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TWO SISTERS LOST IN A COULEE READING

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

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Sister Read Reviews

Sister Reads Review: Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

Never Let You GoNever Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sister Reads Review by BRENDA and NORMA

Date read:  April 8 to 11, 2017

4.5 stars rounded up!

Norma didn’t need to use her twisted mind as much with this one but she still managed to shock Brenda with figuring out the reveal and the details before she did. It adds a shocking twist to a thriller for Brenda that she normally wouldn’t of experienced if reading it on her own.

NEVER LET YOU GO by CHEVY STEVENS is an angst driven, chilling, gripping, and suspenseful domestic psychological thriller novel that explores the darkness of love, manipulation, and obsession.

CHEVY STEVENS delivers a well-written and believable story here, with the way that she weaves the story together. We found it to be a refreshing change of pace from your typical story of domestic violence that really stood out for the both of us.

The story is told from shifting points of view from skeptical and struggling Lindsey who is trying to keep herself and her daughter safe and vulnerable Sophie who is too young to understand obsession, fear, and betrayal. What made this story really standout for us was Lindsey’s knowledge of what her husband is capable of and Sophie’s desire to find some good in her father. Lindsey’s fear and Sophie’s determination added tension and fear to the story for us.

Brenda was too impatient to wait for the print copy and listened to the audio version of this story. Overall she enjoyed the narrators but has to admit the voice of Sophie did annoy her at times. She would’ve preferred to have read the book like I did.

We love CHEVY STEVENS novels and the references she makes within her books to places that are both familiar to us. It adds a little extra enjoyment when you recognize the names and places that she has referred to in the story.

NEVER LET YOU GO is an action-packed, fast-paced, and adrenaline pumping read with just the right amount of tension, shocking events, and twist and turns that will keep you guessing right to the very impressive conclusion!! Would recommend!!

Sister Reads Review: Redemption Road by John Hart

Redemption RoadRedemption Road by John Hart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Date read:  April 6th – 9th, 2017

Sister Reads Review by BRENDA and NORMA

Norma’s little twisted mind figured out whodunit way before Brenda did and this had Brenda thinking that I had to be wrong or was slightly confused. Hahaha sister dear!!

REDEMPTION ROAD by JOHN HART is a gritty, dark, gripping, and a suspenseful thriller/police procedural novel that has a literary fiction feel to it. The road to redemption is a road filled with compassion and emotionally troubled relationships that will have you totally engaged to the surprising and gratifying ending.

JOHN HART delivers an extremely well-written read here that takes you on an emotional and bumpy road of trust and betrayals that tests the beliefs and the personal strengths of our two main characters, Elizabeth and Adrian throughout their complicated relationship.

We loved the unique relationships and understanding Elizabeth had with troubled, flawed and damaged Gideon and Channing which added some backbone to the storyline. The relationships added contrast to Elizabeth’s strained relationship with someone close to her.

REDEMPTION ROAD has just the right amount of grit and shocking events with twist and turns that every thriller reader craves!!

We suggest catching a ride along with Elizabeth on her road to redemption. It’s a thrilling and electrifying ride! Definitely recommend!!

 

Sister Reads Review: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Lincoln in the BardoLincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Date listened:  April 4 to 6, 2017

Sister Read Review by Norma and Brenda

We both listened to the audio version of LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by GEORGE SANDERS and found it to be quite the entertaining, compelling, and unique listening experience. It’s a performance with a 166-person full cast with actors, musicians, and a number of Saunders’ family, friends, and members of his publishing team.

To name a few:

Nick Offerman
David Sedaris
Ben Stiller
Julianne Moore
Susan Sarandon
Megan Mullally

This story does take a little bit of work and having some background information on the story, how it is written, and how the audio version is performed will make the story less confusing.  The payoff is worth it!

Norma’s thoughts:  Normally I go into a book completely blind but under Brenda’s suggestion I did not do that this time.  Although, I still found it a little confusing and was lost at times, it did make it a little better knowing what to expect. We suggest not going into this one blind as a little bit of the books knowledge will make this a better read.  This time around for our “Sister Read” Brenda enjoyed this book a little bit more than I did.

