Posted in Book Musings

Random Book Musings: So I’m really curious to hear what your most anticipated read is for this year? #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Hello everyone and Happy Saturday to you all!

So guess who came to visit me and my adorable granddaughter, Natalie?  Brenda!!!  

I am so thrilled and so happy to have had the pleasure of spending four wonderful days with Brenda. We had some great quality time together and we did lots of baby holding and hugging too.

I actually took two weeks vacation to be able to spend time with Brenda as well as help out our new mom. So I have been spending lots of time with my daughter-in-law and of course our little sweetie, Natalie.

I always have these random bookish questions that I’m curious about so I ask our Traveling Sisters a weekly (sometimes more) book related question. We thought it would be fun and interesting to take some of those questions to our blog and see what you all think or do. I hope that you will also join in on the discussion with us.

Norma’s Random Book Musings Question

So we are really curious to hear what your most anticipated read is for this year? I know it is early days…….but we’d love to hear if you have read any great books so far this year and have they made it into your favourite reads shelf? 

Norma’s Answer

I might have a few highly anticipated books this year so far which are My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing, No Exit by Taylor Adams, The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald & The Invited by Jennifer McMahon (which I don’t have….so bummed LOL). Yes, my very first and only book that has made it into my favourite reads shelf so far this year is The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. I absolutely LOVED it!!!

Brenda’s Answer

The Night Olivia Fell is also one of my anticipated reads and I am really looking forward to it. I think we can say that is a highly anticipated Traveling Friends group read. Start date is around March 1. Christina MacDonald will be joining us in our discussion. If you are interested in joining you can find the group on Goodreads or drop us a comment below.

For favourites so far, Verity by Colleen Hoover took me by surprise and I really enjoyed it. I really look forward to adding more books on my favourites lists.

Lindsay’s Answer

Great question Norma! 💜 My most anticipated read would be The Night Olivia Fell by Christina MacDonald and Kelly Rimmer’s latest – The Things We Cannot Say. Really looking forward to both! No Favourite Shelf reads yet this year but hoping to change that real soon.

Enjoy that gorgeous baby and your time with Brenda! Wish I was there with you! 💗

Brenda & I heading out the door to go for a little nighttime stroll with our new books in the Coulee! 🙂

Now to the best part. Your answers. Please join in our discussion and let us know your answer. We would love to hear from you!

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Posted in Reviews

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff @PamJenoff @HarperCollinsCa travelingsistersread #BookBloggers #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Norma and I have been spending time with our new little sweetie, Norma’s Granddaughter and we have kind of left Lindsay here holding together all that we have going on in our coulee here so to say. New Mom is tired and in need of Grandma so Norma will be missing for a bit. I am back home and hope to catch up soon with you all. Thank you, everyone, for sticking with us while we have been missing.

Today we bring Lindsay’s review for The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff. It’s now available and this is one not to be missed. Norma and I will not be missing out. This is a group read going on as well and one Norma and I hope to jump into soon and will be bringing you more thoughts on this one soon.

Lindsay’s Review

This fascinating and unforgettable story, inspired by true events, revolves around a handpicked group of British female spies sent to France by a top-secret government division during WWII. Weeks of rigorous training aim to prepare these young women to venture into unknown territory, planting themselves as everyday French citizens, intending to smoothly transition into society. Putting their lives largely at risk, they plan to connect with the local resistance members, send back critical information and complete various goals of sabotage. 

This book was exceptional! Extremely engrossing storyline. Beautiful and brilliant writing. Endearing and unforgettable characters. Smooth and seamlines timeline transitions. Suspense surrounding every chapter. The presentation, pace and flow of the story was perfection.

It is a deeply affecting novel that explores a shocking and largely unknown piece of wartime history, bringing to light the immense bravery and determination these women had in being able to step up and immerse themselves in this opportunity. As always, the fact that this was based on true events made the book even more powerful for me. If you enjoy historical fiction, you do not want to miss this! My one tiny critique was that I could have done without the romance. 

Thank you to Edelweiss, Park Row Books and Pam Jenoff for providing me with an ARC 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!

Posted in Reviews

The Line Between by Tosca Lee @toscalee@howardbooks @simonschuster #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

The Line Between by Tosca Lee

Read The Line Between, save the bacon, save the world!!!!  Don’t miss out on this! It’s not your typical dystopian and apocalyptic novel.

From the moment we received this extra fun book mail, we were so intrigued and excited to read The Line Between.  We wanted to share this reading experience with a few of our friends and were very excited when a few of our Instagram friends joined in on reading and discussing this one with us.  The story made for an excellent discussion and we highly recommend for buddy reads or group reads.

