Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

The Girl They Left Behind by Roxanne Veletzos @r_veletzos @SimonSchusterCA #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

The Girl They Left Behind by Roxanne Veletzos

img_6779Norma’s review

Haunting, compelling & engrossing!

THE GIRL THEY LEFT BEHIND by ROXANNE VELETZOS is a fascinating, captivating, and deeply moving historical fiction novel inspired by true events of the author’s mother. The way that the story unfolds is so powerful, poignant and so delicately and beautifully written that easily held my attention.

My absolute favorite historical fiction novels are ones based on true events. Just knowing that is always deeply affecting and brings out these intense feelings that I have for the storyline, characters and setting. It just makes me that much more appreciative and transfixed in the story being told.

ROXANNE VELETZOS delivers an absolutely beautiful and lovely written story here with compelling and strong characters, a harrowing and vivid setting, and an intimate and heartfelt storyline. The author did a wonderful job at fully immersing me into this story and the characters lives. It was heartwarming and also heartbreaking to read and at one point it gave me goosebumps all over. I absolutely love it when a story produces so many different emotions and reactions from me.

I was totally fascinated with the photos that were included in this book and looked at them many times while I was reading this book.

Web_L365-1_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s review

The Girl They Left Behind is an emotional family saga and a love story filled with tragedy yet written with hope that drew me right in one of my favorite types of stories.

Roxanne Veletzos passionately and vividly weaves her family’s story, some history of WWll Romania with a fictional side to some of this story. She starts the story off by vividly capturing the desperation of Jewish parents who left their daughter behind in hopes she will be safely taken care of and survive the violence surrounding them. We are taken on a heartbreaking journey with her grandparents’ story that she changed very little of. I appreciate how Roxanne Veletzos filled in the mystery to some of this story with her fictional account to the story. Making this such a hopeful and satisfying story to read right to the very end. I highly recommend!

Web_L353-3_blonde_blue eyesLindsay’s review

A beautiful and heart-wrenching story about family, love, loss and letting go.
“In anguish and despair, we release this child into the hands of God, with hope and faith that she may be saved.” This was the note that was left in a little girls’ beautiful velvet dress on the day that her Jewish parents fled the city of Bucharest, Romania leaving their young daughter abandoned and alone on the streets. This little girl was the author, Roxanne Veletzos’s, own mother and this is her story.

The main character in this engrossing novel is Natalia, a four-year-old Jewish girl. Natalia’s parents went into hiding, leaving their young daughter behind, in the hopes that a loving family would find and care for her until they could safely return and bring her back home. Natalia is placed in an orphanage and quickly adopted by a loving and wealthy couple who do not have children of their own. Natalia is an
unforgettable character – she really got to me. We follow her journey through childhood and then adolescence and beyond where her curiosity stirs and she begins to question her birth parents decision to abandon her.

This wartime novel is heartbreaking, shocking and emotional. I truly felt for this family and what they endured. There were many pieces of history revealed that I had not known about which made the book so much more impactful for me. The fact that this novel is based on the authors’ own family was a jaw-dropping revelation. I finished reading the book with tears streaming down my face.

This book is split into three parts. I found Part 1 and Part 3 the most captivating and moving, with my attention wandering slightly during Part 2. The writing was excellent, the storyline at that point felt a bit drawn out and less impactful. Regardless of this, the ending made up for any lack of spark I felt in the middle section.

This is a powerful and deeply moving book that will sit on my mind long after writing this review.

Thank you to NetGalley, Atria Books and Roxanne Veletzos for providing me with an ARC to read and review

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Eye-catching, hauntingly beautiful, intriguing, impactful and an excellent representation to storyline.
Title: The title immediately intrigued me and is such a moving, effective and extremely fitting representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, poetic, eloquent, vivid, fluent, gorgeous and captivating. Absolutely loved the writing-style!
Plot: Engrossing, emotional, descriptive, thought-provoking, interesting, heartfelt, fast-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: Tender, loving, touching, and bittersweet that gave me goosebumps.
Overall: This was an absolutely stunning historical fiction novel and one that I won’t soon forget! Would highly recommend!

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Have you read this one?  Want to read it?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you

Posted in Reviews

Kelegeen by Eileen O’Finlan #BookReview #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

KelegeenKelegeen by Eileen O’Finlan

Deeply affecting, utterly devastating & overwhelmingly sad!

