Monday, September 24, 2012

The Millennium Series

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So almost two years ago I listened to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson on audio book and I really enjoyed it.  Up until that point I had surprisingly avoided all the hype so I went into it with no preconceived notions of what it was about and I have to say that I was very surprised it was actually a crime/mystery novel.  I don't know what I was expecting but a 'whodunit' was not on my list of possibilities.  I was quite a fan of the story and the writing.  I loved the characters, and maybe most of all I LOVED the guy that read the book on the audio version.  So why did it take me so long to read {listen} to the next two installments?  I really have no excuse other than the fact that my library never seemed to have them available.  But now that everyone is clamoring for this years "Best Sellers" {click *here* to see what I think about that}, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl that Kicked the Hornets Nest were free for the taking!  Oh, and a bonus for waiting 2 whole years to dig into these two books is that now I get to picture the oh-so-dreamy Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist {*sigh*, but I digress} I thought about reading them the good ol' fashioned way, but I had such a audible crush on the reader Martin Wenner that I had to listen to them too {is there an award comparable to the Oscars or Tonys for people who read audio books???  Because I have their winner} 

So when we left off on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Mikael Blomkvist has figured out the mystery, and Lisbeth Salander has done what she did and has left the country {sorry for being so cryptic but I don't want to spoil it for anyone!}  The second book really is a completely different story but just using the same characters.  Nothing from the plot of book 1 plays a big part in book 2 BUT book 2 leaves you in a cliff hanger and nothing gets tidied up until book 3 {are you following me?}  I am not really going to give you a real recap of what happens because people!  That completely defeats the purpose of a crime novel!  Shame on you for trying to get it out of me {you know how I crack under pressure}!!!!  You don't want to know what happens or you shouldn't even be reading it!  So all I'll say is that someone gets killed while writing a book about sex trafficking and Mikael and Lisbeth are back at it {but this time not together} trying to figure out who, what, where, when, and why.  The slight twist is that Mikael and Lisbeth are both searching for different answers to different questions so this makes the story all the more exciting!  So come on people, if you haven't given into the peer pressure yet, please read these books {or listen to them preferably because you are going to love this Martin Wenner guy!  Seriously!  I swear it!}  These books are worth your time and money {unlike another Best Selling Trilogy I know of}.  

If you like to read, than you will like this book {that is my recommendation, readers}.  The only warning I have is that these books center around violence toward women, and it can get a little descriptive when it comes to setting some of the more unsettling scenes.  BUT, the heroine of the story is a VERY strong women that is fighting against the violence, so it is empowering really.  No weepy co-ed, damsel in distress here.  I hope you enjoy the series as much as I did.  I don't know if the hype they made a few years ago was worth it, however, they are amazing reads and probably important in someway as far as modern fiction goes.  They need to go on your "To Read" Bucket List for sure.   

RATING: 4 stars {for the whole series}

2 More Reviews on The Millennium Trilogy:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
{Library Audio Book}
ISBN: 0307577580
16hours 19minutes
Read by Martin Wenner

The Girl Who Played with Fire
{Library Audio Book}
ISBN: 0739384171
18hours 38minutes
Read by Martin Wenner

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
{Library Audio Book}
ISBN: 0739384198
20hours 20minutes
Read by Martin Wenner

If you liked The Millennium Series then read In The Woods by Tana French.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey {Series Review}

