No Exit by Taylor Adams @WmMorrowBooks @HarperCollinsCa #BookReview #BookBloggers #travelingfriendsreads #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

We read No Exit by Taylor Adams in our Traveling Friends Goodreads Group and this one left us very excited after reading it! We highly recommend not missing this exciting and entertaining thriller!

Norma’s review

Whoa!  Edgy, chilling & engrossing stuff here!

NO EXIT by TAYLOR ADAMS is a highly entertaining, riveting and action-packed thrill ride that was quite the tense psychological thriller.  The storyline and the chilling setting of this tale immediately drew me in and held taut right to the very end. I found that the storyline was so darn nightmarishly exciting that literally had my heart racing and kept me on the edge of my seat making this one totally immersive read.  

TAYLOR ADAMS delivers a rapid-paced, suspenseful, gripping, well-written and perfectly executed read here that was such a vivid portrayal that I thought I was actually watching a thriller movie unfold rather than just reading it.  That is pretty good storytelling to be able to totally immerse me in every little scary vivid detail as I am definitely not a visual reader.

This was pretty much the perfect thriller for me and one that totally blew me away.  Yup landing into my favourite reads shelf!

Brenda’s review

Colorado blizzard, stranded travelers, an isolated rest stop, a kidnapped child, a cat and mouse game between a young woman and a terrifying psychopath

No Exit is one of my favorite type of thriller.  A thrilling fast-past, climatic, heart-pounding game of cat and mouse between two strong and very different characters who try to outwit each other.  I even joined in on this cat and mouse game by yelling at the characters and rooting here for our young brave heroine who gives it her all to outwit a psychopath.

No Exit had me turning those pages as fast as I could.  It’s intensely gripping right up to that climatic and emotional ending.  There are some terrifying twists and turns that did get a bit graphic at times.  We were feeling things were getting pretty intense here with some of those scenes and might not be able to the same way about a certain thing used in this story without thinking about this story.  Taylor Adams sure knows how to play that shock effect well here. We might even be thinking twice about stopping at any rest/visitors centers again. And I am going to stick to my “if it’s snowing I am not going rule.

A look into our discussion

Loved this!!! I was on the edge of my seat for most of it….I actually had to put it down a time or 2 because it was stressing me out!! I loved Darby & her resourcefulness & grit. She was amazing. This was one of the best thrillers I’ve read in a long time! Beth

It was fast-paced, exciting and kept my attention! The twists were unpredictable and Darby was bright and amusing. Loved it! JuJu

What a crazy ride! I am not a fan of rest stops to begin with, so this has further deterred me from stopping at one! Nikki

Wowzers! The anxiety and nail bitting twists up until the very end was entertaining. I couldn’t put this down. I loved the twist and turns Jennifer

Definitely a fast paced read and super creepy. I did not see the reveals coming Great ending! Carolyn

Stats

Cover:  Frightening, isolating, and frigid.  This cover totally caught my attention and is a fabulous representation to storyline.  I am so ecstatic to say that it totally lived up to all the hype and exceeded all my expectations!          

Title: Intriguing, clever and an absolutely perfect representation to storyline.  

Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging, gripping and fluid.  Thoroughly enjoyed the narrative!

Plot: Scary, unsettling, intense, suspenseful, twisty, imaginative, and a little bit graphic.

Ending:  A shocking, surprising, intense and action-packed ending that left me feeling totally wowed.

Overall: This book had one of the most brilliant fictional premises that I have read to date and I thoroughly enjoyed escaping into this extremely scary tale!  Would recommend!

Thank you so much to Edelweiss, the publishers William Morrow & HarperCollins Canada, and Taylor Adams for the ARC. We also purchased a copy for ourselves.

Have you read this one? Want to read this one? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

Falling Behind Friday: A Ladder To The Sky by John Boyne @CrownPublishing #BookReview #BookBloggers #travelingfriendsreads #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

This week I am bringing you another review that I have fallen behind on. We read A Ladder to the Sky  by John Boyne with a few of our friends on Instagram. Our main character Maurice sure gave us a lot to talk about.

