My Latest Reads

Trema's bookshelf: read

Gathering Blue
Sickened: The Memoir of a Munchausen by Proxy Childhood
The Giver
Child of Grace
The Silent Girl: A Novel
The One Who Waits for Me
Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy
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 »

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: The Peach Keeper

The Peach Keeper
by Sarah Addison Allen

Quote: " We are friends, She's still here. I'm still here. And as long as we are, we'll always be friends." ~ Agatha pg. 130

Started: August 15, 2012
Finished: August 17, 2012
273 pages/ hardcover

From the cover:
Walls of Water, North Carolina, where the secrets are thicker than the fog from the town's famous waterfalls, and the stuff of superstition is just as real as you want it to be.
 It's the dubious distinction of thirty-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam- built by Willa's great-great-grandfather during Walls of Water's heyday, and once the town's grandest home- has stood for years as a lonely monument to misfortune and scandal. And Willa herself has long strived to build a life beyond the brooding Jackson family shadow. No easy task in a town shaped by years of tradition and the well-marked boundaries between the haves and the have-nots.
 But Willa has lately learned that an old classmate-socialite do-gooder Paxton Osgood, of the very prominent Osgood family- has restored the Blue Ridge Madam to her former glory, with plans to open a top-flight inn. Maybe, at last, the troubled past can be laid to rest while something new and wonderful rises from its ashes. But what rises instead is a skeleton, found buried beneath the property's lone peach tree, and certain to drag up dire consequences along with it. For the bones- those of charismatic traveling salesman Tucker Devlin, who worked his dark charms on Walls of water seventy-five years ago- are not all that lay hidden out of sight and mind. Long-kept secrets surrounding the troubling remains have also come to light, seemingly heralded by a spate of sudden strange occurrences throughout the town. Now, thrust together in an unlikely friendship, united by a full-blooded mystery, Willa and Paxton must confront the dangerous passions and tragic betrayals that once bound their families-and uncover truths of the long-dead that have transcended time and defied the grave to touch the hearts and souls of the living.
 Resonant with insight into the deep and lasting power of friendship, love, and tradition, The Peach Keeper is a portrait of the unshakable bonds that- in good times and bad, from one generation to the next-endure forever.

My Review: 
 This book was a nice easy read. It had great characters and a nice storyline. I enjoy books that are set in 2 different times and show lineage or different generations and how they are connected. Through hardships and joys these characters became real. Willa and Paxton learn to get past their high-school awkwardness between them and come together for a bigger purpose. They join together to un-expectantly and learn more than either could have dreamed. This book was magical, southern, chick-lit at the least. Add in a little crime, mystery, ...even romance. I like a little mix between the covers!
Great read!
*5 stars*

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review: The Weight of Silence

The Weight of Silence
by Heather Gudenkauf

Quote: " I did not misplace my daughter. We put her to bed at eight-thirty last night and when I awoke this morning she was not in her bed.~ Martin pg. 64

Started: Aug. 11, 2012
Finished: Aug. 14, 2012
paperback/373 pages

From the cover:
It happens quietly one August morning. As dawn's shimmering light drenches the humid Iowa air, two families awaken to find their little girls have gone missing in the night.
Seven-year-old Calli Clark is sweet, gentle, a dreamer who suffers from selective mutism brought on by tragedy that pulled her deep into silence as a toddler. Calli's mother, Antonia, tried to be the best mother she could within the confines of marriage to a mostly absent, often angry husband. Now, though she denies that her husband could be involved in the possible abductions, she fears her decision to stay in her marriage has cost her more than her daughter's voice.
Petra Gregory is Calli's best friend, her soul mate and her voice. But neither Petra nor Calli has been heard from since their disappearance was discovered. Desperate to find his child. Martin Gregory is forced to confront a side of himself he did not know existed beneath his intellectual, professional demeanor. 
Now these families are tied by the question of what happened to their children. And the answer is trapped in the silence of unspoken family secrets.

