Posted in Reviews

The Need by Helen Phillips @helencphillips @SimonSchusterCA #theneed #travelingsistersread

The Need by Helen Phillips is now available!

Brenda’s Review

The Need is a unique, complex, brilliantly written story that is one of the strangest books I have ever read. Now, this is a good one to go in blind however if you are like me and want to know what direction a story is going I think it’s good to read a little bit about this one before going in. It’s a hard one to review because I feel saying anything about this story might be a spoiler as it really is very original and a very different reading experience here. However, it’s very complex and fast-paced and at times I felt I was missing things I really needed to pick up on. I feel the whole experience here is picking up on your own anxiety, fears, vulnerabilities, needs as a mother and facing your parenting self.

The Need is a thriller, horror with some sci-fi that explores the fears and needs that make a mother vulnerable. The story starts off like a fast-paced thriller with a little horror there and then things take a little sci-fi. There is some horror throughout the story but not like you might think. The chapters are short and quick but pack a lot in them with all the complex layers to the story.  Each chapter ended with me wanting to read one more chapter to find out what is coming next. 

Helen Phillips does a fantastic job here with the characters of the children and the dynamics with them.  The daughter Viv is witty, sharp and entertaining. A bit annoying at times but I really enjoyed her character.  She is realistic with all the traits of a toddler that had me laughing and cringing with her behavior.   

This one took some focus to really pick up on all the complexities of the story and I am really glad I gave this odd story a try. I think it one not to be missed for anyone who loves to delve into all the complexities of being a Mother. I highly recommend for group reads.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for my copy to read and review.

Posted in Reviews, Sister Read Reviews, The Sisters Recommend

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman @BerkleyPub @amplecat #travelingsistersread #thebookishlifeofninahill

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman is available today! This is the perfect book for all us bookworms out there who love anything bookish and like our main character would rather read over anything else. We highly recommend grabbing this one as soon as you can and spending some time with our fun, imaginative and very entertaining bookish introverted millennial heroine Nina Hill!

Brenda’s review

Abbi Waxman nails it here with everything about this story and our main character Nina Hill. I loved everything about this story and Nina. Nina is a character that I am sure any bookworm can relate to and she has all the traits that make up the DNA of us book lovers. I have never related so much to a character before and I instantly connected to her.

Abbi Waxman does such a fantastic job here using wit and humor yet care as she explores love and the dynamics between family, friends and the love of reading in such a unique way. She creates fun, colourful and likable characters that bring some chaos and anxiety to Nina’s quiet and organized life. We see how Nina grows and adapts to the changes that life throws at her in such a hopeful and feel good way that outshines anything I have read before.

I could go on and on about all the things I loved about this story but will end my review by saying Abbi Waxman has set the bar here for me by creating such a compelling, introvert, giving her conflicts, adding layers of depth to her and then letting her grow. I can’t recommend it enough!

Norma’s Review

Delightful, amusing, & full of heart!

THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL by ABBI WAXMAN is an engaging, fun, charming, and lighthearted tale that totally captures the beauty and life of a bookworm perfectly.  I was immediately taken with this story and found myself totally mesmerized and in awe of how relatable, thoughtful and fantastic this story was. I pretty much had a smile on my face the whole time I was reading this book.

ABBI WAXMAN delivers an interesting, witty, endearing, and beautifully written read here with lovable and quirky characters and a setting that totally captivated and intrigued me.  I think reading a book about a bookworm is probably one of the most satisfying, pleasurable, gratifying and validating experiences out there and so relatable to all of us book lovers.  I was totally taken and fascinated with Nina Hill’s character and she fully captured my heart. There were so many times I felt a strong kinship to Nina and nodding in agreement to pretty much every aspect of her character and to plenty of scenarios in this book.  

I loved reading Nina’s day planner pages and how they were used as chapter breaks which definitely added a little extra flare to the novel for me.   

Norma’s Stats:

  • Cover: Pretty, intriguing, whimsical, eye-catching and a fitting representation to storyline.  I absolutely love everything about this cover — especially the color schemes. 
  • Title: Appealing, intriguing and absolutely love how perfect the title is to the storyline.  The title of this book definitely enticed me to read it. Anything book related in the title I’m in!  
  • Writing/Prose: Well-written, beautiful, witty, fluid, fun, engaging, and captivating.  I totally connected with and absolutely loved ABBI WAXMAN’S writing style. 
  • Plot: Fun, humorous, touching, memorable, perfectly-paced, absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining. 
  • Ending: The last line of this book was perfection!  Absolutely loved it!
  • Overall: I absolutely adored this book and didn’t want it to end!  It definitely gave me that huggable, warm and fuzzy feeling! Would highly recommend!

Thank to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for providing us with an advanced copy of this book. 

