The Girl Who Beat All Odds

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Recently I almost had a blog-related meltdown since I received a bunch of ARC's and e-galleys (via Netgalley) that weren't going to be published for a while. I was originally really excited to have such interesting things to blog about (one is a cute crafting book) but then I realized that I couldn't blog about them until at the earliest, late July.

I finally dragged myself off to the library, where I checked out some interesting books (stay tuned!) and found out that there was a e-book lending service. According to a study that I read, 76 percent of libraries have e-book lending services but 62 percent of patrons are not aware of such services. Include me into that 62 percent, since I didn't know about them either.(Pew Internet and American Life) That said, my local library doesn't do that good of a job advertising that such services are available...

I checked out the e-book lending service and was a little disappointed. The amount of books was a little on the low side for my taste, and it didn't have a lot of recently released books. However, I did manage to place holds on a couple of interesting books, including The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Girl With Dragon Tattoo

I'm finally hopping on the bandwagon, even though I've known about the books way before the movies (both American and Swedish) came out. I first knew about the books because of a TIME magazine article about Steig Larsson and the magazine wrote it in such a way that it sounded like the novels were going to be the next big thing, which they ended up becoming. Later, TIME published an article about the Swedish version of the movie, praising Noomi Rapace and mentioning that there was going to be an American reboot. Fast forward to last year, and Vogue magazine had done a cover article about Rooney Mara, who was the American actress for Lisbeth Salander, the main character in the novel.

From the articles, I had gathered a three of facts about the story.

1. Lisbeth was raped, which is detailed in a graphic scene in the novel.
2. Lisbeth has a relationship with a man who is old enough to be her father.
3. The book is very dark.

I thought about the three facts and I did not like any of the three facts. Fact number three I could deal with, but the others? Not so much.

However, with the release of the American movie, my classmates sneaking in to watch the movie (or something similar like that) and half the runways featuring models with black bowl cut hair, I knew something was up.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a mystery/thriller/crime novel that centralizes around a mystery that happened 36 years ago (in book time). The niece of a rich mangoes missing, and the man, Henrik Vanger, is sure that his niece was killed by one of his relatives. He hires Mikael Bloomkvist, a journalist that is facing libel case. Vanger knows that Bloomkvist cannot decline his offer since Bloomkvist is facing prison time and hefty fines, a sure demise to Bloomkvist's career. Along the way, Bloomkvist hires Lisbeth Salander, a twenty something young woman who is exceptionally good at investigating people. Needless to say, the characters find that the case isn't just a simple whodunit case.

The beginning of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was slow, in part due to the introduction of the characters. Most of the main characters are introduced, in their natural habitat, and it's a little dry. The real drama picks up nearly 100 pages into the novel (in my e-book edition), with the mystery. In between, there's a lot of politics and abuse undertones, which are explored. The darkness of the book, rape, abuse, murder, etc can be sure turnoffs for the book, however the novel is put together in such a way that the novel is more compelling to read.

The novel does not just stop when the mystery is solved (which is 100 pages [in my e-book edition] before the actual ending of the book) which is nice. [Potential Spoiler] The last 100 pages deals with the aftermath of Bloomkvist's career and how gets revenge against the person who nearly destroyed his journalism career.

End of spoiler. Anyhow, I liked how Lisbeth Salander was such a strong character and how she was portrayed. Lisbeth Salander is like a giant bag of flaws, since she's anti-social, abused, raped, institutionalized, etc, but it's from these flaws that she's made a compelling and unique character.

Though some scenes were borderline nightmarish, I am excited (and will place a hold for) the next novels in the trilogy.

Oh yes, don't forget to check if your library has a e-book lending service!

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