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TWO SISTERS LOST IN A COULEE READING

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

Thoughts by Brenda: The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

The Twelve Lives of Samuel HawleyThe Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read June 24-29, 2017

Hannah Tinti is an excellent storyteller who gave me a vivid picture of The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley that felt like an outlaw movie that was playing out in my head. What a unique reading experience that was for me.

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is an interesting, and captivating, violent yet tender story about what bonds a father and his daughter, and how the past shapes and links lives while raising questions about what makes a family, a good father, and a hero.

Hannah Tinti does a good job bringing a human side to Samuel Hawley and I could feel his regret and grief, his love and tenderness for his daughter and his desperation to keep her safe. I loved how Tinti showed me that everyone despite their past can have a bond with and love their children too and can wear their scars in the inside as well as the outside. I highly recommended.

 

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Thoughts by Brenda: Seeing Red by Sandra Brown

Seeing RedSeeing Red by Sandra Brown

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 Stars

Read June 28-30,2017

After looking at Sandra Brown’s books so many times I have finally taken the plunge and read her new upcoming book Seeing Red and have now read my first romantic suspense in a very long time. I usually shy away from anything romantic but curiosity got the best of me and I gave this one a try and I am glad I did.

Seeing Red is a thrilling, sizzling web of conspiracies, plenty of suspects and motives with danger lurking behind many twists and turns and as usual for me I never saw anything coming. It has some heat and tension in there to keep things hot on the romantic side of the story.

When I first met Trapper he intrigued me with his so charming but dangerous vibe and he did capture my attention when he meets strong, I am going to tell you a secret Kerra and I could feel the heat between them, but that was enough heat for this non-romantic soul. Things got a little too heated for me and I found myself skimming over the steaming parts. Even though I skimmed over those parts the plot to this complex story demanded my full attention and there was no skimming allowed there.

Sandra Brown does a good job keeping those twists and turns coming and keeping them interesting right up to the shocking end. I am sure that will keep the best thriller detectives working on their detective skills. I highly recommend Seeing Red for romantic suspense lovers. However for this non-romantic I rate it 3.5 for my enjoyment.

Thank you NetGalley, Grand Central Publishing, and Sandra Brown for providing with a copy to read and review.

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Review by Norma:  The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter 

The Weight of LiesThe Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Date read:  June 14 – 26, 2017

3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars

A unique read with a book within a book.

Why I wanted to read this one…….I was really intrigued by the title and cover of this book which had me wanting to read it right away. I have also seen so many great reviews for this novel that had me curious enough to see if I would love it as much as some of my other friends did. I didn’t love it but it was an enjoyable read though.

Thoughts & what it’s all about…(Since Brenda’s thoughts and review is once again very similar to mine some of her wonderful review is intertwined into mine.)

THE WEIGHT OF LIES by EMILY CARPENTER is an atmospheric, interesting, engaging, and entertaining read here that was uniquely told with a story within a story. A mystery from the past was interwoven with excerpts from a horror novel which added some suspense and tension to the story. There is some family drama, complicated relationships, hidden lies, and unexpected truths with plenty of twists and turns that did keep me interested in seeing how this story was going to all playout.

The story is told from the perspective of our main character, Megan (Meg) who is estranged from her Mother who has written a famous novel that has many cult followers. At first to spite her mother Meg agrees to write her own novel based on her Mother and her relationship with her. Revenge turns dangerous as she is drawn into the mystery of the past that is inspired by her Mother’s novel “Kitten” as Meg goes on a truth seeking mission to uncover the truth behind Kitten. As she digs up the past, things start to get dark and creepy as she uncovers lies and begins to question who she can trust and not trust.

What I liked….I loved the creepy atmosphere of Bonny Island and the old mansion turned hotel which added to the creepiness and brought some edge to the story. I also really enjoyed the Native American mythology that was interwoven into the story.

What I didn’t like…..There was so much going on throughout this story that I did find somewhat distracting to figure out if it was in the past or the present.

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

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and Emily Carpenter for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book for a fair and honest review.

Thoughts by Brenda: I Found You by Lisa Jewell

I Found YouI Found You by Lisa Jewell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read June 21-24, 2017

I Found You is my first book by Lisa Jewell and she is now on my radar and I will be looking at more of her books to read.

I Found You is an intriguing, clever and interesting mystery with secrets, lies and plenty of suspense that starts off a little slow and on the lighter side and then turns more darker as we learn more about the intriguing and likeable characters and their stories. It is well paced and well written with two stories told in the present day and are interwoven with a third story from the past.

I loved how the story opened up with the mysterious man on the beach and was immediately intrigued by him and wanted to know more about how he got there. I found myself very curious as to what were his buried memories. I was equally intrigued by the young women searching for her husband and liked her right away. The story from the past had me wondering as to how it tied into the other two stories and was excited to keep those pages turning to find out how. I found all three stories interesting and engaging and they had me questioning who is who, who is the bad guy here and who should I trust and trying to figure out their hidden secrets.

