Book Review · Books

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson [BOOK REVIEW]

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson [BOOK REVIEW]

★★★★★

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson is a book I have had on my TBR the longest.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is also the first book in the Millennium series. I wanted to read it since I was in high-school and developed my love for thrillers. Even though I was vaguely familiar with the plot, I went in blind, and I enjoyed every second of it!

Synopsis:

Lisbeth Salander can dig the deepest secrets of her targets. She is often underestimated because of her looks, but loves nothing more than to prove people wrong.

Mikael Bloomkvist is a disgraced journalist and when tasked to investigate him, Lisbeth finds nothing but integrity.

When his investigation of a mystery that happened a long time ago comes to a dead end, he needs help. And who could do that better, than the same person who investigated him. 

My Thoughts:

I loved the pace this book has. It starts very slow, giving you time to adjust to the new setting and the characters that will be your companions for the rest of the book. Then it gradually throws plot twists and new challenges that need to be overcomed. By the end, you are on a rollercoaster and your hunger for clues and resolution comes to a climax. Every character has their own story and personal development that fits perfectly into the story. 

The way the characters have their own personal development is incredibly done, especially in the case of Lisbeth. Even though Mikael’s development is also very noteworthy. 

I had mixed feelings about the ending. I loved the mystery part, and I think that ended very satisfying. However, I wasn’t a fan of how the romance concluded, or rather, continued. But with that being said, and knowing the series continues, I am hoping to read the next book and see whether this might change in the future. 

After finishing the book, I was curious about the author, and I was so sad to find out that he passed away before he knew about his book and the success it has in the world. I also feel for his partner as well – for all the injustice she has gone through. 

I loved The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo so much, and I am so glad I finally read it. I will definitely be continuing the series, and I hope you pick this one up as well.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

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Book Review · Books

The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan [BOOK REVIEW]

The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan Book Review readalong books blog blogging pan macmillan tandem tandemcollective romance thriller

I had the most amazing opportunity this month! Thanks to the team at Tandem Collective UK, I participated in a #Readalong on Instagram for The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan. The book is published by the amazing team at Pan Macmillan.

And I can immediately say – this experience was, so far, the highlight of my reading year! 

Together with a number of amazing bookstagrammers, we read this book in 5 days, chatting about the plot twists and the ending. By the end of the second day, we were all in love with Karen Swan’s writing and decided to do another readalong for August. I also had the chance to participate in a Live Q&A session with Karen Swan herself and win a prize for being a runner-up to the quiz. And on top of everything, I visited my mum on the weekend, and we talked about books we’re reading. And to my surprise, she owns FOUR books of Karen Swan already! So we decided to swap some books, and I came home with four more books I want to read!

We will be reading The Greek Escape by Karen Swan in August – so please shout if you have this book and want to join us! 

I shared my readalong journey on my Instagram, and the highlights are still up, in case you want to have a look at my journey! I always share posts and stories of the books I am currently reading – so don’t forget to follow for more updates. 

Synopsis:

In the oldest part of Stockholm, Bell Everhurst is working as a nanny for an affluent family. Hanna and Max Von Greyerz are parents to 7 year-old Linus, and 5-year old twins Ellinor and Tilde, and Bell has been with the family for over two years.

One early Spring morning, as she’s rushing out to take the children to school, she answers the phone – and everything changes. A woman from a clinic she’s never heard of asks her to pass on the message that Hanna’s husband is awake.Bell is confused. She clearly just saw Max walking out of the house a few minutes earlier, but the woman mentioned Hanna by name…

When she gets hold of her employer, the truth is revealed: Hanna’s first husband fell into a coma seven years earlier, following a terrible accident. He has been in a Persistent Minimally Conscious State since and there was very little hope of further improvement. But now he’s awake. And life is going to change for them all.

My Thoughts:

I absolutely adored this book! I loved it so much, that I am unsure how to contain all my impressions in a well-written review. 

Let’s start with the setting.

It is set in Stockholm, on the coast, during summer. The descriptions about the place and the season really fit the mood. There is also a midsummer festival in the book which made me feel as if I was transported there, dancing with people from the town and enjoying the sunshine. 