LINCOLN IN THE BARDO is not your typical story it is confusing and complicated but yet it is a simple story about family, loss, duty, acceptance, understanding, and perseverance in the face of excruciating circumstances. Voices of the ghosts talk on top of each other creating a colourful mixture of the different characters perspectives while in the “Bardo”.  (Definition:  a state of existence between death and rebirth, varying in length according to a person’s conduct in life and manner of, or age at, death.)

We both listened to the audiobook and followed along with the Ebook and this really enhanced the experience and also made it less confusing.

Sister Read Review: Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf

Our Souls at NightOur Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brenda listened from March 21-23, 2017 / Norma listened from March 29 – 31, 2017

Well I guess we should have done this little gem of a book as a “sister read” as my thoughts are very similar to that of Brenda’s!

I listened to the audio version of OUR SOULS AT NIGHT by KENT HARUF and the narrator was absolutely wonderful! His voice was so gentle and soothing!

I don’t think I can say anymore or anything better than Brenda……so let’s just call it a “sister read”.

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After reading a review from a Goodreads friend who found Our Souls At Night the perfect first audiobook for her. I decided to listen to the audiobook myself. It’s not my first but it was a perfect one for me and an excellent choice to listen too.

Our Souls at Night is a simple, graceful and tender story of elderly Louis and Addie who while seeking companionship share a touching relationship, quietly at night, sharing their stories of their past, happiness, missed opportunities, mistakes and grief. I love their quiet acceptance of each other and how they start to enjoy the quiet and simple pleasures in life until the noise and judgment of others threaten it.

Listening to this was a special one for me and I became emerged into their lives that left me feeling peaceful and hopeful with the possibility that with change and growth there is quiet later in life.

Our Souls at Night is a beautiful novella, short and quick that will have me thinking of the beauty in it for a long time. I highly recommend, especially the audio version.

 

Sister Read Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright PlacesAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sister Read Review by Norma & Brenda
3.5 stars

Brenda’s Thoughts: I was interested in reading All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven because I was curious about how a character with a mental illness was going to be portrayed in this story. I am not even really sure if that was what the story was even about. I think different life experiences and exposure to mental illness will have some people like Norma and I feeling different ways towards this book.

Norma’s Thoughts: As usual I went into this book blind so I didn’t have any preconceptions or idea on the subject matter of this book. I wanted to listen to another audiobook so I chose this one as it was available on Overdrive. I really liked the narrators and I found it was another enjoyable audiobook that was easy for me to stay focused while listening to.

For both of us we read mostly for the pure enjoyment of it and love feeling many emotions as we read so with that being said we both really enjoyed this book. If we were to look at it that way All the Bright Places is a heartbreaking, charming, tragic love story between two young people with themes of mental illness, suicide, loss, grief, bullying and abuse. Which we both believe was what this story was about. Both of our hearts broke for Theodore Finch and at times Brenda wasn’t sure she could finish reading as seeing his darkness was very real to her. For me I just accepted the story for what it was and felt for Finch and Violet throughout both of their struggles and Violet’s recovery with the help of Finch’s love for her.

Some Quotes from Finch that were very real to us:

“The thing is, they were all perfect days.” At the end of the day all the perfect days don’t change anything when you are dealing with the darkness within yourself.

“I am not a compilation of symptoms. Not a casualty of shitty parents and even shittier chemical makeup. Not a problem. Not a diagnosis. Not an illness. Not something to be rescued. I am a person.”

If we were looking at it solely on a book about a character with a mental illness we wanted a little bit more from the story here. We wanted to see some type of hope and more depth in how someone can be treated with a mental illness. We won’t get too much more into this as we don’t want to reveal too much.

We often hear people say that this subject matter is a difficult subject and that we need to hear more about it and we agree we definitely need to hear more but are not sure like this. We need to know that there is hope for mental illness and it can be treated.

To sum it all up it was an enjoyable, at times amusing, heartbreaking, and an emotional read with a bittersweet ending. Would recommend.

 

Sister read review: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow ChildThe Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Date read:  March 7 to 10, 2017

A magical & classic fairytale story for adults!  (bringing back memories of our childhood)
Sister Read Review by Norma & Brenda

THE SNOW CHILD by EOWYN IVEY is a wonderful, heartwarming, sad, and beautifully told bewitching tale based on a Russian fairytale titled “Snegurochka”, The Snow Maiden a girl who is believed to be half-human and half made of snow.  This enchanting story had us both asking ourselves was there something magical happening here or not?  Oh, but for us, there definitely was something magical about IVEY’S writing style here.

