Category Archives: 4 Stars

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium #1) by Stieg Larsson

Title: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium #1)
Author: Stieg Larsson
Translator: Reg Keeland
Pages: Hardcover 465 pages
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday
Date Published: September 16th 2008
Genre: Mystery, Mystery Crime, Suspense
My Rating: 

Once you start The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there’sno turning back. This debut thriller–the first in a trilogy from the lateStieg Larsson–is a serious page-turner rivaling the best of Charlie Huston andMichael Connelly. Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist,watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appearbleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name isextended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch–and there’salways a catch–is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching amysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades.With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator LisbethSalander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is asit seems in Larsson’s novel, but there is at least one constant: you reallydon’t want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.
–Dave Callanan
My Review
Mikael Blomkvistis a journalist one day and another he is hired to be a private investigatorbut isn’t quite sure what it is he should be investigating since his case hasalready been investigated by police and has been unsolved for nearly fortyyears. Later on he gets help from an incredible computer hacker with bigissues, Lisbeth Salander.
This book washard to begin; it was a little slow at the beginning and only picked up ataround one third through it. I actually really liked it, but I didn’t read itall at once, I did pause for a month or two. Great plot and characters. It wassuspenseful and interesting. I am not a big fan of Mystery Crime novels becausethey seem a little boring to me but this book was different maybe because it iseasier to connect to these characters than with other ones in other MysteryCrime books, at least in my opinion. Lisbeth Salander is such a fascinatingcharacter it is hard not to like her. Once you read this book you will beshocked at the types of problems she is in and you won’t help but feel bad forher. Larsson isn’t afraid to be explicit; there will be a couple of things thatmight shake you.
I recommend thisto anyone that is into the Mystery Crime genre and to anyone that is willing toread something different.
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 12, 2011 in 4 Stars, Review


Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright

Title: Red RidingHood
Author: SaraBlakley-Cartwright
Pages: Paperback329 pages
Publisher: Poppy
Date Published:January 25th 2011
Genre: YoungAdult, Fantansy
My Rating: 

Theblacksmith would marry her.
Thewoodcutter would run away with her.
Thewerewolf would turn her into one of its own.
Valerie’ssister was beautiful, kind, and sweet. Now she is dead. Henry, the handsome sonof the blacksmith, tries to console Valerie, but her wild heart beats fast foranother: the outcast woodcutter, Peter, who offers Valerie another life farfrom home.
Afterher sister’s violent death, Valerie’s world begins to spiral out of control.For generations, the Wolf has been kept at bay with a monthly sacrifice. Butnow no one is safe. When an expert Wolf hunter arrives, the villagers learnthat the creature lives among them–it could be anyone in town.
Itsoon becomes clear that Valerie is the only one who can hear the voice of thecreature. The Wolf says she must surrender herself before the blood moonwanes…or everyone she loves will die.
My Review
Okay so this bookis based off the screenplay written by David Johnson. The real ending to thebook was left out so that people would go and watch the movie, which wassomething a lot of people didn’t think fair but I really didn’t have a problemwith it, the bonus chapter was up online (Legally) for people to go read and Ithink that was a great marketing strategy in their part because the movie wasthe first idea since the beginning so it seemed fair to me.

Obviously the whole thing is based on the fairytale we all know except with a dark twists which is what got this book so muchattention. Personally I believe this book was a little odd but I’m not sure ifit was a good odd or bad odd, mixed feelings here, I liked it for the most partbut it was missing something. I would have rated this book maybe half a starless if it didn’t have such a good twist at the end. It’s hard to find bookswith twists like this one and I love it when I finally find one. By the way,yes the good part is in the bonus chapter that is found online so I guess ifyou really wanted to know my opinion in just what you buy for, I would give thebook three and a half stars. Besides that, it was a very interesting idea theauthor had with this book because I really didn’t expect how they were going tore-do little red riding hood. There is romance in it and your typical love trianglethat most YA readers adore, not so much for me. There is suspense, mystery,great characters, not so bad concept of a story and of course that great twistat the end you just can’t expect. I say if you have seen the movie don’t botherwith the book because they followed it very well but If you have yet to see themovie go ahead and give the book a try either you will hate it or love it in myopinion.