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Seriously people?  New York Times Best Sellers List {for the millionth week in a row}?  Seriously?  I think this is just laughable.  Don't get me wrong, I am not a prude, I love me some sexy steamy love scenes in a book.  But if you promise a gal some S and M you really should deliver.  Sure, there is a little bit of flogging and spanking but really all the sex in this book is as normal as any other Harliquin paperback {or most people's bedrooms for that matter}, with maybe the exception of the tampon scene {yes it went there}.  I just think this book was trying too hard.  It didn't know what kind of book it really was, poor thing.  Was it a romance? A mystery?  A psychological thriller?  Twilight?  I honestly believe it was just having a good ol' identity crises.  There were some interesting bits for sure, but mid way through the second installment I was really wishing I hadn't committed myself to the series.  Fortunately I borrowed these books and didn't spend my hard earned money on them {thus adding to their best selling status}.  So, why did I stick with them if I disliked them, you ask?  Well my husband read them.  And liked them.  And then was interviewed for a literary magazine about being a man reading Fifty Shades of Grey.  So see, I kinda had to subject myself to these and see what my husband was up to.  However, I learned a good lesson, don't take his advice on a good book.  {hehe, I'm just kidding Honey!  You have suggested a title or two that I enjoyed!}  And another thing, the writing was atrocious, and repetitive, and the plot shallow!  Also, what message are we sending out here with this girl that is head over heels for a crazy stocker who tries to buy her affection and controls her every move down to the type of birth control she is allowed to take??!!!  Seriously people?  A New York Times Best Seller?????  

OK so do I really need to explain the plot line?  I mean you should have read it by now right?  Bella Anastasia Steel {I know right?  Porn name all the way} falls clumsily into the presence of ubar good looking/rich-out-of-his-gourd Edward Christian Grey.  Anastasia has that gawky, clumsy, collage co-ed appeal that is so irresistible to the heroes in this type of story, and he tries to stay away {really he does, seriously, but not so much} and then like a fly in a web poor Anastasia is snapped up by Mr. Grey; and this sweet unsuspecting virgin falls pray to his sadomasochistic way of life.  Grey wants her as a submissive but Anastasia doesn't really make such a good Sub as she is a little on the independent side, but she falls "unconditionally and irrevocably in love" with Grey {wait, that quote might have been from another book...hhhmmmm...} OK do I really need to go further?  Blah blah blah SEX, blah blah blah DRAMA, blah blah blah SEX, blah blah blah DRAMA, blah blah blah SEX.  The End.  Good I'm done.  I think you have the gist of these 3 books, no?

I would recommend this book for light summer reading at the beach {maybe}, or to see what your husband is reading when he is interviewed for a literary magazine, or maybe just to be on the inside of the know when your friends pin funny E-Cards with 50 Shades humor to their Pinterest Boards.  Other than that don't say that I didn't warn you.  It isn't vomit, it just isn't great, and it definitely isn't New York Times Best Seller worthy.

RATING: 2 Stars {for the whole series}

3 more reviews on 50 Shades of Grey:

Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James
{borrowed from a friend}
ISBN  0345803485
Pages 528

Fifty Shades Darker by E L James
{borrowed from a friend}
ISBN 0345803493
Pages 544

Fifty Shades Freed by E L James
{borrowed from a friend}
ISBN 0345803507
Pages 592

If you enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James then please read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


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I don't really know how to review this book, so lets just start by saying that this book left me FEELING ALL THE EMOTIONS!  I mean it people, I cried, I cheered, I wanted to punch some of the characters in the face, I felt inspired by motherly love, and in awe of this brave little boy, and frustrated, and amused, and totally heartbroken, and then impressed that this talented author could so astutely tell this story even though she hadn't lived it.  I felt all these things in a very quick and easy 342 pages, so after I reached the back cover I had to digest this book like I have never done with any other novel, and I couldn't figure out why {yes the story was disturbing but I am rarely shocked or bothered}.  Emma Donoghue knows how to reach down into your emotional well and pump it dry.  Maybe it was the content {think Jaycee Dugard}, though we hear stories of this sort all the time on the nightly news {sadly}.  Or maybe it was the fact that this emotional roller-coaster was through the eyes of a 5 year old boy named Jack, or maybe now that I am a mother I could understand the deep love Jack's mother had for him and I could put myself in her shoes {or more than likely it was the whole package}.  Whatever the reason for my uneasy feeling and long digestion period to this book I came to a couple conclusions.  The story was unbelievably well written, and though the topic was a rough one to read, I think Room was a story that needed to be told.   

