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TWO SISTERS LOST IN A COULEE READING

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

Traveling Sisters NetGalley Review: The Saboteur by Andrew Gross

The SaboteurThe Saboteur by Andrew Gross

Review by Norma

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Date read:  August 30 to September 1st, 2017

I didn’t love this as much as I did The One Man but it was still a pretty good and worthwhile read!

THE SABOTEUR by ANDREW GROSS was an interesting, engrossing, tense, and suspenseful Historical Thriller novel with an intriguing storyline that is based on true events of extraordinary bravery and survival from a team of Norwegian saboteurs on a mission to destroy the heavy water project of WWII.

This novel was filled with compelling characters and I really liked everything that each of them brought to this story throughout the novel. They each had their role to make this an extremely tense, enjoyable and thrilling read. ANDREW GROSS delivers a riveting story with a solid plot that was easy to follow along with the storyline and all the characters involved.

What makes this novel even more special and appreciative is that we learn from the Author’s Note & from The Epilogue that the story is based on actual events and real-life men (names were changed) but there were a few things that the author changed or added to intensify this story.

To sum it all up it was action-packed, suspenseful, and a steady-paced read with an open to your own interpretation ending which I found to be totally satisfying. Would recommend!!!

It was a pleasure to read this along with my wonderful Traveling Sisters Brenda, Lindsay, Diane S., Susanne and JanB!!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Andrew Gross for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!

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Review by Brenda

Traveling Sister Group Read with Norma, Lindsay, Susanne, JanB and Diane.

Rating:  4 stars
The Saboteur was a heavy, interesting, and suspenseful historical thriller that I read and discussed along with my Traveling Sisters. I really enjoyed the discussion The Saboteur brought on for us. Some of us had read The One Man and others will be soon I am sure after reading this one.

Based on real-life events of a team of Norwegian Saboteurs on a mission to destroy the heavy water project of WWII, Andrew Gross does a fantastic job of weaving fact and fiction here with The Saboteur. The first half of the book seemed to read more like a heavy account of events and I had a hard time connecting to the story and the characters at first but soon came to see how cleverly Andrew Gross layered the story. The second half he kept me on the edge of my seat and the story at times read like purely fiction as our brave and skilled main character Nordstrum and his team of Saboteurs are up against the impossible with extraordinary danger and it all seemed unlikely to turn out okay.

Andrew Gross does a good job bringing the characters to life for me in the second half and I started to connect with them more. We start to see a personal side to them and I could see their skill, bravery, loyalty to each other and their causes along with their vulnerability and personal struggles making them more realistic characters.

The descriptions of the setting and harsh weather conditions added to the danger and tension to the story and it was easy to visualize the surroundings and danger.

I highly recommend engaging in this story of these brave and skilled Saboteurs as they take you on their very brave and important mission.

Thank you so much to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Andrew Gross for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Review by Lindsay

3 stars. 

I liked this atmospheric WWII historical thriller, but didn’t love it.   After reading Andrew Gross’ novel “The One Man” last year, I became a HUGE fan.   “The One Man” is another WWII historical thriller and is one of my most favourite books!  With that being said, I think I went into this novel with my expectations set a little too high and while reading I couldn’t help but compare the two books along the way (I hate when I do this to myself!).  I felt that this one didn’t come close to the energy, action, suspense and addiction I felt while reading “The One Man”. 

I really liked the main character Kurt Nordstrum, a brave and courageous man, who risked his life to lead an extremely high-risk sabotage during WWII.  The odds were stacked against this heroic man who fearlessly lead his team to protect his country.   His strength and leadership were something to admire.  The fact that this story and Kurt’s character were based on real life events was one of the best things about this book for me.  I love learning something new while reading!

With that being said, I felt there was a large disconnect for me throughout the book.  I found myself confused between characters more than a couple times.  While it was an interesting story and I highly admire these brave men, the story itself lacked the addictive quality I expected and it dragged at times.  It was a very atmospheric novel but one that ended up feeling repetitive instead of engrossing.  I found I really had to focus and pay attention to get through this book instead of sitting back and being able to simply enjoy it.  I really had to work for this one and in the end the payoff just wasn’t fully there for me.  

