What I have been reading...

Trema's bookshelf: read

Messenger
Gathering Blue
Sickened: The Memoir of a Munchausen by Proxy Childhood
The Giver
Graveminder
Child of Grace
Survivor
Homefront
The Silent Girl: A Novel
Schooled
The One Who Waits for Me
Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy
Room
The Blind in Darkness
Haunted Kids: True Ghost Stories (Haunted Kids)
Like the Willow Tree: The Diary of Lydia Amelia Pierce, Portland, Maine, 1918


Trema's favorite books »
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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Review: Damaged

Damaged
by Cathy Glass

Quote:  " If I'm going to be able to meet this child's needs, I replied, ' it's important that I'm given all the relevant information. Could you check and get back to me, please?" pg. 63

started: Feb. 23, 2012
finished: Feb. 25, 2012

From the cover:
A deeply moving story of how one foster carer's profound patience and love unlocked a little girl's darkest, most painful secrets
 Cathy Glass had fostered fifty children over twenty years but none of them had been as disturbed as Jodie, a troubled eight-year-old whose violence and aggression had seen off five foster carers in just four months. When Jodie arrived, Cathy had no idea what lay beneath Jodie's shocking behavior, which included smearing feces all over the house, erupting into violent rages and even cutting herself. Little by little, as Jodie's rage was met with patience and understanding, she began to trust Cathy, and to confide the dreadful background which had led to her present torment.

My Review:
Wow! This book was one of the best and worst books I think I have ever read!
It is such an amazing story. I will say first off that it holds nothing back as far as details in what this precious child encountered. As hard as it was to read and get through this book, thinking of how much worse it must have been to actually live through it all. I can only pray that more people continue to do the work of Cathy Glass and more people become aware of the very real life horrors and evil that are around each of us. I will definitely be reading some of the other books written by Cathy Glass 
She continues to be a foster carer in the UK and also has many books written on different children/cases she has lived with over the years. as well as many books devoted to helping others and also family living books.
I give Damaged 5 stars!

Review: Fever 1793

Fever 1793
by 
Laurie Halse Anderson

Quote: " She won't settle until you are gone. She doesn't want you here. She's afraid you'll get sick." ~ Eliza pg. 73

started: Feb. 14, 2012
finished: Feb. 16, 2012

From the cover:
  During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out.
 Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie's world upside down. At her feverish mother's insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. but she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.

My Review:  
  Although this book was written for younger readers, I found it very well written and very educational. There are several references to real people and how this epidemic was dealt with. I liked that it dealt with real events and very believable situations. The author did a wonderful job of writing it as to where you could put yourself in Mattie's shoes. I felt like I was experiencing these events with her. It shows very well how families are split and you have to make hard, painful decisions to help in the survival of the ones you love and pray that you have the strength to save yourself!
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in history or early american events.
All in all, this was a wonderful little book. 5 stars!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Review: Love Finds You..in Sugarcreek, Ohio

Love Finds You...
in Sugarcreek, Ohio
by Serena B. Miller

Quote: " This isn't our home Bobby. We have to move on."~ Joe pg. 51

started: Feb 10, 2012
finished: Feb. 13, 2012

From the cover:
 Policewoman Rachel Troyer has always looked after her three elderly Amish aunts, proprietors of a farmhouse inn near Sugarcreek, Ohio. The idyllic town is popular with tourists, who come to sample its famous Amish goods. But one thing is clear to Rachel- Joe Matthews is no tourist. When the bearded stranger lands on her aunts' doorstep, begging shelter for himself and his young son, Rachel is suspicious. Will she be able to uncover Joe's secrets despite her aunts'- and her own- growing affections for him?

