Book Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Blurb: “Harriet Vanger, a 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.

An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.”

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Crime novel, Nordic noir, Crime Fiction

Page Count: 672

Goodreads Rating: 4.1/5

My Rating: 4/5

THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Trigger Warning: Rape


This is my second attempt at reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo so I went into this book very skeptical and apprehensive. Last time I found my reading capability wasn’t up to standard with the book so to be able to give this another go was interesting and it certainly didn’t disappoint!

So I considered the first part of the book to be incredibly slow. I fully understand and appreciate that for a book of this size, context is very important. But I felt that the amount given made the start of the book really slow for me. Further down the line I realise I appreciated the content given but it definitely tinted the reading experience for me, if it hadn’t been for my first 100 pages rule (where if i’m not enjoying a book and I’m still not enjoying it at the 100th page I won’t continue with the book) I would have absolutely have put it down. But I am so so glad I didn’t!

So straight away after being introduced to the characters I LOVED the contrast of the two main characters, Michael Blomkvist and Elizabeth Salander. For me Michael Blomkvist’s character development throughout the whole book was monumental, I started the book like ‘lord above this man is bland’. Then I realised he has an open relationship with his co-worker and close friend Erika which perked him up a bit, then you realise this man is not afraid to speak his mind, potentially lose his job and stand up to the big boys like he does early on in the book. Towards the end of the book I loved him. The confidence, passion and determination this man holds is commendable and when his relationship with Salander advances I never saw it coming but I was absolutely here for it.

The general mystery of the storyline itself is intense. Michael Blomkvist after going through some legal battles is recruited to work for Henrik Vanger on his estate in Hedestad, Sweden. He’s recruited to write the Vanger daily history. In actual fact he is there to uncover the truth as to where Harriet Vanger disappeared too. The way the mystery is unraveled is one bombshell after the next. I absolutely could not put this book down once it really got into it. The twists and turns, the revelations one after the other I needed to know where she was, if someone had killed her and if so, who? The family had so many secrets. the crescendo for me was when someone was shooting at Blomkvist. At this point you know someone is after him. But It was never who I would expected.

In contrast with Michael is Elizabeth Salander. Right form the start she’s a mystery. I also sympathise for her straight away, not even too far into the book she is raped. But she’s cool, calm and collected and I have a lot of respect for her especially when she takes matters into her own hands. Although she is very shattered and broken person, she is one badass bitch. She’s damn good at what she does and its impressive. This is why when she does start seeing Blomkvist Im shocked but 100% here for it as I said above. I loved the two of them together, they are polar opposites but they balance each other out. The ending did get me though. Salander is aware of his relationship with his co-worker Erika, so to know she was so hurt and wound up got me wanting to pick up the next book!

To back up my point that Salander is a bad ass bitch. When Michael is taken ‘prisoner’ by Henry Vanger in his basement, after realising it was him who was trying to shoot Blomkvist for digging too deep into the family history to find Harriet, Salander realises where he is and comes to his rescue. He’s in a torturous situation in Henry’s basement where we realise that Henry is a disgusting animal who rapes, mutilates and kills women for FUN. After being recruited to do this by his FATHER. SICKENING. But it also influences the investigation into Harriet with Henry being her brother. She was fully aware of what he is capable of. But, a great plot twist as I was not expecting it from him. So naturally my assumption was that Henry killed Harriet. LUCKILY that was not the case.

I was SHOOK when we discovered Harriet was alive. Her involvement in the remainder of the book made my heart warm. She was just running from something awful. I also didn’t expect Henry to kill himself in a car crash after the incident with Blomkvist and Salander in his basement but I guess he thought it was better to die than to go to jail for being an absolutely arsehole of epic proportions, especially because Harriet knew all of his secrets.

And yet once Harriet is discovered it doesn’t end there. Michael, Erika and Elizabeth take on the corporation at the start of the book who Michael tried to tackle before and absolutely decimated them and played them at their own game. If that isn’t a badass team i don’t know what is. Although Salander doesn’t think so so much at the end,

The book itself is really well written, gripping, exciting and I could not put it down. I voted this book 4/5 due to the slow start but thats literally it. It would be a 4.9/5 if it was possible. I also felt like when I was reading, the village of Hedestad reminded me of the small village I visited in Norway, Aurland! Beautiful, small, personal and quaint. Ill post a photograph of Aurland below!

Have you read this book before? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

April Reading Round Up!

I am SO HAPPY to be able to do this, I’ve never been able to do a reading round up but with Quarantine hounding us all I’ve been keeping myself sane by burying myself in so many wonderful books!

So I’ve managed to read 8 Books this month! Here is what I sunk my teeth into!

The Store / James Patterson

This book is phenomenal, based on what the world would be like if Amazon took over the world that we live in. Although, cleverly, not directly naming the company as Amazon but ‘The Store’. And it would be one terrifying world. I read this book in a day and it was worth every second spent knee deep in this! It was tense and I was hooked throughout. Well worth the read and incredibly well written. The twist at the end is worth the madness, and with that I’ll say no more!

Nought Forever / Malorie Blackman

This book was a short one, I believe less than 100 pages but still brilliant. Having read all of the Noughts and Crosses series twice over, knowing there was a spin off for the memorable character Dan, I just had to know. Especially as it gives you an insight into a specific character in the most recent book released by Malorie Blackman, Crossfire. This book is one to read after Double Cross Book #4 and before Crossfire Book #5

Callum / Malorie Blackman

Another spin off from the Malorie Blackman series Noughts and Crosses! This book is to be read after Book #1 Noughts & Crosses and before Book #2 Knife Edge as it gives an insight into what would have happened had Callum chosen to take a different path. It is another short story, less than 100 pages but really gives you some more insight into the different ways in which the story could have done. I can confirm I definitely prefer the way #1 ended because if it had ended like it did in this small #1.5 in-between book, there would be no book #2.

