Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

Traveling together through books. Join us on our adventures through the books we read

Bookish Kit Pick: For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing @SMARIEDOWNING

September 1, 2021


Howdy, Friends!! It’s Back to school time, and we have our September book pick For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing with the best teacher ever, Mr. Crutcher. You will wish you had him as a teacher!!! 

Norma and my Mom have created three bookish theme kits to match For Your Own Good and have added some fun homemade bookish goodies. Instead of discussion questions, I have added a personality quiz to the kit that I thought fit the book. Post to come with the quiz!! Not only is this a great back-to-school theme, but it’s also a great back-to-the-office theme. You won’t think about those coffee pods or milk the same way again, and you might be switching to tea!!!

Visit Norma’s Etsy shop to find our bookish kits. Click here

Grab your cup (I suggest drinking tea) and meet this year’s teacher of the year, Mr. Crutcher, in this exciting, fun, comical academic thriller. 

Book Sleeve kit

What in the book sleeve kit

Our kindle bookish kit

What is in the kindle kit

Our book marker pouch kit

What’s in the book mark pouch kit

Visit Norma’s Etsy shop to find our bookish kits. Click here

Use SISTERS20 at checkout for 20% off

Howdy friends!!! Today I want to introduce you to a new member of our blog. She doesn’t write reviews, but she makes for some adorable photos!!!

Meet Penny!! She is my youngest new best friend and hopefully my reading sister!!! We got her from my brother/sister-in-law, whose dogs had a litter of border collies puppies. Penny is deaf, and we thought she would make the perfect match for my son and our family.

I thought I would share my love of books with Penny, and this is the look she gave me!! I am sure she was saying to me, “Is that a treat?” It is for me and I think she thought so too! Even though she thought she had a new chew toy I didn’t let her chew my book. LOL

Penny is keeping us a little busy with her cuteness and naughtiness so I am going to do a quick review for The Invisible Woman by Erika Robuck

What the book is about

The Invisible Woman is based on the remarkable true story of World War II heroine/spy Virginia Hall who helped liberate a nation.  She is disguised as an old woman with a limp and invisible to the Nazis while she handles the wireless transmissions and airdrops that bring supplies, food, and weapons to the area she is working in. Projected to survive for six weeks, she is far from invisible, and she defies her odds and becomes one of the most respected spies. Virginia is haunted every day by the betrayal that devastated her first operation and is out to avenge the brave people she lost.

What I thought

In real life, Virginia mainly stayed invisible. A lot about her is unknown. I thought Erika Robuck did a great job weaving fiction with facts and shining a light on Virginia and the brave, resourceful women and men involved in the resistance.  Erika Robuck creates a compelling and engaging portrait of Virginia with a realistic, vulnerable and strong side. Virginia is a complex character to connect with because she is tough, guarded, and distant like I would imagine her in real life. It didn’t entirely give me the emotional pull I was hoping for, and at times I did lose focus while reading. However, I love the different storyline here that focused on something a little different than I have read before and with an empowering woman like Virginia Hall! I highly recommend it!!

Brenda’s review

I have some conflicting thoughts here with Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens. I enjoyed it as much as I didn’t. I was drawn to the story because the fictional Cold Creek Highway is influenced by an actual highway stitching 724 km in BC where many women (mostly Indigenous) have disappeared or been found murdered called The Highway of tears.

Chevy Stevens has written her own story here while creating a fictional highway, town, mountainous terrain, and campground by the lake similar to ones in BC, Canada. She does a fantastic job of bringing that all to life, and I enjoyed the story of survival created here.

The story is broken into three parts, starting with Hailey, who calls Cold Creek home and has grown up with warnings and reminders to fear the Cold Creek Highway and never travel it alone. I loved the sense of dread, fear, and tension captured here with the isolated, rugged wilderness that becomes a prime hunting ground for a predator, the highway killer.

Part Two focuses on Beth, who comes to Cold Creek searching for answers to what happened to her sister one night on Cold Creek Highway. Hailey and Beth are connected by their loyalties to the people they care about, and I enjoyed the dynamics there.

In part three, Hailey and Beth’s stories begin to merge as the tension and suspense increase and the action and danger pick up to the final showdown with the characters. While this was exciting and entertaining, it didn’t go in the direction I was hoping for, and I didn’t find it as convincing as I would of liked.

This is where I am conflicted I thought Chevy Stevens created a complex, thrilling and entertaining thriller, but with using the backdrop as ambitious as The Highway of Tears I couldn’t help wondering about the real-life lost souls of women, their stories, and the secrets the highway holds. I was left feeling disappointed and thought she could have done a better job creating a more emotional realistic story that centred around the lost women. However she does mentioned out of respect she wanted to created her own story.