Norma’s review

Intensely entertaining, an unexpected gem & a gripping page-turner!

THE LINE BETWEEN by TOSCA LEE is a fascinating, chilling, action-packed and an engaging apocalyptic thriller that had me on the edge of my seat in anticipation for the entirety of reading this novel.  I found myself fully engrossed and absorbed in this tale which was part of an end of the world type of scenario along with a twisted doomsday cult. The cult perspective totally fascinated me and I found the storyline extremely thrilling to read without any unnecessary disturbing or graphic scenes.  The telling in itself is what made this book so thrilling and exciting to read.

TOSCA LEE delivers a fantastic, intriguing, unique, well-written and plotted read here with an incredibly suspenseful storyline, an interesting and angst-driven setting, and believable and realistic characters.  Our young main protagonist here was such a driven and dynamic character that I absolutely loved right from the get-go and right down to her name, Wynter. The race to save the world and the bacon (inside book joke) was just as intense for us readers as it was for Wynter and Chase.  I was fully invested in these characters and rooting for them all the way.

The story is told in alternating chapters between the past and present day which I thoroughly enjoyed equally and thought they complimented each other so well and flowed perfectly.

There were quite a few scenes in this book that I thought was extremely well-written and very meaningful but one that really stood out to me that I feel like I should mention is this one………

“What did you mean, ‘Welcome home’?” I ask.

“Did you see his hat? Guy’s a Vietnam vet.  They didn’t get the kind of respect or homecoming the military do today.”

The dialogue of that scene made me pause to reflect and it just really resonated with me.

Brenda’s review

The Line Between has all the elements to make it an exciting yet moving dystopian thriller but without any disturbing events and unrealistic scenes or Zombie’s walking around.  The actual apocalyptic storyline is realistic and a bit frightening and there is an added interesting storyline here with the cult. There is some action, a conspiracy and a little romance going on. There is some drama here to move the story forward that some of us found a bit unlikely to happen however this didn’t affect how they felt about the story.  It just left us questioning some things.

Tosca Lee does a great job creating a very interesting and likable character here with Wynter Roth.   She is vulnerable yet driven. I loved the dynamics between her and Chase. As the world sinks deeper into madness Wynter races to save the world. The tension builds and I was on the edge of my seat as I was rooting for Wynter every step of the way. I couldn’t turn those pages fast enough to that very satisfying ending.

Lindsay’s review

 A suspenseful, fast-paced, action-packed thrilling ride!

Wynter Roth is in her twenties when she leaves New Earth, a dark and controversial cult that she has called ‘home’ since she was a child.   She enters the real world at the same time that a strange outbreak of an unknown disease is rapidly overtaking the country, causing early onset dementia and death. After reuniting with family friends from long ago, Wynter finds herself in the possession of secretive and highly valuable samples that need to get to a lab hundreds of miles away.  Facing devastating personal losses along the way, Wynter surges ahead on a dangerous and unpredictable journey of self-survival, aiming to resolve the nation’s shocking epidemic.   

This novel took me outside of my comfort zone and I loved it!  I am not one to read ‘end of the world’ type books, but this one had me hooked.   I felt this could actually happen and it had my heart pounding.   The tension was palpable, the suspense was addictive, the writing was excellent!  The characters were unique and left a lasting impression that I am sure I will be thinking of long after I write this review.

From Christina’s review

For me, the first half of the book was more enjoyable than the second half.   While I loved Wynter’s character, I felt that she became slightly unrealistic in the sense of what she was capable of after just escaping a sheltered life in a cult.   Regardless of this, I was still rooting for her throughout and continued to feel an urgency for her character to accomplish her feat.  For Christina’s full review

This book, was NOTHING like I expected it to be. The synopsis definitely drew me in initially, but I was skeptical to say the least when I began this story. However, Lee really proved her skill and wove an intricate story that doesn’t just tell one fascinating story, but two, in tandem with one another. This is told in a somewhat typical flash-back format, with the reader both learning about before Wynter’s banishment from the Enclave as well as a current timeline, after her banishment. I couldn’t decide at any point throughout reading this which I liked more. They each had their own elements that drove me forward with a need to see how this story would progress.

From Dana’s review

The plot of this story is intense, a fast-paced page-turner you won’t want to put down. I have always found cults extremely fascinating and this book did not disappoint. The cult leader definitely gives the reader that uncomfortable vibe that has come to be expected with that lifestyle. Wynter Roth, on the other hand, stole my heart. She was dealt a bad hand in life, was forced to face her obstacles and overcome them. I enjoyed watching her character grow and evolve throughout the story. 

