What We Read in February 2024

by Joli
What We Read in February 2024

That’s a wrap on love month…I actually read a romance-y book this month that I kind of enjoyed! Thanks again to book club for making me read something I wouldn’t normally have picked up. Check out my (Joli’s) reviews below to find out which one it was. (Hint: Local Minnesota author!)


I flew through pages int he first half of February and then hit a lull. I attribute it to less time available to listen to my audiobooks and struggling with the third book in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Flesh and Fire series…

A Fire in the Flesh by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I did end up finishing A Fire in the Flesh, but I had to force myself to go back to the book after getting about halfway through. The storyline was a bit too heavy for me and just not my jam. It seemed to drag on and on. Once I got through a significant plot point, it seemed to level out and was more along the lines of the rest of the series and left me – of course – eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon Goodreads

Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros

Despite less audiobook time, I WAS able to wrap up Iron Flame – Rebecca Yarros’ sequel to Fourth Wing. While I agree with most that it didn’t QUITE live up to Fourth Wing, it was still exciting and thoroughly enjoyable. Maybe too exciting? I often felt like I needed a break to catch my breath as the action seems non-stop! Will definitely need to refresh my memory before the next title comes out…so much happening!

Bookshop.org | Amazon Goodreads

Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire and More by Sarah J. Maas

Lastly, I made significant progress on the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Absolutely devoured Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire. Also knocked out all of The Assassin’s Blade novellas. I started Queen of Shadows, but got caught up in my newest audiobook series so I’ve been neglecting the written pages…

Cheers to March, longer daylight hours, hints of spring and checking off my TBRs!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon Goodreads


Masters of Death by Olivie Blake

Vampire-slash-real estate agent, Viola, is trying to sell a haunted house and not having much luck. The poltergeist, Tom, doesn’t know how he died so can’t move on. Viola enlists the help of Death’s godson, Fox, to figure out what happened to Tom.

I was a bit unsure about this one having recently DNFed The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake. I reluctantly started Masters of Death expecting a similar vibe and writing style to Blake’s other book and expecting to dislike it too. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. Blake’s writing and storyline feel more mature in Masters of Death (maybe because the characters are adults rather than early twentysomethings). The characters are sympathetic and amusing and Blake has thrown some hilariously witty one-liners in too.

I’m honestly so surprised by this book and am loving it so it’ll be 4/5 stars for me.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon Goodreads

Summer Heat by Defne Suman, translated by Betsy Göskel

Art historian, Melike, is hired by Greek director, Petro, to show him round Byzantine churches in Istanbul. Their meeting opens up secretes and stories of love, life and loss.

Summer Heat feels like it’s part memoir (the protagonist’s) part history book (in a good way). Throughout the story, Melike reflects on her life and experiences, which feel heavily connected to her surroundings. The book is a stream-of-consciousness style of writing that Suman has written extremely well – there’s no tangents or moving too far from the plot of the story. The further into the story you get, you start to see the connections between things, reflecting real life pretty well – things you don’t think are connected somehow end up being so.

I’m really enjoying Suman’s (and by extension Göskel’s) writing style in the English translation. There’s a heat, a dryness almost, that you can feel through the words on the page that evoke a hot summer day in Istanbul.

This one will be another 4/5 for me and keep your eyes peeled for my full review on here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon Goodreads


Order from Chaos: The Everyday Grind of Staying Organized with Adult ADHD by Jaclyn Paul

Finding out as an adult that I have ADHD has really been a trip. It sheds so much light on why I am the way I am, and why I do things the way I do. Anyway, the first book I picked to read about ADHD was Order from Chaos, and I’m glad I chose it. There were a lot of great nuggets of ADHD wisdom in here!

I’m actually working on writing a full review of this one, so I won’t say too much here besides the fact that it was helpful, and I found some great ideas for how to keep my life more organized and less chaotic.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon | Goodreads

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

This is a book that’s been on my TBR for years! I finally got to it in audiobook format and ended up enjoying it. In short, it’s about a man who collects things he finds around the city. When he dies, he passes on everything to his friend/housekeeper and asks her to try to return the lost things to the people who lost them.

