Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads Reviews

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald @Christinamac79 @about_thethrill #BookBloggers #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

We had the absolute pleasure of Christina McDonald joining in on our Traveling Friends Goodreads discussion as well as our Instagram discussion for her outstanding, emotional, thought-provoking domestic suspense novel The Night Olivia Fell. Christina so gracious with her time, spend two hours chatting with us and answering our questions.  She shared some insight into the story and her writing. It was the most incredible reading experience we have had in our groups. After our discussion with Christina there might of been some dancing around the house!

The Night Olivia Fell:Suspenseful and twisty that kept us guessing, so heart-wrenching it left us in tears, a mother’s love and the lengths she will go to protect her child shone through and left us reflecting on our own need to protect our children. Family secrets and the search for the truth left us discussing what we prefer truth or happiness.  A mother’s grieve left us hugging our own children.

Norma’s Review

Affecting, highly irresistible & intensely entertaining!

THE NIGHT OLIVIA FELL by CHRISTINA MCDONALD was an absolutely fabulous novel that I completely devoured and was totally invested in. It was such a moving, suspenseful, enjoyable, and heartfelt tale that immediately evoked emotion and totally grabbed my attention. It opens up with a nightmarish scene that definitely pulled at my heartstrings and had me sitting on the edge of my seat in anguish and despair for Abi and her love for Olivia as we are pretty much privy to Olivia’s fate right from the very beginning.

CHRISTINA MCDONALD delivers an impressive debut that was character-driven, gripping, fast-paced, intriguing and well-written that was told in two timelines between Abi’s perspective after Olivia’s fall and Olivia’s before the accident.

I absolutely love it when a book produces so much emotion from me and has me pondering and guessing the outcome with all the different possible scenarios. This book for me had it all! An emotionally charged & fascinating storyline, realistic & believable character dynamics, and a well-crafted & intense mystery.

Lindsay’s review

One of my worst nightmares. Being woken in the night by a phone call that my child has been in an accident and is in the hospital. This is what happens to Abi Knight. After mysteriously falling off a bridge, her teenage daughter, Olivia, is on life-support with brain damage and no chance of recovery. Upon absorbing the shock of this devastating news, Abi discovers that Olivia is pregnant and must stay on life-support to keep the baby alive.

This story pulled me in right away. I had countless urgent questions from the first few pages. What happened to Olivia? Who is the baby’s father? What was she doing out at night on that bridge? The author, Christina McDonald, does a fantastic job keeping the suspense thick and strong throughout the novel. The characters were extremely well developed, leaving a lasting and impactful impression. The dual timelines and transition between narrators were smooth and powerful, leaving me yearning for just “one more chapter”. The last few chapters had me sobbing and emotionally drained. The Epilogue was so very powerful and perfect.

A look into our Traveling Friends Goodreads discussion

I have to say wow! I love how everything all came together. At one point I suspected everyone throughout reading it.  I love how they were so many red herring and believable read flags throughout the story. I loved both perspectives and really thought Christina captured both of them so well. I was really blown away by Olivia’s voice. So realistic and not annoying.  Lol I am not sure what I expected going into this one. I think I was thinking it was going to be more like a twisty fast-paced thriller but this was an emotionally fast-paced story that explored a family’s love and secrets.  It surprised me how much insight and emotion depth there was to it. Brenda

Well I am adding another “Wowza” comment! This was an amazing book for me and I was a babbling mess in the end. I just loved this book and thought it was pretty much perfect in every way.  Norma

I thought the characters were very well developed, the suspense had me intrigued all the way through, the switching perspectives between Olivia and Abi were great. My suspicions were all over the place. Lindsay

Wow! Read this one in two sittings And, it did bring a tear to my eye in the end.  I found it to be suspenseful from start to finish, Jayme

Wow – that was an emotional read for me!  I shed a few tears. Such a good story! Heidi