Fairest / Marissa Meyer

This was another spin off of the Lunar Chronicles series. Book #1 Cinder, Book #2 Scarlett, Book #3 Cress and Book #4 Winter. This story Fairest interjects between book #2 and #3. I actually read this after reading the entire series and I feel I enjoyed it a lot more this way. It was incredible to learn the real reason why Levana is as bitter and full of hate as she is. She’s twisted and this book highlights why, but I still didn’t sympathise for her in any way and I think this is because I read the whole series before I read this. I highly recommend this one after the series but of course definitely read it midway through if you prefer!

Library of Souls / Ransom Riggs

I had been meaning to pick this book up after at LEAST 2 years of starting the first 2 books from the Miss Peregrines School For Peculiar Children. It’s been on my kindle just festering away. I had to give myself a re-cap of book one and two before I could confidently go into book 3 with any idea of what is going on and I am SO glad I did. Another phenomenal book to add to the series. These books just make my imagination run away with itself. I love the idea of the peculiar children, what makes them peculiar, the details of all the loops, the action throughout is endless. At no moment was I bored, and you best believe I’ve bought book #4 and book #5 (I started book 4 recently).

This Is Going To Hurt / Adam Kay

All I have to say is god damn, read this book. Recommended by SO many people this comical and eye-opening look at a Junior Doctor working in the NHS shares his diary exerts from when he was training as a junior doctor. Honestly I have never laughed out loud at a book as much as I did this one. But it also really opens your eyes to what our doctors, nurses, midwifes etc go through on the ward on a daily and regular basis. The way Adam Kay writes makes this book so light hearted and a jolly read, minus the odd harrowing and heartbreaking story, but leaves you feeling a certain way once reading it. Its incredibly relevant, especially right now.

Twas the Night Shift Before Christmas / Adam Kay

Yet another book from Adam Kay much like This Is Going To Hurt except this book is based solely on what happens in the wards on Christmas. How he himself worked Christmas for 6 years straight and yet again the festive madness that unfolds through Christmas after Christmas with the NHS on the wards. Another comedic backlog of diary entries, most happy, some devastating. Another fantastic book.

Recursion / Blake Crouch

After reading Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter the month prior it would be silly not to read his other highly rated book, Recursion. Blake Crouch has a very scientific reading style. Quantum psychics, lots of scientific terms and processes I do no understand. LUCKILY explained in the plot of this book and from it unfolds the most haywire and incredibly tense storyline I have ever dived into. I was so apprehensive as it wasn’t a book I would usually read but man am I glad I did. Anyone into Sci-fi fantasy/fiction should absolutely give this and Dark Matter a go. I rated this book a solid-.

(Read the book, then you’ll understand that last sentence).

Book Review: Winter (The Lunar Chronicles) – Marissa Meyers

WELL, WHAT A BOOK.

*Spoilers Alert*

800+ pages? Challenge accepted, I couldn’t put it down from start to finish it was a fantastic read. Hands down the best book out of the 5. It took me about a week of straight reading to get through this.

“She might be broken. She might be crazy. But she would not be defeated.”

Winter was a character I really enjoyed but really struggled to get my head around. She was quirky, unusual and almost what I would call floaty type of personality. I understand why Scarlet called her crazy so often due to the way she was portrayed.

The brilliance of this book really shows through the storyline because for 800+ pages I did wonder how quickly I would get bored. It never came! The storyline was immersive throughout the whole book, I never knew what was going to happen next and even when the next thing happened, I never expected it! It was constant excitement, the ball just kept on moving and the ending was EXACTLY what I wanted.

Everyone ended up with the right people, the right person ended up being queen, the right people got murdered (A really happy statement that one) and all is well on Luna & Earth now. It was absolutely how I wanted it to end. I know they’re all based on Disney characters and Disney stories and you can really see it throughout, but I wanted the ending to not be something half arsed and they weren’t.

Winters ‘Murder’ was incredibly well done by Jacin Clay, Although I never really grew to his character throughout any of the books.

When Cinder jumped off Levana’s balcony you best believe I thought that was the end of her, thank the lord for the squad saving her or I would have genuinely believed she was dead. I love Iko’s heroism throughout the entire series as well, she is such a prominent go getter non stop she just never fails to make me laugh and never gives in. Definitely my favourite character.

The fight to end all fights was momentous and I really did think they were going to lose, not going to sugar coat that. But they always win in the end of course, but I didn’t expect the scene between Levana and Cinder to go the direction it did. I mean, I knew Levana was going to die in some way but I didn’t think she would surrender the way she did. I am also very happy Aimery died, best death of the book. He deserved it. I have an actual hatred for his character.

I would also love to have a glamour, as twisted as Levana was with hers, I would love to go out looking like shit but to everyone else I look amazing. It is an incredibly clever concept from Marissa Meyer.

It was amazing from start to finish, I’ve given the series to my work colleague so she can read them all as they are just such great books. Just need to read Fairest, the book on Levana and it will aaaaaaall make so much more sense! For now I’ve decided to read something else so that I can give my brain a break, so now I’m reading Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.

Marissa Meyers is a talented writer and I can’t wait to read her other books about Iko And her adventures too!

Solid 5/5