Overall, I felt that this book was more educational than enjoyable.   I am happy that I read it, but would strongly recommend Gross’ previous novel “The One Man” over this one.

A big thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Andrew Gross for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!

It was a pleasure to read this along with my amazing Traveling Sisters Brenda, Norma, Diane S., Susanne and JanB!!  

 

 

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Traveling Sister Special Read Review: Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben

Don't Let GoDon’t Let Go by Harlan Coben

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Traveling Sister Special Read Review by Brenda and Norma with Kaceey and Lindsay’s thoughts.

Don’t Let Go is an outstanding and solid new standalone thriller from the thriller master himself (in Brenda and Kaceey’s opinion lol) Harlan Coben that we all were very excited to have received from Edelweiss.

We decided to read it as a special birthday read for Brenda’s 50th birthday and thought it extremely fitting as this has been Brenda’s all time favourite author for some time now. Brenda and Kaceey who are big time fans of Harlan Coben were very excited to read this along with Norma and Lindsay who have only read one or two of his books so far. Brenda only recently introduced Norma to a Harlan Coben novel not too long ago. Don’t Let Go lived up to all the hype created by Brenda and Kaceey for Norma and Lindsay. They are now fans and there will be more Harlan Coben books in the future for these Traveling Sisters.

Don’t Let Go is a fast-paced story with big secrets and lies that reach back to 15 years ago. Harlan Coben does a great job revealing layers of deceit along with clues and throwing in a bit of red herrings along the way. He didn’t have all of us guessing to the end, although Norma quickly became suspicious early on, she was still left surprised with a few twists as there were plenty of twists and secrets to reveal.

Harlan Coben takes a hometown legend and builds quite an interesting and creative story here that had all of us quickly turning those pages with Norma reading and finishing it mostly in one day. We left the very exciting, suspenseful and intense ending to read together so we could message our thoughts and suspicions to each other. Which makes it all that more of an interesting and enjoyable reading experience for us.

Don’t Let Go started off with a bang and didn’t let go to the very end leaving all of us looking forward to our next read by Harlan Coben! We highly recommend adding this one to the top of your list and Don’t Let Go till you read it!

Thank you so much to Edelweiss, Penguin Publishing Group and Harlan Coben for providing me with a copy in exchange for a review!

Kaceey’s review

One of my all-time favorite authors has done it again! An absolutely superb stand-alone thriller to add to his (and my) collection.

Nap is a police detective who has never fully recovered from the death of his twin brother Leo. Along with his girlfriend Diane, Leo died tragically when the couple were just teenagers. Unbelievably, that same night, Nap lost his girlfriend Maura…only she went missing, and was never heard from again. 15 years later he is still the walking-wounded. Emotionally devastated and left to ponder “what if.” He also carries on a constant inner-dialogue with his deceased brother. A very unique and clever angle that took me a bit to get used to, but once I warmed up to it I completely enjoyed his inner conversations.

With a knock on the door, news comes that his long lost girlfriend Maura may have resurfaced. Only problem…it’s tied to the death of another childhood friend. Could this be related to why Leo died mysteriously so many years ago? As Nap starts digging into the past, there are others out there determined to keep the secrets of the past buried forever.

Absolutely outstanding! Loved everything about this book from start to finish! As good as his Myron Bolitar series, this one does not disappoint! There is even a cameo appearance! Yeah! Would highly recommend to all Harlan Coben fans!

A fantastic ‘Birthday’ Traveling sister read with Brenda, Norma and Lindsay!

Thank you to Edelweiss, Penguin Group – Dutton and Harlan Coben for an ARC to review.

Lindsay’s review

4 stars!
Harlan Coben delivers an intensely suspenseful, captivating, fast-paced thriller that kept me guessing from start to finish. I have read one other book by Coben (The Innocent) which was good, but didn’t “wow” me. With encouragement from my fantastic “sisters” Brenda, Norma and Kaceey, I jumped on board this Traveling Sister Read and tried out Coben’s latest book and it definitely lived up to the hype!

