Wednesday, 19 September 2018

My TV Show Pet Peeve: Lazy Writing

So going off of my post last week in which a lot of you told me to just write what I love, I decided to revisit a post that I scrapped because it was just too rambly and all over the place. I am reworking it a bit and hopefully get a good rant in! Although not book related, this post mostly has to do with a TV show well known in the book community, and that is The 100. There aren't any detailed spoilers in this post but some plot points may be revealed so if you want to go into season five completely blind, you have been warned.

I cannot stand it when tv shows get lazy. Meaning that plot lines are ignored, there are extreme continuity errors, and things that have been built up all season are completely thrown out. Nothing checked all of those boxes more than Season 5 of The 100 series.

I'll try to keep things as neutral and spoiler free as possible, but in a nutshell, a huge battle that was teased all season, was completely, (literally and figuratively) blown up. The war barely even happened, and instead, in the last 15 minutes of the season finale, a whole new plot came along that involved the characters racing against time to save the entire human race. Again. By the end of the season, we were introduced to yet another time jump, only this one is a lot longer than the first.

I feel like The 100 writers have just gotten very lazy. They keep building up these huge issues throughout seasons and then they don't even end up happening! Season 4 was when this first started becoming a problem, but Season 5 was just an absolute mess. There is nothing worse for a tv lover, in my opinion, to have to sit through hours of buildup with no end result. And the ending we do get, is just a cheesy, way too fast moving scene that ignores the core of the story. Seriously, all of this "destroying the earth and racing to get back to space" is so damn repetitive.

I don't really know why tv writers decide to scrap plot points towards the end of the season. I guess the technical term is lazy writing, however I think that the poorly made action scenes are also just a cheap way to get more viewers. Let's be honest here, despite my frustration with the series, I will always watch those action scenes because I just need to make sure my faves don't get hurt. But I am tired of writers and their commitment to just rushing through things to make way for a new season to come. I seriously think that The 100 needs to plan a lot better for Season 6, as I'm not sure how deep my frustration can go before I stop watching.

Have you ever watched a tv show that contained lazy writing? What did you think of The 100 finale?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 10 September 2018

I've Got Writer's Block

This year, I am entering my creative writing course at university, which will hopefully give me the tools needed to turn writing into a career. To prepare, I decided to revisit my semi-abandoned WIP. I have about twelve pages of it written, which is farther than any other WIP I've started. (If you don't count my NaNoWriMo book, which was just a disaster.) I hadn't really touched my WIP since May, and when I tried to start continuing it now, I just couldn't. I wasn't inspired by it anymore.

I guess you could say I have writer's block. This WIP which was so vivid in my head about a year ago, has now turned into absolute mush. I have no idea where I want it to go, and I can't even bring myself to keep writing it. I've been feeling so uninspired recently that none of my ideas, if I even have any, seem good or groundbreaking enough.

I've been feeling this with my blog as well. Book reviews are pretty much the easiest things to write because I have a vehicle provided to me to go off from. But a book blog is not built on book reviews alone, and I literally don't know what else to post about anymore. Every time I think something will work and begin writing, it derails and I scrap it. I care very much about what people think when they read my posts, and I quite frankly am not proud of anything original that I've been writing.

I know that there are writing prompts all over the Internet to help with these kind of things, but nothing seems to be working. I feel like when I take somebody else's prompt, the idea is not mine. But the problem is, that I cannot come up with my own ideas!

It doesn't help that there are so many amazing books out there being published, that I don't want my idea to be a "been there, done that." I'm at the point where if I read a really good book, I say to myself,"why didn't I think of that?"

I'm appealing to the book and writing community. What do you do when you have writer's block? Do you sometimes struggle with being "original enough" in the blogging community?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

The Color Purple by: Alice Walker

Genre: Classics, Historical Fiction
Published: April 1, 2004 by: Pocket
Pages: 295
Rating: 4/5 stars

In the American South, Celie is born into a world of poverty and segregation. She is raped repeatedly by her stepfather, and is tragically separated from her only friend, her beloved sister Nettie. When she is sent to work for and marry into a wealthy and abusive family, she meets Shug Avery, a glamorous singer who takes Celie on a journey to find her joy and reunite with her loved one.