My Review:
  I loved this book. I think it would have to be a combination of the Amish, which I truly enjoy learning about, the fact that it is set in Ohio, and the great story line that includes crime, devotion, and Christianity. This book was very heartfelt and so warm. I have learned that Sugarcreek is in fact a real place and now am planning a spring trip to visit. Although the characters and story are fiction, I feel it is an accurate description of the town and people.
I really liked Rachel's protective side. It shows how devoted and compassionate she is despite her hard, policewoman side. She is, either way a "go get em'" type. She doesn't wait around for others to figure things out or pass the job off to another. I feel this shows the hard work ethics and dedication one may get from growing up in an Amish setting. 
  I will give this book 4.5 stars

Friday, February 17, 2012

Review: Haunted Waters

Haunted Waters
by May Pope Osborne

Quote: " There are questions you have never asked, Lord Huldbrand. There are worlds you have never imagined."~ Undine

Started: Feb. 5, 2012
Ended: Feb. 9, 2012

From the cover:
As I came close to the water, I saw a figure lying on the bank: Undine. Her white gown spread about her, she looked like a gull with broken wings.
   Her face was hidden as I ran toward her. I reached out to touch her, and suddenly the phantom's screech split the twilight- and i found myself reaching for nothing at all. Undine had evaporated into the air! I ran like a madman, slipping, crawling, clawing my way through the marsh reeds. My mind reeled with terror- was Undine herself now a demon? Had the monster taken her shape?

My Review:  I didn't hate this book. I simply didn't get it! Honestly, as I came to the end, all I kept thinking was...Yea, and....
It's not that I didn't enjoy the story, I think it just kind of rambled into a list of "what's next" that never got answered. I never felt like the story ended any of the topics it started. 
**SPOILERS**
My questions left are:
1. What was she?
2. How did Lord Huldbrand really get onto the shore?(was it a storm? shipwreck? magic?)
3. Where did Undine come from? (Hell, the sea, a hybrid of sea and human)?
4. Why was the forest against humans/mortals?
5. Why didn't her father come back for her before she married a mortal?
6. Why was she abandoned and raised by humans?
7. Why did she come back for him only when he was going to marry another?
8. Did he really fall in love with her or was it a spell?
I'm not sure I got the story. I only learned that this was a spin-off of a mythological legend after reading the book. Still, after trying to do much research on the original, I haven't really learned anything new or answered any of my questions.  Maybe some will understand this more than I did.
My rating is 2 stars. It was just too unfinished for me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

TBR list(2)

So, here it is. Another TBR list. I have over 300 books listed on my Goodreads account and while I have been called a "fast reader", it's going to take some time to get caught up. Especially if I keep finding, buying, hearing about and getting recommendations for more great books everyday! I have been trying really hard to get all my library books read first and keep up on my reviews also.
I'm only going to list the next 4 books I will  hope to be reading. Any order, somehow, sometime I WILL get them read!
Happy reading!

(sorry, it's so blurry)




Review: Messenger

Messenger
by Lois Lowry

Quote: "Someone is coming to help us," she said. "It's the man with the blue eyes."~ Kira

started: Feb.1, 2012
finished: Feb. 3, 2012

From the cover:
For the past six years, Matty has lived in Village and flourished under the guidance of Seer, a blind man, known for his special sight. Village was a place that welcomed newcomers, but something sinister has seeped into the Village and people have voted to close it to outsiders.  Matty has been invaluable as a messenger. Now he must make one last journey through the treacherous forest with his only weapon, a power he unexpectedly discovers within himself.

My review:
I loved this little MG trilogy. If you haven't read all 3 you will not understand the "big picture". These books were meant to be read together. Each "story" gives you a little more into the whole. I really like the message. While this book is listed as dystopian or fantasy, I see it as a christian book. I know some will strongly disagree, and I'm alright with that. To each their own and,  isn't that part of the joy of reading anyway? To have different opinions on the same books(sometimes).
So, I feel like Forest is God. It isn't evil it is simply reminding the people that it is in control. When people started "trading" and the "sin" was known, Forest took action. 
I think Lois Lowry wanted us to see that each of us have a talent or gift and there sometimes is a need for it at a specific time. Some of us discover our talents by our own doing while others(as in Gathering Blue with Kira), it is known from a young age, noticed by others first. In the Giver, Jonas is given a job and then "trained" to use his gift. With Thomas, Kira and Jo being taken to a secluded place, almost a prison, I feel sometimes we do get "stuck" in our talents or "jobs". We feel we aren't usable for anything but what we have been trained to do. We feel as though our "captors" while with good intentions, sometimes try to control us.
     Through these books we learn that there are rules and limits for a reason, but with free will, we sometimes get off track or make a bad decision that will effect many people or even the environment. However you interpret these books I hope it brought you joy and at least made you think outside the box.
I would give this book(and the trilogy) 4 stars!
Here is a direct link to Lois Lowry's web page and books, enjoy!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Review: Gathering Blue