I am right there with all of the “WOW” comments! 🙂 This one had it all–suspense, great plot, well-developed characters, and an emotional and satisfying ending. I was not expecting to get all teary at the end, wow.. that was heartbreaking Nikki

I really enjoyed the book too. I think the way it was written starting with Olivia on life support and then delving back into the past to find out how she got there was what made it so suspenseful. Carolyn

I enjoyed how Christina wrote it in both POV. I thought it was easy to follow but also kept you on the end of your seat trying to figure out what really happened. Of course, I kept thinking I figured it out and in the end ALL of my theories were wrong! The writing was captivating, thought-provoking, suspenseful and emotionally charged. I think she did a fantastic job and I cannot wait to read more from her! Chessi

I enjoyed this book right from the first page I liked the chapters being split between the two main characters as you got a little more insight of the storylines about each of them and how different they were from what they each believed. Jess

From our Friends’ review

Nikki
The Night Olivia Fell immediately drew me in and never let me go. Christina McDonald delivers a novel that blends a little bit of mystery, a little bit of suspense, and a whole lot of emotion into a heart wrenching and thrilling tale

Alternating between past and present, the story unfolds as we hear from Abi and Olivia. The alternating perspectives and timelines truly enhance the story, giving life to these characters and building the momentum of the novel. McDonald does an excellent job capturing both the mom and daughter side, with her teenage-voice for Olivia being especially well executed.

While there are mysteries to be solved and secrets to uncover, there are no super, major shocks or blindsiding twists… and that’s ok! Because the family dynamic, the level of heartbreak, the exploration of hard choices, and the overall emotional feel of the story is what makes this book. The mystery part is just extra icing on the cake.

Kim

Towards the ending this story morphed into an emotional roller coaster for me. There is a part where the fine details that the author includes literally had me feeling like I was in the room with them. I often come away from a book feeling euphoric when I really love the book. This book touched on something that I can’t even put into the words. I felt emotionally overwhelmed for several hours after finishing. I felt a sense of personal loss, which I never feel like this when reading a book. I had to keep reminding myself that it is a BOOK and it is a work of fiction. I think this speaks volumes as to the immense talent this author has that she managed to get me so emotionally worked up. I obviously can’t express how much I loved this book and I highly recommend it to everyone. This book is going to stay in my thoughts for a long time to come. For Kim’s full review

Debra
This book is told through both Abi and Olivia’s point of view. Abi after being told about her daughter’s fall and Olivia’s told from months leading up to and the day of the fall. The reader gets to learn more about each of these women, their thoughts and emotions. Family dynamics, mother-daughter relationships, dating, falling in love, friendship, truth, the search for one’s identity, etc. it’s all here in this book.

I found this book to be absorbing and felt for both Abi and Olivia. This book will pull on your heartstrings and had me reaching for my tissues. Watching Abi grieve and fight to learn what happened to her daughter, I couldn’t help but wonder what if? Unimaginable. The reactions and emotions in this book felt believable and raw.

Jess

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald has the most heartbreaking and heartfelt ending I’ve read in along time.
It’s a book where you need time to sit and finish in one day, the chapters are short and easy whilst spilt between the two main characters.One telling the story from the present and the other telling the story on the run up to devastating conclusion.
It’s fast, it’s easy, it also keeps you guessing and plotting what you think is going to happen to then twist and make you realise you never really knew at all and it just breaks your heart (and yes I cried that doesn’t happen very often when reading a book only on rare occasions😢) I really highly recommend this book,
The ending to this story is going to stay with me for a long time.

Thank you so much to Christina McDonald for joining in our discussion and for sending me a finished copy of your book. I will be hugging it for awhile!

