Posted in Sister Reads, The Sisters Recommend

The Woman in the Park by Teresa Sorkin, Tullan Holmqvist @teresasorkin @tullanh

Holy Shooty Balls and Hot Diggity, Dang!! We are so excited to share just how much we loved The Woman in the Park by authors Teresa Sorkin and Tullan Holmqvist. We highly recommend and will be recommending it as a Traveling Friends Group read.

Norma’s review

This was one riveting, tense & twisty psychological thriller!

THE WOMAN IN THE PARK by TERESA SORKIN and TULLAN HOLMQVIST was such an awesome and unexpected treasure of a book that was so darn entertaining and thrilling to read. I was immediately hooked and obsessed with what I was reading and couldn’t put this book down.

It really consumed my thoughts and I loved how this book tapped into all of my emotions—which even got a little under my skin. At one point I was so riled up with what was happening that I might have overreacted a little bit and forcefully closed my book. But my curiosity was piqued and I just had to read on. Then the next moment reading my jaw dropped and I was totally shocked by the turn of events. I loved that I was in the dark until that shocking and pivotal moment.

TERESA SORKIN and TULLAN HOLMQVIST deliver an extremely entertaining, suspenseful, gripping, baffling, fast-paced and well-written read here that I was constantly battling with as I was questioning the integrity and sanity of our main character here. I absolutely loved how seamlessly and cleverly written this story was and thought the authors did a fabulous job with the delivery.

This was a fantastic little book that packed quite the punch and had me questioning everything that I was reading.

Brenda’s review

Brenda’s review

That was no walk in the park but a sprint right to that final reveal that left me cheering for just how brilliantly written The Woman in the Park is.

At only 207 pages, The Woman in the Park is an intense, complex and entertaining story that questions what is real. I flew through it a couple of hours, only stopping for hubby time. I am not allowed even to have a book or Ipad near me because I can’t be trusted not to try and sneak a chapter in. I was still thinking about it and couldn’t wait to get back to it.

This is one I think you are better off not knowing too much about before going in, so I am not going to say too much about the story or how sharply written I thought this one was. I think it’s one you need to experience yourself. There are twists that come out of nowhere ( not so convincing) and then there are twists that are so well executed that you feel came out of nowhere but then realize just how tightly layered they are. With this one, some readers might see it coming while others might not but no matter which one, it’s easy to see just how clever it is written. Well, I am happy to say I thought The Women in the Park is very convincing with these shocking well-layered revelations and our characters here in this story. I highly recommend.

Thank you so much to TERESA SORKIN and TULLAN HOLMQVIST for our copies of this book. It was an absolute pleasure, enjoyable, and thrilling reading experience!

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Intriguing, eye-catching, mysterious, suspenseful, and a fitting representation to storyline.
Title: Well that title is an extremely clever one and had quite the appealing and exciting representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Easy to follow, suspenseful, brisk, well-written, entertaining, immersive, and gripping.
Plot: Engrossing, interesting, suspenseful, gripping, mysterious, puzzling, twisty, clever, refreshing, fast-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: Jaw-dropping, chilling, shocking, and completely satisfying.
Overall: Would absolutely recommend!!! This book definitely took me by surprise in more than one impressionable way!!

Posted in Reviews, Sister Reads

After the End by Clare Mackintosh @claremackint0sh @PutnamBooks

Brenda’s review

It took me a while to find the courage to read After The End. When I did, I read it when the house was quiet and it was mostly just me at home so I could be left alone with my thoughts for this one. Once I started, I read it in less than 24 hours and it was all I thought about for a while. Then, it took me a while to find the courage to write this review and then longer to find the words to write.

After The End is a heartbreaking, painful issue-driven story that explores an unthinkable, impossible and unimaginable decision with no right answers, our main characters here parents Pip and Max are left to make after their son Dylan is diagnosed with a brain tumour.

There is nothing more painful than seeing your child not well, nothing more terrifying then the fear of losing them and knowing you have to comes to terms with you might lose them or the unimaginable losing them. You can lose who you are in all that pain. Clare Mackintosh compassionately explores all of this in this unforgettable, emotionally powered story that deeply moved me.

In the first half of the story, Clare Mackintosh explores the raw, honest, heart-wrenching emotions through parents Pip and Max. The second half then explores two different outcomes after the end from their POV. I struggled a bit with the credibility of Max’s after the end POV, but it did not take away from the power of this story at all. The story comes together well and I loved the way it wrapped up. Clare Mackintosh gave me hope and some closure to my own regrets, decisions, judgments made towards me and my mistakes as a parent leaving me with some peace with it all.