Posted in Reviews

I’ll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie @SimonSchusterCa @CEMcKenzie1 #travelingsistersread #illnevertell

I’ll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie is available now at your favorite bookstore!

Norma’s Review

Atmospheric, suspenseful, & compelling!

I’LL NEVER TELL by CATHERINE McKENZIE is an excellent, engrossing, and interesting domestic whodunit mystery/thriller that had me totally consumed with curiosity right from the very start. I was immediately hooked with the camp setting and the mystery to solve here totally intrigued me. I definitely have a fondness for books with camp settings, love dysfunctional familial dynamics and the slow unraveling of all the secrets and lies totally fascinated me. 

CATHERINE McKENZIE delivers a character-driven, twisty, suspenseful, and well-written read here with quite the atmospheric setting that definitely set the mood for a claustrophobic and intense read. The story is cleverly written and told in multiple perspectives from each of the MacAllister family siblings and Sean who works at the camp as well as flashback chapters from Amanda from 20 years ago. I was never confused or lost with keeping the huge cast of characters straight. 

The mystery here has this appealing nostalgic and classic feel to it that I am most definitely drawn to. And there is definitely something about CATHERINE McKENZIE’S writing style that I totally relate and connect to. I love her choice of words and how she weaves her sentences together. Another aspect of this novel that I thoroughly enjoyed was the addition of the timeline chart which definitely made me feel like I was solving the mystery right along with these characters. Also, the cool chapter headings! Loved them so creative and catchy.

P.S. – My favorite book growing up was The Secret Garden and I loved that this book was mentioned in this story. I also learned that it was a childhood favorite of Catherine McKenzie’s too from reading the interview in the back of the book. Cool! 🙂 

* Traveling Sisters Read *

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Ominous, sinister, appealing, suspenseful and immediately had me intrigued. A fabulous representation to storyline. 
Title: Intriguing, suspenseful, meaningful and absolutely loved how the title played so fittingly into storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging, captivating, descriptive, astute, and fluid. I have this connection with her writing style that I find totally relatable and irresistible. 
Plot: Suspenseful, vivid, riveting, fast-paced, sinister, secretive, twisty, held my attention fully and extremely entertaining.
Ending: An unexpected ending that totally took me by surprise and left me feeling very satisfied.
Armchair Detective Skills: There were no real surprises for me along the way with all the multiple twists and turns until that final resolution. Loved piecing all those puzzle pieces together! 
Overall: An irresistible, enjoyable, entertaining, suspenseful, and fabulous read! Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Canada & Catherine McKenzie for the complimentary copy! It was an absolute pleasure reading this fantastic novel!

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Reads

Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin @HarperCollinsCa @WmMorrowBooks #neverlookback #travelingsistersread @about_thethrill

Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin is now available!

Brenda’s Review

I loved If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin and was really excited when I got my hands on this one!  There might have been some dancing going on. After reading Never Look Back there was definitely some dancing going on with my Traveling Sister Kim who read this one with me. We both really enjoyed this one. 

Never Look Back is a fast-paced, fun twisty and action-packed story that had me on the edge of my seat trying to piece together how everyone was connected to our teenage couple serial killers here in this story. 

Alison Gaylin delivers quite the fun entertaining read here with each twist to the story as she delves into each character’s psyche. The story does have a predictable feel to it right from the start however Alison Gaylin has a way with those well-plotted twists that kept it feeling exciting. Each twist kept me guessing and doubting everything right up to the very end. I highly recommend for a tension-filled, entertaining read with some unsettling dark to it to keep you on edge. I highly recommend.

Thank you to William Morrow Books and HarperCollins Canada for my copy!

From Kim’s review

Wow! Just flipping wow! This book captivated me from the very first page and never let up. Sometimes a book starts out with a bang and you think that surely the author will not be able to keep up that type of  intensity all the way through the book, well this one does. This book was not on my radar and yet it is one of the best I have read so far this year! For Kim’s full review

Posted in Reviews

Temper by Layne Fargo @SimonSchusterCa @LayneFargo #temper #travelingsistersread

Temper by Layne Fargo is available now!

Norma’s Review

Wowza!!! Sensual, enthralling, & edgy!

Okay, there was definitely something about LAYNE FARGO’S writing style that totally sucked me in. The narrative was so seductive that I was totally entranced with what I was reading and could not put this book down. I am actually quite surprised with how much I enjoyed this book because I don’t normally do too well with some of the content that this book had to offer. I was just as obsessed with finding out what was going on here as these characters were and that is all I’m going to say about that. LOL 

TEMPER by LAYNE FARGO is a riveting, suspenseful, brisk, and dark psychological thriller that was absolutely unputdownable. It’s a storyline that appears to be the same old, same old but let me tell you there isn’t anything even remotely similar here to anything that I have ever read before. Once I started reading it I was hooked and so absorbed in this juicy storyline that I was flipping those pages as fast as I possibly could. 

