Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Series I’ve Given up on

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week we’re given a new prompt for a top ten list of all things bookish. This week is top ten series I gave up on or do not plan to finish. This is going to be a bit of a challenge for me because I rarely give up on books. So let’s see what I can come up with this week. Okay, so after coming up with an insufficient list I’ve decided I’m going to do a few series that I will definitely be finishing, but haven’t managed to get around to it yet.

ttt 1. House of Night by P.C and Kristen Cast – This series just had so many books. It got to the point where it was hard to keep up with the story and when new books came out. So I just stopped trying to stay on top of it. Now they’re coming out with books again and I just don’t think I’ll ever get around to rereading them all.
2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – I read the first four books in this series. I borrowed them from Antonia’s mom. But I ended up losing the fourth book and by the time I bought a new copy she had caught up to me and needed the books back for her to read them. I may eventually pick this series up again, but I have no real burning desire to do so anytime soon.
3. The Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn – These books were another series that I had a hard time keeping up with. There are so many books and I just lost track of which ones I’ve read and still need to read. I may pick them up again because I did really like the books, but it’s not high on my priority list.
4. The Women’s Murder Club by James Patterson – Once again, too many books coming out to keep track of. I will eventually read these again because they’re easy mystery reads but it won’t be anytime soon.
5. The Princess series by Alexa Riley – I just was not impressed by these books. I think I only read the first and part of the second before giving up.
6. The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard – The final book in the series came out recently and I’d like to reread the whole series. When am I going to do that? Eventually, my TBR list seems to just keep growing instead of getting smaller.
7. The Talon series by Julie Kagawa – Again, the final book in this series was finally released and I’m planning to reread the entire series, eventually.
8. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld – A few weeks ago, I learned that the third book, Nexus, was released sometime last year and I didn’t even realize. So I need to buy this and get around to finishing the series.
9. Millennium series by Stieg Larsson / David Lagercrantz – Literally just now while looking for books to add to this post learned that another book has been released in this series. I will read it, but when I get around to it and who knows when that will be.
10. Shadow Falls series by C.C. Hunter – I finished the main series of these books; I actually own all of them. But there’s a few spin-off series with other characters that I haven’t managed to get around to reading yet, but I definitely plan to.

This is my top ten for this week! What series have you given up on?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web – David Lagercrantz

She is the girl with the dragon tattoo- a genius hacker and uncompromising misfit. He is a crusading journalist whose championing of the truth often brings him to the brink of prosecution.
Late one night, Blomkvist receives a phone call from a source claiming to have information vital to the United States. The source has been in contact with a young female super hacker- a hacker resembling someone Blomkvist knows all too well. The implications are staggering. Blomkvist, in desperate need of a scoop for Millennium, turns to Salander for help. She, as usual, has her own agenda. The secret they are both chasing is at the center of a tangled web of spies, cybercrimials, and governments around the world, and someone is prepared to kill to protect it…
The duo who captivated millions of readers in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest join forces again in this adrenaline-charged, uniquely of-the-moment thriller.
I started this book very skeptical. I really loved the first three books in the Millennium series, but this fourth book, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, is a continuation of this series, but it’s written by a different author. I really wanted to read it because I’ve become very attached to these characters but I wasn’t convinced it would be as good as the first three Millennium books. While I was partially right, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I did enjoy reading The Girl in the Spider’s Web.
The new author, David Lagercrantz, wrote about these characters perfectly. Salander was still portrayed with her with the fiery passion she is known for. In this book, she outdoes herself by hacking the NSA in hopes to find information on the continued operation of the criminal organizations her father started while doing this she finds so much more. This is when Blomkvist comes into the story. He gets a call from a source who wants to give him a story. This source feels that his life is in danger and needs to give his knowledge to someone if anything were to happen to him. Sadly he is killed before Blomkvist can make it to him. And so starts another one of Blomkvist’s crazy scoops.
One of the things I didn’t like about this book was the way it started. The story starts off with Millennium being down and had recently sold shares to a big corporation that had ulterior motives to change the magazine and to get Blomkvist off the staff. While I can understand that The Girl in the Spider’s Web takes place quite a few years after The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s nest, so many things have changed and it almost seems as if they didn’t really do anything in the time between these two books. If so many years have passed it would be reasonable that Blomkvist could have and should have come up with another story in that time. Maybe not nearly as crazy as the stories he finds in these books, but I find it hard to believe that he found so little that the magazine was having trouble staying afloat. That just doesn’t seem reasonable to me.
On the other hand, something I really liked about this book was the villain. I’m going to try not to give anything away because the identity of the villain is definitely a huge plot twist that I didn’t see coming. They brought yet another person from Lisbeth’s past into the mix. And it is indeed very crazy. I also see Lagercrantz writing another book to the series. I have a strong feeling he’s not done with this villain’s story. I don’t think the Millennium series will be able to be over until Lisbeth defeats all of her demons.
I definitely liked this book; maybe not as much as the first three in the Millennium series, but Lagercrantz did a very good job with the characters I’ve come to love and added yet another crazy plot twist to their stories. I can’t wait to see where the next book if there is one, will take us. If you read the first three books in this series you should give the forth a chance, it absolutely surprised me.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along, answer the following three questions and share a link to your post in the comments on her page. Enjoy!