For Bonus Chapter CLICK HERE (Please don’t read without reading the book first)

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 27, 2011 in 4 Stars, Review


Review: Story of A Girl by Sara Zarr

Title: Story of a Girl
Author: Sara Zarr
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Date Published: January 10, 2007
Genre: Young Adult
My Rating: 


When she is caught in the backseat of a car with her older brother’s best friend – Deanna Lambert’s teenage life is changed forever. Struggling to overcome the lasting repercussions and the stifling role of “school slut,” she longs to escape a life defined by her past.

My Review

A good realistic story about a girl whose life changed after getting caught messing around with an older boy who she wasn’t even sure she liked. School was obviously never the same. Deanna’s father never looked at her the same way. Her mother never really defended her the way a mother should. This story demonstrates the cause and effect of an event. To many people, this story would seem like an exaggeration but in my opinion, it is something that needed to be exhibited because there aren’t many books that I’ve read expressing these types of situations and how they can happen to anyone. I just really enjoyed how believable it was. I feel like I really connected with Deanna and I felt sorry for her and the things she had to go through. Knowing that Deanna was in reality a nice and normal girl made things even harder to go through. I don’t believe this book was the best thing out there but it was good enough that it made me a fan. I recommend this book because like many others it has it’s life lessons. It is a good read and it is not a waste of time, I can guarantee you that much.

1 Comment

Posted by on March 14, 2011 in 4 Stars, Review


Review: Butterface by Gwen Hayes

Title: Butterface
Author: Gwen Hayes
Publisher: Self-Published
Date Published: April 21st 2010
Genre: Young Adult, Short Story
My Rating: 


When love isn’t lucky…or pretty.

The scars on Beth’s face aren’t nearly as deep as the ones she nurses on the inside. She was born with hemifacial microsamia and was supposed to feel “lucky” that she wasn’t as disfigured as some people.

One boy, Lucky O’Leary starts to find the cracks in her hard shell and finds himself falling for her. Only Lucky has a secret–he needs to bring Beth to a “dog dinner” or lose his spot on the team. She can’t find out that the guy who brings the ugliest date wins a prize.

Young Adult Short Story–8000 words

A short story I absolutely enjoyed. I had not read anything like this which made this story very different and special. Since the beginning I was pulled in to the story and I fell in love with the characters Beth and Lucky. Lucky is not your typical jock surprisingly, he is very sweet and protective of Beth. Beth is a very unique character, she has a face deformity that doesn’t make her look perfect. Beth is very interesting because she plays real tough and careless but in reality needs that shoulder to cry on once in a while. I do recommend you read it because it is a quick read and it is unique.

So far you can only find this book on  Amazon Kindle. (That I know of haha)


Posted by on February 21, 2011 in 4 Stars, Review, Short Story


Review: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Title: The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Date Published: July 2002
Genre: Fiction, Supernatural Thriller
My Rating:

When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn’t happen. In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief, her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor and begin the difficult process of healing. In the hands of a brilliant novelist, this story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful and touching story about family, memory, love, heaven, and living.

A 14-year-old girl, Susie Salmon is raped and murdered. You would think this book would be the mystery of how it happened or who it was, but it’s not the way it’s written. Susie Salmon is in “heaven” or like in throughout most of the story “In between”, Earth and heaven, because she is not yet ready to go on. Susie is the narrator of the story which makes things interesting because you tag along with her while she observes her family, from above, trying to cope. Susie’s father is obsessed with what happened, her mother is trying to forget about the occurrence in a total different way, Susie’s sister is trying to go on with her life but she knows it’s impossible, she needs to find out who the murderer is. Susie’s little brother is having a hard time understanding the meaning of death.  Most of the story is about what her loved ones have to go through after she is murdered. It is a horrific story but yet it’s hard to put down. You see everyone on Earth trying to figure out who the murderer is even though we, the readers, already know.

I don’t want to leave out some other interesting characters…
Len Fenerman: The detective trying to solve Susie’s case but ends up doing more than investigating the case.
Ray Singh: Susie’s crush who is, believe it or not, also having a hard time coping.
Ruth Connors: One of my favorite characters in this story. Ruth is a girl that Susie went to school with, they were never friends but when Susie’s spirit touches her while leaving Earth, Ruth becomes fascinated with Susie even though she barely knew her. Ray and Ruth become close friends having something so special in common, Susie.
I should mention Susie’s best friend from Earth, Clarissa, and her best friend from heaven, Holly, but they don’t make a great impact.

This book is great. I recommend it to everyone, it is indeed a must read. The story can be a bit disturbing at times but I like when authors don’t hold anything back. Don’t be fooled by the movie because it does not do it any justice.


