Posted in Sister Read Reviews

Sister read review: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow ChildThe Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Date read:  March 7 to 10, 2017

A magical & classic fairytale story for adults!  (bringing back memories of our childhood)
Sister Read Review by Norma & Brenda

THE SNOW CHILD by EOWYN IVEY is a wonderful, heartwarming, sad, and beautifully told bewitching tale based on a Russian fairytale titled “Snegurochka”, The Snow Maiden a girl who is believed to be half-human and half made of snow.  This enchanting story had us both asking ourselves was there something magical happening here or not?  Oh, but for us, there definitely was something magical about IVEY’S writing style here.

THE SNOW CHILD captured our imagination as the characters captured our hearts.  Leaving us questioning the mysteries surrounding this so real story that had us hovering between reality and fantasy. Asking ourselves if Faina was actually a real girl or a fantasy?  Was she a product of their imagination because of their desire for a child of their own?  Or was she something magical?  This added some suspense to the story as we tried to figure out who this little girl was.

EOWYN IVEY delivers a very vivid story here that gives you an extremely good feel of sense of time and place of these characters homesteading in Alaska. The wonderful feel of the land, their battle against nature, the harsh cold (that actually had Brenda feeling chilled as she was reading) and their isolation.  IVEY’S description of life on the farm was very real and we could imagine the battles they endured along with all their hard work to survive.

We both loved the fantasy and magical aspect of this story which made it a thoroughly pleasurable reading experience!

To sum it all up it was a enjoyable, fun, fascinating, and a fast-paced read with a bittersweet ending. Most definitely would recommend.

 

Posted in Sister Read Reviews

Sister Read Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Date read:  February 19 to 22, 2017

Sister Read Review by Norma and Brenda

Many excellent reviews have already been written about this novel so Brenda and I are just going to touch on things that made this book memorable to us.

THE BOOK THIEF by MARKUS ZUSAK is an achingly sad, moving, breathtaking, and unforgettable book that was well-written and hard to put down.

MARKUS ZUSAK delivers a unique story here about love, courage, friendship, survival, and guilt with an unusual narrator, Death who is telling us the tale of THE BOOK THIEF, Liesel and her life on Himmel Street.  Death speaks to us not as someone who causes death but someone who has a heart, feels sympathy, and carries the burden of his job in taking souls.  Through his compassion we started to see Death as a character who tries to understand the horrible and the good act of humans.

Quote from book:  “I am always finding humans at their worst. I see their ugly and their beauty and I wonder now how the same thing can be both.”

Norma:  I watched this movie when it first came out and I really enjoyed it.  I was able to visualize and relate to the characters in this book from remembering a lot of details from the movie which made it an enjoyable read for me.

The two wars, an accordion, a Jewish fist fighter, a basement, and Liesel’s love for her beloved books all really brought out something special for us in regards to the telling of this story. The power of words and the love of books also makes them worth stealing in the eyes of our book thief. That alone was unique!!!

To sum it all up it was a well written, unique, heart-wrenching, interesting, and steady-paced read with a sad and touching ending. Would recommend!

 

Posted in Sister Read Reviews

Sister Review: Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner

Right Behind You (Quincy & Rainie, #7)Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Date read:  February 3 to 5, 2017

Sister Read Review by Norma & Brenda

Yeah!  Quincy & Rainie are back after nine (9) years!  Where have they been and what have they been doing?

Lisa Gardner touches on these questions in Right Behind You and we were totally satisfied with the answers that we obtained after reading this novel but we felt that the story was also about some of the supporting characters that were introduced.  It’s not all about Quincy and Rainie here.  So with that being said it absolutely works as a standalone book.

LISA GARDNER IS OUR QUEEN OF CRIME THRILLERS!
RIGHT BEHIND YOU by LISA GARDNER is a well-written, interesting, emotional, exciting, captivating, brisk, and a suspenseful read that we both thoroughly enjoyed. This was definitely a page turner and hard to put down for both of us. Lisa Gardner has been one of our favourite and go-to authors since we first discovered her back in the mid-2000’s.  Lisa Gardner has always gotten one of us out of a reading slump.

“Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.”

Quincy is called in to join a team of local law enforcement officers to profile the identity of a perpetrator suspected of committing multiple murders with the help of his wife Rainie who is a former police officer. The suspected perpetrator is Quincy & Rainie’s soon to be adoptive daughter, Sharlah’s long lost brother Telly.  The stars of this tale are Sharlah and her dog Luka, a former police officer. Makes us wonder what Lisa Gardner has in store for them. The team included Quincy & Rainie, Sheriff Shelly Atkins, tracker and very proud cheese maker, Cal and the help of a few unexpected characters.  And what an exciting team they made. This was an engaging mix of characters each of them bringing so much to this story that we quickly came to love.

What makes a family? When do you become a family? How do you become a family?

Loved the team combination of profiler, tracker, and sheriff and the issues of domestic violence, social issues, adoption, and addiction that was woven into the storyline.

To sum it all up it was a well written, well-researched, suspenseful, interesting, fast-paced, quick and easy read with a satisfying ending from one of our favourite authors. Would recommend!

 

Posted in Sister Read Reviews

Sister Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Date read:  January 27 to 29, 2017

What fun!  Are you ready player one?

