Books I Read in April

I can’t recall the last time I shared my monthly wrap-up with you all. Secretly, I’m often embarrassed to mention the number of books I’ve read in a month because then my inability to read past five books in thirty days is on full display. Yes, you guessed it. I am a slow reader. I’m not sure if it’s because I like to spend more time with the characters and their world or that I want to get a deeper understanding of the author’s message. Be that as it may, I like to believe that my reading capacity is the result of having a greater appreciation for the art of storytelling. Thus, despite the fact that I only read five books last month, I am thrilled to share my experiences! 

Atomic Love by Jenne Fields

I take no pleasure in writing a negative review about a book. I would normally jot down two to three sentences of my thoughts on Goodreads and leave it at that. However, I must be honest here. As a history buff, I love historical fiction novels, and if there’s a love triangle, I am all here for it. Sadly, this was a disappointment. Although I appreciate the historical contexts, the story did not meet my expectations. The pacing of the story was often awkward–especially towards the end. The female protagonist in this dual narrative was annoying. A few characters were irrelevant and did not aid in moving the story along. And most importantly, the love triangle was poorly executed, as the female protagonist was devoted to only one character. This book had a great synopsis, but it missed the mark for me. 

New Kid by Jerry Craft

I am not ashamed to admit that I adore reading middle-grade publications. For me, middle-grade books provide a light reading experience in between intricate novels and help to clear my “reading palate,” so to speak. Yet, this graphic narrative tackles serious conversations about racism and microaggressions while still maintaining that straightforward style of writing for the younger audience. I enjoyed the multitudes of laugh-out-loud moments in this book. The main character’s experiences were so relatable because it almost mirrors my encounters with similar situations. The message in this book has no age restriction as it’s both clear and effective. 

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

I fell in love with Angie Thomas’s writing after reading her epic debut novel, The Hate U Give. Thomas provided her readers with a deeper understanding of the characters’ personalities in her debut novel by examining the choices those characters made in this prequel. It was such a joy to revisit this world but at a different angle. Thomas points out that oftentimes our circumstances force us to make unfavorable choices in falsely believing there is no other way.  It was satisfying to learn more about the characters and witness their growth.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

I wasn’t interested in reading this book at first. Based on other opinions about this book, I didn’t think I would enjoy it. This publication truly surprised me. As cliche as this may sound, I genuinely couldn’t put it down. I took multiple breaks during work just to read it. The story was interesting and thought-provoking. One of the many things I loved most about this story was how the protagonist had to rely on the interaction of others to quickly piece together what sort of person she was according to the different versions of her life she chooses to experience. I’m glad I gave this book a chance.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The way Tracy Deonn used probably one of the world’s oldest legends to confront certain experiences that are unique to African Americans is simply amazing. Deonn paid close attention to the smallest details in both the action scenes and the world-building. The characters were interesting and unique. Aside from that, the love triangle was perfectly executed. I had a book hangover for probably a week. I can confidently say that I will reread this book a few times before the second book comes out. I had a fantastic time with this story! 

Ultimately, I’d say I had a decent reading experience last month. The number of books may have been small in comparison to others but I embrace my reading capacity. I look forward to sharing more of my monthly wrap-up regardless of the number of books I read. If you have read one of these books, be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Happy Reading!

Book as Refuge: What I Read During the Pandemic

“Indeed, who has a greater right to public respect than the man of color fighting for freedom after having experienced all the horrors of slavery? To equal the most celebrated warriors he need only keep in mind all the evils he has suffered.”
― Tom Reiss, the Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo

I know it’s been some time since I last posted anything, and I am truly sorry for my disappearance. Towards the end of last year, work was both chaotic and stressful which led me into a massive reading slump. However, right when things started to calm down, the world stopped due to the Coronavirus. Like everyone else, I was a bit nervous and scared about this pandemic. Standing in long lines at grocery stores, being holed up at home, and receiving devastating updates from news outlets all had me craving for some kind of diversion from the unfolding crisis. And like a true bibliophile, I turned to books as my refuge during these trying times. To my amazement, I’ve read a total of five books last month! Now, I know that’s not an impressive number, but if you’re a slow reader like myself, you’ll agree that this is a colossal achievement. With that being said, here are the books that have kept me sane during this time, along with a brief review:

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory — This book was not for me. I didn’t enjoy it one bit. The plot was OK but the execution was very cliche. The characters were annoying and the romance felt cheesy and rushed. I normally don’t DNF a book — a bookish terminology which means Did Not Finish — and because I bought this book with my own money, I owed it to myself to finish reading it no matter how boring the story was.

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter — This book should have been featured above as the second novel to the right but I grabbed the wrong publication for this photo. Oops. Anyway, this book was fantastic! Absolutely moving! I normally avoid any holocaust novels because I just can’t stomach the horrific truth. However, I accidentally purchased this book without reading the synopsis, thinking it was a romance novel. However, I am so glad that I obtained this amazing book! The author was inspired to write this incredible true story of a Jewish family that got separated at the start of World War II. Finding out more about what the Jewish community really went through in order to survive shocked me to my core. This book made me cry, laugh, and cry even more.

Continue reading “Book as Refuge: What I Read During the Pandemic”

My September TBR

I have an embarrassing confession to make. August was not a good reading month for me. I read a total of two books — only two books! Now, before you start thinking that maybe they were two colossal novels, please don’t. That is way too kind of you. They were both under 400 pages. The first book was The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken and the second was Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott. However, I am determined to make sure I put up double digits this month — especially since I plan on reading a few thick books. Without further ado,  here’s my reading list for this month.

Continue reading “My September TBR”