Oh my goodness…..I don’t think a book has ever affected me and my emotions in the way that this one has. It was definitely an excellent read but a tough one that made me feel a little down and depressed, even finding it a little hard to shake that feeling while I was absorbed in this book.

KELEGEEN by EILEEN O’FINLAN is a haunting, shocking, emotional and heart-wrenching tale set in Ireland in 1846 during the potato famine. The amount of pain, sorrow and suffering was extremely tangible and absolutely devastating to read about. Only knowing minimal information about this part of history really affected and impacted me as a reader.

EILEEN O’FINLAN delivers an atmospheric, compelling and important read here that I am so glad that I read. Even though it was a difficult book for me to read the characters and their strength, love and courage definitely shined through and helped me to get through this book.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Hauntingly beautiful!  The sadness and pain that emanates from her eyes on the cover definitely depicts this storyline well.
Title: I can’t say that this title intrigued me or enticed me to read this book but it is a meaningful and fitting representation to the storyline.
Writing/Prose: Poignant, captivating, and straightforward.
Plot: Emotive, eye-opening, interesting, affecting, unforgettable and distressing.
Ending: Satisfying and hopeful.
Overall: Even though it was a difficult book for me to read I am so glad to have had the chance to read this book and learn more about Ireland’s history. Would recommend!

Thank you so much to Eileen O’Finlan for gifting me a copy of this book to read.

Traveling Friends Group Read

Have you read this one?  Want to read it?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Book Musings

Random Book Musings: Do you like to read a Christmas themed book in December to help set the mood for the upcoming holiday season? #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

 

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Hi everyone! Hope you all are having a great Thursday!

I always have these random bookish questions that I’m curious about so I ask our Traveling Sisters a weekly (sometimes more) book related question. We thought it would be fun and interesting to take some of those questions to our blog and see what you all think or do. I hope that you will also join in on the discussion with us.

So last week totally got away from me and I did not post a Book Musings Random Question and I apologize to everyone who looks forward to participating and sharing your thoughts with us.  So I thought with the holidays coming I would ask a related book question this week.

Norma’s random book question:

Do you like to read a Christmas themed book in December to help set the mood for the upcoming holiday season? Do you have any Christmas traditions that you &/or your family partake in?

img_7228Norma’s Answer

I have kind of a love/hate relationship with Christmas themed books. I used to totally avoid them and wouldn’t even pick up anything that was solely Christmas themed as I felt like they were a little bit too cheesy for some reason. I’m not exactly sure where those thoughts even came from because I haven’t read too many over the years.

I definitely feel like reading one this year though and picked up The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan. Not sure when I’ll get the chance to read it but I couldn’t resist because I love that cover!

So I sort of got this idea after really looking at that cover and thought what a perfect read for Brenda, Lindsay and I to read together this holiday season.  Three Christmas sisters and us three Traveling Sisters…..what do you think Brenda & Lindsay are you game to read this one?  If anyone else would like to join us in reading this book or if you have read it let us know what you thought of it.

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P.S. – Just maybe, Secret Santa might be sending you some surprise bookmail to you my dear Brenda & Lindsay!

img_7232Brenda’s Answer

Christmas themed books are not my normal type of read but I think I would like to read The Christmas Sisters.  How could I not with a title like that?  I am going to be watching the mail.

img_7237Lindsay’s Answer

I’m with you Norma and Nikki – on the fence about Christmas themed books. I don’t dislike the idea of reading them, but I’m not drawn to them in any way. I think for a lot of readers, reading them puts them in the Christmas spirit which is a fun and festive thing. 🎄 🎅

 

Now to the best part. Your answers. Please join in our discussion and let us know your answer. We would love to hear from you!

graphics by Lovelytocu

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren @SimonSchusterCA #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers @about_thethrill

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren is out today and we are excited to bring our reviews for this highly anticipated book from the writing duo Christina Lauren!  The Traveling Sisters were left cheering after reading this one—well almost all of us reading this one was…..

Web_L339-3_brunette_brown eyesNorma’s review

Hilarious, short and sweet!

I don’t know whatever I was thinking in taking so long to read a book by Christina Lauren. I will definitely be filling up my TBR with more books from this highly entertaining writing duo.

I absolutely adored MY FAVORITE HALF-NIGHT STAND by CHRISTINA LAUREN and the snarky humour had me literally laughing-out-loud! Not too many romantic comedy books will actually bring out that type of reaction from me but this one definitely made me chuckle out loud. I pretty much had that loving contented feeling throughout this whole book putting a huge smile on my face.

