REVIEW: Thirty Days with You

Today’s book is a cozy winter read, perfect for the last few weeks of February!

Thirty Days with You
by Ruth Miranda

get it here


Tânia Marques, thirty-three, English teacher, born and raised in Portugal, takes a leap of faith and decides to do something for herself – after years of trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations. On the last day of November, she boards a plane for Byanbyan-Ma, where she intends to spend the entire month of December working on a novel – her very own writer’s retreat. All she wants is to be by herself, but on her very first day in Xhiangzhei, she walks into a café as it’s about to close, and strikes up a conversation with the owner…

Huang DaeLun, twenty-nine, architect, co-owner of a small café in Xhiangzhei, has never been lucky in love. In fact women regard him as a friend, never a lover, or prospective boyfriend. He’s made peace with that – sort of – and isn’t looking for romantic attachments, far too scared of getting his heart broken again. But on the first day of December, as he’s about to lock up his café, a tourist walks in, looking to buy the hand pies the place is famous for. And she returns the next day… 


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

*An ARC of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

Content warning: Mental Health portrayals, mentions of death, racism, verbal abuse

If you’re into the “everyone-knows-but-they-are-both-oblivious” trope, this might be a good next read. Vacation meet-cute, love at first sight, forbidden romance, this book is emotional yet cozy.

Set in a fictional place, Byanbyan-Ma in East Asia, this book borrows elements of China, Japan and Korea quite well, in a sense that you can’t exactly pinpoint a specific country but the names and description of food, places and culture in this book are closely represented. Even in a fictional world, the author was very sure to be respectful, which I feel very comforting.

Tânia has been trying to live up to everyone’s expectations, and finally at 33, for once, she wants to do something for herself which ended up with her taking a flight to Byanbyan-Ma to work on her novel. In a café nearby her rented apartment, she meets DaeLun, the shy, romantically unlucky co-owner who quickly developed a crush on her. Well, they both developed crushes on each other, and it was crystal clear for everyone else.

Being a character-driven reader, I find this book a little challenging. I didn’t particularly like anyone, nor was I very invested in their romance. The mutual pining was cute to read and the first part of the book was impossible to put down, but with the clock-ticking down on their very short time together, it gets a bit difficult to read because it’s bound to end in one of two ways. Still, I find that the author’s writing style made this book a delight to read. I’ll admit, Ruth Miranda might’ve written the best line I’ll ever read for the whole of this year.

“The bell jingles and gives away my arrival like a snitch”, brought such unexplainable amusement to me.

This book was written in dual POV, but mostly in Tânia’s. I don’t really know how to feel about the last quarter of this book though. I don’t think it was foreshadowed, so the big reveal was unexpected. The following chapters explained a little bit more, and I like how it gave the opportunity for the secondary characters to shine, and takes us through their relationship with DaeLun.

I think the ending was suitable and left me quite satisfied. Nothing was really concrete, but you can easily have an idea of how things will play out for Tânia and DaeLun. Overall, its a good wintery-romance book full of new beginnings and hope.

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