Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads Reviews

No Exit by Taylor Adams @WmMorrowBooks @HarperCollinsCa #BookReview #BookBloggers #travelingfriendsreads #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

We read No Exit by Taylor Adams in our Traveling Friends Goodreads Group and this one left us very excited after reading it! We highly recommend not missing this exciting and entertaining thriller!

Norma’s review

Whoa!  Edgy, chilling & engrossing stuff here!

NO EXIT by TAYLOR ADAMS is a highly entertaining, riveting and action-packed thrill ride that was quite the tense psychological thriller.  The storyline and the chilling setting of this tale immediately drew me in and held taut right to the very end. I found that the storyline was so darn nightmarishly exciting that literally had my heart racing and kept me on the edge of my seat making this one totally immersive read.  

TAYLOR ADAMS delivers a rapid-paced, suspenseful, gripping, well-written and perfectly executed read here that was such a vivid portrayal that I thought I was actually watching a thriller movie unfold rather than just reading it.  That is pretty good storytelling to be able to totally immerse me in every little scary vivid detail as I am definitely not a visual reader.

This was pretty much the perfect thriller for me and one that totally blew me away.  Yup landing into my favourite reads shelf!

Brenda’s review

Colorado blizzard, stranded travelers, an isolated rest stop, a kidnapped child, a cat and mouse game between a young woman and a terrifying psychopath

No Exit is one of my favorite type of thriller.  A thrilling fast-past, climatic, heart-pounding game of cat and mouse between two strong and very different characters who try to outwit each other.  I even joined in on this cat and mouse game by yelling at the characters and rooting here for our young brave heroine who gives it her all to outwit a psychopath.

No Exit had me turning those pages as fast as I could.  It’s intensely gripping right up to that climatic and emotional ending.  There are some terrifying twists and turns that did get a bit graphic at times.  We were feeling things were getting pretty intense here with some of those scenes and might not be able to the same way about a certain thing used in this story without thinking about this story.  Taylor Adams sure knows how to play that shock effect well here. We might even be thinking twice about stopping at any rest/visitors centers again. And I am going to stick to my “if it’s snowing I am not going rule.

A look into our discussion

Loved this!!! I was on the edge of my seat for most of it….I actually had to put it down a time or 2 because it was stressing me out!! I loved Darby & her resourcefulness & grit. She was amazing. This was one of the best thrillers I’ve read in a long time! Beth

It was fast-paced, exciting and kept my attention! The twists were unpredictable and Darby was bright and amusing. Loved it! JuJu

What a crazy ride! I am not a fan of rest stops to begin with, so this has further deterred me from stopping at one! Nikki

Wowzers! The anxiety and nail bitting twists up until the very end was entertaining. I couldn’t put this down. I loved the twist and turns Jennifer

Definitely a fast paced read and super creepy. I did not see the reveals coming Great ending! Carolyn

Stats

Cover:  Frightening, isolating, and frigid.  This cover totally caught my attention and is a fabulous representation to storyline.  I am so ecstatic to say that it totally lived up to all the hype and exceeded all my expectations!          

Title: Intriguing, clever and an absolutely perfect representation to storyline.  

Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging, gripping and fluid.  Thoroughly enjoyed the narrative!

Plot: Scary, unsettling, intense, suspenseful, twisty, imaginative, and a little bit graphic.

Ending:  A shocking, surprising, intense and action-packed ending that left me feeling totally wowed.

Overall: This book had one of the most brilliant fictional premises that I have read to date and I thoroughly enjoyed escaping into this extremely scary tale!  Would recommend!

Thank you so much to Edelweiss, the publishers William Morrow & HarperCollins Canada, and Taylor Adams for the ARC. We also purchased a copy for ourselves.

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

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

Falling Behind Friday: A Ladder To The Sky by John Boyne @CrownPublishing #BookReview #BookBloggers #travelingfriendsreads #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

This week I am bringing you another review that I have fallen behind on. We read A Ladder to the Sky  by John Boyne with a few of our friends on Instagram. Our main character Maurice sure gave us a lot to talk about.

Brenda’s review

He is hungry for success, ambitious yet lacks talent, devious and manipulating.  Nothing stands in his way of getting what he wants

The Ladder To The Sky is a compelling yet disturbing dark story that explores how far one man will go to achieve success using deceit and manipulation. It has been quoted as a “deliciously dark tale” and I have to agree.  Maurice is handsome, charming and not afraid to work that. He is dangerously fascinating yet irresistible. Oh, and he is a sociopath. He had us feeling uncomfortable, disturbed and angry. He shocked us and watching him throughout this story felt like watching a train wreck about to happen in slow motion and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

It’s a great one to read in a group as there is a lot to talk about here with this one and if you are like me it’s also a great one to get wrapped up in your little thoughts and discussion with the characters. I highly recommend.