CHRISTINA LAUREN delivers a well-written, fun, light and enjoyable read here that totally sucked me right into the storyline with its premise of online dating. I was so emotionally invested and had so much fun with these characters and their love story which kept me highly entertained swiping those pages at lightning speed to reach the conclusion.

This classic love story was such a welcoming and refreshing change that I didn’t even care if it was somewhat predictable or not. I just wanted to read and fall in love with every aspect of this storyline right along with the characters which I most definitely did.

Web_L449-2_blonde_blue-eyesBrenda’s review

Very different opinions ahead from me.  lol

Norma and I read My Favorite Half-Night Stand with five of our Traveling Sisters and we all really enjoyed this story—except for me.  As you can see Norma and I had very different reactions to this story.  Lately, I have been reaching out of that normal type of read for me and really surprised at how much I enjoyed them.  Well, I was surprised again here with this one too but by not enjoying it as much as I thought.  Norma knowing me was even thinking as she read this story, Brenda is not going to like this.  lol .  She was right.  I am feeling a little like I am the only one who has read this book and didn’t enjoy this story.  I almost feel a little uncomfortable here writing this review.  I really do think my opinions here on this one will definitely not be the normal reaction to this story.

The story started off entertaining and fun for me and I was loving the humor and dynamics between these friends.  About 3/4 into the story, the humor took a turn to not so funny for this over sensitive Momma’s heart.  The dynamics between these friends and other characters took a sideways turn for me and what started off as fun and entertaining just left me feeling sad with the way they treated each other and especially one character in the story.

So enough from this too serious and oversensitive reader and on to more from the Traveling Sisters.

img_6615From Stephanie’s review

It was the perfect read for me right when I needed it because it was a witty, funny, sexy rom-com that I blew through in a night. The laughs alone and the happiness I felt while reading it was more than enough of a reason for me to tremendously enjoy this book! I’ve found a new favorite writing duo everyone, woohoo!

Let me just say that I love Millie Morris! And her job is seriously awesome…why when I decided to become a university professor did I not think of being a criminology professor and teach about serial killers since I share her quirky obsession for them?? What a fascinating job, right? I will say that wish more of her obsession had been explored in the book since her job rocks. Oh well! For Stephanie’s full review

Thoughts from the Traveling Sisters taken from Goodreads

My Favorite Half Night Stand was enjoyable from the first page to the last. I laughed out loud quite a few times. Predictable? Of course! What rom-com isn’t? That didn’t take away from any of the fun I had reading it. It was a quick, easy read that was a nice break from my usual thrillers – especially during this time of year. I think it would make a great movie too! Suzy’s thoughts

I liked the humorous dialogue in the book, there’s some back and forth banter that’s entertaining. My favorite sections were the group texts, excellent dynamic. This book would make a great, fun, movie adaptation. Carol’s thoughts

The characters live in the modern digital age, so it was fun to read not only their chats, but the online dating messages as well. The group of friends is cohesive and have a lot of fun together. I enjoyed their chats and found them to be clever and showcased each character sense of humor and intellect. The book is also told through Millie and Reid’s POV which helps the reader get to know each character even more, but we also root for them. When I wasn’t rooting for them, I was wishing I could shake each of them! The writing duo of Christina Lauren have the gift of creating fun, witty and interesting characters that are instantly likable and ones we want to root for.

This book did not disappoint and succeeded in not only entertaining me but causing me to want to binge read the rest of these Authors books! Another HUGE plus for me was that the ending did not feel rushed.  Debra’s thoughts

Kim over It’s All About the Thrill thoughts to come

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: That bright, fun, intriguing, and welcoming cover definitely caught my eye and is an extremely fitting representation to storyline.
Title: Intriguing and fits the storyline extremely well.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging, sharp, amusing and absorbing.
Plot: Engrossing, interesting, compulsive, witty, comical, fast-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: A swoon-worthy ending that left me feeling completely satisfied and extremely happy.
Overall: Would highly recommend to anyone that is looking for a feel-good, humorous, quick and easy read that is pure enjoyment!

Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Canada for the opportunity to read an advance reading copy of this novel. It was a perfect and fun escape!

