Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Sisters Reads

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin #travelingsistersread @StMartinsPress @megangoldin @about_thethrill

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin * is available now and one not to be missed!

Norma’s Review

Fanciful, mindless fun, & a rocky ride!

THE ESCAPE ROOM by MEGAN GOLDIN * opens up with quite the electrifying scene that definitely piqued my interest but unfortunately fizzled out shortly thereafter which steadily stayed that way until around the 50% when it sparked up again. At that point I was all in and found the rest of the story exhilarating and an intoxicating page-turner that had me racing to see how things were all going to play out.

MEGAN GOLDIN delivers quite the original and cleverly written read here that is just as cutthroat as those ruthless, backstabbing, and unlikeable characters. The story is told in a back and forth format between Sara Hall and the elevator where the escape room game takes place. The drama in the elevator definitely got on my nerves a little bit in the first half of the book because of all the characters bickering back and forth. I actually love some good character bantering but the bickering was just a little too much for me to handle at times. Also there was a little bit of information that didn’t necessarily move the story forward and was left stagnant and never addressed again. My curious mind would have liked a few things answered.

There was definitely a turning point for me where I seen things in a different light and was able to foresee where this story was headed. An aha moment if you will! At that particular point in the book I was able to put all my reservations aside and just enjoy the ride.

Brenda’s review

Yahoo!  Another winning thriller for me!  Could I be getting my groove back!?!

Giddy up friends!  The Escape Room is one fun wild rodeo here and it’s all bulls, muddy ground and once the dust settles there is nothing left behind but blood. 

The Escape Room did start off pretty rocky for me with those very unlikable four Wall Street investment bankers and the drama level to this one was throwing off my groove even more and I was one grumpy reader.  I did a little complaining to Norma, Lindsay and Kim @ Its All About the Thrill. Well, well did this one take a fast, entertaining and fun turn for me and I was grooving to the beat and turning these pages as fast as I could. I soon realized just how well-layered and brilliantly written this one was and that ending paid off big time for this reader!!

After reading this one I have one thing to say “Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be Investment bankers”!  I highly recommend!!!

We received copies from the publisher through NetGalley and Edelweiss

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: My feelings towards this cover is neutral.
Title: Intriguing, appealing, suspenseful, and a fitting representation to storyline. The title of this book definitely piqued my interest as I find escape room games quite intriguing, although I’ve never played myself. I want to though!
Writing/Prose: Compulsively readable, superfluous, entertaining, and dramatic.
Plot: Suspenseful, gripping, fast-paced, dark, sinister, chilling, captivating, imaginative, fanatical, and entertaining.
Ending: Totally worked for me and highly satisfied!
Armchair Detective Skills: I was pretty much stumped until around the 70% mark and then things started to come together for me. The feeling was wholly satisfying.
Overall: It is so worth suspending disbelief to thoroughly be entertained by this easy and fun read! Would highly recommend!

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Traveling Sisters Read

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Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Reads

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson @WmMorrowBooks @HarperCollinsCa @about_thethrill #neverhaveiever #travelingsistersread

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Happy Pub Day to Never Have I Ever * by one of my favorite author Joshilyn Jackson!!!

Brenda’s review

Never Have I Ever starts off with my kind of evening, a book club meeting, wine and friends. What could go wrong? Soon things take a turn when a new neighbour changes the pace to a game of Never Have I Ever. Along with a little too much drink, things take a very intriguing turn and secrets start to come out or threaten to come out. I was hooked and couldn’t wait to find out more. The pace slows down a bit as the characters are developed and I began to get a little impatient and wanted things to move along a bit faster.

A game of cat and mouse takes off between our main characters and the pace picked up along with the tension between the characters. I was intrigued and loved the dynamics between the characters.   I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to get to that explosive ending. Things turned a little darker than I expected from Jackson. Normally I think my feathers might have got a bit rumpled by how things wrapped up if it wasn’t Jackson who wrote this one.  In the end, I decided Jackson can do no wrong and still remains on the top of my list of favourite authors. 

This was a Traveling Sister group read with my blogging sister Kim @ Its All About the Thrill.

*Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links for products and services that we recommend. If you make a purchase through these links, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a small commission. Thank you so much and have a wonderful day!

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads

A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson #travelingfriendsread

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A Nearly Normal Family * was our July pick for The Traveling Friends Goodreads Reading Group. This one started off seeming like a normal legal thriller here and even though it wasn’t the gripping read some of us expected there wasn’t anything normal about this legal thriller, domestic/family drama, whodunit and courtroom drama all in one. 

Brenda’s review


Give me a story with a family in crisis and I am all over it. The story did start off a bit slow for me until about 65% in and then things picked up and I was on the edge of my seat turning those pages as fast as I could.  I loved the theme here with what seems like a normal family find themselves questioning everything about each other after a crisis leads them protecting the ones they love. 

I enjoyed the structure here to the story that is told in three parts with the POV of the father, Adam, the daughter Stella who is accused of murder and the mother Ulrika.  I liked how we saw something different with each of their perspective that added some complexity to the story.