My Review: 
This is one of those books that I absolutely couldn't put down. From cover to cover awesomeness! It is the second book of Heather Gudenkauf's that I have read and I am more impressed with each read. 
Again, Gudenkauf writes each chapter from a character's point of view. I really think it helps keep things in order and show the story as a whole from different angles. Amazing story line and wonderful, very real, believable characters. this book could be made into a great movie or even a series book The Weight of Silence has just enough mystery, suspense and distant characters to keep you reading, guessing and discovering!
Total *5 stars*

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Review: Half Broke Horses

Half Broke Horses
by Jeannette Walls

Quote: " We're not so darned broke that we need our daughter digging around in someone's garbage for a two-sent bottle." ~ Jim pg. 160

Started: Aug. 8, 2012
Finished: Aug.11, 2012

Hardcover/272 pages

From the cover:
" Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did." So begins the story of Lily Casey Smith. Jeannette Wall's no-nonsense, resourceful, and spectacularly compelling grandmother. By age six, Lily was helping her father break horses. At fifteen, she left home to teach in a frontier town-riding five hundred miles on her pony, alone, to get her job. She learned to drive a car("I loved cars even more than I loved horses. They didn't need to be fed if they weren't working, and they didn't leave big piles of manure all over the place.") and fly a plane. And, with her husband, Jim, she ran a vast ranch in Arizona. She raised two children, one of whom is Jeannette's memorable mother, Rosemary Smith Walls, unforgettably portrayed in The Glass Castle.
  Lily survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy. She bristled at prejudice of all kinds-against women, Native Americans, and anyone else who didn't fit the mold. Rosemary Smith Walls always told Jeannette that she was like her grandmother, and in this true-life novel, Jeannette Walls channels that kindred spirit. Half Broke Horses is Laura Ingalls Wilder for adults, as riveting and dramatic as Isak Dinesen's Out of Africa or Beryl Markham's West with the night. Destined to become a classic, it will transfix readers everywhere.

My Review:
I loved this book from cover to cover. I could rarely put it down and when i wasn't reading it, i was thinking about it. This entire book was real! There was never a question of its accuracy. Walls did a wonderful job of retelling the life of her grandmother. I loved that it was written in first person and made you feel as if she herself were telling you a story, her story. This book included a few pictures of the actual characters, which was a wonderful addition. You could actually picture them living, doing the things she tells you about. From the adventure, blessings and tragedies, her life was real. She never sugar-coated how things were and how it made her who she was.
I only wish it had told more about her brother and possibly her own parents. It seems after moving away she had a faded relationship with them. although she does tell that she visited them roughly twice a year. I also felt that lil Jim got left out. I know he was away at school most of the time after a certain age. It just felt like there was too much emphasis on Rosemary(author's mother). Almost as if she were an only child. Otherwise it was a nice read.
 Awesome book!
* 4 stars*

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Review: The Unseen( Krewe of Hunters #5)

The Unseen
by Heather Graham

Quote: " Bodies with no names. and now a name with no body." ~ Logan Raintree pg. 101

Started: Aug. 4, 2012
Finished: Aug. 8, 2012

Hardcover/ 337 pages

From the cover:
1800s. San Antonio, Texas:  In room 207 at the Longhorn Saloon, in the long shadow of the Alamo itself, a woman renowned for her beauty was brutally murdered. Her killer was never found.
One year ago:  In that same historic room, another woman vanished without a trace. Her blood was everywhere...but her body was never recovered.
Now:  In the last month, San Antonio has become a dumping ground for battered bodies. All young women, many of them long missing, almost all forgotten. Until now.

Texas Ranger Logan Raintree cannot sit by and let his city's most vulnerable citizens be slain. So when he is approached to lead a brand-new group of elite paranormal investigators working the case, he has no choice but to accept the challenge. And with it, his powerful ability to commune with the dead.

Among Logan's new team is Kelsey O'Brien, a U.S. marshal known for her razor-sharp intuition and a toughness the belies her delicate exterior. Kelsey has been waiting all her life to work with someone who can understand her ability to "see" the past unfolding in the present. Now she has her chance.

Together, Kelsey and Logan follow their instincts to the Alamo and to the newly reopened Longhorn, which once tempted heroes with drink, cards and women. If the spirits of those long-dead Texans are really appearing to the victims before their deaths, only Kelsey and Logan have the skills to find out why.

And if something more earthly is menacing the city's oldest, darkest corners, only they can stop it- before more innocent women join the company of San Antonio's restless ghosts...

