Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads

The Better Sister by Alafair Burke @HarperCollinsCa

It’s pub day for The Better Sister by Alafair Burke

We are so excited to bring you our reviews.

Norma’s review

Elaborate, suspenseful, and twisty!

THE BETTER SISTER by ALAFAIR BURKE is an exciting, intriguing, engrossing, disturbing, and fantastic domestic mystery/thriller that had me totally absorbed in this emotionally complex storyline. I was fully immersed and totally interested in the mystery and the interaction between these two sisters, Chloe and Nicky as it was quite dynamic.

ALAFAIR BURKE is such a fabulous storyteller and has this way of hooking you in right away with her extremely fast-paced narrative and her subtly sneaky delivery.  Which immediately had me questioning and wanting answers, even re-reading certain parts because I was certain I had to have missed something and dang if I did. She’s sneaky! lol

ALAFAIR BURKE delivers a compelling and well-written story here that is full of intrigue, suspense, courtroom drama, and familial dynamics. The topical storyline is timely and well-plotted, flowed seamlessly and had interesting and great characters.

This was another one of those books for me where the fantastic storytelling guided and entertained me right to the very end.  The courtroom drama was extremely interesting and smartly written without overwhelming you with complicated details. I could definitely tell that ALAFAIR BURKE knows her stuff.

Brenda’s review

Two estranged sisters, a murdered husband and father, some courtroom drama and a whole lot of messy family drama. 

The Better Sister is a simple yet intriguing whodunit domestic thriller with some interesting simple courtroom drama and a lot of family drama that didn’t feel too overly complicated to me. 

Now I am not sure I would describe this one as fast-paced or really entertaining. I felt the strength in this one was in the drama. Now that is something I never thought I would say, not being much of a fan of drama. There is a lot of messy family drama going on here with these very different sisters that unfolded slowly throughout the story instead of coming at you all at once. One sister who craves and needs routine and the other who lives in constant drama. I was hooked right from the start and I was turning the pages as fast as I could as the twists and turns came. I started to question who was the better sister as we learn more about some of their family secrets.

The ending came as a surprise and I didn’t see it coming. Maybe a bit weak with the big reveal and one you might find unsatisfying with a few holes. For me, it all came together well and I thought the pacing was well done as the drama slowly unfolded

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Absolutely love that dramatic, striking, breathtaking and extremely fitting cover. 
Title: Simple, impactful and a fabulous representation to storyline. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, skilled, elaborate, suspenseful and engaging.
Plot: Engrossing, suspenseful, dramatic, realistic, interesting, fast-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: The ending made me pause and reflect but in the end I was completely satisfied with the outcome. 
Overall: The storyline is full of twists and turns and so subtly interspersed that I didn’t think this was predictable at all. I wouldn’t necessarily say it was all that surprising though when everything all played out but it was completely satisfying to me. ALAFAIR BURKE does it again and has another winner here with THE BETTER SISTER!! Would highly recommend!

Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for our complimentary copy to read and review.

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

#BookReview #BookBloggers #travelingsisterreads #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman @SimonSchusterCA #BookBloggers #travelingfriendsread #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Us Against You (Beartown, #2)  has been on my NG shelve for quite some time. I loved Beartown and it is one of my favorite books. So why did it take me so long to read this one I really don’t know. I like to think maybe it had to do with the timing. Sometimes you just have that special book that seems like you are waiting for the perfect time. Well, I read this one just at the perfect time because I read this one in an Instagram Group read and shared this one with some wonderful ladies. We shared a great discussion with a few emotions with this one.

Brenda’s Review

A Community consumed by hockey, torn apart by violence, hate, conflict and differences.

Us Against You is not just about hockey. It’s a look into how a community heals, after violence tears apart a town and we see how that affects the community and families. We see the damage that competition and hate from a rivalry community can affect communities. We were like a whirlwind of emotions as we saw how the people in the town dealt with the violence and hate and we see how they grow from it. It’s heartbreaking and heartwarming.

Fredrik Backman knows how to capture the insight into his characters and had me feeling compassion for all the characters. He captures their environment and just how that shapes the people they are.

