February 2023 Novel Ideas: 22 Quick Book Reviews

February 2023 Novel Ideas
February 2023 Novel Ideas: 22 Quick Book Reviews 24

February was a short and hectic month, which is why my February 2023 Novel Ideas stack only has 8 books – a shockingly low number for me.

I did read a few more books than that, but we recently decided not to write up books we didn’t like. It saves us time and saves you from having to read about a book we don’t recommend.

I read quite a few greek mythology retellings while working on that post. It’s no wonder my son is taking Latin next year in middle school. We are just a family that loves Ancient Greek culture.

I also read 2 books that would be perfect for book club. The Friendship Breakup and Pineapple Street are totally worth reading with a group! Let us know if any of the books on the list made your TBR!

*February 2023 Novel Ideas contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you.

Kirsten’s February 2023 Novel Ideas Stack

the shadow of perseus

Shadow of Perseus by Claire Heywood

Shadow of Perseus is a multi-narrator Greek mythology retelling told from the perspective of the women in Perseus’s story. 

Heywood examines how facts can be manipulated into folklore, making everyday stories into monster-filled legends. Ultimately, the females in the story cast Perseus in a much different, and darker, light than traditional mythological depictions.

I love mythology retellings turn a well-known story on its head – and this one does it exquisitely! I was riveted by Medusa, Andromeda, and Danae’s version of events. 

Thanks to PRH Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Winterland: A Novel by Rae Meadows

I’ve always been a firm lover of the Olympics, so I was eager to read this historical fiction novel set in the 1970s and 80s Soviet Union about an Olympic gymnast.

Having read a few books about gymnasts in the past, I was prepared for Anya’s ill-treatment at the hands of her coaches and trainers. I found the added elements of Russian communist life to be fascinating and helpful in creating a reason for her drive to be a legend.

Thanks to Macmillan Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
the davenports

The Davenports by Krystal Marquis

What a fun read! I was eager to start a new Historical fiction romance series and the cover of this one drew me right to it.

The Davenports is a Gilded Age story about a successful Chicago Black family who made a name for themselves after slavery was abolished. Now the talk of the season, the three Davenport children are all looking for their spouses and trying to buck societal norms in the process!

Be warned! This YA historical fiction book ends on a cliffhanger and the new book isn’t scheduled to come out yet.

Thanks to PRH Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Decluttering at the speed of life

Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana K. White

If Marie Kondo’s take everything out and look at it method is overwhelming, then you might want to look for other books about decluttering. Our recommendation is this one by Dana White.

Her method is much easier to follow if you like small steps and decluttering a little at a time – no organizing required! She breaks it down in easy steps that are enough to make you want to go declutter immediately. Get the audiobook and listen while you work!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Ithaca by Claire North

Many of us are familiar with the story of Odysseus’s journey in the Odyssey, but I love that this book looks at what happened in Ithaca while he was away.

Told by Hera, this story looks at Penelope as a woman and ruler in the years her husband was missing. I love this trend of greek mythology retellings focusing on the females in the stories.

Thanks to Libro.Fm for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Waypoints by Sam Heughan

In this memoir, Sam Heughan tells the story of his life while embarking on a multi-day hike across Scotland. While I found his life story to be fascinating, I was less interested in hearing about his wet socks or what he was eating to keep up his strength on his hike.

Still, Heughan is a gifted storyteller and his narration of the memoir is clearly why it’s an Audie Awards 2023 finalist. I liked his last non-fiction book better though.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Pineapple Street

Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson

March 2023 Good Morning America Book Club Pick

I loved this family drama book about the blue-blooded Stockton family, told from the perspective of sisters, Darley and Georgiana, and their sister-in-law, Sasha.

Each woman has her own struggles with navigating life in the Stockton family. Sasha, a middle-class artist feels like an unwelcomed outsider. Darley struggles with living up to the Stockton family name after she gave up her identity to embrace motherhood. Georgiana, the youngest, needs to grow up and become a capable adult!

Each family member struggles on their own and within the family dynamic. Each sibling faces dramatic struggles from sick parents to committing adultery to a lost job. I loved seeing how they each grew throughout the book and ultimately how they strengthened their familial bond.