Have you read this one? Are you running to the store or your computer to buy this one? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Friends Reads Reviews

Watching You by Lisa Jewell #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA @lisajewelluk @about_thethrill

Happy pub day to one the most anticipated books from one of our favorite authors. Today we are sistering up with Kim @Its All About The Thrill and Christina @Recipe And a Read to share our reviews for Watching You by Lisa Jewell

Brenda’s Review

Lisa Jewell does it again!! She nailed it with this one and satisfied the anticipation we had here with Watching You! She has written another well-layered story in her traditional way of layering those clues and reveals at just the right time but this time with a little bit of a different twist here to that.  She maintained creating that suspense she is a master at but left that final reveal right up to the end. Now there were some clues there and normally I pick up on Jewell’s clues but this time around I found they were hidden in the layers.   When I read that reveal and what came after I was left jumping out of my chair yelling “Wow I didn’t see that coming”.


My first book by Lisa Jewell was I Found You and it became one of my favorite books. I was hooked on Lisa Jewell’s writing and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on more of her books. I went on a reading binge with a couple of my Traveling Sisters and we enjoyed all her books we read. Then She Was Gone was another highly anticipated book for us and one we all loved. I highly recommend all of her books!

Norma’s Review

Entrancing, irresistible and compelling!

WATCHING YOU by LISA JEWELL is a clever, unputdownable, and suspenseful psychological thriller novel that immediately drew me in and had me totally engrossed and interested right from the very first page. 

The opening scene had me so intrigued in finding out who was murdered and why that I was racing through those pages as fast as I possibly could. We the readers aren’t privy to any of that information and that is definitely the strong point of this novel. The process is a slow-burn as we get to know all the characters and their motives. Plenty of questions started swirling around in my mind and where some of those questions are answered the motive behind those actions aren’t revealed to us until the end. 

LISA JEWELL delivers an intriguing, character-driven, well-written and plotted story here with interesting and engaging characters that was told in multiple points of view along with police transcripts intertwined into the storyline. The police transcripts were a favorite and such an effective way for us to get a firsthand look into the investigation and pick up on some of those clues. 

I absolutely loved that this book created so many questions and the subtle clues are perfectly interspersed in the storyline but piecing them all together was definitely making my head spin. So I decided that I was just going to read and let the story do the job for me. And, I am so glad that I did because what transpires in the end was absolutely stunning and so totally worth it! 

Lindsay’s Review


A tense, secretive and twisty story that had me guessing until the end.

This is my third Lisa Jewell book and she continues to impress me.  I love how addictive, fast-paced and gripping her novels are. I just can’t seem to put them down once I start the first chapter.   Her storylines are current, suspenseful and highly intriguing.

There are several characters in this book, all are well developed with perfectly timed introductions, leaving no room for confusion.  The plot largely focuses on Josephine (Joey) Mullen who lives with her new husband in her brother and sister-in-laws’ house in a well-respected neighbourhood. They are trying to find steady jobs and get settled before finding a place of their own. We meet several of their neighbours, with chapters alternating between many of their perspectives.   Each perspective brought a new layer of suspense and allure, each with a hint of secrecy that could possibly connect the intricate pieces of this puzzle together. The title says it all – “Watching You” – this applies to many scenarios throughout this fast-paced and highly addictive novel.

Norma’s Stats
Cover: Eye-catching, intriguing, and effective! Absolutely love everything about this cover and such a fantastic representation to storyline.
Title: Intriguing, suspenseful, and an absolutely perfect representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging, absorbing, captivating, and skilled.
Plot: Suspenseful, fascinating, engrossing, fast-paced, held my attention fully and extremely entertaining.
Ending: A twist ending that wrapped up everything perfectly! Loved it!
Overall: An irresistible, intense, surprising, suspenseful, and fabulous read! Would highly recommend!

Thank you to NetGalley, Atria Books and Lisa Jewell for our copies to read and review

Have you read this one? Are you clicking on your favourite bookstore to order it now or out the door to buy this one? Have you read any other books by Lisa Jewell that you enjoyed? Drop us a comment!