Lindsay’s review

Maurice – you conniving, selfish scoundrel! Never have I ever been so intrigued by such a nasty and repulsive main character. Wow!

This novel follows Maurice Swift in his rise to fame. We are introduced to Maurice as a handsome young man whose goal in life is to become a famous writer. He will stop at nothing to get ahead, latching on to countless people to use them for all he can get. As the story progresses, we witness just how greedy, manipulative and destructive he can be.

This story is unpredictable, outrageous, fascinating and jaw-dropping. I felt like I was in a constant state of shock, never knowing what to anticipate next. The author, John Boyne, has such a unique and enthralling way with words. He created a highly unlikeable main character with such an addictive and engrossing storyline that you can’t help but be intrigued and curious throughout. The writing is brilliant, the characters are unforgettable, the storyline is unique and shocking. 

This is my second novel by John Boyne and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I highly recommend checking out this book and author! 

Thank you to NetGalley, Crown Publishing and John Boyne for providing us a copy to read and review. I also purchased a copy for myself

Have you read this one? Want to read this one? Drop us a comment we would love to her from you!

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing @smariedowning @BerkleyPub @about_thethrill #BookBloggers #travelingsisterreads #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

It’s here and ready for sale! One of the most highly anticipated must reads of 2019 and you don’t want to miss it! This was a top pick for us Traveling Sisters!!

We read My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downingwith two of our reading groups and this one left us all cheering with excitement after finishing this one. We hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did. If you haven’t read it its one we highly recommend not to miss out on as it is just that fantastic.

Brenda’s Review

It entertained us, disturbed us, made us uncomfortable and had us questioning our own dark and twisted loving minds!

Married with children serial killer, a game of cat and mouse, rich in twists and an ending that will leave you wanting to talk about it.

My Lovely Wife grabbed my attention right from the start and I raced through it as fast as I could. I wasn’t alone here! It was a fast page turner for us that kept a few of us up reading late into the night with the best book hangovers ever. It was one of the fastest group reads with one of the longest discussions we have had!

Now that ending left us speechless but not for long. We had a lot to talk about with that ending. We all highly recommend!

Norma’s review

Thrilling, mind-blowing & highly compulsive!

Oh my goodness this book definitely deserves my favourite wowza saying and I am absolutely thrilled to say that this is probably one of the best thrillers that I have recently read.

MY LOVELY WIFE by SAMANTHA DOWNING is an engrossing, suspenseful, dark, twisted, and disturbing psychological thriller that was such an irresistible, fun and thrilling book to read. I was immediately sucked in and devoured every single page of this wickedly entertaining book. It was absolutely impossible to put down. Once I started reading this book I was hooked and so absorbed in this storyline that it wasn’t an easy task to pull me away. 

SAMANTHA DOWNING delivers quite the impressive debut here that was such a clever, intriguing, tension-filled and well-written read. This was a highly anticipated read for me and one that I absolutely loved!! I am so excited to say that this book quickly went it into my favourite reads shelf.

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing and Samantha Downing for our copies to read and review!

Lindsay’s review

Thrilling, edgy and addictive!

I am still in shock that this was a debut novel!   Wow – Samatha Downing – I am very impressed!

This is a truly unforgettable story that will stay with me long after I have written this review.  This book lived up to and, for me, surpassed the hype surrounding it. I won’t give any plot details as I think it’s best to go in blind.  The narration was skillfully executed. The flow and pace were smooth, precise and consistent – kept me on my toes from start to finish. The characters were distinct and exceptional.   The plot was brilliantly unique and scandalous. What more can I say? Get your hands on a copy of this book.

From Kim’s review

OMG OMG OMG!!! Yes I am speechless as I finished up my most anticipated book of the year! It not only lived up to my expectations, it far exceeded them! I mean really I am floored that this is Samantha Downing’s first book. New thriller queen in the house! It is great when you know from the very first chapter that you are going to love it. The writing style had a raw, edgy humor to it and that is my favorite! I can’t quite explain why I got suckered into liking this couple. It is awful to say that no matter what they did, I just couldn’t quite hate them. I really didn’t want this book to end. I was so wrapped up in their story. For Kim’s full review

From Heidi’s review

Wow – what a hell of a ride this book was! It was also so much fun to read. Which makes me a little bit concerned about my own sanity, seeing how there were some pretty dark themes at play here: murder, torture, sexual predators, lies and infidelity. But, oh so very entertaining! By far one of the more original books I have read in a long time, and one that I can highly recommend to all lovers of the genre! A great binge read – lock your doors, make sure you are stocked up on food and bevies and just enjoy the ride.

