Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

“Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.” ― Henry David Thoreau

Lindsay and I are just coming out of what I am finally going to admit is a reading slump, and we are just starting to get our reading groove back. We have read a few books that didn’t capture our attention, connect us to the characters, and left us disappointed after reading it. So that got that over thinker in me going, and I wondered why.

I think there are a few reasons for that reading slump, but I wonder if reading some overhyped books is causing us to lose our reading groove.

What is hype?

To promote or praise something a lot in order to make people excited about it and want to buy or try it.

As reviewers, we create hype by sharing our love and excitement for a book. It helps us decided what to read and gets us excited about reading it. The best way to find great books is through recommendations. If I love a book, I want to shout about it, and I want everyone to read it. We can also get caught up by it with the hype publishers create by promoting books, to make people excited about their books and want to buy them. Honestly, that can also end up dictating what we read and review.

So what happens when as readers, we get caught up in that overhype? Can hype books be a reason for reading slumps when we expect to love a book based on all those glowing reviews, and instead, we are left disappointed. And what can we do about avoiding those overhyped books while still not missing out on a great read?

To listen to my thoughts on overhyped book please click below. Please note most of the overhype I am referring to is from what I see on Goodreads

brenda · Talking About Overhyped Books

Overhyped books I lost my groove to

Well, hot dancing dang!! Lindsay and I are doing a little dancing and cheering because we finally after a long struggle read a book together that we both enjoyed!!! Well not a perfect read for us it’s one of the better books we have read together in awhile!!! We excited to be posting a sister read with both our reviews in it!!!

Lindsay’s review

This is an older publication from Lisa Jewell that was recently rereleased. As with all of Lisa Jewell’s work, this was compulsively readable and addictively enjoyable. It had “The Family Upstairs” vibes to it (which I loved!) with a lighter feel. I really enjoyed the Past and Present day timelines. They kept the pace and flow engaging and enticing.

I really enjoyed following these unique and intriguing characters along their journey. The mysterious plot had a constant feel of tension and suspense that kept me curious and flipping the pages

Brenda’s review

My first book by Lisa Jewell was I Found You and I have loved every one published after that. I was a bit worried about whether I would like The Truth About Melody Browne because it’s Lisa Jewell’s older work, and she has developed more of a darker side to her stories and characters now. Well, I am happy to say even though I didn’t enjoy this one as much as her latest books because I have also developed a darker side to me as a reader, her signature writing style won me over. She has grown more as a writer with layering those signature reveals, twists, and turns that come just at the right time to figure things out with her characters, and she has moved forward with developing her plots and characters as times change.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Lisa Jewell take a darker turn in The Family Upstairs with the storyline and the characters. The Truth About Melody Browne has some similarities to it but is a lighter, easier read with colorful, rich, likeable characters. While there is a little dark to the story, drama drives the story forward, and it has a heartwarming tone to it with the likeable characters. I thought it was a refreshing change of pace that still had suspense and tension to keep me engaged in the story.

I started off reading this one and then decided to switch to the audiobook. I thought the narrator did a great job pulling me into the story. I think I enjoyed the story more by listening to it, and I found it an easy one to get back on track with the story when my mind wanders away a bit. I highly recommend listening to it.

We received a copies through NetGalley from the publisher.

The book sleeves are made by my Mom. Check out her and Norma’s Etsy shop for more book sleeves and bookmarks. Click here for their Etsy shop Use SISTERS20 at the checkout for 20% off.

Brenda’s review

Joshilyn Jackson is one of my all-time favorite authors, and I love to listen to her books. She narrators her books herself and who knows their character’s better than the author. I listened and read part of the book but enjoyed listening to it more. If you enjoy listening to audiobooks, this is one not to be missed. Well, I think reading or listening to all Joshilyn Jackson books are not to be missed.

Mother May I explores what a mother will do for their child. After a mysterious woman kidnaps Bree’s infant son, she puts Bree to that test. Bree knows little why she took her son but learns she is a mother too, and she is willing to do the unthinkable for her daughter. Now Bree must do what she says without knowing why.

The story starts off slow while we get to know the characters, and as Joshilyn Jackson skillfully builds that tension to the story, she is known for. Then it turns into a dark, suspenseful, edge of your seat gripping, twisty one, as we see Bree become trapped in a dangerous web of revenge and secrets while racing against time to save her son. The story is full of twists, turns and dark discoveries that did rattle me a bit. I seem to be a bit more sensitive to stories involving children lately, and this one is unsettling with a mother willing to harm an infant if she doesn’t get what she wants.

The big reveal is a good one and I liked how it was handled, but the story takes a few more turns after that felt a bit much and overwhelms the story. I did enjoy how it all wrapped up in the end.

The audiobook is easy to listen to and, at times, a bit repetitive, so if your mind does wander a bit while listening, it’s easy to get back on track with the story.

I received an audiobook copy through NetGalley and an E-Galley through EW from the publisher.

