Friday, February 11, 2011

Books #2 and #3: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo AND The Confession

I am well on my way towards successfully completing one of my New Years resolutions!  In case you don't recall, I wanted to read a minimum of 10 books this year.  I reviewed The Lincoln Lawyer  a few weeks ago and wanted to review the last two I've read.  The reviews will be a little shorter because, quite frankly I have a CRAP TON of stuff to do.  However, I mainly do these book reviews so that I hold MYSELF accountable to making sure this resolution is a success.

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
By: Stieg Larsson  
Grade: A -

How Long Did it Take to Read: Approximately 3 weeks and I have to admit I read it at a pretty vigorous pace.  This is one of those books that you "can't put down."  I read a lot and often.  I would say if you're a slower reader (because I do read rather quickly) and if you don't have much time to read, it could easily take a month to finish.

Why I Read It: I've had MULTIPLE people recommend the book to me.  It has been on the top sellers for over a year now.  So when a friend let me borrow hers, I had to say yes.

First Thoughts: This book isn't a super easy read.  All the names of the characters are LONG and not familiar.  Therefore, I spent a lot of time going "who the heck is this guy again?"

Plot: This book is about a journalist who just lost a big lawsuit for libel.  In order to get away, and make some huge amounts of money, he takes on a dangerous assignment to find out who murdered a rich man's granddaughter.  This turns in to a really great mystery.

At the end: The main twist of the book takes place about 50 pages before the end.  The twist isn't something I didn't foresee, but there are still quite a few twists THROUGHOUT the book that make you want to keep turning.  It's kind of like the show 24 ... but in writing!

Why an A-: I originally didn't like this book too much after I finished.  But now that I read a couple other books after this one, I had to bump up the grade.  The writing is actually really great and I don't think this author INTENDED for his book to become a movie (a pet peeve of mine).  The plot is complicated and rich.  I didn't give it an A for ONE reason.  The main two characters end up sleeping together.  I SO wish they wouldn't have done this.  The two main characters are polar opposites that range 30 years in age.  I wish they would have had the relationship remain platonic and almost like a father daughter relationship.  I find it endearing and admirable when an author can catch my attention without sex being involved.

Conclusion: This really is a darn good book.  The characters, for the most part, are well developed.  The story line is VERY detailed and although the story is a little dark in nature, you feel accomplished after finishing the book.  I would HIGHLY recommend that people read it.  This is a 3 part series and I've heard (from my Mommy) that the second one is her favorite. I might just have to read it some time this year.

The Confession
By: John Grisham
Grade: C

How Long did it Take to Read: About 2 1/2 weeks.  It's a VERY quick read.  I read it when I had 15 minutes to spare here and there.  I didn't ever really take a prolonged period of time to get through it.  It's a good one to skim through too.

Why I Read It: I've read practically every single John Grisham book out there.  He has impressed me before and has let me down as well, but when my Mom put this in my stocking for Christmas, I had to give it a try.

First Thoughts: The beginning was actually pretty fabulous.  It started off really making you think: "oooh, I wonder what's going to happen! I wonder if the guy in jail is actually guilty?  What's going to be the twist?!?!"

Plot:  This book is about a man, Donte Drumm who is on death row.  He has claimed his innocence throughout his 9 years in prison and his attorney, Robbie Flak believes his innocence probably more than anybody else in the world.  The day before the execution, Travis Boyette appears in a church and confesses to a minister that he was in fact the real killer.  The question is, will this come out in time to save Donte's life?

At the end: I was thoroughly disappointed.  The first 300 pages of the book were B+ quality.  Then, the BIG question (whether Donte's life will be saved) is revealed and the book DRAGS on for another 120 pages.  Nothing was accomplished.  I kept waiting, hoping, and praying for a big twist to make me say "AH this was the big moment" but it never came.  There was no big "woah, didn't see that coming!" moment.  The only moment that was semi like that didn't affect the story in the slightest.  It was very anticlimatic.

Why A C: Look above. The first 300 pages at least made it pass, but the last 120 were such a bummer.

Conclusion: If you haven't read a John Grisham book before, don't read this one.  Read the Pelican Brief, The Jury, or A Time To Kill.  Those books are fabulous.  I'm not sure that John Grisham really had a PURPOSE for writing this book.  He perhaps had a political agenda (against the death penalty) but it didn't make for a STORY. If he wanted to make a documentary or write an article, I would have respected that.  But just telling me what might happen without keeping me entertained for 120 pages?  Please. My time is too valuable Mr. Grisham.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read either book...and I have to say, I own all of Grishams...several (his latest) I haven't found time to read yet. Over the years, I think he has went more for the fact that he is author and can sell anything - than taking the time he did with his first novels and really make it a deep and great book.

    Thanks for the reviews!