Books I Read in March

Time for my very late March wrap-up! This post has been on my draft folder for a very long time and I kept on delaying the posting schedule for no apparent reason.

Anyway, March was an okay reading month for me. It’s the month with the lowest average rating so far and still no luck with finding my first 5-star read for this year.

I read a total of 8 books
1,298 pages | 1,925 minutes (32h5m)

3 physical, 3 Audiobooks, 2 eBooks
Average rating was 3.1 stars

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Bibliolepsy by Gina Apostol

Bibliolepsy is a coming-of-age story about a young woman who loves to read and write. She is eccentric and I admire her love for literature. I haven’t read majority of the works mentioned in this books so it was quite hard for me to relate myself to the protagonist. I really wanted to enjoy this book but I had a hard time with the writing. There were a lot of big words I’m unfamiliar with and it affected my reading experience. Also, it was not as engaging as I wanted it to be. In short, this book is too smart for me and my brain. Haha

The Arc by Tory Henwood Hoen

Ursula has tried all the dating apps but still has no luck finding the perfect match fo her. Until a stranger tells her about The Arc, an elite and an expensive matchmaking service that will help her find her soulmate. She is paired with Rafael, a lawyer in his late forties. They immediately hit it off so what could go wrong?

The concept of The Arc was very intriguing and their scientific and psyhological approach were pretty interesting. My problem was I didn’t connect with the main characters. I actually liked the side characters more including Ursula’s cat. Ursula’s statements about capitalism and feminism felt odd to me. Rafael’s character felt flat. At first it was fun watching them get along but I got bored so fast. It didn’t help that the story dragged in the middle. This book still has some great parts but overall it didn’t work out for me.

Good Intentions by Kasim Ali

The story begins with Nur, a British Pakistani man, back home with his family to celebrate the new year. He is also gathering up the courage to finally tell them about his relationship with Yasmina. They have been together for four years but he has kept her a secret from his family because she is Black.

The story alternates between the past and the present which was confusing at first but I got used to it. We get to see how Nur’s secret affects him, both physically and mentally, as well as his relationship to Yasmina. Reading his thoughts felt repetitive at times. It was not that easy to root for him but his character is still relatable. I loved the sibling and friendship dynamics in this book. I thought the writing was beautiful. It explores a lot of important issues such as colourism and racism. I really liked the ending and I couldn’t think of anything better than that. This book is refreshing, thought-provoking, and very timely.

The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Four years ago, Katrina and Nathan had a falling out and no one knows why. They haven’t spoken since until their publisher asks for a new book from them. After all they have one final book due on contract.

The story is written in Katrina’s and Nathan’s perspectives. We get flashbacks from four years ago when they’re writing their previous book. It was confusing since the events from the past are quite similar to the present time. The reveal was underwhelming. The writing was great but I wasn’t a fan of it. I didn’t hate this book but I was disappointed. I’ve seen a lot of readers who love it but sadly it was not for me.

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

Jess has recently lost her job and she has no place to go so she reaches out to her brother Ben who is living in Paris. He agrees to let her stay at his apartment. But Ben is nowhere to be seen when Jess arrives. She starts asking around about Ben but it seems like no one from his neighbors know where he is.

I enjoyed this book more than The Guest List (which was my first read from the author). I loved the unreliable characters and the atmospheric setting. I also liked that the apartment became a character itself. This book is told in multiple perspectives and the audiobook narrators did an incredible job. The author provided the perfect amount of tension and suspense. The twists were clever and shocking to meI thought this was a solid mystery novel.

Four Aunties and a Wedding by Jess Sutanto

Meddy is finally marrying Nathan in England. She decides to look for the wedding vendors but of course the Aunties have it covered. They have found a Chinese-Indonesian family-run company and Meddy immediately hits it off with the wedding photographer. But the night before the wedding, Meddy discovers some secrets that will ruin her special day.

The Aunties have stolen once again the show for me. There were more Meddy and Nathan scenes compared to the first book but still not enough for me. I personally didn’t like that the story is set in a wedding just like in the first book because some of the scenes felt repetitive. I thought the mafia plot was ridiculous and very predictable. It’s not as good as Dial A For Aunties, but nonetheless, it was a fun read.

Layla by Colleen Hoover

When Leeds meets Layla in a wedding, he knew she’s the one. But an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. She recovers physically but she struggles emotionally and mentally. This has affected their relationship. Leeds decides to take Layla back to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met to help her get better. This is when strange things start to happen.

My first taste of CoHo’s thriller book. I had no idea what to expect because I didn’t read the synopsis. I knew it’s a thriller romance but I didn’t know about the paranormal part. The plot reminded me of another book I read in 2019. I will not say the title to avoid a huge spoiler. The only difference is I enjoyed that said book more than Layla. I would have liked this book if Leeds is not an infuriating character. Are we supposed to sympathized with him because he is just a simple guy who is deeply in love? He made me sick. I hated the ending too because it somehow justified Leeds actions. Overall, this was a disappointment.

Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

This poetry collection made me bawl my eyes out particularly during and after reading “Amazon History of a Former Nail Salon Worker” which is simply a list of purchased items. This is a short and a very quick read but I took my time. It explores grief, trauma, racism, and death. It’s poignant and utterly beautiful. I’m still in awe. This collection proves how talented Vuong is.

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