While the book had enough meat for me to get invested, it also had glimpses of the whimsy of the monied elite. The matriarch of this family in particular is a hoot!

Thanks to PRH Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
friendship breakup

The Friendship Breakup by Annie Cathryn

When it comes to books about motherhood, this is a must-read. As moms, we’ve all experiences the highs and lows of making new mom friends, but this story looks at what happens when friendships run their course.

Do you fight to keep the friendship alive or send it on its way? Well, Fallon is not letting them go so easily and her attempts to win back her friends are hysterical, but also poignant. This book about friendship had me examining my own relationships.

Thanks to Dreamscape Media for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Jackie’s February 2023 Novel Ideas Stack

Love Scribe by Amy Meyerson

The Love Scribe by Amy Meyerson

Where do I even start with this amazing magical realism book? When Alice’s best friend has yet another horrible breakup, Alice wants to make her feel better by writing her a letter, the way she used to when they were young. Instead, she finds herself writing a story and as if by magic, Gabby meets the man of her dreams.

Soon, Alice is writing stories for everyone as her gift pours from her. When she is sent a letter that brings her to a mysterious mansion, she meets Madeline who wants to have a special story written for her. Alice is forced to deal with her own past in order to move forward. This is one of the new release books we have read and absolutely loved. It is perfect for Fiction Books about Writers.

Thanks to Park Row for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Stars in an Italian Sky

Stars in an Italian Sky by Jill Santopolo

Where do I even start with this book? I loved it so much. In Genoa Italy, in 1946 Vincenzo and Giovanna fall in love. But, they belong to two different worlds. She is the daughter of a tailor and she is almost royalty.

In 2017, Cassandra and Luca are in love. When Luca asks Cassandra’s grandmother to be a model for his new painting, with his grandfather, the past and its secrets are revealed.

I cannot say enough about this book. It had me absolutely bawling by the end- ugly cry- and I LOVED it. The ending was perfect, fitting, and cathartic.

This is a perfect pick for books set in Italy.

Thanks to Putnam and PRH Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Weyward by Emilia Hart

This is such a well-thought-out book and one of the best witch books I have read in a while. The book follows three Weyward women. In 2017, Kate is fleeing an abusive partner to her great-aunt’s cottage. In 1619, Altha is awaiting her own witch trial and in 1942 we meet Violet whose father keeps her trapped in her house because she cannot fit into what society expects of her.

Each of these women finds themselves and who they are as the story progresses and I found myself completely sucked in. I loved this debut novel and I cannot wait to see what comes next from this author. It is also a perfect book to read if you love the Practical Magic Series.

Thanks to MacMillian Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The farwell tour

The Farewell Tour

This detailed historical fiction novel is about Lillian Waters and her rise to fame as a country music star. Now, in 1980, her voice has failed her with vocal nodules and she is embarking on her farewell tour. Her last stop? The home and sister she has not seen since she walked away at 10 years old.

Lillian’s story is filled with so many details that at times it was hard to remember she is a fictional star. The events that shaped her life were hard to read at times. This story is a slow build, character-driven novel.

Thanks to Harper for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Vera Wongs Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Vera Wong lives above her tea shop in Chinatown in San Francisco. When she finds a dead body in the shop, she calls the police immediately but also makes sure to clean up a bit, use a sharpie to trace the body, and take the flash drive out of the man’s dead hand. She is sure that she can do a better job of finding the murderer than the police.

She comes up with a plan to find the killer and finds four suspects who she grows to care for. I absolutely loved this book. It is a perfect book to go on our list of Books Like a Man Called Ove and fiction books about tea. Sutanto does a brilliant job with her characters who you cannot help loving, flaws and all.

Thanks to PRH Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix and more January 2023 book releases

How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix

I am so excited to read this book from the Winter 2023 book releases and think it will go perfectly on our haunted house book list. When Louise finds out her parents have died, she does not want to pack up the house of the people who loved her the most. She also does not want to ask her brother for help with the house because the two siblings never got along.

When the will is finally read, Louise is shocked but, even more shocking are the strange things that start happening in the house. This is by far the scariest book I have ever read. This thrilling horror was a pure adrenaline rush from the first page to the last.