The characters have that aura about them, that makes you want to know them. Or they happen to remind you of someone you know, but you can’t just recall where you know them from. They are so familiar, but distant at the same time. Each of them carrying their weight on their shoulders and each of them having their separate story. 

We meet Bell – the nanny, who has her own reasons of why she decides to become a nanny and stay in Stockholm longer than she needed to. Her love for the children, especially for Linus is so adorable, and I can understand why she is so protective of him. 

I felt for Linus.

The trauma he is going through in this book is heartbreaking, he’s introduced to his real father, but he doesn’t remember him. The way some situations are handled also doesn’t do him any favours and just contributes to his confusion and anger, and I completely understand him. It is a very difficult situation to be in. 

The most intriguing character in this book is definitely the husband that was in coma. Losing seven years of your life is devastating. One day – you have everything, and then you wake up to find out that your wife is with another person, happy, and has more children of her own with another man. And all you want to do is bring them back. Just like it was. Like time never passed. But time did pass. And people continued living… 

Very emotional read.

I had all emotions flowing in me at certain moments. Sometimes I had conflicted opinions about some decisions the characters made. I had suspicions, hopes and anticipated a lot. And I loved it. It ended on a very (for me) satisfying ending, and I got the result I was hoping to get. 

I definitely recommend you pick up this book straight ahead – it’s simply amazing! The perfect summer read with thriller elements, plot twists like you’ve never seen before and a subtle touch of romance.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |


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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

Sisters by Michelle Frances [BLOG TOUR]

Sisters by Michelle Frances BLOG TOUR Pan Macmillan book review mystery thriller suspense

I am extremely happy and excited to be part of the blog tour for Sisters by Michelle Frances. Thank you to the team at Pan Macmillan – for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. Check out the other book bloggers that are part of the tour as well: 

Sisters by Michelle Frances BLOG TOUR Pan Macmillan book review mystery thriller suspense

Synopsis:

Is blood really thicker than water?

Abby and Ellie were never close as children. Now in their thirties, they each harbour deep-rooted resentment for the other – Abby for her sister’s looks and her status as their mother’s favourite. Ellie meanwhile is envious of Abby’s perfect husband and picturesque home, a villa on the sun-soaked Italian island of Elba.

When Abby invites Ellie to stay, both sisters see the break as a chance to relax and put aside their differences. But with their mother Susanna there too, all the simmering tensions of the past quickly rise to the surface. And Ellie suspects that Abby and their mother are keeping a dangerous secret . . .

But after a shocking act, the sisters have only each other to rely on. Vulnerable and scared, trusting each other will be the biggest risk of all . . .

My Thoughts:

Sisters by Michelle Frances was a very enjoyable and exciting ride for me. Not having read her previous books, I started reading without any expectations, hoping to enjoy the story for what it was. Two sisters – trying to improve their relationship, hopefully without their mother interfering. 

What I got instead, was so much more! The suspense keeps building up from the very first chapter. The tension between the sisters is really awkward. The relationships between the mother and both daughters is very different and very concerning. 

And then everything changes. 

We have a surprising plot twists, and from that moment on, we are on a wild adventure. Old secrets will start coming up, things people thought were forgotten in the past. I did not know, and couldn’t guess who the real villain is until the very end, and that was quite enjoyable for me! Everyone will tell you stories, everyone will say their own point of view. To you, everyone will seem like a villain and a victim at the same time, and this uncertainty will make you keep turning pages until you find out. Until the end. 

I am glad I read Sisters by Michelle Frances. Another amazing suspense now added to my list. I highly recommend it to mystery, thriller and suspense fans, especially the ones that enjoy family drama. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |


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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

His and Hers by Alice Feeney [BLOG TOUR]

His and Hers by Alice Feeney HQ Stories NetGalley blog tour books book review books blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

With His and Hers by Alice Feeney, prepare to jump on a ride where one murder will open up the gates of the past, and expose a lot of people in a very brutal way. 

I am extremely happy and proud I can be part of the blog tour for this book!

Synopsis:

When a woman is murdered in Blackdown village, Anna Andrews needs to go there to cover the story. However, her hometown brings back a lot of unwanted memories. 

Her ex-husband, DCI Jack Harper is investigating the murder and is very suspicious of Anna’s involvement. That is, until he becomes a suspect himself.

