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TWO SISTERS LOST IN A COULEE READING

Two sisters coming together sharing their book reviews and just talking books!

Month

February 2017

Thoughts by Brenda: The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

The City of Mirrors (The Passage, #3)The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Read February 23-28, 2017

I devoured The Passage, soon after I inhaled The Twelve and held my breath till the end of The City of Mirrors. 2000 pages of dark joy, and expanding over 1000 years this trilogy has come to a rewarding end for me. I loved every moment of tension in this compelling and terrifying plot. What made this such a great trilogy for me was how Cronin was able to draw me into the story with such a large cast of characters, and had me emotionally engaged, caring for them and rooting for their survival.

In The City of Mirrors we see how our characters and the next generation of characters have dealt and found their place after the events of The Twelve. It started off a bit slow for me, and we see our characters have found some peace before all hell breaks loose and the virals are back. That’s when it got exciting and really good for me. From then on I was on the edge of my seat till the roaring, grisly, big event with a big payoff.

I would recommend reading all three books close together to really bond and see how these well developed characters grow and change in their fight to survive in such a terrifying world.

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Sister Read Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Date read:  February 19 to 22, 2017

Sister Read Review by Norma and Brenda

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Thoughts by Brenda: Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

Into the Darkest CornerInto the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read February 17-19, 2017

I read Into The Darkest Corner on a recommendation from my sister Norma. I am not sure if this would have been one I would’ve chosen for myself. I am really glad I took Norma’s recommendation and read this one.

I found The Darkest Corner to be a dark, disturbing, and interesting book.

The story is told in alternating chapters switching timelines with the before when once lively, fun loving and party girl Catherine meets handsome, charming and mysterious Lee and we follow their relationship as it declines into violence and the after, where we see Catherine is now struggling with OCD and PTSD giving us a good sense of the burdens of both. That made this an interesting read for me. The contrast between the two timelines is cleverly pulled together leaving me feeling very satisfied with the ending.

I recommend to anyone who loves a good psychological thriller but with caution as there is some violence.

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Review by Norma: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Date read:  February 17 to 19, 2017

A few books that I have read and that have caught my attention lately have been intended for a Young Adult audience. Some of those books didn’t really read like a YA novel to me but this one did seem to be a little more suitable for a teen audience. So with that being said this gets 3.5 stars from me for being an okay read as I found the premise of this book somewhat intriguing and enjoyable to read. However, I thought this book contained a lot of similar ideas from other books that I have read, Hunger Games did keep popping into my head while reading this one.

THE RED QUEEN by VICTORIA AVEYARD is an interesting, compelling, and atmospheric fantasy novel that was well-written and grabbed my attention from the very first chapter. There is deceit, romance, betrayal, love, action, and characters with supernatural abilities. I must admit all those aspects of a novel are very attractive to me.

Mostly being a cover and title reader this is one of the main reasons that I choose this book to be read. I really like the cover and title of this book as it definitely depicts a dark read which I found extremely fitting for this novel. A silver crown dripping with red blood.

VICTORIA AVEYARD delivers a pretty good read here with likeable characters and that was easy to follow along with the storyline and all the characters involved. But, I don’t know I had a slight problem with some of the storytelling as it felt like it was a little repetitive in telling us instead of immersing us in the storyline. I got a good grasp of what was happening in the characters lives but would have liked more of a descriptive feel of their world. If that makes sense…..

Our heroine Mare is a Red who finds herself working in the Silver palace and is soon labeled THE LIGHTNING GIRL as she has a special ability of her own. Two princes in the Silver palace soon to be the next king, Cal and his brother Maven….. For the majority of the book I was really torn who I wanted Mare’s love interest to be. Cal or Maven? I kept finding myself going back and forth on this as they both seemed to be so equally attractive and desirable with their own strengths and unique ways. Although, Cal might have been just a tiny bit more appealing to me!

What really made this book for me was the conclusion as it was exciting, surprising with a really good plot twist, action-packed, and a cliffhanger ending to entice me to read the next book in this series, GLASS SWORD.

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

From Goodreads:  It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

From Goodreads:  This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

Review by Norma: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

The Art of Racing in the RainThe Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Listened to February 12 to 17, 2017

THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by GARTH STEIN is an inspirational, wonderful, and sad story that had me feeling so many different emotions while listening to this book. Laughter…happiness…sadness….anger…and even a few tears. I had chills and goosebumps! That is good writing to make me feel so many different emotions while reading/listening to a book.

It was such a touching and uplifting story about the life of Enzo the dog, which was told from his own perspective. I found this story to be quite endearing, enjoyable, sad, and even funny with a few good twists and turns to keep me interested to the very end. Would recommend!

Audiobook – The book is performed by Christopher Evan Welch.

 

Review by Norma: What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan

What She KnewWhat She Knew by Gilly Macmillan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Date read:  February 14 to 16, 2017

4.5 stars!  What an absolutely thrilling and emotional ride this book took me on!  I am in awe that this was GILLY MACMILLAN’s debut novel as I thought this was even better than THE PERFECT GIRL.

WHAT SHE KNEW by GILLY MACMILLAN is a beautiful and cleverly written psychological thriller that takes you on a very emotional and apprehensive tale here of every parent’s worst fear…… their missing child.

GILLY MACMILLAN delivers an impressive and descriptive story that was interesting, believable, suspenseful, heartbreaking, and compelling.  The story is about a missing child, Ben who vanishes during a walk in the woods with his mother, Rachel who allows him to run ahead to the swings and the search for Ben as the clock is ticking to find him before it is too late.  This story was interestingly told in alternating points of view of Rachel and DI Jim Clemo along with therapists reports, blogs, and various different accounts online through social media.

What I particularly loved about this book was that you could really feel Rachel’s pain and devastation through the detailed descriptive telling of this story.

I have read quite a few novels about missing children but this one really resonated with me. When one of my sons was much younger he decided to go on a little adventure while visiting family in a big city without us knowing.  He was gone for a couple of hours with the whole neighbourhood and police looking for him. We were devastated and didn’t know where he was or what could have happened to him. Was I a bad mother because I let him go to the washroom on his own in the house?  He was found safe and sound but boy I sure connected with Rachel and the rawness of her emotions and her state of mind.

The conclusion was done so well with no loose ends and was wrapped up so nicely to give me a complete feeling of gratification.

To sum it all up it was a gripping, steady-paced, and an easy read with a very satisfying ending. Would recommend!!

 

Into the Darkest CornerInto the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

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