Sister Read Review by Norma & Brenda

READY PLAYER ONE by ERNEST CLINE is an extremely entertaining, exciting, clever, and a high stakes adventure that we both thoroughly enjoyed.

Are you ready to escape to the Oasis?  READY PLAYER ONE has us following along Wade and his avatar, Parzival in a virtual world called the Oasis completing quests for the ultimate prize.  Where the puzzles are a blast from the past, intriguing, action is intense, and the payoff is rewarding.

Pulling us into the past with CLINE’S references to the 80’s Pop Culture and his detailed descriptions of the game brought the world of Oasis alive for us which had us feeling like we were playing the game along with Wade.

This novel was filled with believable characters with real-life traits and we really liked everything that each of them brought to this story throughout this adventure. They each had their role to make this an extremely tense and thrilling read. ERNEST CLINE delivers an action-packed story with a solid plot that was easy to follow along with the storyline and all the characters involved.

We found this to be a fast-paced race to the finish for both the game and the book.  Highly recommended read for lovers of all things 80’s!  This one is definitely another favorite read of 2017!

To sum it all up it was an enjoyable, fun, action-packed, and a fast-paced read with a big happy smile ending. Most definitely recommend!!

 

Posted in Sister Read Reviews

Sister Review: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

A Gentleman in MoscowA Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read January 13 to 18, 2017

Sister Read Review by Norma & Brenda

Brenda and I definitely have different opinions of this book but do share similar thoughts on what we both got out of it.  For the purpose of this review it gets a combined rating of 3.5 stars. Brenda gives it 4 stars and I give it 3 stars.

For Brenda: A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW reminded me to be gracious, kind and to appreciate the small things again. To look at life with some humor and laugh more. That we can find pleasure in an environment we might not expect.

For me this was a very frustrating and hard book to stay focused and interested in until I was approximately 48% into the novel then it was a little bit easier to read. What I really enjoyed was Count Rostov’s interactions he had with the people he encountered and lived with as well as his surroundings.  You need peace and quiet to really appreciate this book.

A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW by AMOR TOWLES is a charming story that was filled with so much personal wisdom from a Gentleman that was under house arrest in a luxury hotel named the Metropol Hotel that was ran with a standard of excellence. It demands your attention requires discipline to quiet your mind, and also has you appreciating your surroundings.  This story was very well written with lots of personal wisdom for us to ponder.

The title was perfect for this novel as we were showed what it means to be a gentleman. Where a gentleman is defined as courteous, honorable, respectful and a man of purpose.  Count Alexander Rostov was cultured, kind-hearted, canny, charming, dignified, respectful, and an old-fashioned gentleman who was also a great conversationalist.

As the story progresses we see how Count Alexander Rostov comes to realize and understand what it means to be a man of purpose as he ultimately finds his purpose and recognizes that he is that gentleman, a man of purpose.

We both agree that we absolutely loved the Count and the interactions he had with the people he met from the hotel and guests especially Nina, Sophia and Anna.

Memorable quote: “Who would have imagined,” he said, “when you were sentenced to life in the Metropol all those years ago, that you had just become the luckiest man in all of Russia.”

To sum it all up it was well written, interesting, slow-paced, with a satisfying ending that had it’s purpose.  Would recommend!!

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Sister Review: All The Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

All the Ugly and Wonderful ThingsAll the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Date read:  January 3 to 4, 2017

One word…..AWESOME!

If we could give this more than five stars we most definitely would. But, since we can’t this gets another five ***** sparkly stars from me! My sister, Brenda and I decided to do another sister read and this time around we chose ALL THE UGLY AND WONDERFUL THINGS by BRYN GREENWOOD. What an extremely good choice we made in reading this one together. This is by far the best book we have read in quite some time and we have read some pretty good books lately.

ALL THE UGLY AND WONDERFUL THINGS by BRYN GREENWOOD is a disturbing, powerful, and an unconventional love story that was beautifully written. We found that her writing allowed us to be disturbed and moved at the same time without glorifying or romancing the subject matter.  The title was perfect for this novel as we were showed the ugly of addiction, neglect, and abuse along with the wonderful things of love, strength, acceptance, trust, and commitment.

Your beliefs will be questioned constantly while reading this one. Is this right or wrong?
Now there were a few things that we didn’t totally agree with and found ourselves questioning while reading this one but the way that the author delivered this story was absolutely riveting and hard to put down.

The author pushes the boundaries here with a story about two lonely, flawed characters who find that their place is with each other and how they are able to accomplish that.  Kellen shows us how he is committed by the bond he shares with Wavy by changing things for the sake of Wavy and Donal’s safety and livelihood.  There is more depth to this novel than what we might think as a forbidden or unconventional love story if you are able to distance yourself from that.

The story is told in quite a few voices along with Wavy and Kellen’s from their own perspectives which was easy to follow along with all the characters and the storyline. Allowing us to see that everyone has their own views and how it is perceived and ultimately effects them.

At the end of the book we could not judge Wavy and Kellen, we just accepted it and all The Ugly and Wonderful Things.

Powerful quote: “I AM AS REAL AS YOU ARE.”

To some it all up it was well written, interesting, fast-paced, somewhat disturbing read, with a very satisfying ending. Would highly recommend!!