Posted by on December 10, 2010 in 4 Stars, Alice Sebold, Review


Review: Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1) by Charlaine Harris

Title: Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1)

Author: Charlaine Harris
Publisher: Ace Books
Date Published: May 1st 2001
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Romance
My Rating:

Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She’s quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn’t get out much. Not because she’s not pretty. She is. It’s just that, well, Sookie has this sort of “disability.” She can read minds. And that doesn’t make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill. He’s tall, dark, handsome–and Sookie can’t hear a word he’s thinking. He’s exactly the kind of guy she’s been waiting for all her life…

But Bill has a disability of his own: he’s a vampire with a bad reputation. He hangs out with a seriously creepy crowd, all suspected of –big surprise– murder. And when one of Sookie’s coworkers is killed, she fears she’s next…

Many might know about these books because of the TV series True Blood. I heard about the TV series from a friend and I loved it but i didn’t know there were books on it until the end of the first season and even then I told myself I wasn’t going to read them, but then there was a moment where I just couldn’t help it and I just had to go and buy the first book Dead Until Dark.

I have to admit i really liked these books even if many say it’s trash. I hate to say this but this story reminds me of The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer but in a more mature and a for “grown-ups” way because let me be the one to tell you, they are pretty graphic just like the TV series. 
  Sookie is the main character, and a very likable one who is believed to be a normal human but can somehow read minds. She is innocent and a sweetheart and doesn’t have a sex life until vampire Bill shows up and she falls in love, but the story isn’t just about their romance. My favorite part about this series is how the vampires have “come out” … out of the coffin, in other words they have revealed themselves to the world after a synthetic blood has been invented, but now there is a lot of prejudice against vampires. Not only has the world found out about vampires but they have found out about how special their blood is, that a vampire’s blood has certain power and can improve the consumer’s sex life, this brings many humans to drain vampires and sell their blood. You meet many interesting characters throughout the story for example Eric, who is one of my personal favorites, though i don’t want to mention much about him without ruining the rest of the books.

  I am on the fifth book and I pretty much stopped there, i needed a break from them because they do tend to get a little exhausting. I am not saying that they are boring because they really are full of adventure, but too much of Sookie’s (main character)  obstacles to living a normal life can get tiring… hey maybe it’s just me.
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 25, 2010 in 4 Stars, Review


Review: Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez

Title: Rainbow Boys
Author: Alex Sanchez
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Publication Date: October 2001
Genre: Young Adult
My Rating: 

Jason Carrillo is a jock with a steady girlfriend, but he can’t stop dreaming about sex…with other guys.
Kyle Meeks doesn’t look gay, but he is. And he hopes he never has to tell anyone — especially his parents.
Nelson Glassman is “out” to the entire world, but he can’t tell the boy he loves that he wants to be more than just friends.
Three teenage boys, coming of age and out of the closet. In a revealing debut novel that percolates with passion and wit, Alex Sanchez follows these very different high-school seniors as their struggles with sexuality and intolerance draw them into a triangle of love, betrayal, and ultimately, friendship.

This was the first book i read. I was in middle school and I didn’t know reading was going to become a passion but since my school started this thing called SSR (sustained silent reading) we were required to have a book to read for 15 min… or was it 30min… I can’t recall but yea, my brother let me borrow his book, Rainbow Boys, turns out I got really into this story and I ended up reading the whole trilogy.
  I have to say I really liked the trilogy but the last two books weren’t as good as this first. These books teach you a lot about sexuality and how most homosexuals struggle through high school and pretty much through life, they are bullied just because of who they are. I have to say I learned a lot from this story and it gave me a really good point of view. I understand the mixed reviews for this book and I see that not many people support the gay community but I myself support it.

“The message is simple folks – peace, love, unity and respect.” – Nikki (yareads)
The story line is great. This character, Nelson, makes this book a little extra humorous. I was most interested in Jason’s side of the story most likely because he was the most troubled with the coming out part. It is a fun book to read but i admit it can be sad for plenty of reasons, a good example would be the fact that Jason’s father is an alcoholic. He is abusive and well… homophobic, here you can probably see one of the first conflicts of the story. There isn’t much i can review about it since i did read this book a long time ago and can’t remember much detail.
  It is a good book. The characters are really likable. It’s not perfection but it’s not bad either, but it sure was great enough to spark up my interest in books. 

Book #2 and #3

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 20, 2010 in 4 Stars, Review