“Everyone has an opinion, yet the truth is that no one can really know what is right. No one can predict the future, and so all we can do is make a decision based on the facts we have, and—sometimes on what our heart tells us.”

The most beautiful thing here is this story is the hope and strength I could feel throughout the book right to the very end. Not only hope after a loss but the hope that the choices we make are the right ones and that we can find peace through our bravery, compassion, hope, dignity, and the power of our hearts and we can find who we are again.

Lindsay’s review

Heart-wrenching. Thought-provoking. Emotion-stirring. This has earned a spot on my Favourites List.

One of the most emotional, hard hitting and gut wrenching books I’ve ever read. Pip and Max face a decision that is every parents worst nightmare. Whether to continue treatment for their brain damaged, critically ill two-year-old son or take him off life support to end his suffering. How can one choose? What happens when the parents don’t agree on the decision?

I am emotionally exhausted after finishing this gripping, thought-provoking novel. Never have I ever used so many Kleenex to wipe away tears while reading a book. The author, Clare Mackintosh, does an outstanding job pulling the reader into this unimaginable, heart breaking situation. I felt as if I were there in the hospital room with these characters.

The story is narrated through both Pip and Max’s perspectives, along with their sons’ doctors’ perspective, which were all brilliantly executed. I put myself in each perspective and felt torn and gutted for what they were facing as parents and the doctor. At times, the story had me sobbing uncontrollably to the point that I had to put the book down and take an emotional rest. To say I was invested in this families’ journey is putting it lightly. I was full-out emotionally connected, hanging on every word, hold my breathe and clench my teeth in anticipation of what was to come, choke back sobs in sadness. I felt EVERYTHING alongside these characters.

This is a major change of pace novel for this author who writes thrillers. What a feat for her to successfully transition into such a serious and emotional genre. I’m in awe of her talent and look forward to what she comes out with next!

Thank you to Edelweiss and our local library for our copies of this unforgettable book! 

Posted in Reviews, Sister Reads, The Sisters Recommend

The Speed of Falling Objects by Nancy Richardson Fischer @nfischerauthor @InkyardPress @HarperCollins

Oct 1 is pub date for THE SPEED OF FALLING OBJECTS by NANCY RICHARDSON FISCHER and it’s a not to be missed YA adventure story of survival!

Norma’s Review

Strength, endurance, & love!

*One Word – Truth*

THE SPEED OF FALLING OBJECTS by NANCY RICHARDSON FISCHER is an entertaining, action-packed, suspenseful, thrilling, and edge-of-your-seat YA survivalist story that immediately hooked and captivated me. The backdrop of the Amazon rainforest and the premise of this novel totally intrigued and enthralled me, I was totally taken with this adventurous tale and loved Danny’s story. The action was so fierce that I literally could not put this book down.

NANCY RICHARDSON FISCHER delivers an atmospheric, vividly descriptive, fascinating, adventurous, engaging, and well-written coming-of-age story here that is packed full of adventure, explores a complex father-daughter relationship, and a touch of romance to lighten the mood.

Danger “Danny” Danielle Warren and her TV celebrity survivalist dad were interesting characters to say the least. Even though the father wasn’t the greatest dad out there he definitely had his purpose in this story and I loved how Danny ended up coming to terms with so many different aspects to her character. She definitely grew as a character and the underlying message and love emanating from the words written were extremely palpable and packed quite the punch. Danny was definitely the shining star in this novel!

Brenda’s review

I took a step out of my normal here with reading The Speed of Falling Objects, and I am so glad I did.  What a great surprise this one was. I loved the self-discovery adventure here I took with our main character Danger “Danny” Danielle Warren.

The Speed of Falling Objects has all the elements here to make this a thrilling edge of your seat emotional YA adventure for me.  It’s an action-packed story of survival, a coming of age story with a touch of romance.  

Nancy Richardson Fischer does such a great job here creating exciting characters.  I am not a big fan of young voices at times, and it took me a bit to get into the head of Danny.  Once I was, I was hooked and loved the personal and emotional conflicts Danny experiences and the adventure she took me on.  I enjoyed seeing her grow and develop with each page. Now her Dad Cougar is a very unlikable character here, making his character a hard one to enjoy but he creates some interesting dynamics here to the story of survival for both the jungle and Danny. 

