Reading Recap: The Books I Read In March

9 Apr 2021

 The Books I Read In March

David and Ameena – Ami Rao

I loved this book. David and Ameena meet by chance on the subway; he is American-Jewish and she is British-Pakistani and they begin a relationship amongst the backdrop of music, painting and New York City whilst navigating different backgrounds, politics and strong ambitions. Whilst their love story is at the heart of the novel, I wouldn’t necessarily say that this is a romance novel. It’s about art and culture, race and religion, and how our family history continues to impact us years down the line. We spend plenty of time with their family, friends, work colleagues and see how they form part of David and Ameena’s individual identities as well as their relationship. I didn’t always like David or Ameena but I think their flaws are what made the story so beautiful and human. I loved the lyrical writing and the way the city, the art and the jazz are just as intrinsical to the story as the characters. 5/5

Woven In Moonlight – Isabel Ibanez 

I think it was probably the beautiful cover (designed by the author herself!) that drew me to this book, that and just wanting a bit of fantasy to dive into. Based in a fantasy South America, Ximena is a decoy for the Condesa Catalina, the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the Llascan King revolted ten years ago. Now he wants the Condesa’s hand in marriage and Ximena will go in her place to spy on the King, and help return Catalina to the throne. What follows is a story full of magic, mouth-watering food descriptions, great characters and a forbidden romance. I particularly enjoyed the idea of the main character unlearning the propaganda and prejudices she has been taught since a child. I did think it was a little slow in places and I think it could have potentially been better without the romance, but it was an enjoyable read. 3/5

Written In Starlight – Isabel Ibanez 

This is a companion novel to Woven in Moonlight (although I personally think you need to have read the first to understand the second), told from the perspective of Catalina who only briefly features in the first book. Banished to the jungle and ‘betrayed’ by her best friend, Catalina intends to find the mysterious Illari people, form an alliance and take back the throne. Unfortunately, I really disliked the character of Catalina and, whilst she does develop and improve as the story goes on, I spent most of my time rolling my eyes at her. I did admire the author’s boldness in taking a character who is incapable of looking after herself and very self-centred (and a touch racist) and have her grow dramatically over the novel but she just got on my nerves too much, personally. But I really loved the world of the magical jungle and the vivid writing that described it. Would quite happily read another book set there, just with a different character. 2/5 

Happy reading folks x