Friday, January 29, 2021

January Reading Wrap Up

Hello friends! Now that I am transitioning my blog over to more lifestyle content, I decided that I would write one blog post at the end of the month, in which I share some of my thoughts on the different books that I read that month.

This month was a good month. I've been feeling really refreshed with the beginning of the new year, plus I have a lot of great books that I need to read.


1. Frayed by Layne Deemer

Frayed is a book that my friend Jenn lent me. I wasn't sure if I would like it at first. In chapter 1 you're introduced to the main character Owen and he works as a quality assurance inspector, checking over socks. He lives what seems to be a very boring, but functional life. Little by little he finds himself getting entwined with a woman named Lydia who keeps popping up in various different places in his life.

Owen begins to receive messages from a secret admirer and at first, he thinks it could be his new friend Lydia, who he's taken a real interest in. But something doesn't quite match up and reality begins to get jumbled.

The writing was good but I didn't feel really engrossed in the book until it got near the end. Would I recommend it? Sure. It was an entertaining read. But probably not one I will read again.

4 Stars

2. Scarred by Sarah Edmondson

Sarah is an actress and woman who found herself completely sucked into the NXIVM cult and this is her memoir. I read it because I find cults interesting and although I really wanted to watch that series they just put out on Stars, I don't have that channel. So I went on Amazon and picked out a memoir to read instead.

I enjoyed Sarah's story although in order for her to truly explain to us readers how things worked, there was a lot of dry talk about NXIVM and how it started and how the meetings worked and whatnot. It was almost too much and I just wanted her to get to the juice stuff.

Eventually she did, and I think it's commendable what she and her husband did in order to protect themselves and their family and get out of NXIVM. If you're looking for an honest encounter that gives a lot of detail about the cult, definitely check this book out.

3 Stars

3. Daughter of Gloriavale by Lilia Tarawa

This is the memoir of a woman named Lilia Tarawa who grew up in Gloriavale, a religious cult in New Zeland. I watched a 3 part mini series about Gloriavale on Amazon Prime after I watched Lilia's TED Talk on her experience. I was fascinated with how things in Gloriavale worked and was looking for more information and stories.

Lilia is a great writer. Not only was her story honest and raw, but she wrote about it in a really engrossing way. I enjoyed learning about her and her family. I can't even imagine how scary it was for her family to make some of the choices that they did, but it seems like they are all happy to be out of the cult and that's great for them

5 stars

4. Layla by Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover has been a favorite author of mine, ever since I discovered how many great self published books are available on Amazon. My first book of hers that I absolutely loved was Slammed. Ever since then she has been a must buy author for me.

Layla is her newest release and I listed to the audiobook over the course of a day and a half. It's very good. I've realized over the past few months that I really like stories with a bit if suspense, or mystery to them.

Part paranormal. Part drama. Part romance. That's all I can say without giving it away.

5 stars

5. Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

I'm in a Colleen Hoover kick right now, I suppose. Regretting You is more of a family drama, that focuses on the relationship between a mother and daughter. It's not quite what I expected but I'm enjoying it, and I can listen to the Audible version for free through Kindle Unlimited.

That's all I can say for right now. I'm only about a third of the way through.

6. The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher

I picked this book up from Wal Mart this week because I've seen a lot of talk about it online. Plus like I said, I'm really digging stories with an air of mystery right now. 

The Good:
  • By an author who I have read before. The last book I read by Tarryn was The Opportunist and so I figured I would like this one.
  • Story is told in alternating viewpoints which I always appreciate because it really gets you into the heads of all the characters.
  • The last quarter of the book was NOT what I expected, and that's what really saved this book for me.
  • I appreciate that the back cover of the book does not give anything away. Right off the bat I was surprised by this story and trying to piece things together because the back cover is very vague.
The Bad:
  • The first 3/4 of the book was just not really gripping. Too much description.
  • The characters weren't very memorable. Not totally unpleasant, but not great either. It's always hard to root for/care about characters that you don't really enjoy.
  • That's all I can really say. It's not that the story was unpleasant, it's just that I was weirded out by some things and didn't really care
3 stars


What did you read this month? Let me know in the comments if you have any recommendations of books I should read or good books that are available in KU.
xo Marian

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