What are you currently reading?

Well, as I just posted my review to The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson I’m not currently reading anything thankfully because as I mentioned in my review, it’s WAY past my bed time. But I figured I might as well do my WWW Wednesday since it is technically Wednesday already.

What did you recently finish reading?

Please see my answer to the last question. I’ve been obsessed with rereading the Millennium series and have reviewed three books in the past week, so check them out.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I will be starting The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz tomorrow while I spend my day off at the DMV. This is a forth book in the Millennium series that has come out recently, but it’s by a different author,  because sadly Stieg Larsson passed away. So I’m very much anticipating this next book to see if it lives up to the first three. Don’t worry, you guys will hear all about it once I finish reading it.

What are your answers to these questions?

Happy Wednesday readers!

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – Stieg Larsson

Lisbeth Salander-the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels-lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge-against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.
Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.
So, I’m writing this review while it is considerably past my bedtime, but I knew I wouldn’t end up writing it if I just went to bed. I was going to try to save some for the hours I’m going to spend sitting at the DMV tomorrow, but that didn’t happen. Once I got about halfway through I knew I was going to stay up way too late finishing The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest the third in the Millennium trilogy.
The third book in the Millennium series was by far my favorite, which I’m pretty sure I said about The Girl Who Played with Fire, but I was wrong. This third book was so much crazier than the second or the first. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest was a wonderfully written wrap up of Lisbeth’s Salander’s crazy complicated story.
Lisbeth remained her every passionate determined self. Though, she played a significantly smaller role in the action of this book. Yes, she was the main focus of pretty much every single character; it was the supporting characters that did most of the legwork on her behalf. I really enjoyed seeing Lisbeth have to take a step back and actually let other people in her life help her. After being shot and on the brink of death she remains in the hospital for most of the pages in the book. Once she’s released from the hospital she is arrested and put into jail until her court trial. So the important parts were left up to the people she struggled to admit were her friends.
Of course, Mikael Blomkvist was the head of this party that he called The Knights of the Idiot Table, a group of people who all dearly care about Lisbeth and were all determined to prove her innocence and not let her get utterly screwed by the system once again. I love Mikael even more in this book because of his passion for exposing the truth, in this case for several people that he genuinely cares about. He seems to have a knack for finding information that is going to completely blow the population of Sweden out of the water. In this case, it was Lisbeth’s story of her constitutional rights completely disregarded by a group of intelligence agents that there was no trace of in the Security Police. He tends to stumble upon ridiculously helpful leads and always seems to find exactly the right person to talk to in order to find out what is really going on. I greatly admire his passion for seeking the truth and defending those that he cares about.
Other than the characters, which there are way too many to talk about individually; you’ll just have to read the books to love them like I do, the part I enjoyed the most about this book was the fact that in the end, justice prevailed like it should have from the beginning. The truth of the hidden government lies comes out in the end regardless of how hard the accused people try to keep it under wraps. They even go as far as murder and are the reason that Lisbeth was committed when she was only a thirteen-year-old girl. There are others in this same Security Police that have their attention brought to what’s going on within their agency. These select few others are appalled and determined to get to the bottom of the mystery of who these rogue agents are and how they’re getting away with their horrendous actions. I really enjoyed reading the police investigate the police. Following them as they learn what’s really going on, even though we have most of the facts already, is so intriguing to me.
I’ve always loved murder mysteries, not that I’m sure I would consider this third book a murder mystery. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is mostly about Lisbeth getting the justice she fully deserves. I loved every descriptive page that Larsson gave us in the third book of Lisbeth Salander’s story. The first fifty pages or so was definitely a bit of slow reading while we got the whole history and character introductions of all the crooks that we needed to know about in the Security Police, but Larsson’s descriptions were still very interesting. I never lost interest, which I have a tendency to do with some books that have too much backstory descriptions. So as I did the last two books, you should definitely go to your local library or any bookstore near you to get this series so that you can experience the rollercoaster that I’ve been on this past week in the pages of the Millennium series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