So as I said before, this book was written through the eyes of a very special little boy named Jack.  Jack is blissfully unaware that there is anything out of the ordinary with his life.  He lives in Room {everything in Jack's life while he is in captivity is a proper noun by the way}, he has his mother to himself 24/7, he has food, he has a very scheduled life that includes learning, and playing, he is happy and content.  Until one day he sees a jet stream out of the only window to the outside world {a skylight}, and as his Mom tries to explain what he is seeing she realizes that they really need to try and get out of their captivity, Jack is just getting too old and she can't pretend that their captivity in normal any longer.  So Jack's Mom starts to plan their escape...  

The first half of this book is all about life in Room.  The second half of this book is about life outside of Room.  Could you imagine living your entire life in an 11x11 space, always thinking that it's normal, not knowing there is anything else out there, only to be thrust into society, with loud noises, big wide open spaces, bright sunlight, temperature changes, etc.?  It would be a little like being born and remembering every detail.  The way Donoghue writes this story through Jack's eyes, you feel his confusion, and his pain, and emotions.  It really is heartbreaking.  The worst part is that as he is getting acclimated to this new big, bright, loud, world, the other characters think that he should just be able to jump into life with two feet, they don't realize that he has all the anxiety and fear.  I just wanted to strangle these characters, scream at them for not understanding, because they weren't in Room with Jack; and I {as the reader} was!!!  

The book can be discussed to death from a psychological point of view, from a mothers point of view, from just a casual readers point of view, and because of that it would be an interesting discussion for a book club or maybe even a high school/collage level psych class.  The topic was fascinating to say the least, and the point of view was unique.  I would recommend reading this when you want something of substance.  The writing was beautiful and rich but the topic was grim.  This is going into my rare 5 Star rating, one of the best books I have come across in a long time.

RATING: 5 Stars

3 more reviews on this book:

Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue
{Purchased on for my Kindle}
Pages 342

If you liked Room by Emma Donoghue you might also enjoy Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Foer.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

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So I had seen Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Foer oh so many years ago and I had always had the desire to pick it up and give it a gander but so many other fabulous books would get in my way and I would loose sight of this particular one.  Then my book club decided it was time to explore Foer's novel and so I skipped over to my Kindle pushed the button and voila it was magically in my had {I just love my Kindle}.  I read the first page and then I couldn't help myself and I read like a quarter of the book while my toddler ran around pulling the dogs tail and dumping over his toy basket.  But Y'all I couldn't help it!  This book sucks you in quickly!  It's one of those books where you sit down to read a chapter and then a few hours later you get up and realize you are getting dangerously close to the back cover!

Now how am I going to describe our protagonist to you...  Well, he is 9 years old, wip smart, scared of his own shadow, and it is implied but never really stated that he is slightly autistic.  Also, he has a business card that he hands out to everyone he meets and it reads like this:


I think that the business card pretty much sums up who Oskar Schell is.  Of course it doesn't say that he lost THE most important person in his life the year before the story starts.  Oskar's father Thomas was in one of the World Trade Center towers when they fell on September 11th 2001.  A year later Oskar is in his fathers closet when he finds a strange key in a blue vase.  The key is in an envelope with the word BLACK written on the front.  This key spurs a journey through the 5 Boroughs of New York searching for the lock that needs this key.  All the while Oskar is carrying an emotional burden so heavy it will break your heart when you find out what it is {HAVE TISSUES AT HAND WHEN YOU GET TO THIS PART}

Now my little synopsis does not do this incredible story justice.  There are so many other story lines going on that my summery could only focus on the main one.  I believe that is exactly what happened in the writing of the screen play.  You have to look at the movie as a completely different creature from the book.  The move is great.  The book is great.  They share the same idea, but they are executed EXTREMELY and INCREDIBLY different {haha, see what I did there}.  Anyway, you need to love the two independently from each other or you won't love them at all.

This book can be discussed to the moon and back so I would highly recommend this to a book club.  I would also recommend this book to anyone who has a love affair with New York City {as I do}, or someone who loves a story from a child's point of view.