The rainforest is brought alive and I was fascinated and terrified at the same time with the dangerous bugs and reptiles in the story.  There is a lot of danger here and there is no shying away from details. It did feel at times a bit much with one thing after another; however I enjoy the thrilling fight of survival.  I highly recommend it. 

Thank you to Nancy Richardson Fischer for thinking of us and giving us the opportunity to read something different than we usually do.  

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: A beautiful, eye-catching, appealing, intriguing and fitting representation to storyline. I love the fall colours to the cover design.
Title: Intriguing, interesting, metaphorical and a meaningful and significant representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Beautifully written, expressive, passionate, vividly descriptive, engaging, and compulsively readable. I immediately connected with the author’s prose.
Plot: Detailed, atmospheric, suspenseful, interesting, authentic, action-packed, fast-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: A deeply touching, satisfying and great ending that made me ugly cry.
Overall: I absolutely loved the adventurous and emotional journey this book took me on! Would highly recommend!

Posted in Reviews, Sister Reads

Well Met by Jen DeLuca @BerkleyPub #travelingsistersread #bookreview

It’s been a while since Norma and I have had some different thoughts on a book we have read together. As always, it made for an interesting discussion between Two Sisters with two different views.

Norma’s review

WELL MET by JEN DELUCA is an adorable, charming, heartwarming, romantic, and sweet lighthearted rom-com that captured my heart and attention.  I was immediately hooked and fully absorbed within this tale. I absolutely loved the small town atmosphere and the Renaissance Faire elements to the storyline, and got a kick out of the hate to love relationship between Emily and Simon.  

I’ve always had this fascination and appeal to renaissance times so I absolutely loved the Renaissance Faire backdrop to this story.  It was definitely fun experiencing that through the eyes of the characters. The playacting and Simon’s secret alter ego was extremely attractive and swoon-worthy!!  Loved his character!

JEN DELUCA delivers a fast-paced, amusing, and well-written read here that had the perfect mix of humour, romantic moments, steam, tension, and warmth.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching the relationship between Emily and Simon grow and thought that they had some good chemistry happening there. The supporting cast was also great and complimented the dynamics of the storyline extremely well.

Brenda’s review

Well Met starts off with such a great opening line and it hooked me in right away.  I was smitten with the story theme here with enemies to lovers and the Renaissance Faire adds something different and fun to the story. 

At about the halfway mark, things started to slow down for me and I wanted to feel more tension, suspense and substance to the characters and their relationships.  It’s not an easy thing to pull off for this picky non-romantic soul and I am in the minority here with my thoughts. 

Norma’s Stats:

Cover:  An intriguing, cutesy, colorful, playful and amusing cover that depicts this storyline well.

Title: I have a foggy idea of what “Well Met” means, as for the meaning behind the title I see how creative, fitting, and intriguing it is in relation to the storyline. 

Writing/Prose: Witty, engaging, smart, and well-written. 

Plot: Charming, fast-paced, fun, sweet, steamy, romantic, captivating, humorous, heartfelt, and entertaining.

Ending:  A lovely feel-good and satisfying ending that put a big smile on my face!

Overall: A laugh-out-loud rom-com with a lovely heroine and a fabulous romantic hero that is absolutely swoon worthy!  Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for our complimentary copies!

Posted in Reviews, Sister Reads

Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior @HazelPriorBooks @BerkleyPub

Norma’s review

Enchanting, sweet, & heartwarming!

ELLIE AND THE HARPMAKER by HAZEL PRIOR is a feel-good, delightful, up-lifting, lighthearted, and lovely story that completely entranced me.

HAZEL PRIOR delivers an engaging, humorous, entertaining, enjoyable and beautifully written tale of music and love here that is told through alternating chapters between Dan and Ellie. 

I absolutely loved Dan’s endearing, quirky, fun, innocent & loveable character and thought that he definitely stole the show. He was the highlight of the book for me and I loved how selfless, caring, carefree, giving, creative, and loving he was.

I was thoroughly entertained and invested in Dan and Ellie’s relationship and was rooting and hoping for the best for both of them.

Brenda’s review

Ellie and the Harpmaker is an entertaining, uplifting eccentric escapism with unusual likable characters. There is nothing new to the overall plot of the story.  It’s all about the tone to the story. The quirky personalities of the characters drew me into the story right from the start. At times their peculiarities seemed a little extreme yet fun.

