What Brenda’s Reading

Dark MatterDark Matter by Blake Crouch

From Goodreads:  “Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

From the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.

What Norma’s Reading

The SleepwalkerThe Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian

From Goodreads:  From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room comes a spine-tingling novel of lies, loss, and buried desire—the mesmerizing story of a wife and mother who vanishes from her bed late one night.

When Annalee Ahlberg goes missing, her children fear the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker whose affliction manifests in ways both bizarre and devastating. Once, she merely destroyed the hydrangeas in front of her Vermont home. More terrifying was the night her older daughter, Lianna, pulled her back from the precipice of the Gale River bridge. The morning of Annalee’s disappearance, a search party combs the nearby woods. Annalee’s husband, Warren, flies home from a business trip. Lianna is questioned by a young, hazel-eyed detective. And her little sister, Paige, takes to swimming the Gale to look for clues. When the police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, it seems certain Annalee is dead, but Gavin Rikert, the hazel-eyed detective, continues to call, continues to stop by the Ahlbergs’ Victorian home. As Lianna peels back the layers of mystery surrounding Annalee’s disappearance, she finds herself drawn to Gavin, but she must ask herself: Why does the detective know so much about her mother? Why did Annalee leave her bed only when her father was away? And if she really died while sleepwalking, where was the body?
Conjuring the strange and mysterious world of parasomnia, a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness, The Sleepwalker is a masterful novel from one of our most treasured storytellers.

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!!


Sister Read: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline

From Goodreads:  It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved — that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt — among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life — and love — in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

Review by Norma: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the SeaSalt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Date read:  January 25 to 26, 2017

Well that was enlightening, emotional, and a page-turning read!

SALT TO THE SEA by RUTA SEPETYS is a Young Adult Historical Fiction novel that is engaging, heart-wrenching, and a powerful read with an extremely interesting plot that grabbed my attention from the very first chapter. This was definitely another page-turner and extremely hard to put down.

The last few books that I have read lately have either had an embossed dustjacket or cover and this is no exception as this one has a partially embossed dustjacket as well as an embossed Stork on the actual cover. Must be some kind of theme for my reads lately! THE COVER definitely depicts an ominous read which I found extremely fitting for this novel.

The details of the ship, Wilhelm Gustloff is a shockingly little-known peace of history from World War II that I am sad to say that I never new anything about until after reading this author’s work of historical fiction.

Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four Secrets.

SALT TO THE SEA has us following along the tale of four captivating CHARACTERS; Joana (The Nurse), Florian (The Knight), Emilia (The Polish Girl), and Alfred (The Letter Writer). I really enjoyed the format of this novel which was written in very short chapters with alternating points of view of the four characters and made me want to read “just one more chapter”. I really liked what each of these characters brought to this story as well as the secondary ones throughout this book. RUTA SEPETYS delivers an unforgettable story here that was easy to follow along with the storyline and all the characters involved.

To sum it all up it was a well researched, heartbreaking, enjoyable, quick and a fast-paced read with a satisfying ending. Would recommend!!

What Norma’s Reading

Salt to the SeaSalt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.

Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.