I loved the main character, Nap! He is a police detective who finds himself working a case that involves his personal life from fifteen years ago. I enjoyed following Nap on his journey to explore and expose lies and buried secrets to uncover the mystery that has long haunted him. Nap’s journey takes many unexpected twists and turns and keeps the suspense building as the pages fly by. His sarcastic and witty humour had me giggling throughout every chapter.

This novel was a great re-introduction for me to Coben’s writing. I am definitely hungry for more books from this author and will make sure I add some to my reading list in the near future.

A big thank you to Edelweiss, Penguin Publishing Group and Harlan Coben for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review!

Review by Norma: If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss

If The Creek Don't  RiseIf The Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Date read:  February 22 – 23, 2017

Wow! This was an extremely enjoyable read! I absolutely loved the southern voice of these characters throughout this book. It is a breathtaking and gritty portrayal of hillbilly life from the year 1970 which is set in the Appalachian Mountains.

“Regular folks buckle under the piss and vinegar in this world.”

IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE by LEAH WEISS is an interesting, compelling, and beautifully written novel that has a really engaging storyline and characters that grabbed my attention from the very first chapter.

Being a Loretta Lynn and country music fan I absolutely loved Sadie Blue’s respect and adoration that she had for Loretta Lynn. The references to Loretta Lynn were quite appealing and enjoyable!

HE’S GONNA BE SORRY HE EVER MESSED WITH ME AND LORETTA LYNN

“She’s got a hard life. Sings hard songs. She found a way up and out of her Kentucky holler. Miss Loretta is a miracle to me.”

LEAH WEISS delivers an impressive read here told in the first person from the perspectives of quite a few different relatable and likeable characters that was easy to follow along with the storyline and all the characters involved.

The ending was a complete surprise!

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

Thank you to NetGalley, Leah Weiss, and Sourcebooks, Inc. for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book for a fair and honest review.

 

Traveling Sisters NetGalley Review: The Cuban Affair by Nelson DeMille

The Cuban AffairThe Cuban Affair by Nelson DeMille

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars!

 

Norma’s Review:  This was my very first introduction to this author and this book has definitely enticed me to read more novels by Nelson DeMille in the future.  I loved our main character Mac and his witty sense of humor.

THE CUBAN AFFAIR by NELSON DEMILLE is an amusing, intriguing, fun, and an action-filled adventure suspense novel that had me engaged, entertained, and interested throughout this entire book.  Although, I wouldn’t say there was too much action or suspense for the first ¾’s of the book though it was the last ¼ of the book where the action and suspense picked up considerably and then was extremely intense and exciting to read.  What I really loved about this book in a whole though was that it was filled with a lot of witty camaraderie between the characters which was an enjoyable, well-needed, and fun aspect to this novel after reading some really emotional and heavy books lately.

NELSON DEMILLE delivers a well-written and engrossing story here that I thoroughly enjoyed as it was filled with lots of sarcasm and witty narrative from our great characters that had me smiling and chuckling to myself a few times.  The storyline also included quite a knowledgeable an interesting background into Cuba which I thought was very fascinating and easy to understand.

To sum it all up it was an interesting, fun, quick and easy read with an intense and satisfying ending. Would recommend!

Publication date:  September 19, 2017

Thank you so much to my fellow Traveling Sisters for another awesome reading experience!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Nelson DeMille for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

 

Lindsay’s Review:  3.5 stars! This was an intriguing story with great characters, a suspenseful plot, intense action and an interesting history lesson.

This was my first book by Nelson DeMille and I really enjoyed his writing. Witty humour flowed throughout the story and had me smiling and giggling to myself. I really loved the main character, Mac.

I enjoyed learning about some of the history of Cuba/USA relations. I had little knowledge of Cuban history and politics so I worried that this novel might be over my head, but DeMille creates an extremely vivid story providing the perfect amount of history and background to keep an uneducated reader (like myself) engaged and following along.