Hazel Prior creates an oddly charming and enchanting fairy tale feeling story that is full of heart.  I loved the warm friendship here between our main characters and watching their relationship blossom through kindness and quirky moments.   I highly recommend for when you are in the mood for a quirky, feel-good story.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Not all that creative of a cover design but I do actually quite like the color schemes and the simplicity of it which is an effective and fitting representation to storyline.
Title: A simple and unimaginative title that represents the storyline quite effectively.
Writing/Prose: Lovely, engaging, captivating, humorous, and readable.
Plot: Fun, quirky, endearing, charming, lighthearted, entertaining, and enjoyable.
Ending: Heartwarming, uplifting, and a feel-good ending that left me feeling such warmth and love for these characters and this book.
Overall: This book was such a breath of fresh air to read and one that is packed full of heart. Would recommend!

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for gifting the both of us an advance copy of this book.

Posted in Reviews, Sister Reads, The Sisters Recommend

Never Tell by Lisa Gardner @DuttonBooks @LisaGardnerBks #travelingsistersread #BookReview

Never Tell by Lisa Gardner

LISA GARDNER has done it again with her latest installment to the Detective D.D. Warren series with Book # 10. She is an author we can always count on that never disappoints and always delivers such fantastic thrillers that are gripping, action-packed and packed full of nail-biting suspense. We are huge fans and have read all of her books to date. We highly recommend her books!

Norma’s Review

Captivating, edgy & wholly satisfying!

NEVER TELL by LISA GARDNER (Detective D.D. Warren #10) is a dark, suspenseful, emotional and intense thriller with absolutely wonderful and captivating characters. The story is told between the alternating perspectives from three fascinating and exceptionally well-developed characters. LISA GARDNER creates such compelling, fabulous and dynamic characters that you can’t help but love and be fully invested in. I absolutely love D.D. Warren and Flora Dane! There was another character that popped in to help D.D. with her investigation and I was pleasantly surprised and loved the appearance. 

The storyline’s are always intense but I thought this one was a little more complex than her previous novels which slowed down the pacing a tiny bit for me. Even though I had to pay a little more attention to the details while I was reading it, all those carefully hidden clues still stumped me until closer to the end.

Brenda’s Review

D.D. Warren is back with Flora Dane in another nail-biting installment that had me on the edge of my seat, turning the pages as fast as I could.  I love D.D. Warren and she has been a favorite character of mine right from the very first installment with Alone. 

When D.D. Warren arrives at her new case she sees a woman from a case from the past and then soon realizes the victim has ties to Flora’s kidnapper.  Secrets start to unravel and through the well written layers we start to piece together the ties from the past to the new cases. 

When I first met Flora Dane in Find Her, Book # 8, I loved her character and she is now becoming my favorite character.  I love how kidnapped survivor Flora now turned vigilantly becomes DD’s unofficial informant and I love the dynamics between them.  SSA Kimberly Quincy makes an appearance here as well and enjoyed the dynamics between the three of them and I was reminded just how much Lisa Gardner brings humor to the character’s dynamics allowing me to love them even more. There is also another character I hope to see back in future installments. 

In this installment Flora allows herself to revisit her dark past and remember the monster who kidnapped her Jacob Ness.  Her chapters became my favorite part of the story and enjoyed learning more about her and how her past is connected to DD’s new case.

Lisa Garner knows just when to reveal those well layered twists, one right after another and wrapping up this story almost perfectly for me.  She did push it a bit there in the end and I began to question some things but in the end she is another author who can do no wrong by me and will always be a favorite of mine.  We have history!!  

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Hauntingly beautiful and fitting representation to storyline. (Paperback version which releases on August 6, 2019.)
Title: A fabulous representation that definitely depicts the storyline perfectly with all of its secrets and lies it withholds until that explosive and perfectly timed ending.
Writing/Prose: Compulsively readable, notable, strong, impressive, well-written, entertaining, engrossing, and prolific. 
Plot: Suspenseful, raw, complex, riveting, fast-paced, dark, thrilling, captivating, taut, twisty, and entertaining.
Ending: An action-packed, surprising, thrilling, and explosive ending!
Overall: Another stellar read from the Queen of Thrillers that had me immediately hooked and completely riveted in this tangled crime thriller. Would highly recommend! 

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Dutton and Lisa Gardner for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy of this book.

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