Lisa Jewell does a great job pacing and weaving the three stories together and revealing just what I needed at the right time to keep me guessing but allowing me to figure some things out leaving me feeling quite clever when I did. This was a very satisfying read for me that I highly recommend.

Thank you, NetGalley, Atria Books and Lisa Jewell for providing a copy for me to read and review.

 

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Traveling Sisters Review: Evil Games by Angela Marsons

Evil Games (D.I. Kim Stone, #2)Evil Games by Angela Marsons

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Traveling Sisters Review by NORMA, BRENDA and KACEEY!!

Oh my goodness this was even better than the first book, SILENT SCREAMS!!!

EVIL GAMES (DI KIM STONE #2) by ANGELA MARSONS is an action-packed, dark, chilling, interesting, and suspenseful psychological thriller that had us all flipping those pages as fast as we could.  What an extremely fitting and wonderful title for this book…..it was perfect!!

DI Kim Stone is back here in a thrilling cat and mouse game with one of the best, cunning, unique, and interesting sociopaths we have ever read.  At first we thought Kim has met her match but soon learned our sociopath has met hers. We were on the edge of our seats rooting for our favourite detective.  That’s not the only case Kim was working on as upon opening the book we were quickly introduced to Kim and her team capturing a despicable and disgusting child molester.  A case that appears to be solved but of course there is more here than meets the eye!

ANGELA MARSONS delivers another complex and layered story here and has created a scary mind-blowing sociopath who is such a good character that we disliked so much but on the other-hand loved.  What an awesome and complex villain she made.

DI Kim Stone continues to fascinate us and has us laughing out loud with her wicked sense of humor. We enjoyed getting to know her a little more and were heartbroken as we learned more about her dark sad past. We loved how Marsons gave us a glimpse of Kim’s soft side and vulnerable side as we could see her reactions and feelings as she related to and cared for the victims in her cases.

After being off our game for Silent Scream, we all had our game on going into Evil Games and we were all ready for the twists and turns.  We all started out strong with Brenda picking up on Alex’s evil games first and Norma and Kaceey right behind piecing things together.  Kaceey figuring out the big reveal early on with Norma right behind her picking up on one of the major clues while Brenda was twirling around in left field by herself.  With some confusion on all the sisters parts we were able to piece together who done it (not twirling Brenda) and our sociopath’s games making us all feeling quite proud of our gameplay.  Sure made for some interesting and fun discussions.

We are definitely keeping our game on and are looking forward to the action-packed
race against time as DI Stone tackles her next case in book three.

 

Sister Read Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird BoxBird Box by Josh Malerman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sister Read Review by Norma & Brenda

Holy Sh*tty Balls this was one heck of a creepy book!

5 creeped out Stars for Norma & 4 freaking out Stars for Brenda
So for the purpose of this Sister Read it gets a combined rating of 4.5 Stars!

BIRD BOX by JOSH MALERMAN is a wonderfully creepy, scary, eerie, and downright terrifying tale that grabbed our attention right from the very start to the heart-pounding finish.  This book was extremely hard to put down!

BIRD BOX made us both feel fearful of the unknown and we could definitely feel the eerie presence of the mysterious creatures in all of the surroundings while we were totally engrossed in this novel.  We couldn’t even imagine living and carrying on everyday life blindfolded or with our eyes closed.

To sum it all up it was an extremely entertaining, unsettling, interesting, and fast-paced read that left us both a little fearful of leaving the house without a blindfold. Highly recommend!!

 

Review by Norma: Project Apex by Michael Bray

Project ApexProject Apex by Michael Bray

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars rounded down to 3 stars

Date read:  June 22 – 23, 2017

What if man’s thirst for knowledge resulted in it’s own destruction?

Why I wanted to read this one…….I was really excited to get a chance to read Project Apex as I was looking forward to reading something totally different than I normally would choose to read.  I am glad that I accepted the opportunity to read this novel.

What it’s all about……A zombie style apocalyptic novel with superhuman soldiers.

Synopsis:  Richard Draven is a scientist interested in the healing properties of primates and transferring them to humans. When he discovers a new species of monkey with amazing regenerative powers, he has no idea that his report will set off a chain of events with dire consequences.

Six years later, and Draven’s research has been put into practice. The government has engineered a virus which has begun human trials. It’s job – to make the armed forces of the world better, stronger, faster in their numerous conflicts across the globe. Something, however is not right. Disturbing reports about the behaviour of those modified by the virus are growing in number raising concerns amongst those in charge that something has gone wrong. As the Apex teams go dark and stop responding to orders, the government discover that there is a much more sinister force at work.

