Events. This ended phenomenally with Lemony walking into the metaphorical sunset rather depressingly, but left me wondering what happens next. I wish there was more!

This was an epic conclusion to a fantastic series. Truly. I recommend it wholeheartedly for those who enjoy the smart, adventurous, yet perilous story of secrets that leads to questions that leads to an unhappy ending. Because, this story didn’t have that happy ending. Not a single tidbit. In fact, you’re left feeling like you were left out in the rain without an umbrella, but I hear people enjoy a good story like that. So, if you do, this one is for you.

 

Quotables

“We invited villainy aboard, I thought. And now its terrible mess was everywhere I looked.” (Lemony, p. 92)

“There is no point in delaying crying. Sadness is like have a vicious alligator around.” (Lemony, p. 147)

“Even the noblest of volunteers can associate with the wrong people.” (Lemony to Ellington, p. 200)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Demons by Imagine Dragons

 

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A Top Drawer Education – (“Shouldn’t You Be in School?” – A Book Review)

“Shouldn’t You Be in School?” (All The Wrong Questions ?3)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Published: 2014

On Goodreads

SYBIS

 

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

What are they teaching their students? Where did she hide it? Does anyone else feel sleepy?

Is that smoke? Fires are coming up all over the town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea and apprentice Lemony Snicket is on the case. So is S. Theodora Markson, his chaperone, but she is easily distracted by Sharon Haines, a teacher, who insists on helping. But, is she really helping? Lemony must put his sleuthing to good use and call on his allies if he hopes to figure out who’s been starting these fires. What are the secrets of the Department of Education? Are these fires connected to the academy? Is all of this somehow connected to the notorious villain Hangfire?

 

With fires popping up everywhere and kids disappearing to a new academy brought up by the Department of Education, Lemony Snicket is determined to get to the bottom of it all. Amid this, his worries for his sister, Kit, and her arrest peaks to a whole new level of worry. Ellington Feint comes out of the shadows, having escaped her own arrest and Lemony doesn’t know if he can truly trust her after the many times she’s double-crossed him. Only the promise that he’d help her get her father back from Hangfire keeps him from turning her over. Afraid, of endangering his friends, he must now rely on them if he hopes to end these fires.

SYBIS

Third book in the series, the story has intensified immensely. While Moxie was hurt at the end of the last book, the danger for Lemony and his friends is even higher now. I really loved that Lemony’s friends didn’t give up on him or walk away even though it was dangerous to join him on his mission. I find this to be inspiring because everyone should have friends that will stick with them through the hard parts of life, though they might not always be comprised of dangerous women with knives or trying to put out fires or take down nefarious villains. It’s important to have a person you can rely on and who’ll do anything for you and vice versa. This is a great show of that. It’s completely heartwarming.

SYBIS

The new addition of Wade Academy into the setting of Stain’d-by-the-Sea reminded me so much of Austere Academy, the fifth book of A Series of Unfortunate Events, though much more dangerous since it wasn’t necessarily an educational environment. The place is accessible by train, really showing just how isolated it is from the town, while also leading Lemony to discover more to the big plot Hangfire has. Each time a new setting has been introduced it’s just as surprising to me as it is to Lemony. They’re like monuments to the town—The Black Cat Coffee, Hungry’s, the Library, Lost Arms, and others.

The VFD has its reveal. Sort of. Not really. It’s not a secret at this point, especially with Lemony’s offhand mentions. The deeper understanding of what VFD is about is impressive, but you still don’t know everything about it. If you did it wouldn’t be a secret. So while we understand Lemony’s part, kind-a sort-a, there’s still so much to be in the dark about. That kind of mystery, where it’s more heroic and adventurous and filled with clues is more fun and always capturing my attention.

If I could join this secret society I totally would. To get up the gumption to be so brave and find optimism even in the darkest of moments, it would be amazing. I must say, though, the foreshadowing for ASOUE is heavy and even giggle worthy.

ATWQ

Something I haven’t mentioned yet, is how clever Lemony himself is, not just in his maneuvers, but in how he thinks and talks. I know I’ve talked about the books overall being clever, but Lemony really has all the cards. While looked down upon by adults, he is quite possibly smarter than all of them. He really thinks outside the box and the results are phenomenal. I’m in awe of this character.

 

Need I say what I’ve said for the last two books of this series? Original and dangerous and surprising. There’s never a dull moment. From light humor to moments of sorrow to the great A-Ha! Go read this!

 

Quotables

“Children are the future of the world, and we must keep them safe from harm.” (Sharon to Lemony, p. 41)

“It is not pleasant to have a number of people glaring and sighing at you at the same time, even if you meant for them to do it.” (Lemony, p. 52)

“The treachery of the world will continue no matter how much you worry about it, L.” (Kit to Lemony, p. 106)

“There’s more to a library than the library.” (Ellington to Lemony, p. 171)

“Everyone tells you it’s all right to cry, but not enough people say it’s all right if you don’t want people to know.” (Lemony, p. 174)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? On Your Side by Thriving Ivory.

 

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