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads Reviews

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty @Flatironbooks @MacmillanUSA @about_thethrill #travelingfriendsread #BookBloggers

Norma, Lindsay and I have decided to take our love of reading in a group to Instagram and we have now started hosting group reads there.  For one of our first exciting and fun group reads on Instagram Norma and I read Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty with a few bookstagramers.  We loved this one and it was a surefire winner for us that left us cheering after reading it.  On a suggestion from members, we also read this one in our Traveling Friends Goodreads group.  Our Traveling Sister and close blogging sister Kim, joined us cheering for this one in both groups.  Today we are sistering up with her on this post. So please pop on over and check out her review @It’s All About The Thrill.  

In our Instagram group, we hosted an ongoing discussion, and this really made for a very interesting and fun discussion as we swapped theories, shared some of our favorite quotes that left us laughing out loud and cried together over some of the scenes in this story.  A couple friends who read this one already joined in on our discussion.  Now things were interestingly different in the Goodreads group and overall friends were left in the over-the-top and off the rails coulee.

Web_L367-4_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s review and thoughts into our group reads.

Nine Perfect Strangers started off strong for me and a few other friends in both groups. We instantly loved one of our main characters Frances and a few of us could really relate to her.  Liane Moriarty had us starting off laughing out loud as we met our nine perfect strangers. Now all of them are not strangers to each other as there is a family and a couple.  

Liane Moriarty does a great job here creating some different strangers with different backgrounds each dealing with their own conflicts.  We get a glimpse into their inner thoughts and see their insecurities and their feelings or assumptions into each other. Really making that an interesting part to each of their POVs.  

Things do take on a more serious tone when we learn more about why some of our characters are on this retreat and at times I was left in tears, now some of you know I am not a crier and Moriarty really was able to capture some real like emotions here with these characters for me.   This is where I thought her brilliant writing came in. She had me laughing one minute and crying the next but not at the expense of some of the serious topics she explored. I thought the humor relief was done well here and paced well where it was needed.

Now where this story went a little sideways for some us I thought was very brave of  Liane Moriarty to tackle and we could see how that paid off for her for some of us but not for others in our groups.  She introduces a part to the storyline not yet explored in any stories I have read before. I applaud her for taking that risk.

Now I will admit things did get a little over the top towards the ending and I did start to get a little worried.  I can certainly understand how this left some of our members feeling this one went over the top and off the rail for them.  In the end, it all worked for me and a few of us.  We highly recommend.

Web_L339-4_brunette_brown eyesNorma’s Review
Wildly entertaining, wickedly perceptive & an irresistible page-turner!

“It’s just a story!” ……and oh boy what a story it was!

NINE PERFECT STRANGERS by LIANE MORIARTY was such a fantastic, lighthearted, fun, sad, and touching story that was so thought-provoking and yet so humorous to read. I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t get enough of these quirky characters. I adored this book right from the very start and had me laughing out loud numerous times and then at other times gasping out loud in shock for the pain that some of these characters were suffering.

LIANE MORIARTY delivers quite the fascinating, intriguing, vulnerable, lifelike, and beautifully written read here with quirky and realistic characters, a brazen and dynamic premise and an extremely spellbinding and enthralling storyline.

What really stood out about this novel for me was how realistic and raw these characters were written. I could see myself and others in probably every single one of these characters in this story. I thought the inner thoughts and dialogue was absolutely spot on.

I absolutely loved the way that this novel made me feel and yup, in the end, it gave me that warmth and satisfying afterglow that I seek in my books.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Simply beautiful, natural, effective & purely Moriarty! P.S. – Do you see an outline of a woman’s body on the cover?
Title: Appealing, suspenseful, intriguing and a fabulous representation to storyline. The nine guests were perfectly imperfect!
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging, captivating, witty, intelligent and smart.
Plot: Intriguing, clever, thought-provoking, suspenseful, perfectly-paced, absorbing, enjoyable and highly entertaining.
Ending: Clever and totally satisfying. Loved the progressive timeline.
Overall: An extremely enjoyable & entertaining read that had me totally engrossed from start to finish! Would highly recommend!