RATING:  4 stars

3 more reviews on this book:

Extremely Loud and Incredible Close by Jonathan Foer
{purchased on for my Kindle}
ISBN 0618711651
Pages 326

If you liked Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Foer then please read The Store of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski and The Courious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

One Second After

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I feel like have done nothing but apologize for the last few posts about my neglectfulness to my readers.  I mean I worked so hard to build a quality book blog and then I had to go and have a kid.  Naturally that sucked up all my free time and made it somewhat impossible to blog, much less read a dang book!  Chasing around a very active 11 month old little boy is exhausting so when the lights go out in his nursery, so do mine!  But here I go again, begging all of my readers to be patient with me and promising that I will write more posts however, I am not promising that they will be consistent and I am not promising that I won't start reviewing Green Eggs and Ham {haha}.  But I digress, this, after all, is strictly a "book blog" and not a "brag about my adorable, smart, funny, sweet, lovable, baby boy blog".  So lets get to why we are all here... To talk about William Forstchen's amazing book One Second After.

My obsession with Dystopia might have climaxed with One Second After.  Though, I am not sure you can call this book Dystopia.  There wasn't time for a Dystopian society to materialize because this book is literally about what happens ONE SECOND AFTER society crumbles.  It shows the breakdown of society as we know it; not the unrest of a rebuilt anti-utopia like we see in Hunger Games or The Handmaid's Tale.  This book may fall more firmly in the realm of prepping or survival.  At any rate this book is very very interesting.  As you can see I am really not myself in the post with snarky quips about my amazement or my OMGs about how fabulous this book is, but don't let that mislead you, I am out of my head about this book, however, my feelings fall more toward unrest and disturbance if that makes sense.  I read this book months ago and every single day after that I have thought about the fact that I. AM. NOT. PREPARED. 

So this book starts off with the introduction of it's characters as most books do.  We meet our main character John Matherson and his family {he is a widower and has two daughters - one with insulin dependent diabetes}, seconds after we meet this nice family in a quaint mountain town in North Carolina all goes dark.  I MEAN EVERYTHING PEOPLE!!!  Phones, lights, computers, cars, MP3 players, air planes are literally falling out of the sky.  EVERYTHING loses power!  The reason behind this NATION WIDE black out is an EMP {electro magnetic pulse, look it up it will scare the shit out of you}.  This EMP is a weapon of mass destruction that no one was ready for, and the effects of it's destruction are indefinite and devastating.  America is completely dark and there is absolutely positively NO communication to be had from coast to coast.  We are essentially cast into the dark ages and everything has collapsed in a matter of a second.  

Now that you are feeling as cheery as I am about the situation, lets talk about the fact that our main character's daughter is an insulin dependent diabetic.  There is no power so there is no way to keep anything cold, so lets go down that road for a few moments and see where it ends...  Also, were do we get food?  What do we do with the motorists that were stranded on the freeway?  What about things like sanitation, clean water, our loved ones that were away from home at the moment the EMP went off?  And these are just questions to ask in the first few days of such a destructive weapon.  What happens when Marshal Law is declared?  When common sicknesses start epidemics because there is no more medicine to fight them? What happens when people start getting desperate?  Are you as freaked out as I am yet....

No, your not?  Well let me just say that after you research what exactly an EMP is, you will start stocking up your beans and rice supply and start thinking about a plan to survive.  Seriously folks, this is something that could happen.  Not something some SiFi minded author dreamed up, and that my friends is why this new mom is having a freak out almost daily about this book.  I am glad I read it, however, I wish I never did...

The writing in this book is easy to read, not the best ever but good, I mean Forstchen isn't Hemingway but I hung on his every word so that's something.  I would highly recommend this to everyone just for the pure fact that it will give you an education.  A book club could discuss the hell out of it.  BUT if you are a new mom like myself, maybe you should wait until after your little nugget is a little older and your hormones are back to where they should be. 

RATING: 5 Stars

3 more reviews:

One Second After by William R. Forstchen
{purchased on for my Kindle}

If you liked One Second After by William R. Forstchen please read The Road by Cormic McCarthy