Howdy Friends!! I hope y’all are having a great weekend!! I am back with another audio review! This one is not quite 2 minutes even though I did have a lot I wanted to say about it. I think it’s a great one to think or talk about after you have read.

About the book

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson centers around two black families whose lives become intertwined when teenagers Iris and Aubrey, have a baby, Melody. This might seem like nothing new here with an unplanned pregnancy and the struggles the family might have with that, however, this is an unexpected lesser told story. We see Iris and Aubrey wanting different things from life, and Iris desires more than being a devoted mother. Instead of this derailing the family, we see their support and love for each other and how history plays into their lives. Iris flips the gender stereotypes here and leaves Melody to be raised by her father and grandparents to pursue her education. We see Iris’ desires and ambitions being explored here in the story.

To listen to my 3 minute review click below.

brenda · Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

The book sleeve is made by my Mom. Check out her and Norma’s Etsy shop for more book sleeves and bookmarks. Click here for their Etsy shop Use SISTERS20 at the checkout for 20% off.

Win (Windsor Horne Lockwood III, #1) by Harlan Coben

March 31, 2021


Brenda’s review

In one of her reviews, my GR friend Regina asked can you like a book but dislike yourself for liking it. Yes!!! I really liked Win (Windsor Horne Lockwood III, #1), and I don’t like myself much for liking it. This should be one I dislike because of that feminist in me.

Win, is the sidekick to Myron Bolitar’s character in his series and is now the main character here. I found myself missing Myron, and it at first felt like something missing, however I thought Win could stand on his own here.

What I liked

The story is heavily plotted with a few threads that Coben keeps spinning to connect the plot and characters. It’s fast-paced with plenty of suspense and tension that kept me clicking the pages. All the thread skillfully came together well.

What I dislike

There is a few characters here that come and go, and I couldn’t keep track of them all and who was who.

Win’s hidden talent is he is batman in disguised with the family butler and secret lair hidden in his mansion. However, he flies by his own grey rules between right and wrong because he is Win, and he can and will win at all costs.

Win, is what you would expect from your typical wealthy, class privilege, sexist male character.

However

Win knows it, Coben knows, and we know it. Win knows his truths and shares it with us.

Win, is also witty, sarcastic, and so humous with those truths it’s literally laughable, and I couldn’t help but like him and I laughed all the way through it right up to Win’s last line.

It’s Harlan Coben, and I love his writing, and I have some history with his books that have got me through some tough physical miles ahead of me.

So I like it, but I don’t like that I liked it!!

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley

The sleeves are made by my Mom and can be found in her and Norma’s Etsy shop. click here for their Etsy shop Use SISTERS20 at the checkout for 20% off.

Brenda’s review

As a young woman in the late 1960s, Chilean novelist Isabel Allende rode the first wave of feminism. She has paved the way for younger generations and feminists today, and here is The Soul of a Women, she is giving us the gift of her insight as she reflects on her feminist storyline through her personal history. She packs in a lot here in this short, bold, inspiring upbeat part memoir as she shares her life lessons and wisdom on womanhood, aging, ambition, romance, and marriage. She asks female friends if they are happy with their gender and shares what she learned. She is honest with her truths while she shares her insight and wisdom. She questions and explores what women want, why women live in fear of men, and why men fear women. She shares her passion for justice and equality while delving into violence against women.

“For centuries, it was debated whether or not women had souls,” and here Isabel Allende shares a look into the souls of women and the women who helped paved her life.

Isabel Allende’s definition of feminism. .”It is not what we have between our legs but what we have between our ears. It’s a philosophical posture and an uprising against male authority. It’s a way of understanding male relations and a way to see the world. It’s a commitment to justice and a struggle for the emancipation of women, the LGTBIQA+ community, anyone oppressed by the system, including some men, and all others who want to join.”

Her inspiring insight into aging stood out to me, and I loved her wisdom she shared. She lives with her arms, doors, and heart open. She addresses the changes in sexuality that are no longer subject to as many rules and classifications with gender. She gives us some history of how pronouns started and ended with young people questioning gender and refusing to be classified as male or female and rejected the use of gender-based pronouns in favor of nonbinary ones.

“Language is very important because it can determine the way we think. Words are powerful. Patriarchy benefits from classifying people: it makes it easier to exert control. We automatically accept being placed in categories based on gender, race, age, etc. But many young people are challenging these divisions.”

I have gained so much from reading this book, and I loved it all, from the first page to the graceful and hopeful last page. We can take so much from Isabel Allende and use it in our own lives. She is an inspiration to all women, especially the younger generation, who are the future of this world.

I could go on and on from all the notes I wrote with the things that stood out for me but that would be the whole book. I highly recommend it.

I want to light the torches for our daughters and granddaughters with mine. They will have to live for us, as we lived for our mothers, and carry on with the work still left to be finished.” ~ Isabel Allende

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