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

Posted in Reviews

The Break Line by James Brabazon @BerkleyPub #BookBloggers #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

The Break Line by James Brabazon

Brenda’s review

Now Available!

The Break Line is a fast-paced complex political spy thriller with plenty of action and violence to get your heart pounding. There are some gasp-worthy moments that could get your adrenaline going or leaving you gasping in shock and needing some recovery time before continuing.

James Brabazon creates a fascinating character here with our smart, cold and dangerous assassin Max McLean who grows a conscience and starts doubting his orders. Max is quite the hardcore character. The tension rises and it becomes unpredictably interesting as Max starts to question his mission.

James Brabazon really knows how to draw you right into the action with those vivid descriptions to the setting as well. The story is quite vivid with those combat scenes and at times took on a theatrical feel for me. Things started to move quite fast for me and there is no holding back on some of the gore to the violence. I started to get a little lost with the pace and I became a bit distracted while reading and some of those gory scenes left my mind wandering away from the violence.

I highly recommend for readers who like an action-packed and fast-paced spy thriller. It’s sure to satisfy.

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing Group for the opportunity to read an advance reading copy of this novel.

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

Posted in Reviews, Sister Read Reviews

Talent by Juliet Lapidos @HBGCanada @littlebrown @travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

Talent by Juliet Lapidos

Norma’s Review

Smart, unique and clever!

TALENT by JULIET LAPIDOS was an interesting, steady-paced, and quirky story that was a little structurally & mentally challenging for me to read. The blurb states that this is a “wickedly funny debut” novel that I definitely didn’t find funny at all or it went way over my head. I kind of lack the sense of understanding the dark humour here. 

JULIET LAPIDOS delivers an intriguing and well-written read here that I really wanted to fully embrace and love. I have this need to broaden my reading horizons and one of these days I am going to thoroughly “get” these types of novels. I love the challenge of reading them even if I do find them a bit grueling to read. 

I wasn’t able to really feel any emotional connection to the characters as I couldn’t connect with the academic side to the story. I missed a lot of the dark humor here with that to thoroughly immerse myself in this storyline. I just didn’t “get” it. Although I was totally entertained and engaged with the narrative, moving this story forward to keep me turning those pages. 

Brenda’s review

I feel like Talent can best be described as an academic literary thriller and is something I have not read anything like before. Like Norma mentioned I do like to challenge myself by reading more books that require me to think differently. I do think it took on a bit of a psychological feel to it as well as some of these characters were unreliable and manipulative. At times it felt a little bit like a psychological playground with the characters. The writing took on a bit of a chaotic feel to the story. It also felt a bit eccentric. Now that can be a good thing and I think here it was, however, the whole storyline was not something I was familiar with. The longest piece of work I have ever done is probably this review and I like to stick to reading fiction and not textbooks. lol

Our main character here, Anna is a grad student struggling to write her dissertation. After an encounter with a stranger, she acquires unpublished notes by a deceased talented author. Anna delves into his notebooks and things got a little chaotic for me with the different formats used to write this story. I also should have focused more on the characters and questioned their reliability instead of trying to figure out the academic dark humor of a grad student. I am not going to say anymore as to not say too much about this story.

I recommend this one to readers who like an intelligent story that explores more of academics and delves into some dark humor around Grad students.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Eye-catching, artistic, appealing, and distinctive. I actually quite love this cover and think it’s a great representation to storyline.
Title: Intriguing, interesting, and wish that I was talented enough to have “gotten” this one. LOL 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, entertaining, engaging and smart. 
Plot: Challenging, complex, interesting, thought-provoking, steady-paced, and entertaining. 
Ending: An ambiguous ending that I’m still not exactly sure that I interpreted correctly…..but I’m not so inclined to actually worry about not getting it though and just accepted it for what it was. 
Overall: Even though I didn’t end up loving this novel, I still appreciated and enjoyed the rugged escape that this book provided. 

Thank you so much to HBG Canada / Little, Brown Company for sending us a physical ARC of this book to read and review!

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

Posted in Book Musings

Random Book Musings: Just for Fun!! Guess who’s a grandma? #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Hello everyone and Happy Thursday to you all!

I have a very special announcement to make!!! I am so excited and proud to announce the arrival of our very first grandchild (Brenda is now a great aunt). Natalie Liann Rempel was born on January 18th, weighing 6 lbs 7 oz. We are totally in love and smitten with this adorable little girl!

