Book Review: One of Us Is Dead by Jeneva Rose

Once of Us Is Dead  by Jeneva Rose Genre:  Thriller Synopsis:   Meet the women of Buckhead―a place of expensive cars, huge houses, and...

Once of Us Is Dead by Jeneva Rose

Genre: Thriller

Meet the women of Buckhead―a place of expensive cars, huge houses, and competitive friendships.

Shannon was once the queen bee of Buckhead. But she’s been unceremoniously dumped by Bryce, her politician husband. When Bryce replaces her with a much younger woman, Shannon sets out to take revenge …

Crystal has stepped into Shannon’s old shoes. A young, innocent Texan girl, she simply has no idea what she’s up against …

Olivia has waited years to take Shannon’s crown as the unofficial queen of Buckhead. Finally, her moment has come. But to take her rightful place, she will need to use every backstabbing, manipulative, underhand trick in the book …

Jenny owns Glow, the most exclusive salon in town. Jenny knows all her clients’ secrets and darkest desires. But will she ever tell?

Who amongst these women will be clever enough to survive Buckhead―and who will wind up dead? They say that friendships can be complex, but no one said it could ever be this deadly.

Content/Trigger Warnings: Assault/Abuse, Body hatred/Fatphobia, Violence, Death, Tokenism/Fetishization, Classism, Substance abuse

Overall rating:  ★★★☆☆

One of Us Is Dead was a mess - sometimes in the best, most highly entertaining way, but other times, just… a mess.

The book is highly dramatic with a full cast of dysfunctional characters. It was Big Little Lies meets what I assume Real Housewives is like. It felt incredibly reminiscent of BLL, but the characters were all so much more catty and horrible.

I was totally immersed in the drama and really enjoyed the anticipation of what would happen next. It was all a total shitshow honestly, but I couldn’t look away (or stop reading/listening). But it seemed like we would get from Point A to Point B is a really ass-backwards way that I wasn’t a fan of. And there were definitely problematic situations that really bothered me.

For example, there’s only one diverse character in the whole bunch, and she was both mixed race and queer. There were bits of racism, homophobia, and micro aggressions, but there was also this really weird fetishization of her throughout the book. Not to mention she was the only main character to not have any chapters from her POV.

"People that get their way think they’re the ones in control. But the ones that give are the ones that rule. It’s not the politician in office, but the donor behind the check that wields the sword."

I live and work in the Atlanta-area, and I’m familiar with Buckhead. It is an incredibly rich, high class area, but throughout the book I felt a strong sense of defensiveness for the area. And I swear, if I hear another iteration of the phrase “well, things are like this when in Buckhead” or “there are no coincidences in Buckhead”… seriously, how many times can one book say the name of the same town over and over? Geez.

And honestly, has the author ever even been to Atlanta? I don’t know. It was so aggressively negative about the people and the area. Atlanta is still the south, just as much as Texas. But there was this weird ideation that Texas was “country” but Buckhead wasn’t. I don’t get it.

PLUS - the cop in the story wasn’t from the area but was investigating it? That makes zero sense.

I was just so annoyed by all the things I found to be wrong or annoying with the story, that I couldn’t enjoy the book in the ways I wanted to. Maybe folks not from the area will like the book more, but it left me frustrated.

*I received a copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are entirely my own.

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