Brenda’s review

He is hungry for success, ambitious yet lacks talent, devious and manipulating.  Nothing stands in his way of getting what he wants

The Ladder To The Sky is a compelling yet disturbing dark story that explores how far one man will go to achieve success using deceit and manipulation. It has been quoted as a “deliciously dark tale” and I have to agree.  Maurice is handsome, charming and not afraid to work that. He is dangerously fascinating yet irresistible. Oh, and he is a sociopath. He had us feeling uncomfortable, disturbed and angry. He shocked us and watching him throughout this story felt like watching a train wreck about to happen in slow motion and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

It’s a great one to read in a group as there is a lot to talk about here with this one and if you are like me it’s also a great one to get wrapped up in your little thoughts and discussion with the characters. I highly recommend.

Lindsay’s review

Maurice – you conniving, selfish scoundrel! Never have I ever been so intrigued by such a nasty and repulsive main character. Wow!

This novel follows Maurice Swift in his rise to fame. We are introduced to Maurice as a handsome young man whose goal in life is to become a famous writer. He will stop at nothing to get ahead, latching on to countless people to use them for all he can get. As the story progresses, we witness just how greedy, manipulative and destructive he can be.

This story is unpredictable, outrageous, fascinating and jaw-dropping. I felt like I was in a constant state of shock, never knowing what to anticipate next. The author, John Boyne, has such a unique and enthralling way with words. He created a highly unlikeable main character with such an addictive and engrossing storyline that you can’t help but be intrigued and curious throughout. The writing is brilliant, the characters are unforgettable, the storyline is unique and shocking. 

This is my second novel by John Boyne and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I highly recommend checking out this book and author! 

Thank you to NetGalley, Crown Publishing and John Boyne for providing us a copy to read and review. I also purchased a copy for myself

Have you read this one? Want to read this one? Drop us a comment we would love to her from you!

Desperate Paths by E.C. Diskin #BookReview #BookBloggers #travelingsisterreads #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Desperate Paths by E.C. Diskin is available now!

One book three different opinions!

Drama anyone?  There is lots here to offer if you enjoy a bit of drama in your domestic suspenseful novels!  I sure do so I ended up thoroughly enjoying this one but………Brenda and Lindsay didn’t enjoy this one nearly as much as I did though.  I’m all for a little bit of drama in my books but for Brenda and Lindsay it was just a little too much for them to fully enjoy this book.  I say bring it on and they were like enough already! LOL


Norma’s Review

Entertaining, unputdownable and an intriguing read!

DESPERATE PATHS by E.C. DISKIN is jam-packed full of family secrets and lies and as the story progresses they just keep on coming with lots of twists and turns to be had here. For some the overzealous plot and drama might be a little too much to handle but for me I totally embraced and loved it all. In fact, I finished reading this one in less that 24 hours as I just could not put it down.

E.C. DISKIN’S delivers an interesting, tense and well-written read here that gradually increases in tension and offers a suspenseful twisty plot with complex characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the structure of this story and it had me hooked right from the very first chapter.

So this is where things went a little sideways for both Lindsay and Brenda where I thought that E.C. DISKIN did a fabulous job with creating little intricate pieces of puzzles for us to ponder from the story while sleuthing how they fit together when in reality I don’t think being an armchair detective works out well for this one. Although, I had lots of guesses and some of those guesses came to fruition I was never confident in saying that I knew the why or how of pretty much everything that came to pass.

Brenda’s Review

Small town, dark secrets and lies, murder charge, a shooting and some sister drama.

Desperate Paths send me down a desperate path of my own. A head spinning path I didn’t know what direction to go path but in the end it didn’t really matter because every path took you to the end. There was just that much drama going on here.

Now this one did have some drama that I must admit I enjoy and that’s sister drama. I have been known to create a little sister drama myself that has left Norma’s head spinning. lol Did I just say that? lol I enjoyed the dynamics here between these sisters and the tension created between them added to the story for me.   However, there was a little too much overall drama that came on very quickly and my head started to spin and I became desperate to finish.  