While I did enjoy the storyline, I felt at times it dragged. For the first 65% of the novel, I found myself anxiously waiting for something big to happen. The suspense continued to build throughout the first half of the book, but there was no real action to keep me glued to the pages until close to the end. I was pushing myself to read faster to get to the “good” parts. When the action finally did come, it definitely delivered – it was intense and almost overwhelming at times.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it. It has sparked an interest in me to look into reading DeMille’s other novels.

This was another fantastic read along with my Traveling Sisters Brenda, Norma, Kaceey, Diane S. and Susanne!

A big thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Nelson DeMille for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review!

Kaceey’s review

This was my first book by the very popular and best-selling author, Nelson DeMille. When I saw the title, my fear was that it was going to be a heavy political/espionage thriller. I still went ahead and requested it due to all the fantastic reviews it had been receiving. No need to worry- the storyline takes the front seat while the politics is kept to a minimum!

Mac, a war veteran now giving boat tours in Key West Florida is offered the deal of a lifetime. Assist in bringing back 60 million dollars stashed away in Cuba and be set for life. Is it dangerous…yes! Is it illegal….probably! Would he be risking his life…no question! How can he resist!

The author has an extensive knowledge of Cuba and it shows throughout this book. Cuba remains a mystery to the average American (including myself!) but Mr. DeMille lifts that veil to take a peek inside a well-hidden country rich with native culture.
Mac has an incredible sense of humor that he disperses throughout, from beginning to end. Even in the most dire of situations Mac has a perfect one-liner for the occasion.
In a police state, where the walls have ears and your neighbors are all too eager to turn you in to the police/government officials, the main characters sure did a lot of talking out loud and provoking the locals! I would have been too scared to talk above a whisper the entire time I was there! Ok…truthfully I would have been too scared to go there in the first place!
I was left with the feeling that I just read a great movie script….Hollywood you might want to take a close look at this one (if you haven’t already)!
This was a wonderful traveling sister read with Brenda, Norma, Lindsay, Susanne and Diane!

Thank you to NetGalley, Nelson DeMille and Simon & Schuster for an ARC to review.

 

 

Traveling Sister NetGalley Reviews by Norma, Brenda and Lindsay: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Sing, Unburied, SingSing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Date read:  August 22 – 23, 2017

4.5 stars!

SING, UNBURIED, SING by JESMYN WARD is a haunting, sad, heartfelt, and an absolutely exceptional novel that had me totally engaged, entertained, and interested throughout this entire book. Although, this book was so infuriating to read at times because of its heavy subject matter it was also so well-written with such beautiful prose that this book was extremely hard for me to put down.

JESMYN WARD delivers a beautifully written multi-layered story here with absolutely wonderful character development and an extremely enthralling storyline. I really enjoyed the spiritualistic mythology aspect within the storyline.

To sum it all up it was an interesting, deep, unforgettable, emotional, and an enjoyable read with a very touching, heart-wrenching, and satisfying ending that was so lyrical that it sang to me. Would highly recommend!

Publication date: September 5, 2017

Thank you so much to my fellow Traveling Sisters for another awesome reading experience!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada / Scribner and Jesmyn Ward for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Brenda’s thoughts

3 Stars

Sing, Unburied, Sing was a Traveling Sister Group read and we had some mixed feelings on this one and it brought out a lot of different emotions from us.  We had some interesting group discussions with this one.  Some of us really connected to the story on a very emotional level and some of us could not connect at all to the story.  For me, I struggled with connecting with the story.  

 

Jesmyn Ward takes on some sad and ugly truths here and the writing is beautifully well written, however, I exhausted myself searching for a deeper meaning and trying to figure out some insight from the voices of the dead. What insight and emotion I did find was lost in the magical, supernatural and ghost part of the story and that just didn’t work for me.

Even though Sing, Unburied, Sing didn’t really work for me I did appreciate the strong well-written story that took us on a journey through Mississippi’s past and present giving us a look into the sadness, poverty and life of a Mississippi family

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada / Scribner and Jesmyn Ward for the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy to read and review.

Lindsay’s Thoughts

2.5 stars.

