Friday, December 13, 2013

Review: "When Did You See Her Last?" - Lemony Snicket

"When Did You See Her Last?" by Lemony Snicket
Series: All the Wrong Questions #2
Genre: Middle Grade, mystery
Published on October 15, 2013
Published by Little Brown
Pages: 279
Read From: 11.25.13 - 11.27.13

Before you looked any further into "When Did You See Her Last?" ask yourself these questions: 
1) Has anyone seen the missing girl? 
2) Why aren't her parents upset? They seem confused. 
3) What do a chemistry experiment, a grocery store, unruly hair, and a stolen statue have to do with anything? 
4) Now I'm confused. Why are you changing the subject? You're supposed to be thinking about the missing girl. Where is she?


Cover Blurb: Yes or No? I still miss Brett Helquist, but as with "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" these particular illustrations do fit the book - and the entire series.

Characters: Lemony Snicket is just too awesome of a protagonist. His quick thinking, tendency to go off on his own in his investigation, and sarcasm continue, and it's not getting old anytime soon. I just love him. The girl characters, Ellington and Moxie, are still just as likable and interesting as in Book #1. I really like Ellington, but I'm entirely certain that I actually trust her. I want to, but I don't. And Stew - oh my gosh, Stew is such a horrible little child! This Author is so good at writing bratty child characters. Stew is almost as bad as Carmelita Spats in A Series of Unfortunate Events, and he's just as fun to hate. Hangfire still doesn't live up to Count Olaf is terms of villainy, but the Reader still hasn't had much of a chance to get to know him.

The Romance: Ellington still likes making Snicket blush, but I don't really think there's any crush between them. Once again, Snicket seems like the type who easily blushes and Ellington is the type of girl to use that.

Plot: Miss Cleo Knight, daughter of the prestigious Mr. and Mrs. Knight who own Ink Inc. - the company that barely keeps Stain'd-by-the-Sea going with its rapidly diminishing ink industry - has gone missing. And it's up to Snicket and his chaperon S. Theodora Markson to find out what happened to her. Was she kidnapped? Did she run away with the circus? Is she even actually missing, or is she in hiding? Of course, these aren't the questions Snicket asks. Instead, he asks all the wrong questions. I wasn't certain how this book was going to tie into the events of Book #2 at first. The beginning seems to put the episode concerning the stolen statue, Moxie, and Ellington to the side, and almost treats this new investigation as unconnected. But the Author always connects things, and "When Did You See Her Last?" does end up making a lot of sense. It's still bizarre, of course, and I really didn't know how everything would go, so there were a lot of nice surprises. Probably what will please veteran Snicketeers the most is Book #2 is definite signs of this series answering some questions from A Series of Unfortunate Events! And my personal theory is it will concern the sugar bowl (yes, all you Snicketeers know what I'm talking about). We get to hear about Kit Snicket, Lemony's sister, and we even run into Captain Widdershins! And the smallest bit of light is shed on the possible identity of The Great Unknown.

Believability: Not applicable.

Writing Style: First person, past tense, and as always it contains Snicket's humor, literary references, and sometimes random ideas. But it works for the book and I cannot help but love it, even if it honestly isn't the world's most poetic writing.

Content: None.

Conclusion: I simply cannot wait for Book #3. And that's all I'm going to say about the climax. "When Did You See Her Last?" was just as good as Book #1, and shows a lot of promise for the series. Especially since the sugar bowl and The Great Unknown might be explained a bit more. I really wish this series weren't only four books!

Recommended Audience: Girl-and-boy read, eight and up, fans of Snicket!

Others in the All the Wrong Questions Series:
1)"Who Could That Be at This Hour?"
2)"When Did You See Her Last?"
3)"Shouldn't You Be in School?"

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