Lindsay’s Review



Too much drama for me!
Brooklyn Anderson returns to her hometown of Eden to help care for her aging father who is in the hospital.   While there, she reconnects with her estranged sister Ginny who needs helps caring for their father. Darius Woods is a famous actor who grew up in Eden and recently returned with a screenplay and many hidden secrets from his past.   Darius is shot and taken to the same hospital as Brooklyn’s father within hours of his return to town.
This novel takes place over a seven day period, starting at Day Seven, moving to Day One and then the days in between.  I was intrigued with how it started at the conclusion of the story which kept me wondering what lead to such a drastic situation.  
After the first half of the book, the drama kicked into high gear and I completely lost any sort of connection I had.  I ended up skimming quite a bit toward the very end because there was so much dramatic effect. Unfortunately, this novel simply wasn’t for me.   With that being said, I loved this author’s previous novel, The Depth of Lies, so I would be interested to see what she comes out with in the future.  

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Eerie, suspenseful, eye-catching and a great representation to storyline.
Title: Intriguing, interesting and totally could feel the desperation emanating from the different paths that these characters took.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, entertaining, engaging and readable.
Plot: Complex, interesting, dramatic, thought-provoking, fast-paced, twisty, and entertaining.
Ending: Twisty, surprising, neat and totally satisfying. With the complex nature of this story and all the twists and turns I really appreciated the neat and concise ending.
Overall: This was a fun, entertaining,and enjoyable read that I thoroughly enjoyed the escape! Would recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Thomas and Mercer & E. C. Diskin for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of this book.

Are you a drama lover like Norma? Or like Brenda and Lindsay not so much?

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing @smariedowning @BerkleyPub

One of the most highly anticipated must reads of 2019 and you don’t want to miss it! This was a top pick for us Traveling Sisters!!

We read My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing in two of our reading groups and this one left us all cheering with excitement after finishing this one. We hope you all enjoy it as much as we did. If you haven’t read it its one we highly recommend not to miss out on as it is just that fantastic.

Brenda’s Review

It entertained us, disturbed us, made us uncomfortable and had us questioning our own dark and twisted loving minds!

Married with children serial killer, a game of cat and mouse, rich in twists and an ending that will leave you wanting to talk about it.

My Lovely Wife grabbed my attention right from the start and I raced through it as fast as I could. I wasn’t alone here! It was a fast page turner for us that kept a few of us up reading late into the night with the best book hangovers ever. It was one of the fastest group reads with one of the longest discussions we have had!

Now that ending left us speechless but not for long. We had a lot to talk about with that ending. We all highly recommend!

Norma’s review

Thrilling, mind-blowing & highly compulsive!

Oh my goodness this book definitely deserves my favourite wowza saying and I am absolutely thrilled to say that this is probably one of the best thrillers that I have recently read.

MY LOVELY WIFE by SAMANTHA DOWNING is an engrossing, suspenseful, dark, twisted, and disturbing psychological thriller that was such an irresistible, fun and thrilling book to read. I was immediately sucked in and devoured every single page of this wickedly entertaining book. It was absolutely impossible to put down. Once I started reading this book I was hooked and so absorbed in this storyline that it wasn’t an easy task to pull me away. 

SAMANTHA DOWNING delivers quite the impressive debut here that was such a clever, intriguing, tension-filled and well-written read. This was a highly anticipated read for me and one that I absolutely loved!! I am so excited to say that this book quickly went it into my favourite reads shelf.

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing and Samantha Downing for our copies to read and review!

Lindsay’s review

Thrilling, edgy and addictive!

I am still in shock that this was a debut novel!   Wow – Samatha Downing – I am very impressed!

This is a truly unforgettable story that will stay with me long after I have written this review.  This book lived up to and, for me, surpassed the hype surrounding it. I won’t give any plot details as I think it’s best to go in blind.  The narration was skillfully executed. The flow and pace were smooth, precise and consistent – kept me on my toes from start to finish. The characters were distinct and exceptional.   The plot was brilliantly unique and scandalous. What more can I say? Get your hands on a copy of this book.