M.T. Edvardsson explores just how far this family will go to save the ones they love and gives it a twist that left this reader very happy with the way this one wrapped up. It left me thinking about so many thought provoking questions and wanting to discuss it with my friends.  

Norma’s review

Clever, compulsive, & emotive!

A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY by M.T. EDVARDSSON * was quite the unique, intense, and fascinating story. I was thoroughly entertained and loved how this story was broken up into three very powerful sections from each of the family members. The first section from the father’s point of view started off a little shaky for me but then once I got to Stella’s (the daughter’s POV) I was hooked. This was such an emotionally gripping story that was absolutely unputdownable! Highly recommend!

Lindsay’s review

Kept me highly intrigued and guessing from start to finish!

Eighteen-year-old Stella’s father is a pastor. Her mother is a criminal defence attorney. They paint the portrait of the “picture-perfect family” until the day Stella is arrested for murder. How could she be connected to an older mans brutal death? Stella’s parents are devastated as she is held in prison awaiting her trial. They do whatever they can to support their daughter.

This novel is told through three interesting perspectives: Stella, her father and her mother. With each perspective change, I felt a deeper connection to the story. The narrative pace and flow kept me curious and edgy, my mind continually whirled with possibilities of how it would all come together. 

This book came with a lot of hype and it definitely lived up to it for me. There were several times I thought I had it all figured out, but I was wrong every single time which kept the thrill strong. 

We received complimentary copies through NetGalley.

*Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links for products and services that we recommend. If you make a purchase through these links, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a small commission. Thank you so much and have a wonderful day!

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Sisters Reads

A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell @MCampbellBooks @StMartinsPress @about_thethrill #travelingsistersread #astrangeronthebeach

Happy Pub Day to A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell !!! YAHOO!!! We are so excited about this one!!!

Norma’s Review

Holy Shooty Balls!!! Gripping, highly compulsive, & spine-tingling suspense!A STRANGER ON THE BEACH by MICHELE CAMPBELL is an engrossing, chilling, suspenseful, fun, easy, brisk, and mind-bending psychological thriller that was absolutely unputdownable. I was immediately sucked into the narrative and devoured every single page of this highly entertaining and deceptive book. Once I started reading it I was hooked and so absorbed in the storyline that I lost all sense of time. My nose was definitely lost in this book and nothing was going to distract me until I finished reading it.

MICHELE CAMPBELL delivers quite the impressive, clever, complex, tension-filled and well-written read here that was extremely well-plotted, well-layered and well-played. The story was deliciously told from the perspectives of both Caroline and Aidan. And let me tell you I absolutely loved the manipulative and obsessive nature of both of their perspectives. It was extremely fun trying to figure out who the unreliable character was here. Both perspectives fed right into each other perfectly.

Brenda’s review

Michele Campbell has restored my faith in thrillers with this exciting, entertaining, uniquely written story that had me fascinated with our main characters from the very start right to that exciting ending that I did see coming.

A Stranger on the Beach is one of this summers highly anticipated reads and there has been quite a bit of hype built-up for this one. I was going to let that hype train pass on by for fear of all those hyped-up “Never Saw it coming ending” Well, well did I ever underestimate this one and I am so glad that I didn’t let this one pass on by the sister coulee. This one is definitely a summer hit for me and for a few of our Traveling Sisters including my blogging sister Kim It’s All About The Thrill who read this one with us.

Michele Campbell writes a well-layered story here that was all about the way the story was told for me. I was so engrossed and entertained and loved every minute of this story. Michele Campbell does such a great job here creating unreliable interesting some unlikable and likable characters here. Through our main character POV, we are left guessing just who to trust. The clues are so well-layered here and little clues are left along the way for us to pick up on and others that comes together so well in the end. My excitement grew with every chapter and I was slowly inching closer to the edge of my seat as I was piecing this story together until I reached the ending that left me flying out of my chair yelling YAHOO!!! I highly recommend

Thank you to St Martin Press for our copies!!!!

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Love the boldness, dark, and ominous beach setting. 
Title: Appealing, suspenseful, intriguing and such a notable and worthy representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engrossing, smart, compelling, and compulsively readable. 
Plot: Clever, intriguing, manipulative, puzzling, twisty, intense, suspenseful, riveting, fast-paced, absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining. An absolutely fabulous and juicy storyline!!!! 
Ending: Intense, flabbergasting, exciting, & wholly satisfying!
Armchair Detective Skills: Okay, I had my suspicions early on with the who but never would have guessed the why, what or reasoning behind the motivations that was driving these characters.
Overall: It was such an irresistibly fun and entertaining book and another winner added to my favourite reads shelf. I thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience!!! Would definitely recommend!

Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Friends Reads

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim @AngieKimWriter @goodreads

YAHOO!!! Our June Traveling Friends Goodreads Group pick Miracle Creek by Angie Kim is wrapping up and it was one fantastic group read! Angie Kim nailed it here with her stand out, stunning, unique and twisty debut!!

