Thursday, April 15, 2021

My First Order from Thrift Books | Book Haul

I love a good book deal and I've seen a lot of fellow #bookstagram friends purchase used books from Thrift Books. So I decided to give it a try. I've really been missing shopping local during the pandemic. My town usually has quite a few used book sales hosted by the library, but I haven't been wanting to check them out due to... well... people!

But as I mentioned in a previous blog post, I did get my first dose of the Pfizer covid vaccine. I go back in less than two weeks for my second shot.

And for that, I am very grateful.

So yes... all of my secondhand book shopping has been happening online. The first book that I got is called Phoebe Will Destroy You by Blake Nelson.


I really enjoy Blake Nelson's writing style. He mainly writes contemporary YA and the characters in his stories are so real and relatable. He seems to like writing about kids going to the beach and skating and just figuring out their lives. And I dig it.
The rest of the books that I picked up are by Louis Sachar, one of my favorite authors from when I was a kid. His books are so funny and I remember reading some of them, like Holes, in elementary school reading class.


This might be a hot take, but I firmly believe that the movie version of Holes (with Shia Labeouf) is just as good as the book. And that might be the only movie version of a book that I think holds up. What do you think?
Have you ever found a really good deal at Thrift Books? Let me know in the comments down below. It seems like a great site and I have a feeling I'll be going there for many more books in the future.


xo Marian

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

True To Me by Kay Bratt

Description

Quinn Maguire has a stable life, a fiancĂ©, and what she thinks is a clear vision for her future. All of that comes undone by her mother’s deathbed confession—the absentee father Quinn spent thirty years resenting is not her real father at all. With that one revealing whisper, Quinn embarks on a journey to Maui, her mother’s childhood home, a storied paradise that holds the truth about her mother’s past and all its secrets Quinn is determined to uncover.

But settling on the island has its complications, and with the fiancĂ© she left behind questioning every choice she makes, Quinn’s quest for her truth is even more difficult than she expected. As time passes and she digs deeper into her family history and her own identity, one thing becomes clear: Maui is as beautiful as she’d always imagined, and its magic is helping uncover the woman that Quinn was always meant to be.

My Thoughts

I recently listened to the audiobook of True to Me by Kay Bratt, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that it gave me all the feels. I felt sad for Quinn as she traveled to Maui after she lost her mother, hoping to learn more about her real father.

I felt happiness when Quinn reconnected with her best friend Maggie, and the two helped each other through some very difficult situations. I felt warmth when Liam took Quinn gave her a tour of the island and showed her around town.

I felt like crying (in a good way) when Quinn finally found out the truth about her family. It felt like that was when her life really began.

True to Me is a heartwarming story about a woman figuring out what is right for her, while she explores what starts out as a non existent family tree, but soon grows into much more.

I really liked Quinn as a a character. She grew a lot during the story and I liked that she and Maggie were able to jumpstart their friendship so quickly after not talking for so many years. And speaking of friendships, any interaction between Quinn and Liam made me so happy! He was a really good friend for her to have and it made me happy when him and Maggie were supporting her and helping her figure out what to do with her messy situation.

I was perusing on Goodreads and it looks like the next book in this series is about Maggie, so yay! It's called No Place Too Far and it sounds like Quinn is in that book as a side character, so I will definitely be checking that out.

One other thing that I want to say is that this was a really fun read because it takes place in Maui. I enjoyed the tour that Liam took Quinn on. There's also some Hawaiian cultural themes going on, but I won't get too into that because I don't want to spoil anything. Well, one thing I can tell you is that the Hawaiians in this story place a BIG emphasis on family. and that really just makes Quinn's discoveries even more impactful.

I definitely recommend if you're a fan of women's fiction. I listened to the audiobook of this book through Kindle Unlimited, so I'm hoping that the other books in the series are on there as well.

4 stars.

xo Marian

Monday, April 12, 2021

My April Book of the Month Selection

Hello friends! Today's post is going to be a short one, but I wanted to make sure I shared with you what my latest Book of the Month pick is. If you follow me on instagram, you probably saw these photos already.




