The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I can’t believe I waited this long to read the book, I’ve had it for months, and I’ve been told to read it even before that. But I never felt like it’d be a book that I would enjoy, especially since the title mentioned tattoos, I instantly pictured a goth looking girl who wouldn’t make a good character in my eyes because I personally have nothing in common with her. You should have seen my expression when I finally got to read the back cover of the book, and what the story is really about. How stupid was I, reading other senseless things when this brilliant thing was sitting right on my shelf. Well I sure am making up for lost time.
Here is the first warning, if you don't handle violence against women and children well, skip this novel. There isn’t a lot of violence I would say, but that is pretty much what the book centers around. If you enjoy novels that deal with violence against women who know how to protect themselves you might just consider reading this.
 
So since you already know I loved the book, let me tell you exactly what it is that got me hooked. First of, the story takes place in Sweden, (a country that never interested me) it centers around two main characters, Mikael Blomkovist is a financial journalist who is on the brink of having his professional life destroyed until an unexpected offer to turn his reputation around is presented. But he must first research a mysterious disappearance of a girl that happened forty years ago. Then he can get his revenge. To help him along, he hires an investigator, Lisabeth Salander (the goth girl), an anti social freak. She is a troubled girl, at lest that’s what the state thinks, as well as her guardian, who also tries to teach her a lesson, and the only lesson there is, is you don’t want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo. She is a bad ass, and if I liked her, you will too.
This book is a crime/drama/mystery, there are plenty of twists and turns to keep you on edge and keep you reading through the night. You never know what’s around the corner, or on your porch one morning. I think it’s more directed towards women, since it has a strong female character, but that should not make any difference, Salander is tough, and not just because she is a girl. I would definitely recommend this book to men as well.

It is well written, by no means a work of art, but it’s a good fun read, you don’t have to do much thinking, the story pretty much does that for you, your just have to read the text.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

"Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Katniss, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12. The thrill-packed final installment of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy will keep young hearts pounding."

I was very disappointed with this book, it was almost sad how bad it was, the beginning not as much as the ending, it's as if Collins was given an hour to finish it and this is the best she came up with. She didn't do the justice to her characters, at all. We get to know them, love them and then they leave the book and she doesn't even think twice about them. I would have liked to know a little more about all the characters and not just what Katniss is thinking 24/7. And I'm not even gonna go there, Katniss doesn't seem to grow at all in these books, I thought she was a lot stronger in The Hunger Games, she's supposed to be the rebel thats gonna change the lives of people in Panem, but all she does is complain most of the time, running around in the hospital in a daze. Again months pass in just a few pages and we don't really get the full story. I wish this book had an extra 100 pages or so to tie up the loose ends. The ending is "realistic" but we only see what happens to Katniss and Peeta, no one else is really mentioned, I would have liked to know more. I really thought this book was a big disappointment compared to the first two. 

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

This book was great, I read it in two days, it really holds your interest throughout the whole book. The story is about a young girl Lily Owens whose father T. Ray (what she calls him) is abusive and neglectful. She has never heard him say he loved her, or anything that resembled feelings. Unless they were anger, he would punish her by having her kneel on grits. Her mother died in a "gun accident" when Lily was only four years old. Leaving her with her father and nanny/housekeeper Rosaleen, who in part is a stand in for her mother. But when Rosaleen gets arrested for insulting three racists, Lily decides this would be a good time to leave to Tiburon, South Carolina, a town she believes to be connected to her mother. She and Rosaleen find refuge with three beekeeping sisters, who in turn introduce Lily to a mesmerizing life of bees, honey and black Madonnas. This story is all about female empowerment, love and forgiveness.

This story will definitely have an effect on anyone who reads it. It teaches powerful lessons, especially to young girls who are struggling with a hard life. Sue Monk Kidd did a great job capturing every detail of the Pink House, Lily's life as well as all the other characters, I kept thinking that this is a memoir, but even though it's not, it still feels real.

I gave this book three stars, but I can definitely see why it deserves five. This is just not my favorite style of reading, but it's still great, and everyone should read it. I wonder is they read this book in schools.

And I just found out there's a movie. How great is that. After I watch it I'll post my review of that also.