I have read a few essays from Alice Walker for my English classes, but for some reason The Color Purple never stood out to me to read. One day at the library I saw it on the shelf and decided to give it a go. I have listened to a few songs from the Broadway musical and thought it would be a powerful read. I was totally correct.

Alice Walker has such a unique way of writing that is very poetic. Even if she is writing in prose, her words fly off the page and have such deeper meaning than just explaining plot. She perfectly captured Celie's distinct voice that it almost felt like she was right there telling me the story. There is a very distinct tone in this novel.

I love novels that come full circle in the end, and this one did. Every plot point served a purpose and the ending was absolutely superb. Walker was very clever in the way that she planned events in the novel, in a way that made them all make sense by the end. I'll admit I did feel very emotional by the end.

The only problem I had with this novel is that it is very visceral. By this I mean that the details, especially the rape scenes, were very graphically written in a way that was a bit uncomfortable. This poor girl went through so much in this novel, and there were times when things just got a bit too heavy for me. But at the same time, I do think that this book's point is to make you uncomfortable, and to not hold back on the harsh realities of black people during this time. That being said, if these things trigger you, do proceed with caution.

Overall, I am really happy that I gave this novel a go. Alice Walker has become one of my favourite writers and she is overall an amazing exemplification of an incredible artist in her craft.

Have you read The Color Purple? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Month in Review: August

Summer is over, I am a wreck because I am starting uni again and I absolutely hate fall. So you could say things are going pretty well at the moment! August was an amazing month and I am truly sad to see it go, but I do have some other great things during the year to look forward to. Here's what happened:

What I Read:

The Girls by: Emma Cline: 2/5 stars
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by: Jenny Han: 5/5 stars
P.S. I Still Love You by: Jenny Han: 5/5 stars
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by: Jenny Han: 3/5 stars
Circe by: Madeline Miller: 5/5 stars

Favourite Book: My fave book was Circe. I loved The Song of Achilles so much and this book just satisfied my Greek mythology-loving heart.

What I Blogged:

My favourite blog post of the month was my review on the highly acclaimed To All the Boys I've Loved Before movie! I reread the series this month to gear myself up for the film, and it met all of my expectations. Please watch it.

Favourite Blog Posts:

Amy shares some Writing Facts about Herself
Veronika and Clare discuss Books that Should be Required Reading
Cee explains Straight-Passing

Life Stuff:

August was eventful and I am so upset that it's over. I went to a lot of birthday parties, it was fun catching up with extended family. Last week I went to Centre Island, an amusement park in Toronto with my cousins. It has always been a tradition of ours and I don't think we will ever stop going. (No matter how squished we get in some of the rides nowadays)

I also went to a concert this week. On August 27th I went to see 5 Seconds of Summer with my sister and cousin. This was my most highly anticipated event of the summer as I have loved this band since 2013 and their new album is off the charts amazing. It was my first time at a general admission concert in which the fans have been absolutely ruthless and while some people were quite disrespectful (we're talking cutting in line), it was an incredible day that I just wish never ended.

Tomorrow I'm seeing Ed Sheeran, and it is very much my last event before moving back to university. I am already pretty sad and dreading for it to be over, because once it is I will be in full back to school mode. But I am also very excited because Ed does put on an amazing show.

That was my August! How was your month? Are you as upset as I am that summer is over?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Movie Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before

If you have been absent from book twitter for the past week, then you might be unaware that the To All the Boys movie came out on Friday. People have pretty much been going mental over how utterly adorable is, myself included, and I just knew I had to write a full review on it. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible, but if you haven't seen the movie yet and want to go into it fully blind, then you can just skip over this review, I won't mind.