That's right! My pick for this month is People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry. It was slightly difficult to take these pictures because I took them on top of the twin bed in my guest room, which is where Hazel likes to sit during the day.

She wasn't too happy to have her space taken over by books, which is why she just so happens to be in the second photo! Haha.

Here's the description if you haven't hear much about this book yet:

Description


Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She's a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart--she's in New York City, and he's in their small hometown--but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven't spoken since.

Poppy has everything she should want, but she's stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together--lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.

Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

Sounds fun, right? I'm really excited to get started on this book soon.

>> Sign up for Book of the Month
>> Add People We Meet On Vacation to Goodreads
>>  Preorder on Amazon.com

xo Marian

Sunday, April 11, 2021

New! Check out my Writing Blog

Hello friends!

I'm popping in today to share some non-book information. As some of you might know, I am a writer as well as a reader. My goal is always to read as many books as I can but sometimes I want to read a certain kind of story. And when that story doesn't exist you have to write it yourself!

So if you would like to follow my fiction writing adventures, please visit my new writing blog:

www.writtenbymarian.com

Currently there is not a lot going on there right now! But this blog will be my new home to share details on my writing projects as well as upcoming book releases for both of my pen names, Marian Elizabeth and Marian Krick.

Marian Elizabeth is for contemporary YA romance and Marian Krick is for sweet romance.

Feel free to stop by! More updates will be coming soon including a cover reveal for my new book The Christmas Guest coming this summer.

xo Marian

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Weekly Reading Goals | 4/11 - 4/18

Hello friends! It's been a couple of days since I read anything and I need some motivation. Luckily, I was able to get the covid vaccine last week which means I will be going to the office more often and hopefully going to the gym in the evening.

This means I will be dedicating more time to audiobooks!

Right now I do not have any books checked out from Libby, which is the library program I used to check out eBooks. I do have some books from Kindle Unlimited that I would like to start this week.

1. Black Sunshine: A Dark Vampire Romance by Karina Halle

When Karina Halle publishes a new book, I click on it. It's as simple as that.


This new release is part of the Kindle Unlimited program, but it is not available as an audiobook yet, so i will be reading the kindle version. I'm not usually a big fan of paranormal romances but I'm looking forward to giving this one a try! Karina is one of my favorite contemporary romance authors and I'm willing to give anything she writes a chance.

2. The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon


I love the quote on the cover! How many "Likes" does it take to find love?

This is a books that I have been in the middle of for a while! I'm hoping to finish it this week and post my review on Netgalley. I'm stilling working to up my percentage score on Netgalley and by finishing books that I am in the middle of, I'm hoping to get that done soon.

3. What You Did by Claire McGowan



This is an audiobook that I borrowed from Kindle Unlimited and it sounds like the kind of thriller that I enjoy. From what I can tell, a ton of drama goes down at a high school reunion and everybody is left questioning everything. I've never heard of this author before but I'm excited to give this book a try.

4. True to Me by Kay Bratt

Another Kindle Unlimited book that I borrowed. I gotta be honest with you book friends.. I really liked the cover of this book which is why I checked it out! I'm assuming it's a nice women's fiction novel and I think I'm going to go into it blind this week and see what I think.

What do you have on your reading list this week? Let me know in the comments below.

>> Click here to sign up for Kindle Unlimited

xo Marian

The Ivies by Alexa Donne

Description

Everyone knows the Ivies: the most coveted universities in the United States. Far more important are the Ivies. The Ivies at Claflin Academy, that is. Five girls with the same mission: to get into the Ivy League by any means necessary. I would know. I’m one of them. We disrupt class ranks, club leaderships, and academic competitions…among other things. We improve our own odds by decreasing the fortunes of others. Because hyper-elite competitive college admissions is serious business. And in some cases, it’s deadly.

Alexa Donne delivers a nail-biting and timely thriller about teens who will stop at nothing to get into the college of their dreams. Too bad no one told them murder isn’t an extracurricular.