My Review:
I have to admit this is my first time reading Heather Graham. A friend of mine has been reading her books for quite awhile and I stumbled upon this one by chance. I loved it! I'm kinda bummed that I read this one first since it was her latest. Now my TBR list will go up by 5 more. I will have to start at the beginning of the Krewe of Hunters series. I can't wait to find out how it got started and learn more about Jackson Crowe, since he became a minimal character in this book.
I would compare this book to works of Tess Gerritsen, one of my favorite authors. Some similarities are: lots of characters, the crime, medical and paranormal/mythical feelings, the facts within the story, and the way the characters end up being connected throughout the events.
This story was very well written. I loved the suspense, the characters and all the elements it included. Mostly, I think I liked the history aspects of the story. I'm always excited when I can learn more historical facts, even when the book is fiction. It makes learning fun and keeps me interested. I will definitely be checking out more of Graham's work!
*5 stars*
Here is a link to Heather Grahams website including list of books:

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Review: Hidden

by Cathy Glass

Quote: " Isn't it incredible, when you think about the amount of paperwork that follows us around here, that they've managed to live with none of it and survive for five years?" ~ Cathy pg. 92

Started: July 20, 2012
Finished: August 4, 2012

paperback/ 350 pages

From the cover:
As soon as Tayo was brought to Cathy's home for placement, she was puzzled. The social worker had no records for Tayo: no school files, family history or medical records. It was as if Tayo didn't exist.
Tayo maintained strict silence when Cathy asked about his past. Only when she glimpsed a scar on his arm did Tayo's story gradually begin to unfold. Cathy learned of his abduction by his drink- and drug-dependent mother, and the sinister van with blackened windows that picked him up every morning at daybreak and ferried him across London.
In her twenty-three years as a foster carer, Cathy had never seen a case as horrific as Tayo's nor had she met a boy with such loyalty, inner resolve and strength.

My Review: 
Another great book from Cathy Glass. I really admire what she has done and continues to do. I am so glad she decided to write and share all the stories/cases with readers. she truly has seen some amazing children. It only validates the evil vs. good in this world. She gives us hope through her works that for some children there really is a light at the end of a dark tunnel. It Hidden she shows us how a child's mind works. how whether positive or negative the action is, children will follow by example. While luckily for Tayo, he did have a good start and held on to most of the basics, he was still influenced by his mother and his reactions showed this. Children are such wonderful creatures. It still is beyond me how anyone could choose to put their own child in danger for such selfish reasons. Addictions have such an effect on so many, rarely ever just the one abusing the substance. Sadly, something bad usually  has to happen before the abuse is addressed.
This is one more case of how many situations go unnoticed and unresolved for way too long. How many children suffer abuse and neglect before something triggers an alarm? Before the right person, situation or mistake make people aware! Hooray! for Cathy Glass and making us more aware!
* 5 stars*

Review: The List

The List
by Robert Whitlow

Quote:  " The inn hasn't changed much, and neither has the List, but something makes me think change is coming." ~ Eicholtz pg. 129

Started: July 9, 2012
Finished: July 19, 2012

paperback/ 394 pages

From the cover: 
Fresh out of law school and full of hope for the future, Renny Jacobson is stunned by his father's sudden death- and then by the terms of the will: the elder Jacobson has left the bulk of his considerable estate to charity. For his only son, he has left nothing more than the contents of a safe deposit box and interest in a company no one has ever heard of- the Covenant List of South Carolina, Ltd.
  When Renny, in rapid succession, encounters lovely Jo Johnston, meets the members of "The List" and discovers the staggering value of his father's mysterious bequest, his hope is resurrected. But why is Jo, to whom he is deeply attracted, so reluctant for him to claim his rightful share in the windfall?
  Against Jo's advice, Renny accepts his inheritance and discovers there is more to the Covenant List than meets the eye. "There is a power in the List," Renny's new business partners advise him. "Let us show you how to use it for your good."
  Renny feels the power of the 140-year-old covenant- feels it and wants it for himself. But when his life and Jo's begin to unravel, he is forced to face the truth: the power residing in the List is not a force for good, but for unimaginable evil...
  And nothing short of a miracle will save them from its grasp.

My Review:
 My first thought after finishing this book was.."reality check". It seriously is a wonderful, well written book. Again, while this is a work of fiction, it also has very real "emotional wars". Maybe it is God's way of putting things in the right place at the right time, or maybe it's just my way of dealing, coping. I'm going through a lot of my own "emotional wars" right now and this book was a great tool for me to review, rethink, and re-prioritize. While what I'm going through is far off from the plot to the book, we all have something we need help with. Some part of ourselves we are either unsure of or unhappy with. For many Christians we lapse, or even fail completely at letting God lead while we follow as we are taught to do. 
This book takes us through Renny's journey from the very beginning. For me it was a reminder that we aren't alone. Most will struggle with, question and even defy what is meant to be. Free will can be a very dangerous thing. Sometimes even more so for those unsure of so much in an evil world. 
Awesome book! 5 stars!


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