The Girl Who Played with Fire – Stieg Larsson

Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing expose on social injustice. The Girl Who Played with Fire is a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel.
Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, two people are brutally murdered, and the fingerprints on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past.
The first part of the description on the back of this book is entirely false. This novel was not endlessly satisfying. It ends with a wicked cliffhanger, though you can assume that everything will be okay because there is another book after this one, but still. I have a love-hate relationship with cliffhangers. If I have the next book it’s mostly okay, which thankfully I do have The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.
I think I enjoyed reading this book more than the first. The Girl Who Played with Fire was so much more exciting starting from the first page. It was much easier to get into because I was already familiar with most of the characters, though I learned in these pages that I didn’t know them as well as I thought. I really liked the fact that the author writes in so many different perspectives. We get to see every aspect of the story and what’s happening in it. He’s wonderfully descriptive and that just sucks me into the story so much more.
I learned so much more about Lisbeth Salander in this book. Every time I learned something new I had to stop for a minute and process. She is by far my favorite character in this series. She is such a complex human and only gets more complex the more we learn about her. She starts the book off traveling around the world carrying a math textbook with her. That was the only hard part to read. I’m definitely not a math person, but reading about her and the way she thinks about the problems was fascinating. She has a photographic memory, but also a determination to understand what she’s reading rather than just remembering the answers. She never does anything she doesn’t want to, as I said in my review of the first book, and that is only reinforced in this one. She has acquired a large sum of money through not totally legal means. She uses this money to make her life significantly better. When she comes back from her travels her life explodes. She goes into hiding and we don’t see things from her point of view for quite a few pages, which drove me nuts with the suspense.
Mikael Blomkvist continues to be a hard-hitting journalist through this book. He’s approached about the opportunity to publish a book about sex trafficking and the fact that it’s not taken seriously by the Swedish government. He’s hesitant at first, but between Dag Svensson, the author of the book, and Erika Berger, one of the other partners at Millennium, he is convinced that if it is to be done, it should be done by them. So they plan a themed magazine for May and at the same time, continue to work on Dag’s book. When all the craziness that’s in this book starts Blomkvist’s passion for the investigation comes out again, he’s determined to prove that Lisbeth is innocent, despite what everyone else is saying about her.
Dag is in a relationship with Mia Johnansson who is studying to be a criminologist and is currently working on her thesis. Her work goes along similar lines to what Dag is writing his book about, but she focuses more on the girls and how they come to be in the sex trade and where things go from there. Through their work together and their work with Millennium, Bombkvist became good friends with the couple. I really liked the couple. They were both dedicated to what they were working on and had a real passion to help these girls and to change the way the Swedish government handles things of this nature.
It was such a shock when the couple is brutally murdered. I literally had to put my book down and freak out to my boyfriend because I couldn’t believe it had just happened. From there the story just gets crazier. Lisbeth is accused of the murders and a third that happened within a close time frame because her fingerprints were found on the weapon. The weapon belonged to her guardian. The media goes crazy with accusations, especially with Lisbeth’s very dramatic history. That was the only part of this book that made me really mad. That everyone that didn’t personally know Lisbeth judged her so immediately and harshly because of a past that was missing quite a few important details. Though the police think her the first suspect and spend enormous amounts of time out looking for Lisbeth, the more evidence they find in this case the more doubt they have that she was involved in the murders. That kind of balanced out the media craziness for me. While yes, the police thought her the prime suspect, they listened to all the evidence they were getting and did eventually figure things out.
The Girl Who Played with Fire was filled with chaos and suspense and never-ending questions up until the very last pages. There are so many investigations going on to solve the murders and others to solely prove Lisbeth’s innocence. I loved the loyalty that was shown to Lisbeth from those few people that she does let into her life. Larsson has a way to pull you in and make you very attached to the characters. I loved every page and I’m very excited to start The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest as soon as I post this review. So far I’ve liked this series very much. If you like murder mysteries this will definitely be your type of series, so go to your local library or bookstore and get them and read them and love them like I do.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson

Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into a complex and atmospheric novel.
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 iniquity and corruption.
This is the second time I’ve read this book. The first time I read it was after several months of owning it. I was on an airplane and brought it with me to force myself to read it. I remember liking it very much the first time. This time reading it is because there has been a fourth book that came out recently which has motivated me to reread the entire series. I’m very glad I did.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an incredibly written book. It was first written in Swedish and translated into English once it became more popular. Because it’s a translated book much of the book takes place in Sweden and many of the names are very difficult to pronounce. I think that just makes it all the more interesting. I don’t know a whole lot about Sweden so I was very intrigued.
This book starts off with so many different backstories that it’s almost confusing. Several different characters are introduced in the first half of the book and even more are introduced when Mikael Blomkvist takes a new temporary job. It takes almost too long for some of the characters introduced to meet and because I’ve read it before, I know that they do and it made me anticipate their meeting. I love how detailed the book is. We are given so much information on these people that we’re not totally sure how they will connect to one another. As you read the book you learn more about the characters then what the characters know about each other. That’s something I love about being the reader; those details that the author gives us that no one in the story knows. I think it adds suspense because you’re wondering if/when will the other characters learn those things and sometimes they never do. That was the case in this book with a few details. The beginning of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is filled with many minute details that become important the further you read into the book.
The characters become more and more complex as you read. Blomkvist starts off as the main character. He’s a financial journalist, which is something I didn’t know was a thing until I read these books. Stieg Larsson makes it sound almost exciting. I really like Blomkvist because he’s very passionate about what he does. It may not be all that exciting in real life, but he has a specific set of morals that he tries to stick to and I really loved that about him. Throughout these pages, his morals are really tested and sometimes even disregarded to benefit other characters he’s grown to care about. His life is very interesting. Between his job and the women, he chooses to bring into his life. He seems to be good at finding himself in very interesting situations. The book starts off with his life seemingly falling apart. We get to follow him as he tries to put it back together. There are many situations that I never saw coming. That’s something I like when I read. I love to be surprised. I love the crazy plot twists and trust me, this book had a few.
I’ll move onto the Vanger family next. There are entirely too many members to discuss them individually. Henrik Vanger sees himself as the most normal in the family. I can definitely agree with that after finishing the book. He’s on the brink of obsessed with the mystery of his niece’s, Harriet, disappearance almost forty years ago. He hired Blomkvist to see if the journalist can discover anything new about this mystery. The rest of the family thinks that Blomkvist is there to write a historical novel about the family. It’s better that way. Once the family starts finding out why he’s really there they start to create problems for the journalist. Most members of the Vanger family really annoyed me. They all just seem really petty and bitter over stupid little things. One member, Harold, hates his daughter because she had a relationship with someone that was partially Jewish. At one point he blatantly calls her a whore. This is on the lighter side of the insanity that is the Vanger family. The things that are learned about this family just escalate the further into the book you read. I won’t give details because that will just spoil things and you really should just read this craziness.
Then there’s Lisbeth Salander. She is portrayed by the Swedish government as crazy, but I really think that’s the last thing she is. She, like Blomkvist, is extremely passionate about what she cares about. Though, she doesn’t seem to care about much until closer to the end of the book. Lisbeth is an extremely creative girl that seems to like a challenge. Once she sets her mind to something you should just step out of her way before she runs right over you, or ties you to a bed and tattoos you, as she does in this book. I think Lisbeth is my favorite out of everyone I met in these pages. She, again like Blomkvist, sticks to her morals. While her morals are much looser than his. She isn’t one to back down from a fight. She can acknowledge when she’s lost but guaranteed she will come back for round two without you even knowing there is a round two. She’s a badass chick and I’m excited to read more about her in the next book.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The descriptions of all the different settings were awesome. I loved getting to know the Vanger family, even if most of them are batshit crazy. These characters really grew on me, and I’m very excited to see where the next book takes me. This book was turned into a movie that I’m sure many of you have heard of. I’ve seen the movie and as usual, it can’t compare to the book at all. If you like crazy suspenseful murder mystery mixed with hints of a very complicated love story, this is a great book for you.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!