I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed these. I remember attempting to read the first one when I was younger, and putting it down because I wasn't interested. Maybe I got distracted by something else I wanted to do, because I honestly believe I would have loved these. I love them now. I gave each single book a 4/5 stars, but as a whole, I think I would give The Spiderwick Chronicles a 5/5.
Each volume was short and sweet (well, not really sweet - they were actually creepy and dark), and I would definitely recommend reading them all together as one book rather than separate. No matter how old you are, I truly believe these are worth a read.
The stories follow Jared Grace along with his twin brother Simon and their older sister Mallory and their discovery of the Faerie world. After their dad leaves their mother, the family moves into a distant relative's large, dilapidated house. Even on the first night, Jared realises that something isn't quite right in the house, and the siblings try to discover what it is. When they come across a book of Faeries, the children are suddenly thrust into a dark and dangerous adventure that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the experiences of the Grace children and learning about all the different kinds of creatures in the Faerie world. I loved the creepy vibe I got from the books - seriously, if you're going to read these, make sure you get the hardcovers because they make a difference to your reading experience, I swear! - and the fact that as well as dealing with magical problems, the children also had to face the fact that their father had left them, and some other everyday issues for kids of their age.
I'm going to have to watch the movie again because I really don't remember much about it.
I realise this was a pretty short review, but as is my usual problem, I don't want to give too much away. I hope to pick up the next series, Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles, someday in the near future. I'll probably try and buy the hardcover box set...
PS. Sorry for the terrible layout of the pictures, I'm still new at this!