Brenda’s review

From the very first page, Angie Kim writes an insightful, masterfully plotted and well-layered story here. One like no other I have read before. For me, it’s stories like this that I seek out and I need as a reader. It had me digging deep into the depth of the story and my mind raced with all kinds of thoughts that were provoked from the insight to the themes and elements in the story.

Miracle Creek explores a few themes here and it is so well developed and paced. There is a mystery here with a whodunit and the drama starts to unfold in the courtroom.  The mystery is so well weaved into the storyline it becomes just one of the elements that make up this story. The story turns into a fascinating study as we see the characters version of the truth and just how the truth can be altered or influenced.  The character’s moral compass is examined and a well played out dominion effect takes hold and wraps up this ending. It’s mind-blowing and absolutely fascinating how it all plays out. 

Angie Kim had me connected to each character in one way or another with the moving and insightful look into parenting. Each character conflicted and desperate in their struggles and feelings of being alone with their inner thoughts. I felt so many emotions as we see their thoughts and the judgement from others. The ending wraps up so well and after discussing this one in the group I was left with such a clear picture as to how one thing lead to another creating a brilliant well plotted story from start to finish.

Miracle Creek made for a stand out group read for us and one that will be a favourite of mine. There is so much to talk about here and in the discussion I could see all the different things we each picked up in the story that really enhanced the reading experience for this one.  I could talk about this one forever.

Norma’s review

Riveting, affecting, & vivid!

Wowza! I absolutely LOVED this and think all the buzz surrounding this book is so well deserved and warranted.

MIRACLE CREEK by ANGIE KIM is a poignant, moving, gripping, powerful, captivating and absolutely stunning debut novel that captured my attention and heart right from the very first page. I was immediately drawn into this murder mystery and found it so irresistibly unputdownable.

ANGIE KIM delivers a fascinating, suspenseful, interesting, engaging and beautifully written courtroom drama story here that was absolutely perfect in every way. The characters and storyline definitely got under my skin and I was intensely impressed with how masterfully done this story was.

This was such a powerful and thought-provoking read that I was totally invested and immersed in. I especially loved the emotive courtroom drama scenes which definitely created lots of intrigue and edge of your seat suspense. 

Traveling Friends Read

Some thoughts from our friends reviews from Goodreads.

This book introduces us to various characters who at first come across as likable but as the book progresses and as more information is divulged, their likability dwindles and suspicions shift. Most have secrets, hidden agendas, and secret thoughts. As their chapters progressed, the characters are fleshed out as are their inner thoughts and what they were really thinking and doing leading up to the explosion -Debra

The writing is expressive, the interactions between the characters feel natural and it is easy to feel empathy for most of them. Individual voices are clearly distinguished in chapters told by various characters as they relate the events leading up to the accident that changed their lives forever. All the characters have their own minor human flaws and failings, which contribute to the accident in one way or another. Intelligent and thoughtful, this is a novel that will appeal to a wide audience. – Carolyn

Told from many POV’s, Kim does an amazing job presenting this story from individual perspectives. The characters are so well written and so well developed, hearing each of their voices and their side of the situation gives life and understanding to the entire story. It is a reflection on how quickly and easily words/actions/situations can be judged, misconstrued, and misunderstood. Their stories are heartbreaking and fascinating, all in one. – Nikki

If you’re a parent, MIRACLE CREEK will hit you like a freight train right where it hurts most, because when it comes down to it, parents and children form the center of this brilliant novel. We all want the best for our children, right? Only who decides what is best? How will our choices affect our and their lives? And what if your child is sick, and in pain, and you’re just trying to stay afloat here and do the best you can? – Heidi

#miraclecreek #goodreadssummerreadingchallange #travelingfriendsread 


Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Reads

Bethlehem by Karen Kelly @StMartinsPress #travelingsistersread

Bethlehem by Karen Kelly is now available!

Brenda’s Review

Bethlehem is a carefully written, touching and moving family saga that takes a different approach here to those buried family secrets. The story explores temptation, regret, cost of carrying those secrets and how it changes the people who do.

Things start off slow here or better described as quietly as we see the relationships between the characters develop and get a strong sense of how they care for each other.  It takes some patience here and comes at risk here for reviewers as we are often rushed to get to the long list of titles we have. However, my Traveling Sisters warned me and I waited to start this one when I could give it the focus it needs.  

What seems as a simple story develops into a complex story and there is a lot of depth to this one.  Once the layers are placed the pace starts to pick up and the story becomes quite interesting. There are two timelines and stories going on here with our main characters and I found one to be much stronger than the other and at times the weaker one added some weight to the story.  However, I really enjoyed how it all came together and thought it was brilliantly done. There is a lot to think about and discuss with this one and it really lead to a great discussion among the Traveling Sisters who read this one. I highly recommend for group reads especially when they are read over a longer period of time and some focus can be given to it.

Thank you to NetGalley and St Martin Press for my copy to read and review.