Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Review... Return to Tradd Street

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For March's Beta Book Club meeting we chose to read Return to Tradd Street by Karen White.  This book was the 4th in the Tradd Street series and since our book club had read the previous three, we decided to give this one a go. The three previous books in the series were books that I really enjoyed so I was super excited to start reading this one!  I wish I hadn't been so excited about it, because well I was really disappointed in this one .

The Tradd Street Series follows the life of Melanie Middleton as she learns to embrace her "special powers" and use them for good in her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.  Each of the previous Tradd Street books had a mystery that Melanie had to use her powers to solve... sometimes with the help of her mother or some of the ghosts she encounters.  These books are usually full of mystery and intrigue and they leave you wanting more.  This time around the book just annoyed me.

In Return to Tradd Street, Melanie finds herself pregnant with her now ex-boyfriend's child.  Melanie who in the other books had seemed like such a strong female protagonist now finds herself being almost "bullied" by her mother, best friend, maid, etc. all because of her being pregnant.  They are dictating what she should eat, how hard she should work, etc. and Melanie never really seemed to stand up for herself.  That was not the Melanie Middleton that I had come to love in the previous books!  Melanie also seems to let Jack get his way too much in this book as well... I know that deep down she really loved him, but at times he was such a jerk to her and she did nothing to fight back.  I get that it was part of their relationship, or at least that was how Karen White wanted their relationship to look, but it really just made me mad.

There was also a lot of extra "fluff" in this book.  I felt as though some of the characters had no business being brought into this book because well they really did nothing for the story line.  Take Melanie's cousin Rebecca for instance... she was in a couple of the other books as she had a "power" like Melanie and she used her power to help Melanie out.  In this book Rebecca came off as a really snooty person who was there to just be mean to Melanie.... and there really was just no point to her character being around.  I really didn't understand the point of why she was there and I found myself angry that Rebecca even made an appearance.

I also did not enjoy the "mystery" part of this book.  In all of the books there has been a mystery that Melanie has had to solve in order to help the ghosts go into the light to be able to rest in peace.  This mystery was just lacking.  Sure they found another dead body in Melanie's house... but the suspense of the mystery just wasn't there.

Overall this was definitely my least favorite of the Tradd Street series, but I am glad that I read it.  I doubt that there will be any more books in the series as it seems like Karen White tied up all loose ends in this book, and I can't say that I will be upset if this series ends here.  I won't count Karen White out though as an author because I have read some other books by her that I have absolutely adored!

Can't wait for our next Beta Book Club meeting and to be able to discuss whatever book we end up reading next!!

Today I am thankful that I have a group of sorority sisters who love to read as much as I do.  I love that we can get together to discuss books in a constructive setting.  I love that despite our different opinions we have great conversations about the books that we read.  It is amazing to be able to get together with a bunch of women who are all in different stages of our lives and have a great time like we are all back in college getting together in the cafeteria to discuss our previous night out... only now we meet at bars and discuss books!

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