From Kim’s review

OMG OMG OMG!!! Yes I am speechless as I finished up my most anticipated book of the year! It not only lived up to my expectations, it far exceeded them! I mean really I am floored that this is Samantha Downing’s first book. New thriller queen in the house! It is great when you know from the very first chapter that you are going to love it. The writing style had a raw, edgy humor to it and that is my favorite! I can’t quite explain why I got suckered into liking this couple. It is awful to say that no matter what they did, I just couldn’t quite hate them. I really didn’t want this book to end. I was so wrapped up in their story. For Kim’s full review

From Heidi’s review

Wow – what a hell of a ride this book was! It was also so much fun to read. Which makes me a little bit concerned about my own sanity, seeing how there were some pretty dark themes at play here: murder, torture, sexual predators, lies and infidelity. But, oh so very entertaining! By far one of the more original books I have read in a long time, and one that I can highly recommend to all lovers of the genre! A great binge read – lock your doors, make sure you are stocked up on food and bevies and just enjoy the ride.

From Mary Beth’s review

Before you open up this book make sure you have no plans for the day. Don’t answer the telephone, and don’t answer the door, because all you will want to do is to read this book. I am serious. At least that is how I thought. I did not want it to end. I raced through this book and read it in a day in a half. 

I loved the ending. Right when I thought I had figured this one out, a big twist comes along that wasn’t expected at all and it left me speechless. It was a big surprise. This one kept me on the edge of my seat. It is not a predictable read and I thought it was mind blowing and AMAZING!

From Dana’s review

Hooked from the first chapter! My Lovely Wife pulled me in right away and kept me wanting more. Samantha Downing knows how to write a thriller!! This book was gripping and intense. It kept me guessing from one chapter to the next, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough! My advice to anyone that picks up this book, make sure you’ve got a few free hours because you’re not going to want to put this down!! 

Traveling Sister read and Traveling Friend IG read

Have you read this one? Did you love it? Are you adding it to your TBR list or running out to get it today? Drop us comment! We would love to hear from you!

Lindsay’s Author Series Event with Iain Reid & Anna Porter @SimonSchusterCA @reid_iain @GrimsbyLibrary @annaporter_anna #grimsbyauthorseries

Post written by Lindsay

I had the pleasure of attending another Author Series Event in Grimsby, Ontario last week.   Enjoying a glass of wine with fellow book loving friends while authors read to me – does it get any better than that?  This March event featured Iain Reid and Anna Porter as the guest authors.

I read and loved Iain Reid’s latest novel “Foe” and was looking forward to hearing about his creative process while writing this eerie, tension-filled story.  He was an excellent speaker – his voice had the audience in a complete trance while he read. I found it surprising to learn that Iain doesn’t know the exact direction his story is heading while writing – he lets the characters take him where they want to go.  Iain refrained from giving his opinion on what certain elements of the story mean to him when asked. He created this unique, spine-tingling story with many “open to interpretation” elements. He explained that he wants to leave it open to the readers’ interpretation without clouding their reading experience.  I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of his previous novel, I’m Thinking Of Ending Things.

While I didn’t get the opportunity to read Anna Porter’s novel “In Other Words” prior to the event, I found her presentation and discussion both very interesting and inspiring.   She has quite an impressive background in the Canadian publishing world and has met and developed close relationships with many famous people in the industry. I look forward to checking out her novel in the near future.   

I’m excited for the April Author Series Event where Shelley Wood and Andrew Pyper will be speaking.  Stay tuned…..

Lindsay’s review

Wow! Foe by Iain Reid was an exciting step outside of my usual reading genre! 😱🤯

This novel is a combination of thriller, sci-fi and mystery/suspense. I usually steer very clear of anything remotely sci-fi-ish, however, I will be attending an Author Series event next week where this author, Iain Reid, will be speaking so I thought I’d give it a try. Boy, am I happy I did! This novel had me glued to the words from page one. There was an intense feeling of foreboding and unease that crept through my entire body every time I picked this book up. The suspense was thick and addictive. And that ending left my mind whirling! 

This is one of those books that you just have to read to know what feeling I’m getting at. It sucks you in and keeps you hungry for more until you reach the mind-blowing ending. It’s a unique and unforgettable story told through a brilliant narrative. I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy!

Have you read Foe or any other books by Iain Reid? Have you read In Other Words: How I Fell in Love with Canada One Book at a Time by Anna Porter? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths #BookBloggers #travelingsisterreads #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Brenda’s review

Elly Griffiths is well known for her Ruth Galloway series. The Stranger Diaries  is a stand alone and my first book by Elly Griffiths. I read it in our Traveling Sisters reading group.