This book simply wasn’t a good fit for me. Magical realism and fantasy are not themes that I connect with or generally enjoy reading. I hadn’t realized those aspects were such a large part of this story and I found them confusing and highly distracting. I think this came down to me not being the “target market” for this book.
There were some unforgettable characters within this tragic and unsettling story. Pre-teenaged Jojo stole my heart as he took on the parental role to his toddler sister, Kayla. He accepted and stepped into the care-takers role for his baby sister with both feet – he was wise beyond his years and my hero throughout this sad and heart-breaking story. Jojo’s grandfather, Pop, was also a stand out character for me. He took on a parental and mentor role to Jojo as Jojo’s drug-addicted mother had no way of controlling her selfish tendencies in order to care for her children.

I found the storyline uninteresting and depressing. As heart-breaking as the story was, I felt no emotional investment or attachment whatsoever. In the end, reading this book felt like “work” to me rather than pleasure.

It was a wonderful experience to read this along with my lovely Traveling Sisters Norma, Brenda, JanB and Susanne!

A big thank you to NetGalley, Scribner and Jesmyn Ward for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review!

 

 

Traveling Sisters NetGalley Reviews: The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham

The Secrets She KeepsThe Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Norma’s Review – Date read:  August 19 – 21, 2017

4.5 stars! There are no secrets here – I absolutely loved how this story was told and what a perfectly fitting title!

THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS by MICHAEL ROBOTHAM is a gripping fast-paced suspenseful character-driven psychological thriller that had me totally engaged, entertained, and interested throughout this whole book.  This book was extremely hard to put down.

MICHAEL ROBOTHAM delivers an engrossing and angst-ridden read here with absolutely wonderful character development and an extremely enthralling storyline. The story is told in alternating chapters from our two main characters points of view, Agatha & Meghan.  I equally enjoyed both of their stories and uncovering their secrets.

MICHAEL ROBOTHAM doesn’t share all of Meg’s & Agatha’s deepest secrets to us all at once, we get a character study into the true nature of these women as their secrets and motivations are revealed to us layer by layer.  This is what actually really stood out for me while I was reading this shocking story.

Although, I wouldn’t say that this novel was all that suspenseful for me it was the pacing, the writing, and the characters that I found so compelling.  Some aspects to this story might have been a little unrealistic but all in all I don’t think it really mattered too much and I was able to just accept it for the wonderful story that it was.

To sum it all up it was an interesting, unforgettable, and an enjoyable read with a satisfying ending. Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Little, Brown Book Group/Sphere and Michael Robotham for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

It was a pleasure reading this along with my wonderful Traveling Sisters Brenda, Lindsay, Mackey and Linda (The Sisters Mom).

Brenda”s Thoughts

The Secrets She Keeps is a well-paced character driven suspense thriller that is skillfully written that drew me into the secrets and lies kept by two very different women Meghan and Agatha.  I really enjoyed delving deep into their minds especially Agatha and I really enjoyed both their stories.

The Secrets She Keeps started out a bit slow for me at first and then picked up speed till I became engrossed in the lives and minds of Meghan and Agatha and I could feel their desperation to keep their secrets and lies.  At times it felt like I was watching a car wreck and I knew what was going to happen but still hoping for a different outcome.

Michael Robotham does a fantastic job creating rich, interesting and compelling characters and slowly, skillfully revealing the secrets and lies Meghan and Agatha keep. He did a great job shocking me with their webs of deceit and delusions yet still leaving me feeling a little compassion for their situations.

I did make the mistake of looking and trying to figure out some big twists that never came for me and the end did leave me wanting a bit more but after discussing this one with my sisters I ended up feeling very satisfied with the ending.  I highly recommend.

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Little, Brown Book Group/Sphere and Michael Robotham for a copy to read and review.

Lindsay’s Thoughts:

4.5 stars!   This was a highly addictive, fast paced and character driven read.

I loved the way this story was told!   The author, Michael Robotham, did a fantastic job with the two female narrators, Meg and Agatha.   Character development was definitely a 5-star experience in this gripping novel!   I was completely engrossed in Meg and Agatha’s lives, hanging on their every thought and word to see what would happen next.  I felt as though I was actually right inside their minds, feeling their feelings, and weighing out decisions with them.   