These are my favorite types of books to read and stories like this remind me why I read. It reminds me sometimes I just need to go back to being that mood reader that really makes me a happy reader.

Thank you to NetGalley, and Simon & Schuster for a copy to read and review. I purchase the copy used in the photo.

Have you read either Beartown or Us Against you? Want to read them? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

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

Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler #BookBloggers #travelingsistersread #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook @HarperCollinsCa @AuthorLizLawler

Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler is now available!

Don’t Wake Up takes dark and disturbing to a different level here when we learn the unsettling scenario our main character Alex has endured. So unbelievable that everyone starts to question Alex’s story, setting Alex up to be an interesting unreliable character. That dark and twisted part of me was drawn into Alex’s life and at times I questioned if maybe this one has gone a bit too far for me. Things start to slow down a bit there as Alex’s life spirals out of control and the dynamics between the characters become interesting however at times the story felt like it wasn’t moving forward as fast as I wanted it too. Norma who was ahead of me struggled a bit here too but told me to be patient and give it some time. Things started to pick up for me as we learn the truth.

Liz Lawler does a good job here leading us to those twists and turns as there were a few ways the story could of went. What at times felt like the story could be predictable took a different turn than I expected to keep me guessing right up to that satisfying ending.

Norma’s Review

Edgy, mysterious, & disturbing!

DON’T WAKE UP by LIZ LAWLER is an engaging, dark, suspenseful, and intense psychological thriller that I was immediately drawn into.  The subject matter is disturbingly nightmarish and terrifying to make this quite the intriguing, enjoyable and entertaining read.

This book immediately grabbed my attention but necessarily didn’t keep it all the way through though.  I did get a tiny bit impatient with some aspects of the storyline as it seemed to stall a little bit but it totally grabbed me again and in the end I was thoroughly impressed with the way certain things played out.

LIZ LAWLER delivers a character-driven, interesting, and well-written read here that had me feeling anxious as well as had me questioning and suspicious of almost everything that I was reading.

The only thing that bothered me a little bit while reading this one was something to do with the investigation and the actions of the authorities.  I have a reading pet-peeve when a character’s behaviour is questioned and not believed by the police. It definitely bugs me as a reader.

Thank you so much to Edelweiss, HarperCollins Canada & Liz Lawler for the opportunity to read an electronic ARC of this book.

Lindsay’s Review

Mysterious, suspenseful and chilling!

Dr. Alex Taylor wakes up under the bright lights of an operating table, groggy and confused. She is strapped down and hooked up to an IV with no sense of what happened. Assuming she had a bad accident, she asks the doctor beside her for details. The next thing she knows, she is waking up on a gurney in the hospital she works at, surrounded by her co-workers. They tell her she was found unconscious in the parking lot. What happened between those two waking moments? Alex knows she was targeted and something happened to her in that mysterious hospital operating room. She embarks on a quest to find answers and uncover the truth behind her peculiar and puzzling situation.

The first chapter starts with a bang! It pulled me right into the story, feeling the suspense and sympathizing with Alex’s situation. I applaud the author, Liz Lawler, for creating such a powerful start to this debut novel – it was unique, captivating and suspenseful. As the novel progressed, my intrigue weakened as I couldn’t fully connect to the characters and the pace slowed. There were some surprising twists in the novel which kept me on my toes, but some of the dialogue and behaviour felt unnatural and took away from my connection to the story. 

Overall, I enjoyed the book, am glad I read it and would be interested in reading more from this author. Many readers have loved this one, so be sure to check out those several raving reviews! 

Warning: there is a scene with animal abuse that I found difficult to read.

Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for providing me with an ARC to read and review!

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Suspenseful, intriguing, mysterious, dark, eye-catching and a fitting representation to storyline. 
Title: Appealing, suspenseful, disturbing, intriguing and absolutely love how the title plays so fittingly and terrifyingly into storyline. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging, and captivating. 
Plot: Harrowing, dark, tension-filled, suspenseful, gripping, fast-paced, clever, absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining. 
Ending: An unexpected and unpredictable ending that totally took me by surprise. 
Overall: I was quite delighted that the author totally took me by surprise here and I totally missed a major clue to the “who” of the “whodunit”! Loved it!!!! Would definitely recommend!