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Have you read this one?  Were you left feeling this one was a sure-fire winner for you or over the top and off the rails?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you.
Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads Reviews

Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

Web_L521-3_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s review


Unraveling Oliver
by Liz Nugent

Sociopaths and psychopaths fascinate me and I love a great story that delves deep into the mind or actions of both.  After reading Lying in Wait I really became fascinated with what makes a sociopath. Well, Liz Nugent answers that question here for me with our sociopath Oliver.

Unraveling Oliver is a chilling, unique, intelligent and very fascinating look into what makes a sociopath.  The story starts off with a bang with that chilling and intriguing first line that had me hooked and I flew through this one as fast as I could to find out what lead up to that chilling first line.
The story isn’t a whodunnit or not necessary a whydunnit but I would say more of a how did that happen dunnit. Liz Nugent brilliantly takes us back through flashbacks to what might have been the start to Oliver’s unraveling.  Through the POV of the people in his life, Liz Nugent unravels what might have shaped him into a manipulating, cruel and abusive person he was. With each character’s POV, I became more engaged in the story and intrigued by Oliver.

Liz Nugent does such a great job here creating and developing some very compelling characters.  The characters are different from each other adding more layers to the story as we see their POVs.  I enjoyed learning about Oliver through each character. I loved everything about this one from start to finish and I highly recommend.

Web_L083-1_brunette_green-eyesFrom Kim’s review

Okay, I am going to try to keep the fangirling under control here, because I just am loving Nugent’s writing style. This book has a gritty, sarcastic undertone that is quite hilarious. Mind you, the situation is not funny but my god I laughed out loud so many times with the one-liners. I work in the Emergency Room as a nurse and admittedly we tend to have a “dark humor.” This defiantly has a tinge of dark humor to it and maybe that is why I can’t get enough of these wonderful witty lines.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a humorous book by no means. Oliver Ryan is a troubled and violent human being. There is no secret made of that as the book opens with him beating his wife into a coma. ” I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.” Yep that is quite the opening line, is it not? If you read Lying in Wait you know how gripping her books are right from the start. For Kim’s full review

FC-2 VerityFrom Debra’s review

This book is told through various character’s POV as they try to come to terms with what Oliver has done. All look back upon their relationship with Oliver. Each giving a brief look into his/her interactions with Oliver and what made Oliver tick. Each person has some small revelation, which added together, really depict the unraveling ‘of’ Oliver. Great title for the book, by the way.

I found this book to be an interesting character study of one man and the many layers of his life. The book shows how the events in his past led to the actions he takes after dinner one night.

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

 

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads Reviews

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton @AuthorSJBolton @StMartinsPress #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

We thought today would be the perfect day to share one of our favorite creepy-good, Halloween reads!!!   There is something more than just secrets buried in this story!!!

The Craftsman by Sharon J. Bolton

Web_L143-2_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s review

Sharon Bolton is a favorite author for me and I was really excited to add The Craftsman to the Traveling Sisters group reads.  Seven Traveling Sisters joined in on this sister read and a couple sisters have now added Sharon Bolton to there list of favorite authors.

The Craftsman has all the elements here with the atmospheric setting and buried secrets, disturbing and claustrophobic crime, a brew of witches and the supernatural lurching to make this story an entertaining, and deliciously creepy yet disturbing at times story.

The story starts off with an intriguing and creepy scene that sets the story up perfectly.  We are then taken back to the past and are drawn into a gruesome and disturbing crime that would have anyone feeling claustrophobic.   We start to get to know our main character Florence and loved how different she is from other female characters in a police procedural. She is fierce, strong and independent at a time when women were treated like they shouldn’t be.  She faces challenges here with strength and determination. She is driven not by her own personal demons but by her independence and need to prove herself.