A gothic murder mystery with a modern twist, a whodunnit, and a ghost story.

The Stranger Diaries has a unique and interesting format to the story that we all loved. The story is told from different overlapping POVs, and timelines, passages from a book, a story within the story method and diary entries from one of the main characters.

We all were intrigued right from the start with this entertaining and fun story that takes place on the grounds of a school where a famous author R.M. Holland once lived. We loved the gothic tone and setting to the story and were drawn in the murder mystery and ghost story right from the start. There were some things here in this story that just didn’t work for me and a few of us just didn’t buy into. This lead to some discussion within the group and it was interesting to see how everyone reacted to these things.

The ending also left us with a few things to discuss.  Some of us were shocked by whodunnit and of course even though I was questioning a few things I didn’t figure out who it was.  You would think after so many thrillers my detective skills would be better. But no! The ending wrapped up quite quickly and a bit neat and we were questioning a few things about that. Leaving a few of us not buying into it and the rest not really bothered by it because of the well down gothic elements to the story. I highly recommend this one for group reads. There is plenty to talk about!

Thank you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for my copy to read and review.

Norma’s Review

Classic whodunnit, witty prose, & a spooky gothic vibe!

THE STRANGER DIARIES by ELLY GRIFFITHS is an entertaining, eerie, and gothic suspense tale that opens up with quite the hook with a creepy short darkish ghost story entitled THE STRANGER. This technique of a short story interwoven into the narrative definitely set the tone for a spooky sinister tale and immediately piqued my interest. 

ELLY GRIFFITHS delivers an atmospheric, intriguing, multi-layered, complex, and well-written tale here that was uniquely formatted with a story within a story, diary entries, and multiple character points of view. Throughout the book we get these little snippets of R.M. Holland’s THE STRANGER interwoven into the narrative to rattle our minds and then in the end we are awarded with the whole story. I absolutely loved this technique and thought it was quite the clever move on the authors part to make this quite the page-turner.

So I have been trying really hard not to be an armchair detective and just let the story guide and take me there without trying to guess the who and why. I will say that I did have an inkling of the who but would have never of guessed the motivation behind the why though. The motive did leave me feeling a little bit blasé and underwhelmed though but I do think it was a fitting development. I just would have liked maybe a different avenue explored there but there were quite a few appealing and delicious aspects to this storyline that I thoroughly enjoyed and gobbled right up. The haunted old school, a ghost sighting, witchcraft, spooky gothic vibe, story within a story (that mimics the modern day story), suspenseful murder mystery, and unreliable narrators. Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Elly Griffiths for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.

From DeAnn’s review

This tale gets all the points for originality and atmosphere. It has a very gothic air and feels very British to this American reader. Set in modern times, but ample references to the past with Oxford, literature, diaries, and mysterious writers. Throw in an abandoned factory, a haunted school, magic, and several murders and you’ve got a classic mystery.

All throughout the book we are teased with snippets from a classic ghost story written by R.M. Holland. Clare just happens to be an expert on this writer and is writing a book about him. When life starts to mimic the story, things take a deadly turn and Kaur frantically tries to solve the case before another murder happens.

From Mary Beth’s review

I was so surprised who the killer was and I never suspected the killer. I didn’t think the killer has a strong motive. It just wasn’t good enough. I thought the plot was great and loved everything else about this book.

I just loved the characters. I loved Clare and her teenage daughter and I loved the dog Herbert and thought he was adorable. My favorite character was Byrony Hughes. I thought her character was done so well.

From Marilyn’s review

There is an eerie feel to the book, as more and more things happen that allude to Holland and his writings, which is fun in a modern day novel. I enjoyed reading from the POV of all three characters, the snobbish, beautiful Clare, the too mature for her age, Georgia, and the hard nosed, sarcastic and witty DS Kaur. Reading the events of the story from three different perspectives often changed the who and how of the story for me and even though I briefly picked the right person for the murderer, I was led astray by new events and seeing the events from a different view point. . And then there was the short story within this novel that added to the mysterious and gothic feel of the book. 

Have you read this one? Want to read this one? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!