Release Date: August 17
Rating: PG-13
Director: Susan Johnson
Run-Time: 1 hr 39 min

To All the Boys was released on netflix as opposed to in theatres which I thought was such a smart move. As someone who doesn't have anyone that would be interested in seeing the movie with me, I didn't have to go to the theatres myself and instead could enjoy from the comfort of my own home. And boy was this film comforting.

The acting was superb. I was a bit hesitant over Peter's casting when it was first announced; Noah Centineo just didn't look like a Peter to me, but by his first scene, I instantly fell in love. Right down to the way he talked, was utterly Peter K. I also really loved Lana Condor as Lara Jean. She was so cute and awkward, exactly how I pictured her. Lana and Noah also had impeccable chemistry, without being overly sexualised.

This movie had such witty dialogue and actually made me laugh out loud at scenes. Some parts were so quirky and relatable that I couldn't help but chuckle. It was funny with no overly dramatic points, perfect for a light and easy to get through film.

Even though the film was not exactly like the book, it stood on its own as a heartwarming tale. Jenny Han even made a cameo which was so sweet and got me really excited. It was quite emotional to see a series I have loved so much be so well received by the general public. And can we talk about that post credits scene?! There HAS to be a sequel now.

If you haven't seen this movie already and you have Netflix, please do. It needs to be hyped up and I am convinced that this story needs to continue.

Have you seen To All the Boys I've Loved Before? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The NOPE Book Tag

I saw Veronika @ The Regal Critiques do this tag on her blog and since I ABSOLUTELY LOVE spewing out my feelings, whether good or bad, I knew this would be the tag for me. So please bask in my negative opinions:

1. NOPE Ending: A book that made you go NOPE in denial or rage, or simply because it was so crappy.

The Princess Diaries by: Meg Cabot

I know virtually nobody in the blogisphere agrees with me on this, but I absolutely HATED the ending of the first book. I expected some big fairytale moment like in the movie, but LITERALLY NOTHING HAPPENED and it was really one of those books that just "sets up" for the million others in the series.

2. NOPE protagonist: A main character you dislike and drives you crazy.

I just finished A Map for Wrecked Girls by: Jessica Taylor and boy did I HATE Henri. I mean, we are meant to hate her as it is obvious how bratty and entitled she is, but the fact that her actions were totally glossed over in the end and she never really apologized for her dangerous decisions really got to me.

3. NOPE series: A series that turned out to be one huge pile of nope, after you invested all that time and energy in it, or one that you had to give up on because it wasn't worth it anymore.

I will never forgive Kiera Cass for what she did to The Selection series. To take such lovable characters like America and Maxon, and make them spawn such a bitchy human being that is Eadlyn, is unforgivable. I had absolutely no care for her story and to me, The Selection series ended on book three.

4. NOPE popular pairing: A "ship" you do not support.

I'm sorry, it's 2018 and we're still shipping Feyre and Rhysand from ACOTAR together?? I gave up on the series a long time ago, but this creepy, abusive relationship has GOT TO GO.

5. NOPE plot twist: A plot twist you didn't see coming or didn't like.

Now don't get me wrong, I loved One of Us is Lying by: Karen M. Mcmanus, but that plot twist at the end was kinda a let down and also quite uncalled for. It was predictable, cliche, and very insensitive, despite the rest of the book being virtually flawless.

6. NOPE protagonist decision: A character decision that made you shake your head.

Winner of the most crappy decisions definitely goes out to Evie in The Girls. I just finished this book and just couldn't wrap my head around this girl's thought process. That book is one big yikes.

7. NOPE genre: A genre you will never read.

Pretty much the only one that I completely steer clear of is erotica. I get that some people like it, but I find it for the most part uncomfortable.

8. NOPE book format: Book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different addition.

I could totally relate to Veronika on this when she said audiobooks! I absolutely hate them and always end up not paying attention or falling asleep. I have never been able to get through one.