The storyline revolves around one of my worst nightmare’s as a parent.   This made for a heart-pounding, anxiety driven, nail-biting reading experience.  Even though the plot was a terrifying nightmarish situation for me, I couldn’t put the book down – I had to know what would happen next.  I was thinking about this book even when I wasn’t reading it.  Robotham does an exceptional job slowly revealing the pieces of this shocking story – he kept me hanging on every word.  The title of the book, “The Secrets She Keeps” is perfectly fitting for this novel!

There were a few aspects of this story that seemed far-fetched to me which took away slightly from my rating.  However, I was able to accept it and move forward to continue enjoying this addictive story.

A big thank you to NetGalley, Scribner and Michael Robotham for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review!

It was a pleasure to read this along with my wonderful sisters Norma, Brenda, Mackey and the sister’s mom Linda. 

 

 

Traveling Sister Group Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 Stars

Traveling Sisters Group Read Review by Brenda, Norma, Holly, PorshaJo, Jennifer and Linda (sisters mom)

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a unique, delicious, fun, steamy, and stunning story that reads like a tell-all memoir with rich and scandalous content that had us all flipping those pages as fast as we could. Not one of those pages were boring!

Taylor Jenkins Reid does a fantastic job creating and bringing together realistic, rich, diverse and well-developed characters to life that we all quickly loved and adored. Even some of the not well-loved characters brought some kind of lesson, insight, and wisdom into the story through all of the topics and situations that incurred throughout Evelyn’s life.

Taylor Jenkins Reid uniquely leads us through Evelyn’s life as she relays her life story to writer Monique which is told to us in husband sections. Through Evelyn’s telling we learn about Evelyn’s life that she shared with her seven husbands and we could see and feel her struggles, and how calculated yet graceful she was to keep herself in the limelight. We admired her determination and strength. Taylor Jenkins Reid does a great job weaving in so many different scenarios and topics within the storyline. We loved how we could see how vulnerable she was and how she refused to let that stop her to get what she wanted.

We all really enjoyed all the stories and each section of the husbands and their title and found them fitting to each husband. It was a very clever and unique way to introduce us to each husband. The husband and story we all loved the most of Evelyn’s was Brilliant, Kind-hearted, Tortured Harry Cameron. Their relationship sparked the most emotion in us and we really enjoyed their very special relationship. Taylor Jenkins Reid does such an excellent job with each of the husbands stories and we could really see how much Evelyn grows and learns something about herself through each of her husband’s and the relationship she had with them.
We all really enjoyed the tabloid articles that were weaved into the story adding a sensational feel to this story for us.

Taylor Jenkins Reid does a brilliant job of making Evelyn so real by deriving insight from her, giving her many words of wisdom. Throughout our discussion, we really enjoyed sharing her words of wisdom that we thought highlighted her story even more as we were reading. We really enjoyed her insight and wisdom that she brought to her own story. So we can’t leave this review without sharing one. “The world doesn’t give things, you take things.”

The ending left a few of us teary-eyed and caught us all off guard as we never saw it coming. At times it felt a little over the top but it really worked for us and in the end, it left us wondering how many relationships, similar scenarios, and cover-ups really do happen in Hollywood. It had us thinking and picturing different actresses and discussing who we felt was similar to Evelyn and who she reminded of us and would go to the lengths that Evelyn did to stay in the limelight.

 

Review by Norma: Void by David Staniforth

VoidVoid by David Staniforth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars!

Thank you so much to David Staniforth for providing me a copy of this book.

VOID by DAVID STANIFORTH is an interesting, moving, unique, and a suspenseful mystery/thriller that I thought was an absolutely fascinating look into a psychological journey of discovery from our main character’s perspective through the help of journal entries and song.

The author does suggest that you listen to the lyrics of the songs that are mentioned within the book to enhance the journey you take with the main character but I didn’t end up listening to the songs and I was still able to enjoy and connect to the narrative and the atmosphere through the author’s descriptive and expressive writing style.

