I have to say that I didn't enjoy Anne of Avonlea anywhere near as much as Anne of Green Gables despite there being some genuinely funny moments in the early chapters (e.g. the Jersey cow incident, Annetta Bell's letter to Anne, the Town Hall getting painted the wrong colour) and L.M. Montgomery's descriptions of Prince Edward Island being as beautiful as ever.
One of the major reasons why I was so disappointed with this book was because I was so annoyed at everyone's attitude towards the Keith twins. We're told that Dora is a quiet, nice, obedient, and respectful little girl and yet Anne, Marilla and Mrs Rachel Lynde all put her down several times; saying that she's monotonous and boring and too perfect and is somehow less loveable than her brother Davy who needs them more. Now I think that's a horrible attitude to have! Okay, yes, Dora is a boring character from the reader's POV since she's so underdeveloped but... still! It seems awfully cruel to have all of the characters prefer Davy over her especially when he's such a brat to her! Davy even locks Dora up in a neighbour's cold, dark tool-shed because he thinks it would be funny to make everyone worried (what?!) and then lets a very alarmed Anne and Marilla spend several hours frantically searching for her. They even ask their other neighbour Mr Barry to drag the well for her body! Then when Anne eventually finds Dora she learns that the poor girl has been sobbing for hours and was extremely hungry and frightened during that time. Gah! Davy is clearly supposed to be an adorable, funny, mischievous little scamp in this book when really he's a scary little psychopath!
Unfortunately even those parts in this book that didn't involve Davy and Dora's chaarcters were mostly a disappointment to me as well. Anne of Avonlea felt far more cloying and preachy to me than Anne of Green Gables ever did and I found Anne's interactions with Paul Irving in particular downright nauseating. Seriously, how can Anne think that Dora is too perfect and not Paul?! He is such an Oliver Twist/Tiny Tim type!
I did really like Anne of Green Gables and I am still planning to read the next book in this series which is Anne of the Island although that book will now need to be a huge improvement on this one if I'm going to continue with the rest of these books. So, erm, yeah, I didn't like this book very much at all I'm afraid. I hope I haven't ruined anyone's childhood! *runs away*