Critically acclaimed author of the Series of Unfortunate Events novels, Lemony Snicket, has recently released a new book. This book entitled “Shouldn’t You Be in School?” is the third consecutive story in Snicket’s latest series of young adult novels, All the Wrong Questions.
Snicket rose to literary fame in 1999 with the release of the first Unfortunate Events book, The Bad Beginning. The series featured a total of thirteen novels in all, falling in syncopation with the theme the author features in the books. The three principal characters in this series, Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are incredibly unlucky individuals, hence the recurring theme of the number “thirteen”, whose lives undergo very strenuous and “unfortunate” tasks due to the efforts of an evil count. Count Olaf is the series’ primary villain whose goal is to acquire the enormous fortune the Baudelaire children’s parents left behind after their untimely death.
Snicket, whose true name is Daniel Handler, has created a gothic, steampunk-esque world of mystery with Unfortunate Events that is unexpectedly enticing. The author’s latest endeavors with All the Wrong Questions are also set within the same world as Unfortunate Events. The newest series serves as a prequel saga to his first efforts, clarifying some issues previously left unexplained. All the Wrong Questions is anticipated to have four books total.
The author has displayed a very clever use of vocabulary throughout his novels with very smart humor and thematic elements that a reader of any age could benefit from. Handler makes use of his pen name within the text of his novels. Certain characters share the last name Snicket, while the characterized author himself serves as the narrator for Unfortunate Events. In All the Wrong Questions, the story is told through Snicket’s point of view once again, but this time features a younger version of the author as the series’ main protagonist.
Displaying his clever writing techniques once again, the author places his younger self in the role of a detective-in-training. The mysterious underground group known as V.F.D. in Unfortunate Events is who Snicket’s character begins apprenticing for. Throughout the first series, V.F.D. was mistaken for a number of different organizations. In the thirteenth book, The End, readers are still left with an uncertainty of who V.F.D. is and what the acronym truly stands for. The recurring theme of arson is found throughout both of Snicket’s sagas and many followers of his work believe the acronym to stand for “Volunteer Fire Department”, as mentioned in many of the books, but never confirmed.
The other two books in the All the Wrong Questions series, “Who Could That Be at This Hour?” and “When Did You See Her Last?” have no recurring characters that were seen in the first saga other than Snicket. Fans are anticipating a crossover of some sort between the two book series, hopefully closing up the unknown gaps of certain characters’ origins and motives.
With the release of Lemony Snicket’s new book, one can only hope that the clever author will return to the front lines of the literary limelight. “Shouldn’t You Be in School?” is now available for purchase wherever books are sold.
Opinion by Cody Collier