I always have these random bookish questions that I’m curious about so I ask our Traveling Sisters a weekly (sometimes more) book related question. We thought it would be fun and interesting to take some of those questions to our blog and see what you all think or do. I hope that you will also join in on the discussion with us.

Norma’s Random Book Musings Question ~*~ Just for fun!

So for my Book Musings question for this week is something that you have all probably seen done lots of times on Social Media. I have to admit that I like reading these but I have never actually “played along”. I would like to encourage everyone to please play as I think we would all love to see each others answers. I know that I do! So here we go…….

Norma’s Answer

Children: 3 & 1 grandchild! 🙂
Surgeries: 4
Tattoos: 0
Shot a Gun: Yes. (Target Practice) Didn’t like it much.
Quit a Job: Yes, when I got married and moved to the country in a different part of Alberta.
Ever been on TV: No 
Been to an Island: Yes, my parents recently moved from Prince Edward Island.
Rode in an Ambulance: No
Sang Karaoke: Yes
Ice Skating: Yes
Been on a Cruise: No
Rode on a Motorcycle: Yes
Rode a Horse: Yes
Almost Died: No
Stayed in a Hospital: Yes
Favourite movie: I don’t know if I actually have a favourite movie. I can’t think of one particular favourite at this moment anyway.
Update: The Sound of Music (just thought of one…LOL)
Morning or night: Night
Favourite colour: Brown
Last Phone Call: My mother
Last Text From: Brenda 
Favourite drink: Diet Pepsi 
Coffee or Tea: I’m not really a lover of hot liquids but if I were to choose it would be Coffee.
Favourite chocolate bar: Crispy Crunch (edited this to read chocolate bar LOL – or if you have a favourite bar then go ahead and add that in too)
Pizza: Hawaiian 
Cats or Dogs: Both 
Favourite Season: Summer but I think that Winter is the prettiest.
Favourite Book Genre: Thriller/Mystery

Your turn! 

Brenda’s Answer

So much fun. Here I go.

Children: 2 adult sons. I am now a great aunt and Norma a Grandma. oh my! Congrats Norma. 
Surgeries: none
Tattoos: no 
Shot a Gun: no
Quit a Job: Yes
Ever been on TV: no
Been to an Island: Yes
Rode in an Ambulance: no
Sang Karaoke: no
Ice Skating: yes
Been on a Cruise: No
Rode on a Motorcycle: Yes Husband loves to ride but I am not going near it and I am not invited either. lol 
Rode a Horse: Yes, not something I want to do again
Almost Died: No 
Stayed in a Hospital: Just when I had my boys 
Favourite movie: Not Bird Box. lol Watched with my husband he is now worried about what I read. lol 
Morning or night: Definitely a morning person. Love early mornings
Favourite colour: Orange
Last Phone Call: Norma
Last Text From: Wish I could say son but I have to text him. He was the last one I did text with but the last from was my Mother-in-law
Favourite drink: White wine
Coffee or Tea: coffee and a book are the best way to start my morning. I like tea too 
Favourite bar: anything Cadbury 
Pizza: Pineapple, green peppers and onions
Cats or Dogs: Dog 
Favourite Season: summer
Favourite Book Genre: Historical 

Lindsay”s Answer

Fun idea Norma!!

Children: 3 (2 of my own, 1 stepdaughter)
Surgeries: 2
Tattoos: 0
Shot a Gun: Yes
Quit a Job: Yes
Ever been on TV: Yes 
Been to an Island: Yes
Rode in an Ambulance: No
Sang Karaoke: Yes
Ice Skating: Yes (5 times just over the Christmas break with my kids – Santa brought them all skates)
Been on a Cruise: No – doesn’t interest me at all
Rode on a Motorcycle: No
Rode a Horse: Yes
Almost Died: No
Stayed in a Hospital: Yes
Favourite movie: don’t have one. Not into TV or movies
Morning or night: Morning
Favourite colour: Pink
Last Phone Call: My mom
Last Text From: a girlfriend
Favourite drink: coffee (red wine comes in a close second)
Coffee or Tea: I enjoy both, but would always choose coffee over tea
Favourite bar: Wonderbar
Pizza: Hawaiian 
Cats or Dogs: Cats 
Favourite Season: Fall
Favourite Book Genre: Historical Fiction

Never Ending TBR Book Stack #2 ~ Do you have any of these to read? Which ones have you read and recommend to read sooner than later? Want to help us knock some of these off of our shelves?

Now to the best part. Your answers. Please join in our discussion and let us know your answer. We would love to hear from you!

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