The rating is more for the other books than this one. I think this book, The Bad Beginning, was pretty good, but as I read the other books, I began to hate this series. I didn't even bother to read the last book. I suggest that if you read this book, DO NOT continue reading the rest of the books. Trust me, even though this book may be good, the other ones are NOT. If you want to be constantly depressed while reading, by all means read the rest of the series. But if not, learn from my mistakes and just read this book, the first book, only.