Traveling Friends Group Read

Have you read this one?  Do you agree with The Traveling Sisters? Are you on the couch with Norma on this one and the Traveling Sisters or are you with Brenda on her thoughts?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Reviews, Reviews by Lindsay

Review by Lindsay: The Shadow Girl by Misty Mount @MistyAMount

The Shadow GirlThe Shadow Girl by Misty Mount

 

Spellbinding.  Haunting. Eye-opening.  Unforgettable. Brilliant.

This novel follows thirteen-year-old Zylia, a shy and lonely girl who is searching for her purpose in life.   Zylia has a large family with loving parents, yet often feels alone and ignored amidst the chaos of life at home with her five siblings.  At school, she feels as if she is constantly in the way and often invisible.

There were times I questioned if the plot was real or fantasy which is usually a turn-off for me.  However, the supernatural elements were presented in such a gradual and soft manner that it flowed beautifully and kept me curious and mesmerized from start to finish.

The characters in this novel got to my heart!   They were real, relatable and deeply affecting. I enjoyed exploring the family dynamic between Zylia, her siblings, her parents, grandmother and classmates.   Each character brought a new layer of intrigue and development to the plot.

The atmosphere is thick, vivid and engrossing which truly enhances the evocative storyline.   Many scenes had me reminiscing about my high school years in comparison to Zylia’s. The themes introduced in this story are deeply contemplative and thought-provoking.   Zylia is a truly unique main character who I adored, was fully invested in and loved rooting for. She will remain on my mind long after I have finished writing this review.

A big thank you to the extremely talented author, Misty Mount, for providing me with a copy of this beautiful novel in exchange for an honest review!  It was a true pleasure to read.

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Have you read this one?  Want to read it?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Sneak Peek Sunday

Falling Behind and Sneak Peek Saturday #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

Here we are not only falling behind on books that are scheduled group reads, we have also fallen behind on our weekly posts.  I have fallen behind on my Falling Behind Friday post and Norma missed her weekly Random Book Musing this week and won’t be posting her Keto in the coulee post today.  She has been taking every minute she can to read and catch up on that very intense reading schedule I have her on.  Anyways I am also going to get a jump on our Sneak Peek Sunday post and combine the two.  Sneak Peek Sunday is a post where we take a look into our thoughts either for an anticipating upcoming group read or we take a peek into our thoughts for a group read for a book not published yet.   It’s a great way to share thoughts on a book not yet published. So if you would like to join in either post and share the love by linking us all.  You know we are all about sharing the love.

Today Kim @It’s All About The Thrill and I are sistering up for a book we have fallen behind on and I am also taking a sneak peek into the same book from the Traveling sisters’ group read going on.  A few Sisters have finished including Norma and Christina.

Watching YouWatching You by Lisa Jewell

 

From Norma’s review

LISA JEWELL delivers an intriguing, character-driven, well-written and plotted story here with interesting and engaging characters. The police transcripts were a favorite and such an effective way for us to get a firsthand look into the investigation and pick up on some of those clues.

I absolutely loved that this book created so many questions and the subtle clues are perfectly interspersed in the storyline but piecing them all together was definitely making my head spin. So I decided that I was just going to read and let the story do the job for me. And, I am so glad that I did because what transpires, in the end, was absolutely stunning and so totally worth it!

Lindsay’s thoughts

It’s very early in the book for me but I was highly intrigued from page one.  The storyline and characters grabbed me right away. I can feel the suspense and tension already.  I love Lisa Jewell’s writing!

Christina’s thoughts

Watching You is my very first Lisa Jewell book and let me just say that she absolutely lives up to the hype I’ve seen in all the reviews for various books she’s written.  It starts off with an absolute bang – someone has been murdered, we don’t the who, the how or the why of the victim or the murderer. If that’s not enough to draw any reader in – I don’t know how to help you.
As the story progresses there were so many aspects that I found absolutely absorbing and refreshing. This is told from multiple POVs and that gave the idea that “someone is always watching” more depth and created a very dynamic and layered story.
This isn’t just a story that propels you to the end based on a need to figure out the “whodunnit” but has forward progression because the writing and development are just, well, totally solid.  I found this to be an incredibly captivating read that draws the reader in with a well paced, well developed and a really fun book!
Dorie’s thoughts

I really enjoyed this book, Lisa Jewell is one of my favorite thriller writers. Her mechanics are great and her characters are always well defined.

The plot was a good one with lots to think about and try to figure out, she always comes up with very unique ideas

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Have you read this one?  Share your thoughts with us!  Want to read this one!  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!