Posted in Reviews

Remember Us by Lindsay Blake / Layne James @blakeandbeckner

Brenda’s Review

An estranged mother, a rusty VW Van and a family on a journey to forgiveness and finding what was lost.

Remember Us is a fun, quirky yet a heartbreaking story that explores time, bond, forgiveness, and identity.  The family is brought together by an illness and they take a journey together that at times was hilarious and heartbreaking.  

A bit slow in places but worth it as I really liked how the ending came together and the way it made me think about some of the themes I picked up on.  We all enjoyed discussing this one and I recommend for group discussions.

Norma’s Review

Sweet, amusing & raw!

A light, quick & easy read that has the most adorable cover ever. REMEMBER US by LINDSAY BLAKE / LAYNE JAMES did take me a little bit of time to warm up to but once I did, I thought it was quite the entertaining and delightful read. I thoroughly enjoyed the dynamics between these characters and especially enjoyed Bernice’s character. She has this vibrant personality that is so full of life that I found to be so amusing and entertaining. This book had me smiling and chuckling a few times until the end where my feelings changed a little bit because I didn’t necessarily enjoy the direction that this book took. I did find it was a good, entertaining, and fun read though with a few endearing & heartbreaking moments. 

Lindsay’s Review

When Ben and Reese Hamilton find out their father has cancer, they take a break from their busy lives to spend time with their dad and help him through this devastating time.   While back in their childhood home, one day they open the door to find their estranged mother ready to move back in and help after being gone from their lives for the last thirteen years.   This sudden reintroduction of their mother into their lives causes much confusion and chaos.

This broken family works through many emotions, questions and adventures while spending this quality time together.

This was a quick, light and easy read that I found cute and entertaining.  The characters and situations brought smiles to my face throughout with their quirks and personalities.  It was interesting to follow this family on their journey through difficult times while reflecting on their memories of happier times.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Simple, attractive, and nostalgic with an adorable vintage feel to it that is an extremely fitting and meaningful representation to storyline. #coverlove
Title: An intriguing, interesting and fitting representation to storyline. I enjoyed the journey whilst learning how this title played so fittingly into storyline. The complex dynamics between these characters was entertaining while the characters took us on a trip down memory lane. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging and readable. Thoroughly enjoyed the quirky, humorous and amusing narrative! 
Plot: Slow-building, steadily paced, amusing, heartfelt, thought-provoking and complex. 
Ending: Okay this is where things went a little sideways for me as I wasn’t a fan of the ending and it left me feeling somewhat disappointed and unsatisfied. 
Overall: It was a fun, light, sweet, sad and hopeful book that was an enjoyable quick and easy read!

Thank you so much to the authors Lindsay Blake and Layne James for gifting all three of us a physical copy to read! We thoroughly enjoyed reading and discussing this one.

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Have you read this one? Want to read it? Do unsatisfactory endings play a factor into how well you enjoyed a book? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf @HarperCollinsCa @hgudenkauf

Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf is now available and she is at her best and at the top of her game here!

Brenda’s review

Three Girls, an urban legend, a dark obsession and a chilling crime .

Before She Was Found is a chilling, unsettlingly realistic, thought-provoking story that explores some teenage drama here with bullying, popularity, fitting in and approval. It goes a little deeper than just mean girls. It also explores friendship, betrayal and the power of social media and the impact it all can have on family dynamics.

Before She Was Found starts off with an unsettling, disturbing and grisly scene and I was turning those pages as fast as I go to unravel what happened.  We learn of an urban legend and I was intrigued by it and enjoyed how that played into the story. The suspense and tension in the story increases with each page until that unsettling realistic ending that left me quite upset.  I have not had a reaction to a story like I did to this one before. I really dislike the ending and how it all came together but I loved this one and the themes and messages the Heather Gudenkauf explored in this story.

I read this one in the Traveling Sister group and it left us with different feeling with that ending. The ending worked for some of us but not for all of us. It really made for an interesting discussion. I highly recommend for book clubs as there is plenty to talk about and explore here.

Norma’s Review

Gripping, chilling, & mind-blowing stuff here!

I definitely have to start my review off with a little message to you HEATHER GUDENKAUF, you are by far one of my must-read and absolute favourite thriller writers ever and this book was freakin’ fantastic!!!!

