le book review number twenty-three~ the girl who played with fire

Thursday, 29 March 2012

title: the girl who played with fire
author: stieg larsson
star rating: 5/5 stars

from the back cover:
"Crusading publisher Mikael Blomkvist has decided to run an explosive expose of a wide-ranging sex trafficking operation. Just before the piece is published, the two reporters responsible are murdered. The fingerprints on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled hacker genius Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander's innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Lisbeth herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, and is forced to face her dark past.

I think the cover is intriguing. I find the colours and texture given are great elements. The title taking the whole book looks amazing. I definitely was more attracted to this book than the first in the series based on the cover and especially the colours. I found it to match the title but as for the book itself it doesn't explain a ton about it.

First sentence:
"She lay on her back fastened by leather straps to a narrow bed with a steel frame."

Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy shows how interconnected events can so beautifull form an intricately woven mystery novel. It might be that I've gotten used to the writing style, it could be I'm more attached to the characters or it might be the change in topic so the focus is on Lisbeth and what happens with her that I found this to be a better book overall. I loved the first book but did find it to be more challenging. I thought the focus was more direct and I could see where the author was going as we learn the truth. I have not read as many books that have a more adult feel to them but I really am awestruck with how all the ends tie up and everything is perfectly flawless in the way it is delivered when you reach the last page. This book leaves you wanting more - you have to read the next book. I look forward to seeing what happens.

le book review number twenty-two~ the girl with the dragon tattoo

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

title: the girl with the dragon tattoo
author: stieg larsson
personal star rating: 4/5 stars

from the back cover:
"Harriet Vanger, scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families, disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

first sentence:
"It happened every year, was almost a ritual."

I borrowed the first two books from a family friend at least 3 months ago. I read about 50 pages and put it down. I picked it up again and read it straight through.

To best describe these books i would have to say they're challenging, suspenseful, long, and a bit mature. But overall, thrilling and captivating. The characters and intertwined plot have such an impact. When i first started reading it was difficult to get into. But when you are first introduced to the mystery I knew I had to figure out what would happen next. I found Lisbeth Salandar to be so mysterious and catching. Everything draws you in to a point that you have to see where everything leads. There are so many plot twists and turns that you don't expect. I really did enjoy this book and I look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy. I'd recommend this to an older audience due to subject matter.

le book review number twenty-one~ unbelievable

Friday, 23 March 2012

title: unbelievable
author: sara shepard
personal star rating: 3/5 stars

from the back cover: Four pretty little liars' charmed lives have turned into living nightmares.
Emily's been shipped off to Iowa to live wither her uberconservative cousins. Aria's boyfriend is behind bars - because of her. Spencer's afraid she was involved in Ali's murder. But Hanna's fate is far worse: She's clinging to life in the hospital because she knew too much.
If these girls don't start listening to me, Hanna's going to look like the lucky one. 

first sentence: "Ever wish you could go back in time and undo your mistakes?"

I thought this book really showed each character's personality. As A is revealed and secrets come to light. The story draws you in making you have to see what will happen next. I don't know where it's going to go from here but I really hope it continues to be good.

One thing i consistently adore are the chapter titles. They're interesting, catchy, and give a hint to what comes next.

le book review number twenty~ extras

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

title: extras
author: scott westerfeld
personal star rating: 2.5/5 stars

Maybe a solid 3 stars. It's fluctuating.

From the inside cover:
It's a few years after rebel Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/ specials regime. Without those strict roles and rules, the world in in a complete cultural renaissance. "Tech-heads" flaunt their latest gadgets, "kickers" spread gossip and trends, and "surge monkeys" are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. And it's all monitored on a bazillion different cameras. The world is like a gigantic game of America Idol. Whoever is getting the most buzz gets the most votes. Popularity rules.
As if being fifteen doesn't suck enough, Aya Fuse's rank of 451,369 is so low, she's a total nobody. An extra. Her only chance to escape extra-land is to find a big story to kick - something wild and unexpected.
Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull crazy tricks, yet are deeply secretive of it. But the Sly Girls are hiding something bigger - an explosive discovery that may change the face of the brave new world forever. If Aya kicks this story, she'll be propelled into the world of fame celebrity... and extreme danger. A world she's not prepared for. 

I wasn't a huge fan of the characters once again. Moggle was my favourite part. Hiro and Ren were two characters that I can quite easily ship. Aside from that, it seemed that the whole thing was predictable. I do enjoy Scott Westerfeld's writing style and his description but the characters just weren't satisfactory. The new world created is so imaginative however, and that really makes up for it. I found the Sly Girls to be amazing and was disappointed that they had such a brief part of the story. Frizz and Aya's relationship wasn't as great as I would have hoped. Despite my complaints, it wasn't a terrible read. It didn't captivate me as much as other books have but I did make it through the book.

le book review number nineteen~ perfect

Saturday, 10 March 2012

title: perfect
author: sara shepard
personal star rating: 4/5 stars

From the back cover:
In Rosewood, Pennsylvania, four perfect-looking girls aren't nearly as perfect as they seem.

Aria can't resist her forbidden ex.Hanna is on the verge of losing her BFF. Emily is freaking out over a simple kiss. And Spencer can't keep her hands off anything that belongs to her sister.
Lucky me. I know these pretty little liars better than they know themselves. But it's hard keeping all of their secrets to myself. They better do as I say . . . or else!
- A

First Sentence: Have you ever had a friend turn on you? 

In the third book in the Pretty Little Liars series, Perfect was a book I couldn't put down. I definitely found the plot to be more intricately woven together. I find myself liking the characters more as we learn about them individually. I found the ending to be shocking and I have no idea where this is going. I'm really excited to read the next book ASAP. This is a short review, but I found it to be so much better than flawless. Maybe even the best book yet.