Gathering Blue
by Lois Lowry

Quote: 
" She was imperfect. And fatherless as well. She should not have been kept." ~ Vandara  pg. 26

started: Jan 28, 2012
Finished: Jan. 31, 2012

From the cover:
  Kira straightened her shoulders and spoke. She held her voice steady and tried to meet the eyes of each woman in turn. Some lowered their gaze and looked at the ground. That was good. It meant they were weak.
" You know that in a village conflict that could bring death, we must go to the Council of Gaurdians," Kira reminded them. She heard some murmurs of assent. Vandara's hand still gripped the rock, and her shoulders were tense, preparing to throw.
 Kira looked directly at Vandara but she was speaking to the others now, in need of their support. She appealed not to their sympathy, because she knew they had none, but to their fear.
 " Remember that if conflict is not taken to the Council of Gaurdians, and there is a death..."
 She heard a murmur. "If there is a death..." she heard a woman repeat in an uncertain, apprehensive voice.
 Kira waited. She stood as tall and straight as she could.
 Finally a woman in the group completed the words of the rule. " the causer-of-death must die."


My Review:
 This is the second book of The Giver trilogy. While the 3 books only seem to relate vaguely, they do have a similar message in all.  In this book, Kira is the main focus. She is the "chosen" or main character. She is a young girl who although accustomed to her "black-sheep" lifestyle is learning that there is more to her and who she is than she could have imagined. One day unsure of her future or even if she will have one, and then suddenly it is all decided for her. Her opinion, hopes or wishes are not acknowledged. That is not their concern. What she can do for them is what matters.
I really enjoyed this "middle" book. While the utopia/controlled world  is related to the previous book it does have it's own story.
I would give it 4 stars!

Review: The Giver

The Giver
by Lois Lowry

Quote: "We celebrated a release this morning, and that always throws the schedule off a little, so things get backed up."~ Dad

Started: Jan. 22, 2012
Finished: Jan.24, 2012

From the cover:  
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community.
 When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now it's time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

My Review:
I'm not usually big on the whole fantasy genre, but this book was more than that to me. I will say I have a "thing" for the "what-if" types of stories. What if this really was life? What if there were other places? Things we know nothing about. I really enjoyed this wonderful little book and the 2 books that follow. It is a great story that really makes you think about and appreciate the gift of free will. At the same time we learn that without pain there is no true joy. Without heartache, struggle and trials we cannot truly enjoy and appreciate the blessings and opportunities we have. 
I look at this book as "Community" being the parent and all the people are its children. It is a safe place to keep our children naive and oblivious to the dangers and pain we try to protect them from. We tend to think if they don't know it's there, it can't hurt them.
I give this book all 5 stars!!!



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Review: Sickened

Sickened
A Memoir of a Munchausen by Proxy MBP childhood

By Julie Gregory

Quote: " Look, there has got to be something wrong with this kid, she can't even do one simple test. This has never happened before; she must have something seriously going on here. Can the doctor just please look at her?" ~ Mom  pg. 62
started: Jan. 25
finished: Jan 27, 2012

From the cover: 
A young girl is perched on the cold chrome of yet another doctor's examining table. Just twelve she is tall, skinny and weak. It's 4 o'clock and she hasn't been allowed to eat anything all day. Her mother on the other hand, seems curiously excited. She is about to suggest open- heart surgery on her child to " get to the bottom of this". She checks her teeth for lipstick and, as the doctor enters, shoots the girl a warning glance. The child will not ruin her plans.

My Review:
This book was a hard one to get through. Any dealing with child abuse, neglect or pain should be, in my opinion.  Julie Gregory makes you feel like you are there. The scenery and scenarios come to life. While most of the book Julie is the naive, immature, believing victim, she shows that with God's faith and love she had strength. A strength that she had all along but never knew. Through the blood, sweat, fear, broken bones,chaos, and confusion she survived. I really liked that it does have a "happy" ending, yet the scars will remain. 
A few things I didn't like were that she was so separated from her brother and other than a few trips back and forth(which were obviously hard) the book never really gives much of his feelings or opinions. Also, that her father was so cowardly toward the mother's behavior and also gullible.
My rating: 3 1/2 stars



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