Joshua Cook is the alpha male, the first man to be administered the virus and bond with it successfully. Joshua is tired of the human race, tired of their self-destructive nature. He has a plan, one which involves wiping the slate clean of the ‘lesser’ edition of the human machine and repopulating the earth with his own kind. As the full and devastating scale of Joshua’s plan begins to unfold before the eyes of the world, the government are forced to turn back to Richard Draven in an effort to find a way to stop Joshua and his growing army before he can eradicate humanity from the planet.

A tense, global thriller taking place across multiple countries, from the government-centric streets of Washington to the slums of Mumbai and the burning heat of the Iraq desert, Project Apex features a rich and varied cast of characters each with their own motivations and sub plots through the main narrative as they tell the very human story of a disaster on an unprecedented global scale where people are forced to do things they never imagined possible, and in some cases revert back to the instinctive savagery long repressed by our species as society starts to crumble the world over.

Why I actually enjoyed this one…The action in this book is non-stop and described very well that I could really see it happening and felt the terror from the characters that were caught in the crossfire.

What I didn’t like…..Some of the events that took place was a little too graphic for my taste and I was a little lost in some of the unfamiliar detail.

PROJECT APEX by MICHAEL BRAY is an action-packed, tense, fast-paced, fascinating, and descriptive tale that did hold my interest right from the very start and as more was being revealed it was hard to put this novel down. The ending does end a little abruptly though to entice you to read the second book in this series.

MICHAEL BRAY delivers a well-written read here with an interesting and unique storyline.  The premise of this tale plays out so realistically and to me it was an absolutely scary and terrifying look into an apocalyptic threat that had me fearing for this “new world” and what it means to the future of mankind.  As I was reading this I definitely could imagine this story being made into a movie.

Overall, I did mostly enjoy this novel and might consider reading the second book in this series sometime in the future.  Would recommend!

I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Brenda’s Thoughts: In This Moment by Karma Brown

In This MomentIn This Moment by Karma Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read June 18-22, 2017

3.5 rounded down

In This Moment is my second book from Karma Brown and I could see why she is known for her emotionally charged books from the first one I read The Choices We Make but I didn’t find this one very emotional at all but for the most part I did enjoy it.

When we first meet Meg she is living a pretty normal happy life with her husband and daughter. When in one moment a tragedy hits and everything changes for Meg and she blames herself for her part in the tragedy. The tragedy brings back a painful secret that she has buried and things start to unravel in Meg’s world. As things start to unravel we see Meg struggling with her guilt, we see her concerns and fears for her daughter and her guilt leads her to an attraction.

I thought Karma Brown does an excellent job here exploring guilt and forgiveness and I could really feel Meg’s struggles with her guilt and keeping things together. However things started going sideways for me as Meg starts to become more concerned for her daughter and I couldn’t feel her desperation in keeping her daughter safe physically and emotionally. It just came across as nagging to me and the only emotion I was feeling was annoyed. I also didn’t like the direction the story went with an attraction Meg starts to develop and that is when I started losing interest. I wanted more from from the story and would’ve liked it to explore other things that I thought were missing from the story.

One part of the ending I loved and found it very touching and it did pull at my heartstrings and the other part of the ending not so much. It wrapped up too quickly and I didn’t get the answers I wanted from what I thought was missing. It left me wanting more but not in the good way.

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Traveling Sisters Read:  Beartown by Fredrik Backman 

BeartownBeartown by Fredrik Backman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Traveling Sisters Review by NORMA, BRENDA and LINDA!!

5 stars! Well that was a “barn burner” of a read for Norma and Brenda!!

4 stars!! For Linda! (So for the purpose of this review 4.5 stars rounded up to 5)

BEARTOWN by FREDRIK BACKMAN is a powerful, memorable, emotional, spirited, and an uplifting but yet gut-wrenching novel with some moments of humour thrown in along the way that kept us all engrossed in this tale of a small town community’s commitment to the well-loved game of hockey.

BEARTOWN is a novel that delves deep into the emotional side of the human spirit/human nature which is packed with passages of wise insights and full of wisdom. Brenda started out making notes, changed to underlining passages in the book and finally giving up because there was too many and thought she might as well mark the whole book.

FREDRIK BACKMAN explores the emotional, physical, and mental side of the players, and has a remarkable ability to make us see and understand them and how they are seen through the eyes of the community. He had us engaged not only with the players but the community as well. He explores right and wrong, fear and courage, limits and loyalty of friendship, the bond and love a parent has for their children and their worst fear, that left us asking ourselves many questions.

Norma and Brenda giggled to ourselves every time Canada was mentioned and wanted to know where in Canada he was actually referring to. It’s not like it’s that small of a place. Toronto? LOL.

Linda who has read and loved all of Backman’s books did find it started out a little slow and had a little bit too much hockey for her but it did pick up in the second half though. Some of his language and subject matter was a little more colorful than she is used to from Backman. This added to our discussions and the fun we had reading and discussing this book full of awesomeness.

Highly recommend this absolutely amazing, insightful, & inspiring novel! This is a favourite read of 2017 for Norma & Brenda!

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