My Thoughts: 

I have to admit, at the beginning I though this will be a domestic thriller, and I am not too keen on them. I enjoy them, but I prefer psychological thrillers more. It turned out that His and Hers is not only a psychological thriller, but also a very well written one. I have only read one book from Alice Feeney before, I Know Who You Are, and I also enjoyed it, so I was expecting to enjoy this one as well. 

The chapters are split into three points of view.

The first one is Her – Anna’s point of view. The second one is Him – Jack’s story. The third one is the point of view of the killer, who has their own thoughts and explanations. And the beautiful thing about the third point of view is that we don’t know who it might be until the very end of the book. That point of view is so well written, that I kept guessing who it might be, and kept changing my mind. At the end, the answer was so surprising and satisfying in the end. And once I knew who the killer is, I went back and read those pages again, and they had a completely another meaning for me. Kudos to Alice for making this possible, as I know not everyone can manage to do this! 

“And I pay attention to the little things, because they are often the biggest clues to who a person really is. People rarely see themselves the way others do; we all carry broken mirrors.”

Dementia

The book also briefly focuses on Dementia, and we get to experience the moment Anna realises her mother is ill. For me, this had a special meaning, having experience working with people suffering from dementia, and the writing of the symptoms was very accurate. The reaction of Anna was quite accurate as well, in terms of how hard it was to notice, but also how much harder is to actually accept this fact. 

“Mum doesn’t always remember that I’m thirty-six and live in London. She frequently forgets that I have a job, and that I used to have a husband and a child of my own. She didn’t even seem to know that it was my birthday. There was no card this year, or last, but it’s not her fault. Time is something my mother has forgotten how to tell. It moves differently for her now, often backwards instead of forwards. Dementia stole time from my mother, and stole my mother from me.”

If you get to read His and Hers, prepare for many twists, many mysteries, a lot of drama and betrayals. The ending was the most satisfying part for me, but I enjoyed this book all the way through and struggled to put it down. I recommend it to everyone that is in love with mystery thrillers, especially the ones that focus on the psychological aspect. 

“Youth fools us into thinking there are infinite paths to choose from in life; maturity tricks us into thinking there is only one.”

Thank you to the HQ Team, for sending me an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Purchase Links:
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Book Review · Books

Pretties (Uglies #2) by Scott Westerfeld [BOOK REVIEW]

pretties by scott westerfeld uglies series goodreads books book review bookshelf reading read blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

Pretties is the second book in the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. I loved the first book a lot, and I had to continue the series! 

In the first book, we are introduced to a world where beauty means everything. People are born as Uglies, and once they turn 16, they undergo plastic surgery and become Pretties. 

Tally is still an Ugly, and all she ever wants to do is become a Pretty. After all, all of her friends are already Pretties. But she meets Shay, who doesn’t want to become pretty, and during amazing adventures in the first book, Tally discovered that there is much more in the world than just being a Pretty.

If you haven’t read the first book yet, please be aware that this review will contain SPOILERS. If you want to know more though, I would suggest reading my review of the first book, Uglies.

In Pretties, Tally is now a Pretty herself. She is completely different, until one day a person from the old crew pays her a visit. She can vaguely remember some things, and a challenge is in front of her. A letter from herself from the past will make her remember why she is a Pretty now and what she needs to do next. 

But accepting such a task means danger of being found out and silenced forever. But if she succeeds, she might actually find a cure to being a Pretty. 

My Thoughts

Filled with adventure, I read this book in only a few sittings. I am in love with the world the author created, and the moral dilemmas he tests us on. The chapters and scenes are vivid, entertaining and never dull. 

I did, however, struggle with characterisation. Even though I am a huge fan of Tally, she wasn’t much different from any other character. They were all sort of the same, believing in almost the same things, and not much  else was said. I would really have loved to see more perspectives from the Specials, but I think that is coming in the third book, which gets me all the more excited. 

The last few chapters were everything and I will cherish all the moments. Many “book highlightings” were done  and many quotes were remembered. I also need to mention that plot twist in the end. I should have seen it coming, because all the clues were there, but I didn’t. And I can’t wait to read book number 3. 

I recommend it to all readers who enjoy different worlds, adventure, a bit of fantasy and dystopia.

Purchase Links:
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