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Week 2 Reading Round-up

Updated: Jan 29

Although the week started rather slowly and I started and put aside several books, I finished more books than I thought I would. Here's what I read for the second week of 2024 - January 8th - January 14th

In this post:

My Stats

Weekly Stats:

  • 5 books

  • 3 audiobooks, 2 paperback

  • 1 debut author, 3 backlist, 1 new release

  • 2 ARCS, 1 read-my-shelf, 1 library book

  • Average Rating: 4⭐

Yearly Stats:

Here are my spoiler free reviews based on the order in which I read them. You can also find these on Goodreads and StoryGraph! I've also included potential prompts these books could fit into for the two reading challenges I'm participating in.


My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5

Goodreads Rating: 3.82

Genre: Adult Mystery

Format: NetGalley ARC - audiobook

Releases: January 23, 2024

This book was a solid 4 stars up until the last tenish chapters. I'll explain more in a separate post when the pub date gets closer.

This is the story of three sisters, Emma, Juliet (JJ), and Daphne, who grew up in an emotionally and sometimes physically abusive home. The third person narration jumps between the three sisters' perspectives both in present day and in the past. In the present, we mostly follow Emma especially in the beginning. The catalyst for the story is Emma and her dickhead husband Nathan moving back into the family home where their parents were murdered. She was under suspicion at the time, and the memories of the small town police and neighbors runs long, which causes some major tension in town.

Everyone is keeping a secret. Some are keeping other peoples' secrets. Emma needs to figure out who actually killed her parents to clear her name and reputation. Especially when another tragedy strikes and she is once again in the polices' crosshairs.

For now, I'll say that overall I really liked this book. Despite the never-ending ending, the rest was fast-paced with short chapters that alternated between POVs and past and present tense.

Thank you to NetGalley, Kate Alice Marshall, and the publisher for allowing me to review this ARC copy of the audiobook.

📕52 Book Club 2024 Reading Challenge Prompts: #3 More Than 40 Chapters, #10 Told in Non-Chronological Order, #20 A Revenge Story, #24 Cover Without People, #29 Pubbed in the Year of the Dragon (2024), #52 Pubbed in 2024

📕Booklist Queen 2024 Reading Challenge Prompts: #5 An Audiobook, #10 About Starting Over, #17 Multiple POVs, #25 About Secrets, #32 Set in a Small Town, #46 2024 New Release,


My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Rating: 3.79

Genre: Adult Mystery

Format: Audiobook NetGalley ARC

Releases: February 6, 2024

If you liked the movie "Luckiest Girl Alive" starring Mila Kunis, you'll love this book. In fact, the movie was mid for me, but this book was a much faster, twistier read.

Charlotte, a transplant from England to New York, has the perfect life - rich fiancé, dream job, massive apartment, designer everything. But a tragic incident from her past-- a campus killing that was media fodder at the time--where she was one of the only unhurt survivors is the only thing that could bring it all crashing down. You see, she lied to the police and told them what she remembered... only she blacked out and couldn't remember anything. She fears what lives in that blank space. Now, when the sister of one of the victims wants to make a movie about the incident, Charlotte will stop at nothing to make sure that doesn't happen.

This is told in first person POV, as most thrillers are nowadays, and in a dual timeline - now and then (the days leading up to the event). I didn't mind this because the past timeline was revealed as Charlotte talks to her therapist to try to remember what happened and why it happened. The narrator was great. Her slight British accent is lovely and her attempts at an American accent are sufficient.

Like the book above, I'll do a more thorough review closer to publication time. But, I did enjoy this book and would recommend it as a fast, fun read. I don't know how memorable it will be moving forward, but I did enjoy it while I was reading.

Thank you to NetGalley, Jenny Hollander, and the publisher for allowing me to honestly review this Advanced Reader Copy.

📕52 Book Club 2024 Reading Challenge Prompts: #10 Told in Non-Chronological Order, #24 Cover Without People, #29 Pubbed in Year of Dragon (2024), #43 About Finding Identity, #52 - Pubbed in 2024

📕Booklist Queen 2024 Reading Challenge Prompts: #5 An Audiobook, #9 With an Epilogue, #10 About Starting Over, #20 Debut Author, #25 About Secrets, #46 2024 New Release


My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

Goodreads Rating: 4.01

Genre: Steamy Rom-Com

Format: Paperback - own

Released: May 2021

Let me preface this by saying that I LOVE Christina Lauren. Her witty humor is just what I want in a rom-com. I often laugh out loud while reading her books and the steamy scenes are well-done and not cringy.