Edgar Allan Poe: Short Stories

For the past month (actually, i've had the book for three months but didn't begin reading until last month), I've made my way through a book called Ten Great Mysteries by Edgar Allan Poe. To comment on Poe, he is a classic literary figure and I found his stories to be deeply dark and hauntingly hair-raising. I did enjoy his stories a great deal and I found that he uses the word "abyss" quite often.

The ten mysteries I read are:
The Murders in the Rue Morgue
The Purloined Letter
The Tell-Tale Heart
The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar
The Pit and the Pendulum
A Tale of the Ragged Mountains
A Descent into the Maelstrom
The Black Cat
"Thou Art the Man"

I found similarity between The Tell-Tale Heart and The Black Cat. And A Tale of the Ragged Mountains reminded me a lot of Doctor Who. I think The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Purloined Letter (about the detective C. Auguste Dupin) were the most challenging to get through. Partly it was due to my inability to follow everything that was happening.

My favourites of Poe from this book would have to be The Tell-Tale Heart, A Tale of the Ragged Mountains, The Black Cat, "Thou Art the Man", The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, and The Pit and the Pendulum.

A few lines that I found intriguing are:

From The Pit and the Pendulum:
"After this I call to mind flatness and dampness; and then all is madness - the madness of a memory which busies itself among forbidden things.
Very suddenly there came back to my soul motion and sound - the tumultuous motion of the heart, and, in my ears, the sound of its beating."

"Then the mere consciousness of existence, without thought..."

From A Tale of The Ragged Mountains:
"The scenery which presented itself on all sides, although scarcely entitled to be called grand, had about it an indescribable and to me a delicious aspect of dreary desolation."

"In the quivering of a leaf - in the hue of a blade of grass - in the shape of a trefoil - in the humming of a bee - in the gleaming of a dew drop - in the breathing of the wind - in the faint odors that came from the forest - there came a whole universe of suggestion - a gay and motley train of rhapsodical and immethodical thought.

From a Descent into the Maelstrom:
"There are some passages of his description, nevertheless, which may be quoted for their details, although their effect is exceedingly feeble in conveying an impression of the spectacle."

"The attempts to account for the phenomenon - some of which I remember, seemed to me sufficiently plausible in perusal - now wore a very different and unsatisfactory aspect."

"Our boat was the lightest feather of a thing that ever sat upon water."

"And then down we came with a sweep, a slide, and a plunge that made me feel sick and dizzy, as if I was falling from some lofty mountain-top in a dream."

"But while we were up I had thrown a quick glance around - and that one glance was all-sufficient."

"I supposed it was despair that strung my nerves."

"Never shall I forget the sensation of awe, horror, and admiration with which I gazed about me."

"I now began to watch, with a strange interest, the numerous things that floated in our company."

To comment individually, The Murders in the Rue Morgue began with a challenge. The outline of the analytic mind was a bit over my head. I found the similarities to Sherlock Holmes as was mentioned in a brief outline to what it was about and I found the associations to be amazingly accurate. I had no suspicion as to the outcome and after completion, I was still left in awe.

The Purloined Letter was again part of the C. Auguste Dupin mysteries and I found this to be more inviting than the first. I think the outcome was a bit more obvious but maybe I was just more accustomed to his writing style.

The Tell-Tale Heart is one of Poe's most widely known short story. I have read this story on several occasions and still find it to be a chilling tale. I admire this story and the way the main character is portrayed.

The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar was a gripping story of mesmerism and the unbelievable tale of a man kept alive through this means.

The Pit and the Pendulum was a scary dark read. The main character, trapped in a prison filled with dangerous objects designed to kill him, has to do what he can to stay alive when the whole room is created to destroy.

A Tale of the Ragged Mountains shouts Doctor Who to me. The time travel aspect of a man "older than his years" has the connotation of The Doctor. I found myself comparing but I did enjoy the story greatly.

A Descent into the Maelstrom a story about sailos caught in a giant whirlpool and the plight of one man who, through sheer thinking and judgement, managed to survive the storm at sea while others had before perished.

The Black Cat reminded me of The Tell-Tale Heart. I found the similarities to still have it's own story told but could see the same mind frame involved.

"Thou Art the Man" had a wild conclusion. I wasn't expecting the end to come out the way it did, but I did suspect the killer.

Metzengerstein, a tale of a phantom horse and rivaling families gives the reader a sense of wariness the entire time. The suspense is intense and the fire plays a key role to sum the story up.

le book review number eighteen~ flawless

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Title: Flawless
Author: Sara Shepard
Personal Star Rating: 3/5

I wasn't sure if I was going to give it 2.5 or 3 but settled on three.

From the back cover:
Four pretty little liars have been very bad girls.

Spencer stole her sister's boyfriend. Aria is brokenhearted over her English teacher. Emily likes her new friend Maya . . . as much more than a friend. Hanna's obsession with looking flawless is maker her sick. And their most horrible secret yet is so scandalous that the truth would ruin them forever.
And why shouldn't I tell? They deserve to lose it all. Wither every crumpled note, wicked IM, and vindictive text message I send, I'll be taking these pretty little liars down. Trust me, I've got enough dirt to bury them alive.
- A

First sentence: "You know that boy who lives a few doors down from you who's just the creepiest person alive?"

Why three stars compared to the four from the first book? The characters just weren't as exciting as I remembered them. I still liked the writing style and the four person point of view gives you insight into each life of the four girls, but I wasn't as happy as I was with the first book. I think the orange cover makes the book stand out but that's the most stand out it gets. I must admit before i continue that I have watched the television series so my opinion has probably changed as a result of that and the outcome of some events ring true to a lot of what has happened on the show. I still like reading these books because it's nice to compare the book to the show and see what the author had intended for things.