From Mary Beth’s review

Before you open up this book make sure you have no plans for the day. Don’t answer the telephone, and don’t answer the door, because all you will want to do is to read this book. I am serious. At least that is how I thought. I did not want it to end. I raced through this book and read it in a day in a half. 

I loved the ending. Right when I thought I had figured this one out, a big twist comes along that wasn’t expected at all and it left me speechless. It was a big surprise. This one kept me on the edge of my seat. It is not a predictable read and I thought it was mind blowing and AMAZING!

From Dana’s review

Hooked from the first chapter! My Lovely Wife pulled me in right away and kept me wanting more. Samantha Downing knows how to write a thriller!! This book was gripping and intense. It kept me guessing from one chapter to the next, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough! My advice to anyone that picks up this book, make sure you’ve got a few free hours because you’re not going to want to put this down!! 

Traveling Sister read and Traveling Friend IG read

Have you read this one? Did you love it? Are you adding it to your TBR list or running out to get it today? Drop us comment! We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Reviews, Reviews by Lindsay

Lindsay’s Author Series Event with Iain Reid & Anna Porter @SimonSchusterCA @reid_iain @GrimsbyLibrary @annaporter_anna #grimsbyauthorseries

Post written by Lindsay

I had the pleasure of attending another Author Series Event in Grimsby, Ontario last week.   Enjoying a glass of wine with fellow book loving friends while authors read to me – does it get any better than that?  This March event featured Iain Reid and Anna Porter as the guest authors.

I read and loved Iain Reid’s latest novel “Foe” and was looking forward to hearing about his creative process while writing this eerie, tension-filled story.  He was an excellent speaker – his voice had the audience in a complete trance while he read. I found it surprising to learn that Iain doesn’t know the exact direction his story is heading while writing – he lets the characters take him where they want to go.  Iain refrained from giving his opinion on what certain elements of the story mean to him when asked. He created this unique, spine-tingling story with many “open to interpretation” elements. He explained that he wants to leave it open to the readers’ interpretation without clouding their reading experience.  I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of his previous novel, I’m Thinking Of Ending Things.

While I didn’t get the opportunity to read Anna Porter’s novel “In Other Words” prior to the event, I found her presentation and discussion both very interesting and inspiring.   She has quite an impressive background in the Canadian publishing world and has met and developed close relationships with many famous people in the industry. I look forward to checking out her novel in the near future.   

I’m excited for the April Author Series Event where Shelley Wood and Andrew Pyper will be speaking.  Stay tuned…..

Lindsay’s review

Wow! Foe by Iain Reid was an exciting step outside of my usual reading genre! 😱🤯

This novel is a combination of thriller, sci-fi and mystery/suspense. I usually steer very clear of anything remotely sci-fi-ish, however, I will be attending an Author Series event next week where this author, Iain Reid, will be speaking so I thought I’d give it a try. Boy, am I happy I did! This novel had me glued to the words from page one. There was an intense feeling of foreboding and unease that crept through my entire body every time I picked this book up. The suspense was thick and addictive. And that ending left my mind whirling! 

This is one of those books that you just have to read to know what feeling I’m getting at. It sucks you in and keeps you hungry for more until you reach the mind-blowing ending. It’s a unique and unforgettable story told through a brilliant narrative. I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy!

Have you read Foe or any other books by Iain Reid? Have you read In Other Words: How I Fell in Love with Canada One Book at a Time by Anna Porter? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

Falling Behind Friday: You Were Always Mine by Nicole Baart @NicoleLynnBaart @AtriaBooks #BookBloggers #travelingsisterreads #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

A while back I started Falling Behind Friday and then I started falling behind on that. So I decided to give it another try but try to catch up on some of those reviews I have been fallen behind on writing. Today I am bringing you our reviews for You Were Always Mine by Nicole Baart . We read this one with a few members of the Traveling Sisters aways back.

Brenda’s review

A father’s tragic accident, A mother’s world shattered and her quest to find answers and put her world back together.

I have to start off by saying that I love this title. It’s such a powerful title for a story like this one and says so much for it. Every time I look at the title it sends such heartfelt shivers up my spine. You Were Always Mine is an emotional, compelling heartwarming story that explores adoption and the bonds of motherhood glued together by love.

This one is a little slow paced as it has a lot of emotional depth to it. Nicole Baart does such a great job capturing the strength, determination and love of a mother here with Jess Chamberlain. We see how secrets, grief and loss effects the family here including the children. It was refreshing to see the children being included in the storyline as well. There is a mystery here as well that ties into the story and we see Jess’s determination to find answers. The story is well-layered along with the clues and the reveal comes together well.