My Thoughts


Contemporary young adult fiction is very hit or miss with me these days. But let's be real... I'm a twenty nine year old lady! I'm not exactly the target audience for these kinds of reads. I guess the reason why I keep checking them out are because they're the kinds of books that I loved to read when I was younger and I want to stay fresh and relevant in the book world.

So in my opinion, The Ivies is a hit! I was very impressed by this story.

I think the reason why I enjoyed this story so much are because there are a lot of fun elements in this story.
It takes place at a boarding school, there are female friendships and lots of secrets (that's why people adored Pretty Little Liars, right?), and there also happens to be a murder mystery that needs to be solved before all of the students go home for winter break.

Plus, everyone in the story is finding out if they got into college Early Admission, so to say these students are busy is a bit of an understatement.

I liked the main character (and narrator) Olivia right off the bat. She's the most relatable because she's a hard worker and her mother struggles to give her what she needs. In other words, everything isn't handed to her on a silver platter like the rest of her group.

The main issue in this story is pressure. At Claflin Academy, the students are under an intense amount of pressure to do well and get into the colleges of their dreams. In the case of Avery, the leader of Olivia's friend group aka The Ivies, she's pressured to get into Harvard because that's where other people in her family went, so she's a legacy.

It's a lot for a teenager to handle.

The mystery in this story is one that keeps you guessing. It's a sad situation, and people's true colors begin to show as Olivia plays detective to try to figure out what really happened on the night of party, where everything changed.

I'll be honest. I mentioned before that I am a twenty nine year old lady so I figured I would be able to solve this mystery. But I did not. Lol. I thought I knew who the culprit was, but I was so very wrong.

Sigh. Once of these days I will read enough thrillers to be able to figure out a mystery on my own. Mark my words.

Anyway, this is my first time reading a book by Alexa Donne. I watch her youtube channel and so I know she's published other books, but this one really grabbed my attention because of the topic.

I would recommend this book if you like young adult fiction filled with drama, secrets, and lots of twists and turns. In a way, it kind of reminded me of the college admission scandal that happened with the celebrities lying and cheating to get their kids into schools. I guess because of the fact that everyone was fighting to get into colleges.

The difference is that the character Olivia in this book DID ACTUALLY row crew, while Olivia Jade did not.




I'm hilarious. I know. No need to tell me!

That's all for today. Thank you to Netgalley for an eArc of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts. I really enjoyed it and I hope Alexa writes more thrillers in the future. She has a writing style that I really enjoyed and seems very knowledgable about the college admissions process.

xo Marian

Saturday, March 27, 2021

What Makes Me Happy? Pizza. And Lots of Books.

Good morning, friends. It's Saturday morning and I'm sitting on the couch with my first cup of coffee. My trusty pup Hazel is by my side. I've been alternating between watching Superstore and reading I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L Sanchez.

In case you didn't know, the series finale for Superstore aired this week. It was technically two different episodes but they aired it together for the series finale which I think is nice. I don't want to spoil anything in case you're also a fan of the show, but let me just say: I was very pleased with the finale. I thought it was an excellent wrap up and getting to see how life ended up for certain characters made me really happy.

If you have Hulu, you can watch the whole series on there. You can also buy the the DVDs on Amazon.

In my latest youtube video I made chicken bacon ranch pizza, discussed my latest book haul, and spent some time reading.


You can watch the video above if you're interested but I will also share the books that I picked up at Barnes & Noble here:
I'm super excited for all of these reads! I do have Marie Kondo's book in kindle format but I wanted a physical copy because I think it will be easier apply her methods to my home & life when I'm not looking at my phone all the time. Does that make sense? I just figured it would be easier to look at IRL.

What have you been reading lately? Let me know if the comments because I'm super curious! I'm also always looking for recommendations.

I guess I've come to terms with the fact that my TBR list will always have at least 100 books on it. Lol! Keep your eyes peeled because my March reading wrap up will be posted on the blog in a couple of days.

xo Marian