BEFORE SHE WAS FOUND by HEATHER GUDENKAUF is an unsettling, dark, realistic, captivating, thought-provoking and fabulous thriller that pretty much had every aspect that I absolutely love in my thrillers. A haunting and chilling crime, a mysterious urban legend, fantastic storytelling that is absolutely dazzling, and interesting and complex characters to make this an all out absorbing and devouring read. 

HEATHER GUDENKAUF delivers quite the clever, intriguing, suspenseful, engaging, and well-written story here that starts off with quite the bang and never lets up to make this quite the tense and edge-of-your-seat read. I absolutely loved the way that this story unfolded in multiple character perspectives and formats including journal entries in Cora’s perspective. I find that this technique is always quite effective, appealing and very suspenseful with slow-burning reads. 

There is lots going on behind the scenes in this story that is quite thought-provoking and an important message for us to ponder. In the end I was totally taken by surprise and would have never of guessed the outcome. 

Lindsay’s review

A haunting crime in a small town community. 

Twelve-year-old classmates, Cora, Violet and Jordyn sneak out one night to visit the abandoned train yard at the edge of town. A night of sneaky mischief ends with Cora hospitalized with several stab wounds and Violent and Jordyn in shock and confusion as to what happened. Small town secrets are uncovered as the police question everyone connected to the three girls. Were all three girls victims of this brutal attack? Could one of the girls be behind the violent assault?

I was pulled into this chilling story right away. There were some gruesome scenes at the start that were hard to stomach, but the writing kept me intrigued and curious to find out what happened. It was an addictive, quick read that had me making excused to find time for ‘just one more chapter’.

The novel unfolds through multiple characters perspectives. I did find myself slightly confused near the beginning trying to keep track of who was who, but as the story progressed, it became much clearer and easier to follow. I found Cora’s journal entries distracting which took away from my enjoyment. The “mean girl” scenes were a bit much. I think I would have enjoyed the novel more had those scenes been toned down.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Although I totally find this cover to be quite appealing and an effective representation to storyline it isn’t the sole reason for wanting or picking up this book. HEATHER GUDENKAUF is a must-read author for me regardless if I find the cover to be attractive or not. Whatever she writes, I will read!
Title: Clever, intriguing, fitting, impactful and a fabulous representation to storyline where the meaning is revealed to us as the story progresses. Love these meaningful titles!
Writing/Prose: Well-written, fluid, mesmerizing, beautiful and engaging.
Plot: Engrossing, clever, suspenseful, thought-provoking, believable, interesting, heartfelt, fast-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: An ending that left me speechless and totally took me by surprise! Loved that I didn’t figure out the outcome until it was revealed to us. 
Overall: The story was so darn thrilling, entertaining and absolutely un-put-down-able!!!! Would highly recommend!

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

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Posted in Reviews

At the Mountain’s Edge by Genevieve Graham #BookBloggers #BookReview @GenGrahamAuthor @SimonSchusterCA #NetGalley #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

At the Mountain’s Edge by Genevieve Graham is available now!A

Emotional, vividly descriptive & affecting!

AT THE MOUNTAIN’S EDGE by GENEVIEVE GRAHAM is a fascinating, entertaining and wonderful historical fiction novel that totally hooked and captivated me. The setting and premise of this novel intrigued and entertained me, I was totally taken with this tale that is set during the height of the Klondike Gold Rush and it definitely gave me all the feels. 

GENEVIEVE GRAHAM delivers an atmospheric, adventurous, engaging, and well-written read here that is told from two perspectives that has a cinematic feel to it. Liza & Ben were both such great characters that I thoroughly enjoyed and had me feeling so many emotions while I was following them throughout their adventurous journey. The courage, love, hope, loss, heartbreak and perseverance was palpable.

It is so refreshing reading a novel that is set in Canada and full of Canadian history. That was definitely a highlight for me and the beauty of this novel definitely shines through that will leave a lasting impression. 

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: A majestic, lovely, eye-catching, appealing, intriguing and fitting representation to storyline. I find this cover extremely fascinating and beautiful to look at!
Title: Intriguing, interesting, emotive and an effective and significant representation to storyline. 
Writing/Prose: Beautifully written, expressive, passionate, engaging and elegant. I immediately connected with the author’s prose. 
Plot: Detailed, atmospheric, well-researched, interesting, emotive, action-packed, fast-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: A touching ending that I was totally satisfied and happy with. 
Overall: I absolutely loved the adventurous and emotional journey this book took me on! Would highly recommend! 