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


Posted in Can't Wait Wednesday, Traveling Friends Reads

Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Lies We Told by Camilla Way

It’s that time of the week when we sister up with Traveling Sisters, Christina and Kim and talk about a book we can’t wait to read. Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a meme that is hosted by  Wishful Ending.

Today Kim over at It’s All About The Thrill and I are so excited to talk about The Lies We Told by Camilla Way. Christina over at Recipe and a Read will be joining in with another book we can’t wait to read.

Norma got this one from book of the month and all it took was an I want to read this one….I was all over it and now it’s an upcoming Traveling Friends group read.  Now how does Norma get book of the month well she really does have a book fairy who magically makes these books appear for her just out of the kindness of her heart.  You know who you are and we love you!!

On to more about this book.  We haven’t read Watching Edie but have heard some really good things about it.  I am thinking we will need to put it on our TBR list in the new year.  A few friends have mentioned they really enjoyed it and can’t wait to read The Lies We Told.  It should be a great group read.  As always if anyone wants to join in with us, you can find The Travelings Friends group on Goodreads.

About the book

The highly acclaimed author of Watching Edie returns with a new novel of dark psychological suspense that explores how those closest to us have the most to hide…

When Clara’s boyfriend, Luke, disappears, everyone believes that he’s left her, but Clara thinks she knows the truth. Recent evidence suggests that Luke had a stalker, and Clara worries that he’s been kidnapped. Then Luke’s older sister, Emily, who vanished twenty years ago, suddenly reappears.

Emily wants to help Clara with her search for Luke, but she refuses to talk about what happened–even though it nearly destroyed her family when she vanished. And the deeper Clara digs into Luke’s mysterious disappearance, the more convinced she is that the two incidents are connected.

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Have you read this one or Watching Edie?  What are your thoughts on it?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Can't Wait Wednesday, Traveling Friends Reads

Can’t Wait Wednesday: Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty #travelingfriendsread #BookBloggers

It’s that time of week when we sister up with Traveling Sisters Christina and Kim and talk about a book we can’t wait to read. Can’t Wait Wednesday is a meme that is hosted by  Wishful Ending.

However, Kim over at It’s All About The Thrill  is unwell today and we might need to catch up with her later. Christina over at Recipe and a Read will be joining in with another book we can’t wait to read.

In the Traveling Freinds group, we can’t wait to read Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty.  Through my book travels, I have seen some mixed reviews for this and I am really curious to see how this read will go.  Some of our most interesting discussions often have had some mixed feeling towards a book.  I think this just might end up being one of them.  With Liane Moriarty being one of our favorite authors how could we not read this one?

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever? In Liane Moriarty’s latest page-turner, nine perfect strangers are about to find out…

Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

Combining all of the hallmarks that have made her writing a go-to for anyone looking for wickedly smart, page-turning fiction that will make you laugh and gasp, Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers once again shows why she is a master of her craft.

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

 

Posted in Traveling Friends Reads

What The Traveling Friends are Reading #travelingfriendsread

There are some great discussions going on in the Traveling Friends Goodreads group for some fantastic books.  Here is what we are reading or starting this week.   If anything catches your interest come on over and request to join the group.  Please mention you found us on our blog when requesting to join.  You can find us here.

The Traveling Friends Goodreads Group link

 

Unraveling OliverUnraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

We are really excited to start this one.  We loved Lying in Wait!!

 

 

 

Jane DoeJane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

Seven Traveling Friends have joined in on this group discussion and so far everyone is loving this one.  Jane Doe is such a great character and we all are enjoying being drawn into her mind!

 

 

 

The Taste of AirThe Taste of Air by Gail Cleare

The group discussion starts this week and I am really looking forward to reading this one.

 

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Do any of these titles catch your eye?  Would you like to join in on any of these reads? Have you read any of these?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!!