9. NOPE trope: A trope that makes you go NOPE.

I saw a tweet the other day that made me realize that a trope I really hate is when teenagers in contemporary novels are CONSTANTLY talking/worrying about sex. In reality that is not a thing that every single high schooler does nor is it the norm and I didn't even think of it when I was in high school. We need to normalize YA contemporary novels that don't always have sex scenes in them.

10. NOPE recommendation: A book recommendation that is always pushed at you that you simply refuse to read.

A Game of Thrones by: George R.R. Martin. People assume because I like the show that I will LOVE this series, but I know for a fact that I will never be able to get through a single chapter in these books as heavy fantasy novels are not my thing!!

11. NOPE cliche/pet peeve: A cliche or writing pet peeve that makes you roll your eyes.

When writers use overly descriptive language to describe a simple thing. Like, I get you want us to engage multiple senses when reading, but when a plate of pasta is described as: "a mound of scrumptious noodles, elegantly dripping with ripe tomato sauce, a dusting of cheese lying upon it like fairy dust," we've got a problem here.

12. NOPE love interest: A love interest that's not worthy of being one.

Going way back here and saying Christina from the Divergent series. I'm not gonna spoil it even thought this series is a bazillion years old, but having Christina become *highlight text to see spoiler*Tobias' love interest at the end of the series just so he wouldn't end up old and alone was so pointless. Tris was his only love, leave Christina be. 

13. NOPE book: A book that shouldn't have existed that made you say NOPE.

Oh so many choices, so little time! I think I'm going to have to go with After by: Anna Todd on this one. It's not a very well known book, but if you're a One Direction fan, you know how sick and twisted it is.

14. NOPE villain: A villain/antagonist you would hate to cross and would make you run in the opposite direction.

Probably Katherine from Three Dark Crowns. I mean, the girl can ingest literal poison without feeling a thing, and is out to kill her two sisters. Pretty vicious if you ask me.

15. NOPE death: A character death that still haunts you.

Again, so many choices! I'll highlight it white for those who do not want to be spoiled, but Dieter's death in Station Eleven was so upsetting, especially after all he'd been through. 

16. NOPE author: An author you had a bad experience reading for and have decided to quit.

You couldn't pay me any amount of money to read another Tolkien novel. The Hobbit is by far the worst classic I have ever read and I refuse to read anything else in the Lord of the Rings world!

And that's it! Do you agree/disagree with any of my opinions? What are some of your unpopular book opinions?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Month in Review: July

There is only one month of summer left and I already know that it's gonna fly by :( Trying to savour the last bits of vacation as much as I can! Here's what happened in July:

What I Read: 

Puddin' by: Julie Murphy: 3/5 stars
Maus by: Art Spiegelman: 5/5 stars
The Silver Star by: Jeannette Walls: 4/5 stars
The Dream Thieves by: Maggie Stiefvater: 4/5 stars
A Map for Wrecked Girls by: Jessica Taylor: 5/5 stars

Favourite book: Definitely the graphic novel, Maus. I hate to sound repetitive but hopefully I'll shut up about this book once my full review goes up this month. This novel was emotional, clever and beautifully drawn.

What I Blogged: 

I finally did an update on My Goodreads Challenge! I've been doing really well and as far as reading challenges go this one has been the most enjoyable for me.

Favourite Blog Posts: 

Veronika does the Nope Book Tag (Definitely gonna be doing this one!)

Cait shares tips on How to Keep Writing if you have a Mental Illness 

Cee shares her Meta Nerd Church 

Life Stuff: 

I went on a little impromptu vacation to Quebec City with my family this month! It was fun to get a break from work and to experience such a beautiful city. Seriously, this place is like a European town without actually going to Europe! I am the worst at pictures so I didn't take much, but if you ever get to experience this beautiful city, enjoy it!!

And that was pretty much my month! How was your July?

Emily @ Paperback Princess