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Monthly Wrap Up: April 2020

April felt like the longest month in existence, but at the same time, it’s already May when I’m writing this and it feels like time is all over the place right now. It’s been another month of lockdown for the UK and other countries around the globe and Ramadan also began towards the end of April. It’s been really nice to focus on my faith and spiritual connection with no other worldly interruptions and it’s given purpose and direction to these uncertain days. I’ve also been taking part in the Ramadan Readathon run by the awesome Nadia, which is all about uplifting the works of Muslim writers, which will be included in a separate special post!

Here’s all the books I managed to read in April:

  • Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty
  • Before the Ruins by Victoria Gosling
  • Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed
  • The Strange Adventures of H by Sarah Burton
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Descendant of The Crane by Joan He
  • Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

April reviews + posts :

The Museum of Broken Promises by Elizabeth Burton

Seven Endless Forests by April Genevieve Tucholke

Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed

SARC collaborates with Muslim Readathon

My top picks:

Empire of Gold by S.A Chakraborty – This was the conclusion to one of my favourite trilogies of all time so it was highly anticipated! I was losing hope that I’d get an ARC of this but totally randomly, my ‘wish’ on NetGalley was approved and I managed to get one. I was so excited that day, I quite literally screamed out loud. This was such a fitting end to this trilogy and I loved where we leave off with the characters, it felt true to them and satisfying for readers.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Dark, twisted and creepy at all times, this was a gothic novel in all it’s glory set in the Mexican countryside with a sinister mystery at it’s heart. I loved this one and would highly recommend if you’re into these kind of books with tons of atmosphere and mystery / thriller vibes.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth AcevedoThis was my first Acevedo book, but certainly not my last. The writing was so fluid, the story moving at all times and the inspiration behind the novel added to it all.

ARCS of the month:

Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty

Daevabad has fallen.

After a brutal conquest stripped the city of its magic, Nahid leader Banu Manizheh and her resurrected commander, Dara, must try to repair their fraying alliance and stabilize a fractious, warring people.

But the bloodletting and loss of his beloved Nahri have unleashed the worst demons of Dara’s dark past. To vanquish them, he must face some ugly truths about his history and put himself at the mercy of those he once considered enemies.

Having narrowly escaped their murderous families and Daevabad’s deadly politics, Nahri and Ali, now safe in Cairo, face difficult choices of their own. While Nahri finds peace in the old rhythms and familiar comforts of her human home, she is haunted by the knowledge that the loved ones she left behind and the people who considered her a savior are at the mercy of a new tyrant. Ali, too, cannot help but look back, and is determined to return to rescue his city and the family that remains. Seeking support in his mother’s homeland, he discovers that his connection to the marid goes far deeper than expected and threatens not only his relationship with Nahri, but his very faith.

As peace grows more elusive and old players return, Nahri, Ali, and Dara come to understand that in order to remake the world, they may need to fight those they once loved . . . and take a stand for those they once hurt.

Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed

It’s August in Paris and 17-year-old Khayyam Maquet—American, French, Indian, Muslim—is at a crossroads. This holiday with her professor parents should be a dream trip for the budding art historian. But her maybe-ex-boyfriend is probably ghosting her, she might have just blown her chance at getting into her dream college, and now all she really wants is to be back home in Chicago figuring out her messy life instead of brooding in the City of Light.

Two hundred years before Khayyam’s summer of discontent, Leila is struggling to survive and keep her true love hidden from the Pasha who has “gifted” her with favored status in his harem. In the present day—and with the company of a descendant of Alexandre Dumas—Khayyam begins to connect allusions to an enigmatic 19th-century Muslim woman whose path may have intersected with Alexandre Dumas, Eugène Delacroix, and Lord Byron.

Echoing across centuries, Leila and Khayyam’s lives intertwine, and as one woman’s long-forgotten life is uncovered, another’s is transformed.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemí. You have to save me.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find — her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough, smart, and has an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.

And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Until next time,

Rumaanah x

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