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Genevieve Graham for the opportunity to read an ARC of this book in exchange for a review.

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

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

Desperate Paths by E.C. Diskin #BookReview #BookBloggers #travelingsisterreads #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Desperate Paths by E.C. Diskin is available now!

One book three different opinions!

Drama anyone?  There is lots here to offer if you enjoy a bit of drama in your domestic suspenseful novels!  I sure do so I ended up thoroughly enjoying this one but………Brenda and Lindsay didn’t enjoy this one nearly as much as I did though.  I’m all for a little bit of drama in my books but for Brenda and Lindsay it was just a little too much for them to fully enjoy this book.  I say bring it on and they were like enough already! LOL

Norma’s Review

Entertaining, unputdownable and an intriguing read!

DESPERATE PATHS by E.C. DISKIN is jam-packed full of family secrets and lies and as the story progresses they just keep on coming with lots of twists and turns to be had here. For some the overzealous plot and drama might be a little too much to handle but for me I totally embraced and loved it all. In fact, I finished reading this one in less that 24 hours as I just could not put it down.

E.C. DISKIN’S delivers an interesting, tense and well-written read here that gradually increases in tension and offers a suspenseful twisty plot with complex characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the structure of this story and it had me hooked right from the very first chapter.

So this is where things went a little sideways for both Lindsay and Brenda where I thought that E.C. DISKIN did a fabulous job with creating little intricate pieces of puzzles for us to ponder from the story while sleuthing how they fit together when in reality I don’t think being an armchair detective works out well for this one. Although, I had lots of guesses and some of those guesses came to fruition I was never confident in saying that I knew the why or how of pretty much everything that came to pass.

Brenda’s Review

Small town, dark secrets and lies, murder charge, a shooting and some sister drama.

Desperate Paths send me down a desperate path of my own. A head spinning path I didn’t know what direction to go path but in the end it didn’t really matter because every path took you to the end. There was just that much drama going on here.

Now this one did have some drama that I must admit I enjoy and that’s sister drama. I have been known to create a little sister drama myself that has left Norma’s head spinning. lol Did I just say that? lol I enjoyed the dynamics here between these sisters and the tension created between them added to the story for me.   However, there was a little too much overall drama that came on very quickly and my head started to spin and I became desperate to finish.  

Lindsay’s Review

Too much drama for me!
Brooklyn Anderson returns to her hometown of Eden to help care for her aging father who is in the hospital.   While there, she reconnects with her estranged sister Ginny who needs helps caring for their father. Darius Woods is a famous actor who grew up in Eden and recently returned with a screenplay and many hidden secrets from his past.   Darius is shot and taken to the same hospital as Brooklyn’s father within hours of his return to town.
This novel takes place over a seven day period, starting at Day Seven, moving to Day One and then the days in between.  I was intrigued with how it started at the conclusion of the story which kept me wondering what lead to such a drastic situation.  
After the first half of the book, the drama kicked into high gear and I completely lost any sort of connection I had.  I ended up skimming quite a bit toward the very end because there was so much dramatic effect. Unfortunately, this novel simply wasn’t for me.   With that being said, I loved this author’s previous novel, The Depth of Lies, so I would be interested to see what she comes out with in the future.  

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Eerie, suspenseful, eye-catching and a great representation to storyline.
Title: Intriguing, interesting and totally could feel the desperation emanating from the different paths that these characters took.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, entertaining, engaging and readable.
Plot: Complex, interesting, dramatic, thought-provoking, fast-paced, twisty, and entertaining.
Ending: Twisty, surprising, neat and totally satisfying. With the complex nature of this story and all the twists and turns I really appreciated the neat and concise ending.
Overall: This was a fun, entertaining,and enjoyable read that I thoroughly enjoyed the escape! Would recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Thomas and Mercer & E. C. Diskin for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of this book.

Are you a drama lover like Norma? Or like Brenda and Lindsay not so much?

Posted in Reviews

House on Fire by Bonnie Kistler #bookreview #BookBloggers @BonMot101 @SimonSchusterCA #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads

House on Fire by Bonnie Kistler is available now!

Engaging, intense & thought-provoking!