What really grabbed my attention when I first noticed this book on my feed was that great cover and the title which I thought were absolutely perfect and very fitting to this story!

DAVID STANIFORTH delivers a well-written and slow-burning read here where the story builds up slowly but in a way that grabs your attention right from the very beginning.

To sum it all up it was an extremely entertaining, refreshing, interesting, and steady-paced read with an ending that left me feeling totally satisfied. Highly recommend!!

 

Traveling Sister NetGalley Review: When You Disappeared by John Marrs

When You DisappearedWhen You Disappeared by John Marrs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Traveling Sisters NetGalley Sister Review by Brenda with Lindsay and Kaceey’s thoughts.

When You Disappeared started off with seven of us for a Traveling Sister Group read, and then they started to disappear with three sisters dropping out and the thread started to read like a thriller itself. Norma with a full weekend ahead had to drop out as well, leaving Kaceey, Lindsay and me as the last standing Sisters for this read

When You Disappeared is a family drama thriller that is heavy on the drama and light on the thrills. Some parts of the story dragged and were unrealistic for us. We had the believability police on duty for this one and reporting back to the rest of us. We found much to be unrealistic but came to the conclusion it was for the convenience of the story and thought it was written more for drama than believability.

The story is told by Catherine and Simon in two different timelines which we all enjoyed. At times when the story dragged we really wanted Catherine to put down the wine and do something. We really had some strong feelings of dislike for Simon and there was nothing likable about his unlikeable character for us.

The story had no suspense for me and I was rushing to get to the end but for Kaceey and Lindsay the suspense kept them turning the pages to see how it ended. In the end, we all found the ending to be over the top and underwhelming. We still recommend for thriller lovers who really like a lot of drama to their thrillers.

Thank you to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer and John Marrs for a copy of this book to read and review.

Lindsay’s Thoughts

3 stars.

This novel had such potential with a highly enticing premise, however, the extreme lack of believability meant the story fell flat for me. I enjoyed the way the story unfolded. The novel was told through Catherine and Simon’s perspectives ranging from 28 years ago to a present-day meeting. The author, John Marrs, does a great job revealing pieces of the story in a suspenseful and intriguing way, all the while making me curious to see how the story would play out. Unfortunately, many of the situations, particularly those involving Simon seemed highly unlikely and absurd. Believability is a huge requirement for my reading enjoyment – I have a hard time truly immersing myself within a story that isn’t realistic (the “believability police” within me kicks in quickly!). My reading mind can stretch to accept slightly exaggerated situations, but the list is fairly long
of the things that I found far-fetched within this novel. There were some very serious parts to this story that really pulled at my emotions and maternal instincts. I had a hard time reading some pages as there is such a devastating family loss that deeply affected me.

Overall, I found this to be an averagely enjoyable read with nothing that truly made it stand out other than its lack of believability.

A big thank you to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer and John Marrs for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review!

Kaceey’s Thoughts

Catherine wakes up in the morning oblivious that her world is about to change forever. Her husband is gone! And she is frantic! He never showed up to work…maybe lying injured or dead in a ditch somewhere. The hours turn into days and eventually fall away into years. Simon has never been heard from again…until now!

We’re also given a view into Simon’s world during his disappearance. What would have motivated him to leave his family? What is the unforgivable act that triggered his vanishing act? And why stay away so long? There are whispers throughout this book of what drove a wedge between Catherine and Simon and eventually led to Simon leaving. There-in lies the mystery, buried deep within the pages. (Unfortunately not deep enough for me as I guessed most of it early on. I know…junior detective in the makings…Lol!).

Told in past and present tense from the POV of both Catherine and Simon. Including the journey Simon traveled to find himself in his new life. Which at times became soooo far-fetched! He was not at all a likable character.

In fact, I ended up having a love-hate relationship with this book. I absolutely loathed everything about Simon, wishing him ill-will at every turn. Yet, I couldn’t pull myself away from tale he told.

Aren’t the best books the ones that make you feel unsettled, setting off a wave of emotion within you? Especially if that emotion may be a troubling one. Well this book did just that!

Thank you to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer and John Marrs for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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