This one is a good choice for group reads as there is a lot to discuss here with this story. We shared some insight from personal experience in the discussion that really added to the story. There is also a good set of thought-provoking discussion question that really had me thinking more about the story. I highly recommend.

Norma’s review

Compelling, haunting & thought-provoking!

YOU WERE ALWAYS MINE by NICOLE BAART is an excellent, riveting, moving, and passionate story centered around adoption that I was immediately drawn into and had me interested right to the very end. 

Even though the intensity level of this tale slowly builds as the story progresses there is this brilliant obscure element to the storyline that immediately grabbed my attention and had me totally intrigued in what I was reading and what it all meant. This definitely brought in an extra layer of suspense to the story for me. It was quite puzzling and fit perfectly into the dynamics of this story. 

NICOLE BAART delivers an intriguing, engaging, complex and well-written multi-layered story here with absolutely wonderful character development, a suspenseful mystery, and a thoughtful and emotional storyline. 

I absolutely loved our main character here, Jessica and thought that she was an extremely well-written, realistic, believable and compassionate character. I was seeking the truth and wanting answers right along beside her.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Eye-catching, beautiful, appealing, meaningful and a significant representation to storyline that I absolutely love.
Title: The title is definitely intriguing and is a fitting, clever and excellent representation to storyline. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, eloquent, expressive, beautiful and engaging.
Plot: Engrossing, perplexing, thought-provoking, insightful, fascinating, heartfelt, perfectly-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: Surprising, satisfying, and extremely pleasing. 
Overall: This was such a touching suspenseful family drama story about adoption, a mother’s love, family secrets, betrayal, and grief. And with the mystery to solve and Jessica’s perseverance to search for the truth turns this Women’s Fiction novel into quite the thrilling domestic thriller. All these themes made this extremely hard to put down! Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Atria Books, Nicole Baart for our copies to read and review.

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

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths #BookBloggers #travelingsisterreads #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Brenda’s review

Elly Griffiths is well known for her Ruth Galloway series. The Stranger Diaries  is a stand alone and my first book by Elly Griffiths. I read it in our Traveling Sisters reading group.

A gothic murder mystery with a modern twist, a whodunnit, and a ghost story.

The Stranger Diaries has a unique and interesting format to the story that we all loved. The story is told from different overlapping POVs, and timelines, passages from a book, a story within the story method and diary entries from one of the main characters.

We all were intrigued right from the start with this entertaining and fun story that takes place on the grounds of a school where a famous author R.M. Holland once lived. We loved the gothic tone and setting to the story and were drawn in the murder mystery and ghost story right from the start. There were some things here in this story that just didn’t work for me and a few of us just didn’t buy into. This lead to some discussion within the group and it was interesting to see how everyone reacted to these things.

The ending also left us with a few things to discuss.  Some of us were shocked by whodunnit and of course even though I was questioning a few things I didn’t figure out who it was.  You would think after so many thrillers my detective skills would be better. But no! The ending wrapped up quite quickly and a bit neat and we were questioning a few things about that. Leaving a few of us not buying into it and the rest not really bothered by it because of the well down gothic elements to the story. I highly recommend this one for group reads. There is plenty to talk about!

Thank you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for my copy to read and review.

From DeAnn’s review

This tale gets all the points for originality and atmosphere. It has a very gothic air and feels very British to this American reader. Set in modern times, but ample references to the past with Oxford, literature, diaries, and mysterious writers. Throw in an abandoned factory, a haunted school, magic, and several murders and you’ve got a classic mystery.

All throughout the book we are teased with snippets from a classic ghost story written by R.M. Holland. Clare just happens to be an expert on this writer and is writing a book about him. When life starts to mimic the story, things take a deadly turn and Kaur frantically tries to solve the case before another murder happens.

From Mary Beth’s review

I was so surprised who the killer was and I never suspected the killer. I didn’t think the killer has a strong motive. It just wasn’t good enough. I thought the plot was great and loved everything else about this book.

I just loved the characters. I loved Clare and her teenage daughter and I loved the dog Herbert and thought he was adorable. My favorite character was Byrony Hughes. I thought her character was done so well.

From Marilyn’s review

There is an eerie feel to the book, as more and more things happen that allude to Holland and his writings, which is fun in a modern day novel. I enjoyed reading from the POV of all three characters, the snobbish, beautiful Clare, the too mature for her age, Georgia, and the hard nosed, sarcastic and witty DS Kaur. Reading the events of the story from three different perspectives often changed the who and how of the story for me and even though I briefly picked the right person for the murderer, I was led astray by new events and seeing the events from a different view point. . And then there was the short story within this novel that added to the mysterious and gothic feel of the book. 

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