We all loved the setting here with the small town and its mysterious characters and the buried secrets they hold.  The setting comes alive with its spine-chilling danger and we could feel the terror the characters felt in this story.  We loved the real danger and the magical and supernatural danger to the story.

We highly recommend this one to thrillers lovers looking for a little something different.  You will be sure to read something different here with this story.

Web_L077-3_brunette_brown-eyesNorma’s review

Whoa! That was one awesome read…..and because I can’t help myself! Holy Shooty Balls that was some book!!

Chilling, gripping & unputdownable!

I absolutely loved this book and it was definitely my kind of story!  I love creepy suspenseful books with supernatural aspects to it and this one definitely satisfied my craving for an excellent spooky, spine-chilling and suspenseful read!

THE CRAFTSMAN by SHARON BOLTON is a dark, disturbing, tension-filled and an absolutely fantastic psychological thriller that had me totally engrossed, entertained and interested throughout this entire book.  I was immediately drawn into this story and not once did I lose interest. In fact, it had me on the edge of my seat with feelings of excitement and uncertainty right from the very start and in the end I was totally blown away by that ending.    

SHARON BOLTON delivers an impressive, original, clever, atmospheric, suspenseful, twisty and well-written read here with the perfect mix of intrigue, suspense, mystery, and the supernatural.  Bolton captures the essence of these characters and the eerie setting perfectly.

I thoroughly enjoy Bolton’s writing style and absolutely loved how this story unfolded.  It opens up in the present, 1999 and then switches narrative to 1969 through flashbacks and then back to the present, 1999.  This was an extremely effective way to set the mood and keep the suspense and tension high.

It was one of those books that definitely cast its spell on me and the witchcraft and supernatural aspects to this story was absolutely spellbinding.

Web_L099-2_blonde_blue-eyesLindsay’s review

A suspenseful, chilling and ‘witchy’ story!

This novel follows Assistant Commissioner Florence Lovelady who, as a new police officer in 1969, helped put convicted murderer Larry Glassbrook in prison.   Larry, the local funeral director, was found guilty of murdering three local teenagers by burying them alive in caskets he made himself. Florence’s determination and persistent drive to find answers and solve the murders lead her team to the shocking conviction of Larry.

There are two timelines – 1999 and 1969.   In 1999, Florence is attending Larry’s funeral in the small town where she brought him to a murder conviction.  Here she revisits her old stomping grounds and rehashes long-buried memories and secrets. The second timeline in 1969 follows Florence through her introduction into the male-dominated police force where she relentlessly works toward proving herself and solving her case.  I enjoyed both timelines and felt they flowed and intertwined intriguingly.

I loved Florence’s character!   She had an innocence about her but such a strong will and determination to get answers.   I was rooting for her from page 1. The ‘witchy’ factor in this novel is quite strong which was perfect for a late October read, however, I found that it did get a little too ‘witchy’ for me in the second half of the book.   Some details felt unrealistic and I couldn’t wrap my mind around them causing me to lose some of the connection I felt in the first half. Regardless of this, I still enjoyed the novel and look forward to reading more by this author (this was my first Sharon Bolton).  

Web_L083-1_brunette_green-eyesFrom Kim’s review

I have read close to 70 books this year and this one is in my top 3! To think, I almost passed on reading this book because I was worried it would be too gruesome for me. I decided to brave it and I am so glad I did. It is a creepy, twisted, edge of your seat thriller. I could not put this one down! Now excuse me as I am off to order my next Sharon Bolton book, Daisy in Chains. I have some catching up to do as I have now added another favorite author to my list! For Kim’s full review

FC-8-JamieFrom Mary Beth’s review

This book is my favorite book on 2018. I loved this one so much. This was the perfect Fall/Halloween read. It had everything I wanted in a thriller. I loved the witchcraft and the covens. I was immediately drawn into the story. This book really creepy and scared me and I do not scare easily. Any book that has to do with being buried alive really creeps me out. Shockingly I didn’t have nightmares last night. I think this book will stick with me for a very long time.