First off I am not exactly sure that I would say that this book is in the same caliber as Jodi Picoult but I thought that it was an interesting and well-crafted debut though.

HOUSE ON FIRE by BONNIE KISTLER is an emotionally-charged, entertaining and fascinating tale that immediately drew me in and held my interest right to the very end.  I found the drama within this story to be quite captivating and totally immersive. Even the subplots were quite interesting to read about and I thought that we really got to see into our main character’s psyche with the inclusion of those storylines.  They definitely brought something into the main plotlines for me.

BONNIE KISTLER delivers a slow-burning, suspenseful, intriguing and well-written read here that delves deep into the psychological side of a family’s tragedy through the exploration of their grief and loss.  I found it very interesting to see how all of these characters dealt with their grief and drama.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Fiery, eye-opening, bold, appealing, intriguing and a fitting representation to storyline. Coverlove! 
Title: Intriguing and absolutely loved how the title played so fittingly and meaningfully into storyline. I have a fascination with learning the meanings behind the titles and when I learned the meaning behind this one it was a very satisfying and rewarding feeling. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging and readable. Thoroughly enjoyed the narrative! 
Plot: Slow-building, steadily paced, intense, emotional, suspenseful, thought-provoking and complex. 
Ending: A surprising, intense and action-packed ending that left me totally satisfied. 
Overall: I enjoy a bit of drama in my stories so this one was right up my alley and adding in a little bit of mystery to it well then I am one happy and contented reader. Would recommend!

Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Canada for my complimentary copy.

Something fun about me:  I go into the majority of my books blind and without any preconceived expectations.  I do really think this enhances my reading experience and it totally works for me! If I am confused at all I will read the synopsis a few chapters in if I am not getting the feel for the book…..which luckily doesn’t happen very often.

Have you read this one? Want to read it? Let us know your thoughts on it! We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Reviews

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward #BookBloggers #travelingsistersread #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook @HarperCollinsCa

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward is available March 5, 2019!

Alarming start, questionable middle & a beautiful bad ending!

BEAUTIFUL BAD by ANNIE WARD starts off with quite the bang and is graphically intense with some cringe-worthy scenes that definitely gave me the heebie jeebies. It is just too bad that those feelings didn’t continue on for the duration of reading this whole book. The storyline gave me something to think about and I could feel the obsessiveness & anxiety levels emanating throughout the pages of this book but somewhere along the way I started questioning the storyline and wasn’t too fond with the way that some things unfolded. 

There was a lot of unnecessary information and not enough pertinent information. I love unreliable characters but for me this felt more like an unreliable storyline which I kind of have a pet peeve with. I want a storyline to have subtle clues sprinkled throughout and I don’t like to feel manipulated and that is exactly how I felt here. 

ANNIE WARD delivers a slow-moving, intriguing and well-written read here that is told from multiple POV’s and a vast timeline spanning a little over 10 years. Now the way that this story was formatted with the chapter headings and the various timelines leading up to “THE DAY OF THE KILLING” was actually quite clever and definitely held my interest and fascinated me. I thought this part of the story was rather gripping and I quite enjoyed Maddie’s perspective. 

I can hardly believe that I am saying this but I didn’t really buy into Maddie and Ian’s relationship. I do believe in love at first sight (I’m 26 years happily married after a whirlwind romance) but I just didn’t believe it here and “get” their attraction that they had for one another. 

Regardless of not connecting with these characters and storyline as much as I would have liked I do feel that this thriller will be a well-liked and hit with other readers. I do hope that you enjoy this one much more than I did!! 

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Intriguing, eye-catching, appealing, ominous and a fitting representation to storyline. I absolutely love this cover and I think it is quite beautiful for a thriller. This is another book where the cover definitely made me want to read this book. 
Title: Intriguing and a fitting representation to storyline. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging and readable. 
Plot: Slow-building, steadily paced, intense, suspenseful, thought-provoking and complex. 
Ending: A predictable outcome with a surprising final twist that kind of shocked and excited me. 
Overall: I didn’t necessarily find this a thrilling escape but I did rather enjoy the atmosphere and setting to some of the backstory making this a good reading experience.

Thank you so much to HarperCollins Canada and Annie Ward for the opportunity to read this ARC.

Have you read this one? Want to read it? Drop us a comment as we would love to hear from you! Have a wonderful day everyone!