This book is the first in the DNADuo series. I actually read the second one, True Love Experiment, first at the beginning of 2023 and LOVED it. I think it was my first 5-star read of last year. This one was just as good.

The premise is a dating app that using DNA to find matches. Based on the genetics, you can get levels of matches - a base match being the lowest/least likely to be a soul mate, and a diamond match is the highest and super rare.

This book begins with Jules, who is a single mom, a freelance data analyst, and a non-dater. Her friend Fizzy (the FMC of book 2) goads her into sending in her sample to the dating app. And low and behold she has the highest rated ever match with none other than the founding member River Pena. They get off to a halting start (bad first impressions and all that), but the company offers to compensate Jules for dating River and doing press to help the IPO of the app.

I loved getting to know these characters as they revealed themselves to each other and the reader. Jules' family is amazing, including the kiddo - Juno. Sometimes kids in books are annoying, but she was in the story just enough and very authentic. I enjoyed the interactions between Jules and River as well.

Christina Lauren is an auto-read author for me. Light, happy ending, funny, romantic, just the right amount of steam...

📕52 Book Club 2024 Reading Challenge Prompts: #6 Women in STEM, #28 A Yellow Spine (1st edition cover),

📕Booklist Queen 2024 Reading Challenge Prompts: #15 Purple Cover, #36 A Quick Read, #41 Written Under a Pseudonym,


My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

Goodreads Rating: 3.8

Genre: Mystery, True Crime Mockumentary

Format: Paperback - library loan

Released: September 2023

You are either going to love the format of this book or not. You'll know pretty quickly. The entire book is an alternative format. The chapters are episodes of a true crime documentary about an unsolved murder in a London suburb. Interspersed throughout are also emails, text messages, message boards, and newspaper articles. Personally, I found it fascinating!

The premise is an up and coming director wants to solve the murder of his step-father from two decades earlier. He and the producer gather together several experts (retired detectives from US and England, a psychologist, a forensic expert , and a reporter) for fresh eyes on the case.

Through the revelations of each character, new evidence, and an amazing team of behind the scenes researchers, they are able to uncover the truth one jaw-dropping cliff hanger at a time. I would watch the shit out of this if it were a real documentary show.

The ending was a bit ambiguous, but not enough to ruin it. I did see the final twist coming, but all the little reveals along the way made it a fun journey.

Because of the many different formats, I highly suggest this be read in print. I'm not sure how well it would translate to audio. Give it a try - I don't think you'll be disappointed.

📕52 Book Club 2024 Reading Challenge Prompts: #14 A Grieving Character, #24 Cover Without People, #26 Hybrid Genre

📕Booklist Queen 2024 Reading Challenge Prompts: #10 About Starting Over, #25 About Secrets, #18 A Book You Couldn't Put Down, #22 Intriguing Premise, #25 About Secrets, #29 Recommended by a Podcast, #36 A Quick Read, #37 Set During Autumn


My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.75

Goodreads Rating: 3.7

Genre: LGBTQ contemporary fiction

Format: Audiobook Libby

What the heck did I just read? LOL. This is a quirky, weird book about Greta, a 40-something, trauma wrecked, bi-sexual woman who lives with an older woman (just a friend) who sells weed out of their 1700s-era farmhouse, a 300 year old beehive in the kitchen, and tons of ants and stinkbugs.

Greta is a transcriptionist for a sex therapist in town and, although the clients are only identified by initials on tape, Greta can often identify clients in town by their voices. One woman, whom Greta names Big Swiss, catches her attention after explaining her own traumatic event.

When Greta recognizes Big Swiss's voice at the dog part, she can't help but introduce herself. The women fall into a relationship that Greta goes to great lengths to keep.

The writing is quirky and weird (have I said that before) with some crazy descriptions of sex, sex acts, and past experiences in general. If you are squeamish, this book isn't for you. It got a little sluggish in the middle. I thought the book was almost over and I was only at about 55%, but it picked up again towards the end.

If you're looking for something unique and different that explores sexuality, trauma, suicidal thoughts, mid-life crises, and addiction, then this book is for you.

📕52 Book Club 2024 Reading Challenge Prompts: #10 A Character-Driven Novel, #14 A Grieving Character, #31 Includes a personal phobia, #43 About Finding Identity,

📕Booklist Queen 2024 Reading Challenge Prompts: #3 About Mental Health, #5 An Audiobook, #10 About Starting Over, #13 Title Starts with B, #25 About Secrets, #29 Recommended by a Podcast, #31 Ugly Cover, #32 Set in a Small Town

That's a wrap on my second week of reading. I'd love to know what you are reading! I have a delicious habit of distracting myself from books I own with new books. :)

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