I thought I had this book all figured out and thought I knew what was going to happen next. I kept guessing and guessing and I was wrong every single time. This book is so intense, with so much action that never stops.

Sharon Bolton is my all time favorite author and I always want more after I read her books. She has one brilliant imagination.

Web_LF05-5_brunette_green-eyesFrom Stephanie’s review

I love thrillers that are deeply dark, dangerous, and take you places in your mind you might otherwise not want to go. I’m more than a bit morbid and bloodthirsty with my thrillers, and Bolton gives you that with The Craftsman, where the atmospheric vibe is at times tense, disturbing, and extremely terrifying. Yet what can you expect in a book that has a psychopathic, monstrous serial killer on the loose not only kidnapping children but burying them alive too–whoa! Then throw in some witchcraft, both white and dark spells, a little voodoo, masterful writing, an out of this world plot, a strong, intelligent female character like Florence, and I’m sold! And you should be too because this is an amazing book. In fact, I probably don’t have the words to express how stunning and marvelous this book is!  For Stephanie’s full review

Norma’s Stats:

  • Cover:  Creepy, sinister, piqued my interest and fitting.
  • Title: Oh what an absolutely brilliant title and loved how it played into the storyline.
  • Writing/Prose: Well-written, compelling, stunning, and proficient.
  • Plot: Suspenseful, creepy, darkly gothic, supernatural, witchcraft, unsettling, fast-paced, enjoyable and extremely entertaining.  I loved this brilliant original storyline!
  • Ending: Totally shocking and jaw-dropping!  I must have read those last few sentences over about 10 times because that is how stupefied I was!  I loved it!
  • Overall: A riveting read that was perfect for the Halloween season.  One of my favourite books of the year and was quickly placed into my favourite reads shelf for 2018! Would highly recommend!

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Have you read this one?  Did it make the perfect creepy good read for you?  Want to read this one?  Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you.

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads Reviews

Sadie by Courtney Summers @courtney_s @StMartinsPress @WednesdayBooks @about_thethrill #findsadie #travelingfriendsread #BookBloggers

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Norma, Lindsay and I read Sadie with six of our Traveling Friends and this story made for a fantastic group discussion.  

img_6531Norma’s Review

Powerful, compelling, & heartbreaking!

I have enjoyed YA stories in the past but in my opinion, I think this book is geared to a much wider audience than just teens.

SADIE by COURTNEY SUMMERS is a memorable, important, and a fantastic YA mystery novel that immediately grabbed my attention and had me glued to those pages right to the very end.

Sadie’s story was not an easy read as it delves deep into Sadie’s pain and some tough subject matter. But, I thought that the author handled it with such care though and was very sensitive with the delivery.

I didn’t necessarily find the storyline all that gripping but, the way that the author weaves her sentences and delivers this story was absolutely enthralling. When I wasn’t reading this one, I was thinking about it. Sadie really got under my skin and has left a lasting impression.

I loved COURTNEY SUMMERS’ unique writing style here and thought the podcasts was a very effective way for us to get to know all the characters. It gave us a different perspective into Sadie’s character and I really enjoyed how the story unfolded. Sadie’s narrative with a stutter and all was absolutely heartbreaking to read and really impacted me as a reader.

Thank you so much to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Courtney Summers for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review.

Web_L521-3_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s Review

Shortly after this one was chosen as a group read I went out and bought the book and started reading it. Once I started reading the podcast parts to this story I decided to listen to it as well.  The audiobook is so well done with multiple narrators that really enhance the whole experience with this story. I highly recommend listening to this one.

Sadie is a dark, gritty, moving yet at times bleak story that explores abuse and power and one girl’s driven need to seek revenge.  We follow along as our main character; angry, brave, reckless yet very sensitive Sadie as she searches for the man she believes is responsible for her sister’s murder. We also meet West and through crime podcasts he tracks Sadie’s journey and we hear from people who have met Sadie along the way.  The podcasts are so well done and really adds to the suspense of the story.