Thanks to PRH Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
I have some questions for you

I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai

This is a brand new thriller from the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award Finalist author of The Great Believers. Bodie Cane is a film professor who wishes she could forget her past at a boarding school where a classmate was murdered but somehow, cannot stop thinking about it. Now, she has been invited to return and lecture and she has a nagging feeling that she may have known more about the murder than she originally thought.

I absolutely loved The Great Believers so this book was a bit of a disappointment for me. I did not love the characters and felt the story moved slowly. However, it was saved by the fact that Makkai is a fantastic writer.

Thanks to Libro.fm for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
The Angel Maker

The Angel Maker by Alex North

Katie Shaw had everything she wanted until a stranger changed the fate of the family forever. Now, with a child of her own, Katie is having a hard time differentiating between real vs imagined threats. Then, she gets a call that her estranged brother Chris, once the victim of violence has gone missing.

There are so many twists and turns in this serial killer thriller. It is completely terrifying and I have to say that I loved it. I did not know that I enjoyed scary books so much!

Thanks to Celadon Books and MacMillian Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Golden Spoon

The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell

Every summer for the past ten years, bakers come to a Vermont estate for filming a hit television show with the famous host, Betsy Martin. This year, something is off with the competition as things start to go awry on the set. Suddenly, a body is discovered in this locked room mystery.

I read this book in a day and I absolutely loved it. It felt like Agatha Christie meets the Great British Baking Show. There is more than meets the eye with this cozy mystery.

Thanks to Atria for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

I loved this adorable romance and as soon as I read it I know this vacation book was perfect for a list of books Like People We Meet on Vacation.

Olive and Ami are twins. While Ami seems to be lucky in everything, Olive knows that if it can happen, it will happen to her. So when everyone gets food poisoning at Ami’s wedding except Olive and her nemesis Ethan, she can’t decide if her luck has changed.

As the two head out on the free, all-inclusive honeymoon that was supposed to be Ami and her new husband, Olive hopes they can call a truce long enough to enjoy the trip.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Vacationers

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

This book starts off with a family headed on a vacation to the Balearic Island of Mallorca. All seems well as Franny and Jim are celebrating their 35th anniversary and their daughter is headed to Brown University in the fall. But, not all is what it appears, and the secrets everyone is keeping come pouring out over the course of the two-week vacation.

Extended family and friends are all gathered in the house where rivalries are rekindled and old wounds are opened. This is one pick from the list of books like people we meet on vacation that is perfect for anyone looking for some serious family drama.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Foul Lady Fortune

Foul Lady Fortune by Chloe Gong

This book is more than a YA fantasy. It is a detailed historical fantasy that will transport you to Shanghai in 1931. There, Lady Fortune is an assassin who is almost invincible. She was once known as Rosalin Lang before she was brought back from the brink of death.

The Japanese Imperial Army has begun its invasion and Lady Fortune is sent on an undercover assignment with no clue who she can trust. This is an in-depth magical realism that will transport you.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Mr. Malcolms List

Mr. Malcom’s List by Suzanne Allain

Mr. Malcom is searching for the perfecrt wife. He decides to make a list of his requirements for the perfect woman. Julia Thistlewaite is upset to learn of this list and that she does not fit the requirements. She decides the best revenge is to invite Selina Dalton, the duaghter of a vicar to London. Her hope is that Mr. Malcolm will fall in love with Selina and then Selina can reject him.

Of course, Julia’s plans go awry. This was a very cute romance to read if you loves books like Bridgerton and it fullfills by prompt for the February Reading Challenge to read a book becoming a movie.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
the wedding party

The Wedding Party (The Wedding Date #3)

I am a huge fan of Jasmine Guillory books and this one was no exception. Maddie and Theo have nothing in common other than the fact that Alexa is their best friend. They agreed to put aside their differences in order to share responsibilities for Alexa’s upcoming wedding.

But, when sparks fly, they agree that those wedding responsibilities will be a lot more fun if they give in to their chemistry. This enemies-to-lovers romance is a fun and spicy read.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Did you see anything on our February 2023 Novel Ideas that you want to read?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.