This post may contain affiliate links. Disclosure here.
February was an interesting month. I managed to stay on track with my reading goal (36 books in 2023) and I also landed a really good, adult-ish office job! I’ll talk more about that later, for now, let’s get into my February reading recap.
In February I read, 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard, One of Us Is Dead by Jeneva Rose and The Perfect Marriage by Jeneva Rose.
56 Days by Catherina Ryan Howard
This book was a fun read with a really interesting concept. It was also the first book I read where COVID-19 was featured heavily in the storyline.
Ciara and Oliver move in together without telling anyone. Now one of them is dead.
56 Days ago, Ciara and Oliver meet for the first time in a supermarket line. Right as COVID-19 reaches Ireland and the world is forced to shut down.
35 Days ago as lockdown looms over Ciara and Oliver, Oliver suggests they move in together. Ciara sees this as a unique opportunity for the new relationship to continue developing, without the pressure and nitpicking of family and friends. Oliver sees an opportunity to hide who he truly is.
Today, detectives arrive at Oliver’s apartment to begin solving the mystery involving a decomposing body. The detectives will have to decide if they can uncover the truth or if they have stumbled upon the first person to use lockdown as the perfect opportunity to commit murder.
The plot jumped around a bit, often going not just back and forth between the present and the past. Rather, going in between the present, 56 days ago, and 35 days ago.
This was a bit disorienting, especially since I listened to the audiobook. But I ended up enjoying the use of COVID-19 in the storyline and it at some points, brought me back to when things first began shutting down.
The characters were likable and dysfunctional in their own ways. There also isn’t a lot of spice, so if that is what you’re looking for, keep looking.
There were also plenty of sweeter moments between Oliver and Ciara that helped to build the romance between them.
One Of Us Is Dead by Jeneva Rose
This might have been my favorite book of February if I had to pick a favorite for each month. It was also my introduction to Jeneva Rose’s writing and what an introduction it was.
This story centers around four women in the town of Buckhead. A place of luxury and opulence. Expensive cars, enormous houses, and friendships built on competition.
The previous queen bee of Buckhead, Shannon, is now an outcast after being unceremoniously left by her politician ex-husband Bryce. Who traded her in for a much younger woman, Shannon has her eyes set on revenge.
The woman who replaced Shannon? A woman named Crystal. A young woman from Texas with shoes that may prove just too big to fill.
We then meet Olivia. Possibly the nastiest of the group, who is more than happy to snatch the crown off Shannon’s head to make herself the unofficial queen of Buckhead. She finally feels her time has come and stops at nothing to keep her power. No matter how backstabbing, manipulative, or underhanded it may be.
Last but not least is Jenny. The owner of Glow, one of the most exclusive salons in town. Jenny knows everything about everyone.
There is also Karen, the only other woman to hold a job in the group. Karen is a top-earning estate realtor whose business has grown so big, Karen merely just shows up to close deals and collect her money.
The real question, however, is who among these women will be clever enough to survive Buckhead? And who will wind up dead? Friendships can be complex, but no one ever said they could be this deadly.
For a book marketed as a thriller, I didn’t find myself sitting on the edge of my seat. Rather, I loved the juicy gossip and found myself wishing I could watch these ladies around town.
And if I am being honest, despite the cattiness, there were some very genuine moments between some of the ladies.
These characters fully drove this novel and this story would be very lackluster without every character involved. If you haven’t read this story, please do!
I would also recommend you listen to the audiobook if you’re able to. Either through Kindle or an app like Libby, where you can borrow a copy from your library. The narrators make it so much more lively.
The Perfect Marriage by Jeneva Rose
This book wasn’t as good as One Of Us Is Dead, in my opinion. This book carried more thriller elements but it was messy and wrapped up in a swear-filled bow.
At 33 years old, Sarah Morgan is a successful and powerful defense attorney in Washington, D.C. She has been named partner at her firm and her hardworking is paying off.
Unlike her husband Adam, who is a struggling writer. Adam has very little success in his career and begins to tire of his relationship with his wife, Sarah, as she is constantly working.
In the secluded woods is where Adam and Sarah’s second home is located. A cabin on a lake, meant to be a vacation spot. Instead, it is a place where Adam is in what appears to be, a passionate and loving affair with a woman named Kelly Summers.
Then, Adam’s and Sarah’s lives are changed forever. Adam is arrested for Kelly’s murder after she was found stabbed to death in the cabin.
Sarah then finds herself playing the defender in Adam’s case, a man accused of murdering his own mistress.
But did he really commit the heinous crime like Adam says? Or can he no longer be trusted and Adam and Sarah’s lives are truly changed forever?
There are a few spots in the story where the plot goes nowhere. This is a bit disappointing because when everything is revealed at the end, you realize what a waste of time those parts were.
This was also my issue with Mary Kubica’s Local Woman Missing. So many “leads” that went completely nowhere.
That aside, the characters were all completely unlikeable. Adam and Sarah are super hard to root for. The cast of supporting characters also all suck too. Which is a big letdown.
Some reviewers on Goodreads didn’t like the amount of cursing the characters did, but I personally didn’t mind.
The ending also kinda sucked. See a theme here?
This book just kinda sucked.
On a side note, I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I found a job! (Also if you’ve read this far or just skipped down to this part, thank you & I love you lots!)
A little background about me, I worked as a nanny/household manager for almost a decade and had a few jobs in between such as being a remote teaching assistant and working for a call center. Many of the jobs I had I did not enjoy.
When I graduated with my bachelor, I really wanted to go into publishing. That didn’t happen and so I pivoted.
That pivot led me to my new job which, so far, I am absolutely loving. I don’t have to talk to customers or deal with other people’s children/laundry.
This job feels like the first step in a new career path and it makes me extremely excited.
I know there is a lot of “quit your 9-5 to follow your passion” or “become a full-time content creator” which I think if that makes you happy, you should go for it. I (personally) am just not someone who can afford to try giving it a full-time go at content creation or not having a 9-5 job.
So for now, I am happy. I feel like my hard work is paying off and I managed to convince other adults, that I am a fully-functioning adult with valuable job skills!
Overall, this month was a rough one mentally. But I managed to stay on track with my reading goal and that makes me feel really good. I also enjoyed what I read this month. Because if you aren’t reading what you enjoy, what’s the point?
That being said, I hope everyone has a fantastic week. What have you been reading?