I received a copy from the publisher on NetGalley.

Brenda’s review

I met some dysfunctional families in the many books I read, and none are quite like the Lighthouses. They are by far not your typical, twisted family; they take twisted to a new level. They are morbidly eccentric, obsessed with true crime, and now find themselves in the middle of a true-crime themselves.

I loved the original premise here and found their obsession with true crime entertaining and creepy, and it complements the crime they find themselves in the middle of. Things become even more intriguing as secrets they keep from each other start to come out in those turns to the story. The plot is well crafted with layered clues, some good red herring that threw me off and kept me guessing. The twists to the story are exciting but not shocking. However, near the end, instead of the exciting ending I was hoping for it teeter on falling off the rails, and just too hard to buy into. I held in there, but it was just too much to buy into and I did plenty of eye rolling as I finished the book.

Sometimes I feel I am a little hard on thrillers/suspense, and maybe I expect too much. That just might have been the case here.

I received a copy from the publisher on Edelweiss

Brenda’s review

The Perfect Family is being targeted, pushed to the edge, and are unraveling at the seams. They all have secrets not just from the outside world but from each other, and that makes for some twisted, dysfunctional family dynamics.

The story is told through each member of this not-so-perfect family while they reveal their secrets and thoughts to us. They have a lot of thoughts to share with us that felt a little too much at times and I might of done a little eye rolling. They share their guilt and shame as well as their fears. They all think they are being targeted because of their secrets, which creates some tension and suspense that drives the story forward.

The Perfect Family is a readable, well-paced, and briskly plotted story that I flew through quite quickly. I won’t say this one has Robyn Harding’s signature unlikeable characters I love so much, but she does spin a unique twist to that perfect family with secrets trope. On their own, each character has an intriguing secret, which keeps the plot briskly moving, making it a readable story. Each secret is touched on rather than fully fleshed out in that way Robyn does so well. It works here because the suspense and tension build up as the family feels the pressure each fear they are targeted because of the secrets they are hiding.

While not my favorite from Robyn Harding as it felt a little too much with all the secrets going on here. I liked Tarryn’s unique secret and would of liked to see more focus on her character and the outcome for her. However it is still a great read and I enjoyed how it all wrapped up and highly recommend this one for an entertaining and fun read!!!

Lindsay’s review

Easy, entertaining, suspenseful and twisty!

Everyone in this family has a HUGE secret!

This novel follows one well-to-do family through a tangled web of secrets, lies and deceit. From the outside they seem to have it all, but underneath they all have something to hide.

There is something so smooth and addictive about Robyn Harding’s writing. Her books grab me from the start and keep me flipping the pages while following the lives of crazy characters I love to hate.

This book has a lot going on! But not in a way that makes it complicated or hard to follow. There is a major crisis within each family members life that they are struggling through. There are several heavy topics addressed yet none are truly explored which prevented me from maintaining a strong connection and investment in the storyline. There were some eye rolling moments, but they were fun and entertaining.

Overall, an enjoyable, easy and entertaining, suspenseful and mindless read that you don’t have to think too hard about. While this isn’t my favourite from this author, I continue to be a fan of her writing and look forward to what she comes out with next!

We received a copies from the publisher on NetGalley

The photo is provided by Norma and the book sleeve can be found in her Etsy shop 

Brenda’s review

Her Deadly Touch picks up where Hush Little Girl left off, and Josie is grieving after a significant trauma in her personal life. Josie comes across a body that leads to a group of grieving parents who lost their children in a devastating bus crash. Another body is found dead, and it’s looking like someone connected to the bus crash is out for revenge. Josie starts to investigate the parents of the crash, and secrets begin to come out about what happened on the day of the bus crash.

Lisa Regan throws a lot at Josie, and we see so many different sides to Josie because of that. That can get a little tiring and old after a while, but with Josie, she grows more with everything thrown at her, keeping her character from feeling tired as another side of her is fleshed out. But Josie doesn’t do it alone; she continues to be surrounded by people who love and support her, and that is the heart of the series for me.

I loved how Lisa Regan weaves in Josie’s, the parent’s, and her personal grief and creates a heart-wrenching realistic exploration of grief while creating a mystery with plenty of twists and turns that kept me on my toes.

I read this one with my reading buddies Debra and DeAnn and after 12 books, this series is still going strong for all of us!! I am amazed with each one, I love Josie even more!!

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