LAYNE FARGO delivers quite the impressive, clever, tension-filled and well-written read here that is told in short alternating chapters between the perspectives of our two main characters, Kira and Joanna. She excels in holding you in its grasp with all the character manipulation and foreboding going on here. I was super curious every step of the way and these characters definitely made this quite the entertaining and immersive read for me. 

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: The cover of this book is just as sensual as the book. It has this velvety soft feel to it that is absolutely irresistible. I was a little proud carrying around this book. LOL 
Title: Clever, suspenseful, intriguing and a fabulous representation to storyline. I love the title of this book. So good! 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, seductive, steamy, captivating, alluring, enthralling, and readable.
Plot: Clever, intriguing, dark, intense, seductive, alluring, steamy, suspenseful, riveting, fast-paced, absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining. An absolutely fabulous storyline!!!! There is a little bit of explicit sexual content as well as some profanity. 
Ending: A fabulous and explosive resolution that was a little bit expected but still left me feeling elated and totally satiated. Loved it!
Overall: 4.5 Stars! It was such an irresistible, enjoyable, fun and entertaining book to read. I thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience!!! Would definitely recommend!

Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Canada and Layne Fargo for my complimentary copy. It was quite the memorable reading experience!!

Posted in Reviews

The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar @noelle_salazar @harlequinbooks #harlequinmira #theflightgirls #travelingsistersread

The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar is available now!

Brenda’s Review

The Flight Girls makes for an inspiring, lighter historical fiction that explores the dynamics between the characters rather than the historical events to the story. The story focuses on one women’s strength and will to follow her passion here with our well developed main character Audrey Coltrane.   Her passion leads her to joining the relatively unknown, Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during WWII.  

Noelle Salazar does a great job here dramatizing the camaraderie as she explores the compelling friendships between the women of the WASP.  She adds some romance here as well for Audrey that added a bit more drama than I would have liked. I love stories that focus on the strong women of WWII and Noelle Salazar sure delivers here with these women who each have joined the WASP for their own reasons.  I enjoyed the dynamics here and the connections formed between the women and was drawn into their world. I could feel the emotional depth of the story here with the women’s strength and fears as a team as well as Audrey’s own emotions. I could visualize what it might have been like for the real strong and courageous pilots.   I highly recommend for a lighter historical fiction that is inspired by the real women pilots.

Norma’s Review

Fascinating, touching & entertaining!

THE FLIGHT GIRLS by NOELLE SALAZAR is an enlightening, powerful and emotionally compelling historical fiction novel that has us following along fictionalized character, Audrey Coltrane and her involvement in the WASP program (Women Airforce Service Pilots) during World War II.  

NOELLE SALAZAR delivers an excellent, heartfelt, intriguing and well-written read here with wonderful, relatable, and well developed characters.  The story is told from the first person perspective of our main character, Audrey Coltrane and I absolutely loved her voice. She definitely captured my attention and my heart as well as the other WASP women.  The bond that these women shared was absolutely beautiful and I absolutely loved and admired how courageous and brave they were.

At times I felt that this storyline was simplified and rushed a little bit though because there was this strong romantic theme that I wasn’t really expecting and sort of took away from the main historical story for me.  In the end though I was able to put all my concerns aside and had me rooting for a happy ending for Audrey and James.

Lindsay’s Review

4 stars!  Adventurous, heart wrenching and inspiring!

Audrey Coltrane is a young female pilot whose passion for flying started when she was a child.   When the war begins, she signs up to train military pilots knowing she is helping her country prepare for what may come.  Facing constant criticism and stereotyping, she is proud of her career and the adventures she gets to take while doing something she loves.  This story is inspired by the real team of female pilots who trained soldiers in WWII.  

I loved Audrey’s character!  She was intriguing and heart warming; her immense bravery was shocking and inspiring.  Though I found her journey to be predictable at times, it kept me engrossed and interested throughout.  The writing flowed beautifully and was well paced. There is a strong romance theme underlying the main wartime story which I found a tad much at times, but in the end I was rooting for the lovely couple.  

This was an excellent debut from Noelle Salazar and I look forward to what she writes next! 

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: My ARC didn’t come with the actual cover design so I feel that I am unable to actually voice how I feel about it. Although I think the actual book cover is quite beautiful. 
Title: I absolutely love how intriguing and enticing that title is and think it’s a fantastic representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, entertaining, engaging, readable, and compelling.
Plot: Engrossing, heartfelt, interesting, steadily-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: A touching and happy ending that left me feeling satisfied.
Overall: The role that these brave female pilots played was absolutely extraordinary and made this quite the captivating and irresistible page-turner. Would recommend!

Thank you so much to Eden at Harlequin Trade Publishing / Mira Books and Noelle Salazar for gifting us all a copy of this book.