I thought the story was charming and wholesome, but not too sweet. I’m not sure if it’s just a problem of not listening as intently as I should have been, but I got a little bit lost after the half-way point in the sea of characters and storylines. Overall, though, it was worth the read and I’m glad I finally knocked it off of my TBR.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon | Goodreads

Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez

This is the book I mentioned in my intro to this post! I read a romance book that I actually…kind of liked. I usually don’t like these kinds of books at all because of their too-perfect “chance” meetings and other such things. This one, though, actually sucked me in!

I liked the characters, the sexy but not over-the-top romance, and the substance of the characters’ lives. I enjoyed the overall storyline and rooted for the couple to find a way to make their relationship work, despite living in totally different worlds.

Thanks, book club, for always expanding my reading horizons.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon | Goodreads

Everyone But Myself by Julie Chavez

Last but not least, I read this great memoir in February. I saw myself in Julie — we had similar onsets of anxiety symptoms, and I could just feel exactly what she was going through throughout the book. She’s a mom who feels spread thin across her family and responsibilities, and isn’t good at all at finding time for herself and her own interests and well-being.
It’s so easy to fall into that kind of lifestyle as a mom. You do so many things for your family, your job, your home…there’s just no time left in the day for yourself. Add anxiety into that mix and, well, yikes. 4 stars for this great memoir.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon | Goodreads


The Spy Coast by Tess Gerritsen

The first book in The Martini Club series, The Spy Coast centers around a group of ex-spies who have settled in rural Maine in hopes of a quiet retirement, away from their old job and old enemies. However, one of the spies, Maggie Bird, is drawn back into a case from her past and the violence it involves quickly arrives in the secluded town of Purity.

This book felt like it was trying to combine a Thursday Murder Club-like cast of retirees with the action of a spy thriller, and it didn’t quite hit the mark. While I enjoyed reading about the gatherings and conversations Maggie had with the other ex-spies living in Purity, I was less interested in the flashbacks to her past and her hunt for a killer in the present. I’ll still be picking up the next book in the series when it comes out and I hope that now that the first book has established a backstory, the characters move on to more present-day crimes.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon | Goodreads

I Know What You Did by Cayce Osborne

I was interested in this book since it first came out for its setting in Madison, WI. Petal Woznewski comes to Madison from New York City when an anonymously authored book that details a terrible tragedy during her teen years–and mentions Petal by name–becomes a best seller. Determined to figure out who wrote the book and what they have in store for her, Petal returns to Madison and begins digging.

The premise of this book was interesting at first, but there were too many plot holes, coincidences, and a lack of character development that made the book fall flat for me. Petal is an unlikable character, which can certainly work, but she’s not developed in a way that gives the reader much insight into why she’s like this. Additionally, there’s a rushed romantic plot that felt forced and too many obvious details missed by Petal to make this a believable thriller.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon | Goodreads

The Gathering by C.J. Tudor

I recieved an eARC of this book, which comes out in April, from the publisher via NetGalley and at their request will hold a full review until closer to the release date. I will say that this is the first C.J. Tudor book I’ve read and it made me want to pick up more of her books and that readers who enjoy unique horror/mystery stories will like this!

Bookshop.org | Amazon | Goodreads


The Wayfarers Series by Becky Chambers

I’ve been wanting to read more of Becky Chambers’ books ever since I finished the Monk and Robot duology last January. Her debut series did not disappoint! I read all four books in February:

  • The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
  • A Closed and Common Orbit
  • Record of a Spaceborn Few
  • The Galaxy, and the Ground Within

The series is classic sci-fi and features some of the best world-building I’ve ever read. Chambers has created a variety of unique alien species with rich and complicated histories. I also really like that humans aren’t the dominant players in this world—they’re sort of towards the bottom of the social hierarchy due being less technologically advanced and having killed their homeworld.

Each book in the series focuses on a separate but related cast of characters. I think it’s hard to do multiple narrators well, but Chambers does an excellent job of balancing the stories and tying all the perspectives together. The characters are lovable and interesting and make you want to root for them.

I rated the first 3 books 5 stars and the 4th 4.5 stars. Becky Chambers has solidified herself as one of my all-time favorite authors.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Bookshop.org | Amazon | Goodreads

That’s our list! What did you read in February?

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