THE SNOW CHILD captured our imagination as the characters captured our hearts.  Leaving us questioning the mysteries surrounding this so real story that had us hovering between reality and fantasy. Asking ourselves if Faina was actually a real girl or a fantasy?  Was she a product of their imagination because of their desire for a child of their own?  Or was she something magical?  This added some suspense to the story as we tried to figure out who this little girl was.

EOWYN IVEY delivers a very vivid story here that gives you an extremely good feel of sense of time and place of these characters homesteading in Alaska. The wonderful feel of the land, their battle against nature, the harsh cold (that actually had Brenda feeling chilled as she was reading) and their isolation.  IVEY’S description of life on the farm was very real and we could imagine the battles they endured along with all their hard work to survive.

We both loved the fantasy and magical aspect of this story which made it a thoroughly pleasurable reading experience!

To sum it all up it was a enjoyable, fun, fascinating, and a fast-paced read with a bittersweet ending. Most definitely would recommend.

 

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!

 

Sister Review: Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner

Right Behind You (Quincy & Rainie, #7)Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Date read:  February 3 to 5, 2017

Sister Read Review by Norma & Brenda

Yeah!  Quincy & Rainie are back after nine (9) years!  Where have they been and what have they been doing?

Lisa Gardner touches on these questions in Right Behind You and we were totally satisfied with the answers that we obtained after reading this novel but we felt that the story was also about some of the supporting characters that were introduced.  It’s not all about Quincy and Rainie here.  So with that being said it absolutely works as a standalone book.

LISA GARDNER IS OUR QUEEN OF CRIME THRILLERS!
RIGHT BEHIND YOU by LISA GARDNER is a well-written, interesting, emotional, exciting, captivating, brisk, and a suspenseful read that we both thoroughly enjoyed. This was definitely a page turner and hard to put down for both of us. Lisa Gardner has been one of our favourite and go-to authors since we first discovered her back in the mid-2000’s.  Lisa Gardner has always gotten one of us out of a reading slump.

“Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.”

Quincy is called in to join a team of local law enforcement officers to profile the identity of a perpetrator suspected of committing multiple murders with the help of his wife Rainie who is a former police officer. The suspected perpetrator is Quincy & Rainie’s soon to be adoptive daughter, Sharlah’s long lost brother Telly.  The stars of this tale are Sharlah and her dog Luka, a former police officer. Makes us wonder what Lisa Gardner has in store for them. The team included Quincy & Rainie, Sheriff Shelly Atkins, tracker and very proud cheese maker, Cal and the help of a few unexpected characters.  And what an exciting team they made. This was an engaging mix of characters each of them bringing so much to this story that we quickly came to love.

What makes a family? When do you become a family? How do you become a family?

Loved the team combination of profiler, tracker, and sheriff and the issues of domestic violence, social issues, adoption, and addiction that was woven into the storyline.

To sum it all up it was a well written, well-researched, suspenseful, interesting, fast-paced, quick and easy read with a satisfying ending from one of our favourite authors. Would recommend!

 

Sister Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Date read:  January 27 to 29, 2017

What fun!  Are you ready player one?

Sister Read Review by Norma & Brenda

READY PLAYER ONE by ERNEST CLINE is an extremely entertaining, exciting, clever, and a high stakes adventure that we both thoroughly enjoyed.

Are you ready to escape to the Oasis?  READY PLAYER ONE has us following along Wade and his avatar, Parzival in a virtual world called the Oasis completing quests for the ultimate prize.  Where the puzzles are a blast from the past, intriguing, action is intense, and the payoff is rewarding.

Pulling us into the past with CLINE’S references to the 80’s Pop Culture and his detailed descriptions of the game brought the world of Oasis alive for us which had us feeling like we were playing the game along with Wade.

This novel was filled with believable characters with real-life traits and we really liked everything that each of them brought to this story throughout this adventure. They each had their role to make this an extremely tense and thrilling read. ERNEST CLINE delivers an action-packed story with a solid plot that was easy to follow along with the storyline and all the characters involved.

We found this to be a fast-paced race to the finish for both the game and the book.  Highly recommended read for lovers of all things 80’s!  This one is definitely another favorite read of 2017!

To sum it all up it was an enjoyable, fun, action-packed, and a fast-paced read with a big happy smile ending. Most definitely recommend!!

 

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