and I've done a lot of reading.
Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Jennifer Crusie writes a good fluff book--and did even in her early days! Though the main character is hardly believable as a high school teacher (she misses a week plus of school and there's no mention of sub plans? I think NOT!), the plot and characters are, on the whole, interesting and lively. I have to confess I get Jennifer Weiner and Jennifer Crusie mixed up constantly--I'll think, "This is a good lead up to In Her Shoes," and then realize that Weiner wrote that one, not Crusie. . . . but they both are smart, funny, and literate.
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The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow. I sprinted through this one, helped by a few lovely days at the beach or on the front patio in my new lawn chair. I *did* skip around a little bit at the start when there is a LOT of information about politics/intelligence/history of Sweden. I had a pretty good grasp of what was up after the second "Girl Who" book, so I skipped over the sections the policy wonks might love. That said, the stuff was skippable! The story in general moved so fast that I just kept moving on, on, on to find out what happened.
SEMI-SPOILER ALERT: Interesting point: the first book is the most disturbing. Granted, there were some gross parts in #2 and certainly some violence and disgusting details in #3, but the sexual detail is much less disturbing. Still, Larsson creates such a sense of fear and foreboding that it took me quite a while to realize that things turned out okay. I could, of course, have become inured: considering that at one point in the book someone comes up with a tally of 8 murders in one place and that's before at least four more deaths, I could see some people protesting. I guess my final, overall statement would be that the whole "Girl Who--" series is excellent, highly-pitched, brilliantly plotted suspense.
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