November 12, 2012

The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume by Lisa Rumsey Harris

At First Sight: As the current carrier of a gift that most often than not feels like a curse, Treasure Blume has always assumed that love was not in her future. Not when she had more than enough trouble getting a job, buying a car and generally making it through a day without people being outrageously rude to her. 

It's not her fault though, Treasure is a genuinely nice and caring person, but her "gift" makes it so that almost everyone takes a violent dislike to her as soon as they meet her - with the exception of really young children or the elderly - a dislike they could overcome, if they wanted to, but very few do.

So, Treasure has lead a rather unorthodox life, with the support of her older brother, her best friend Roxy, her parents and Grammy Blume, learning to put up with unfair treatment and unnecessary rudeness, hiding behind her crazy hair, awful sweater sets, polyester clothes and her job as a First Grade teacher. 

Love was not really something she was looking for or hoped to find until she met Dennis Cameron, the father of one of the little girls in her class. 

Trained as a chef, Dennis once had a very bright future in front of him as sous chef at a 4 star-restaurant in Las Vegas, but that was before he divorced and got full custody of his daughter Micaela, before his mother was diagnosed with cancer, before he slid down the kitchen totem pole and accepted a job as a Lunch Lady at Micaela's elementary school so he could be near her and have enough free time to care for her and his mom. 

Dennis is frustrated with his life, with his ex-wife and with his job serving crappy food to kids who don't care what they put in their mouths. He doesn't need to be dealing with his daughter's crazy teacher,  but he's intrigued by how much Micaela loves her kooky teacher even if him and Treasure didn't get off on the right foot. 

Second Glance: The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume its a hard book to summarize but it surprised me with how much I liked it. It starts fairly slow and it never really picks up speed, it's more of a slow-and-steady kind of read and I admit I almost DNFed by the second chapter because of the pace, but all too soon I found myself immersed in the narrative. 

Treasure is a very nice person, and she cares for her students and her family and it's always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty for them, and it's awful to see how badly she's treated by almost everyone she meets. Still, most days she tries to look on the bright side of things, counting her blessings. She's not overly bitter or mean because of her situation, she just takes it as is, hoping people will eventually grow to like her but not taking it personally when they don't. 

Dennis was a good guy too - though he complained a lot more than Treasure, and was a bit jerky from time to time. His frustration with the turns his life took was very real, and I could feel for him because despite how unhappy he was about some things, he would do everything all over again just to be there for his daughter and his mom. 

He is trying to find ways of copping with his new life when he finds Treasure, and slow as the process is, they do develop a friendship and an attraction and it was nice to see that, even though it all was very PG. 

There are a lot of secondary characters and plots, some which  I liked better than others - I really liked Randy, Treasure's brother and the little subplots about Treasure's students - but over all, I think it all added up to the story, even if the book did indulge in one of my personal pet peeves: chapters that go on forever. 

Bottom Line: The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume is one of those books that you need to be in the mood for, the pace is slow, the chapters are long and sometimes its too quirky, but if you surrender yourself to the process and just sit back and let yourself be lost in the story, then you're in for lovely experience. 

Favorite Quote: "Gracious, girl, don't go looking for truth among your peers. They are just as stupid as you are." - Grammy 
Note 1: Book comes out November 13th, 2012.
Note 2: Review copy provided by the publisher through Net Galley

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