Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

So, I just finished another book that is in a trilogy. I swear, I get sucked into these kinds of books. The book that I just finished is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson. His novels have become extremely popular in the past year or so. I'm not surprised that Larsson's series is currently on the best selling list, because he is quite simply an amazing writer. When I first started reading this colossal novel, weighing in at 644 pages, I was reluctant that it would be as amazing as everyone claimed it was. Just a warning, the first couple of chapters are dead boring. They consist of the elements of the Swedish economy and a lot of unpronounceable Swedish companies.

I almost gave up on the book altogether until I got to the mystery of Harriet Vanger. (SPOILER) Just to fill you in a little bit, the main characters of the book are Michael Blomkvist, a journalist, and Lisbeth Salander, a hacker. I found it really interesting that there were two different main characters who actually don't meet each other until about halfway through the book. They each have their own separate plots. Blomkvist is asked to investigate the mysterious disappearance of his niece, Harriet Vanger. The only problem is that the girl went missing over fifty years ago. When I was introduced to this plot, I could not stop reading. I won't spoil the mystery of whodunit, but I will tell you that even though it is a very long novel that takes some time and investment to read through, it is so worth it. The action and mystery is so in your face and raw that it is almost like you are right next to the characters, experiencing it all for yourself.

Lastly, I have to say something about the other main character, Lisbeth Salander. When you are introduced to her world, you have to take a step back. Salander is a bad ass chick with no regrets or emotions when it comes to serving up a steaming hot plate of justice. She may be a hacker, but she is a "good" hacker, if that is possible. Salander has her unspoken problems throughout the novel, which I am very excited to find out in the next installment, The Girl Who Played with Fire. I hear from a friend that it is the best of the three. I guess I will find out.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

First Review :)

Hey everyone! So, I decided to start a blog. I have always loved writing reviews for movies and books, and I did it in high school on my newspaper. So, if you guys like to read reviews, enjoy!

SPOILER ALERT! (In case you don't know what this means: if you want to read this book, or just don't want to know how the book maybe ends, don't read it duhhh)

Okay, so my first review will be of the book I just finished reading, its called The Hunger Games. It's the first of a trilogy, and it has grown in popularity lately. A family friend recommended it, and when I first read the summary I was like, uhmm I don't know about this. But after the first chapter, I was sold.

The story starts out introducing the main character Katniss, a sixteen year old girl who lives a difficult life in the area of Panem, which is what we know as North America. Panem consists of the Capitol, filled with material driven people, all wealthy beyond imagine, and the twelve districts, which are not as fortunate. Katniss lives in the twelfth district along with her mother and little sister, Primrose. She is skilled hunter, and hunts with her best friend Gale. I suspected a romance between Gale and Katniss from the very beginning, which made me super happy because everyone loves a sweet teenage romance, especially in the future version of the United States.

Well, the real fun begins when the definition of the Hunger Games is brought up. The Hunger Games is a tradition within the culture of Panem. Katniss describes this "sacred" tradition as cruel and evil. It consists of selecting one boy and girl from each district and having them compete in a competition where they must do whatever is necessary to survive. Even kill. This is a brutal contest to begin with, but the extra bonus is that the entire competition is televised so the Capitol and all twelve districts must watch it.

When the time comes for the boy and girl from the twelfth district to be selected, Katniss' worst fear is realized. Her little sister, Prim, has been picked. Without even skipping a beat, Katniss jumps up and takes her place. Everyone around is shocked by this act of sacrifice. This scene in the book marks the beginning of an adventure.

Now, for the people who haven't read this book, I won't spoil the entire book and it's ending. But, from this point on in the book, it was really hard for me to put the book down and stop reading. It was almost like I really needed to find out if Katniss was okay, and if she was making it through the games alright. Suzanne Collins is such a fantastic writer in that way. She creates these characters that readers can easily connect with, and even want to be friends with. Katniss is one of those characters, and Peeta is also someone that you feel for. One of my favorite moments with Peeta was during the televised interviews before they headed off for the games. Katniss was shocked, along with the rest of the audience, to find out that Peeta had strong feelings for her. Of course, this was all planned out by the Capitol. It made viewers more willing to watch, and it created more donations throughout the games. But, I just love that first scene where Peeta tells the interviewer that he is in love with Katniss. He is such a quiet character, but at the same time, he grows into being slightly charming. I just love that Peeta and Katniss went from pretending to be madly in love, merely for the cameras sake, to realizing that maybe they actually have feelings for each other. I won't ruin the especially adorable moments between the lovebirds, but I will say the ending is quite romantic.

Being a creative writing major myself, I am extremely inspired by the writing style of Suzanne Collins. She writes like she is right next to you, telling you the whole adventure. And that's really what this book is. An adventure. When I finished the book, the same family friend put the second book of the series into my hands. It was lovely. I haven't gotten the chance to read it yet, what with settling into my apartment and starting school, but I will and I'll let you guys know just how awesome it is. Well, I hope I made some people interested in The Hunger Games, if so go get a copy and read it right now :)