From that haunting line from May Beth “My heart can’t take another dead girl” my heartstrings were pulled and I was desperate to find out more about Sadie. Courtney Summers does such a great job drawing us into Sadie’s world.  I instantly fell in love with Sadie. I wanted to protect her, love her and allow her to grieve with me.  I could feel Sadie’s heartbreaking vulnerability, her love and support she had for her sister Maddie. Her grief becomes dangerous and I wanted to keep her safe.

The ending here made for quite a bit to discuss. We had a few different reactions to the ending and it was really interesting to see the different thoughts to the ending, so for that reason alone we highly recommend this one for group reads.

Web_L109-2_blonde_blue-eyesLindsay’s Review

4 stars!    A heart-wrenching and haunting coming-of-age story.

This novel revolves around nineteen-year-old Sadie who has run away from home in the hope of seeking revenge for the murder of her younger sister Mattie.  Sadie has always been Mattie’s protector, taking on a mothering role to Mattie from the time she was born.  Sadie hides many deep and disturbing childhood secrets that she is planning on addressing and exposing in hopes of getting justice for Mattie’s suffering.

This book will break your heart.   It deals with some extremely sensitive and highly disturbing subject matter but is presented in a respectful way that conveys the message without getting into unnecessary detail.  Be prepared for something that will pull at your heartstrings and have you rooting for these characters to find justice.

I enjoyed the presentation and flow of this novel.   It is told in alternating chapters through Sadie’s perspective and then an eight-episode podcast hosted by popular radio host, West McCray.   The podcasts were a fantastic piece of this compelling and suspenseful journey.

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Courtney Summers for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Web_L095-3_brunette_brown-eyesFrom Kim’s review 

This book is so unique. The author has you following along with Sadie’s journey as she hunts down the killer in Sadie’s own chapters. Yet we also are following along with a radio podcast being put on by a fellow named West McCray. The podcasts are reporting the search for Sadie as she now has gone missing. So they are retracing all Sadie’s steps along the way. I loved the podcast chapters, there was so much personality and it was so entertaining as they interviewed people that Sadie had come into contact with.

I loved this book! I did not pick up this book as an ARC because quite frankly I did not want to read a YA. Well then all the rave reviews started rolling in from people that I know read the same type of books I do and they loved it. So I picked up my copy of Sadie and whoa this is not your typical YA. There was a lot of hardcore, not so pretty details. These details made you feel like you were right there with Sadie. I was rooting for Sadie all the way.  For Kim’s full review

FC-2 VerityFrom Diane’s review

Although marketed for the young adult audience, this book is a worthy crossover. It is hard-hitting, timely, with the movement so often in the news, and the young, Sadie, is sure to win your heart. When Sadie’s younger sister Mattie is murdered, a sister who she raised, Sadie sets off on a journey to find the man responsible. When Sadie’s car is found, empty but holding all her belongings, a neighbor who was more of a mother to the girls than their own contacts a man who does podcasts focusing on cases such as these.

The pages fly by in this book, partly due to its form, alternate chapters between the podcast, called the Girls, and a first-person account by Sadie. Sadie’s vulnerability, her sense of guilt over her sister’s death, and her stutter, quickly wins over the reader. One of my triggers is any type of abuse of children, I usually try to avoid this type of read.

Web_L109-6Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Stunning, breathtaking, and a perfect and highly affecting representation to storyline.
Title: Simply brilliant and such a meaningful representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Edgy, witty, emotive & brilliantly written.
Plot: Engaging, impressive, unforgettable, perfectly-paced, and held my attention.
Ending: An ambiguous ending that I think worked really well for this YA story but didn’t necessarily satisfy my need of knowing a little bit more though.
Overall: Sadie definitely left an impression on me as well as this author’s writing style! Would recommend!

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Have you read this one?  Added it to your to be read list?  Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!