Wednesday, 18 July 2018

My Goodreads Challenge Update



Hello all! Given as we are a little halfway over the year, I decided that I would take a look at my progress on my yearly goodreads challenge. I want to see how things are going so far and which books are looking to be my favourites. I'll be looking at some stats on what I have been reading so far!

My Goodreads Challenge:

My Goal: 50 books from January 1, 2018- December 31, 2018
Books read so far: 37 (13 more to go!)

Breaking Down the Books:

Out of the 37:

8 have been YA contemporary
9 have been YA fantasy
3 have been YA historical fiction
9 have been classics
4 have been adult realistic fiction
4 have been graphic novels

Five Star Reviews:

I have had twelve five-star reviews so far which seems pretty good to me! I only have one one-star review which is so awesome. To me that seems like I have established what I like and have developed a strong rhythm in my reading.

I won't decide officially until the end of the year, but it looks to me that Maus: A Survivor's Tale by: Art Spiegelman is on track to be my favourite book of the year, which is surprising considering it is a graphic novel! I would have never thought that a graphic novel would be my fave, but this book was so amazingly crafted, and I cannot wait to write my review on it.

The Main Things I've Noticed:

I read a lot more adult fiction these past few months! It seems like every other year in the past was filled with YA with a few classics sprinkled in, but I had a lot more of an even match between adult novels and YA novels as a whole. There was also a healthy amount of classics thanks to my literature class last year.

I also have been ahead of the game ever since I started the challenge, and this is probably due to me reducing my goal to fifty books instead of my usual hefty eighty. I decided to stop forcing myself to read an enormous number of books that I probably skimmed through, and instead focus on reading a smaller amount more closely and thoroughly. Reading has become a lot less stressful with this method!

Overall, over these past six months I found that I have been reading out of my comfort zone, and it has paid off! I would never have reached for as much adult fiction in times past, but I have been taking risks in my reading and the result has been that I have been enjoying books far more! In fact, most of my two-star reviews had to do with the YA's I have read. Now this is not to say that I hate YA, I just think it's good that my reading has matured over this year. I'm looking forward to the remainder of the year and hopefully reading a lot more awesome books!

How are your reading challenges going?

Emily @ Paperback Princess


Wednesday, 11 July 2018

The Princess Diaries by: Meg Cabot

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: July 1, 2001 by: Turtleback
Pages: 283
Rating: 2/5 stars



Mia Thermopolis is an awkward, nerdy freshman whose world is about to be turned upside down. It started with her mother revealing that she's dating Mia's algebra teacher. Then her long-absent father shows up revealing that he is the crown prince of Genovia, and that Mia will soon have to take over the throne. Documenting it all in her diary, Mia experiences the trials and tribulations of training to be a princess, all while just hoping to pass algebra.

I was very excited to start this book. I am such a huge fan of the Princess Diaries movie and I was expecting to go into this and fall in love. I wanted to become hooked onto the series and have nice, fluffy books to always go back to. Unfortunately, this book did not live up to my expectations, and I will remain adamant that the movie was better.

I was very disappointed with how Queen Clarisse was depicted in the novel. I kept wanting to envision graceful Julie Andrews, but instead this queen was quite tacky and rude. Now I understand the book came first so the movie did tweak many things, but the characters in the movie just seemed a lot more likable to me.

There were a lot of plot points in here that didn't match with the movie, which is unfortunate because a lot of my favourite scenes I was hoping to read about were nonexistent! I feel like Michael took such a backseat in this novel, as well as there was no heartwarming moment between Mia and Michael at the ball when her foot "pops."

I know it's bad to keep comparing the novel to the movie as they are completely separate entities,  but I think most of my dislike for the book does come from the fact that the film is so light-hearted and fun and I just didn't get that in this book. I mean, I got through it quite quickly as it was a very easy read which is a plus, but it lacked anything to make me fall in love. I cannot believe I'm saying this, but I am #teamfilm on this one.

Have you read The Princess Diaries? What did you think?

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Month in Review: June


It is so freaking hot in Toronto right now I might die. Seriously in need for things to cool down because it is honestly unbearable outside. Anyways, my June was pretty good! My summer finally got more exciting and to be honest I was so busy I completely forgot to write this post! Here's what happened:

What I Read: 

Half Broke Horses by: Jeannette Walls: 5/5 stars
The Color Purple by: Alice Walker: 4/5 stars
Appointment with Death by: Agatha Christie: 4/5 stars
Hero at the Fall by: Alwyn Hamilton: 3/5 stars

Favourite book: Definitely Half Broke Horses! I am in love with Walls' writing and this story that featured her grandmother was so beautifully written.

What I Blogged: 

I got real about my frustrations with Blogger at the moment. I need to find a good commenting platform, and I discussed it in my post: Blog Commenting Formats- What's Your Preferred Platform? 

Favourite Blog Posts: 

Clare and Veronika review A Thousand Perfect Notes 

Cee asks What the Purpose of the Purpose is 

Charlotte shares her First Year Feelings 

Life Stuff:

This month was very fun! I went to see Phantom of the Opera with my mom, two days later went to see Harry Styles in concert, and now I have friends from Italy staying with my family! It's been a busy few days of taking them around, I somehow feel like a tourist in my own city! But it's been really fun. It's also the Canada Day long weekend so everything is starting to really feel like summer now.

How was your June?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

The Scorpio Races by: Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Magic Realism
Published: October 18, 2011 by: Scholastic Press
Pages: 409
Rating: 3/5 stars



At the start of every November, the Scorpio Races happen on an elusive island, where the people are quiet and riders are resilient. Riders will attempt to tame fierce water horses all the way to the finish line. Many die, and the winner receives a cash prize. Sean is the returning champion, and he is determined to keep his father's legacy alive. Puck is entering the races for the first time, and not only is she the first girl to do so, but she is determined to win the money for her struggling family. Which one will prevail?

I have always loved Maggie Stiefvater's writing. All of her books are tied to magical realism, a genre that intrigues me so much. While I am absolutely obsessed with some of her other novels such as the Raven Cycle series, this book seemed to capture the essence of her writing, but wasn't necessarily my favourite.

I loved the feminism in this book. Puck is the main character, and she experiences harsh sexism and scrutiny throughout the book because riding in the Scorpio Races was always considered for men only. She was a very strong female lead, much like Stiefvater's other main characters, and I loved her.

I wasn't quite sold on the chemistry between her and Sean. I get it was supposed to be romantic, but I honestly didn't see much there between these two and it all seemed very forced. Their relationship needed to be developed more.

I think the concept of this book was interesting, but it didn't capture me as much as The Raven Cycle did. I found the plot to be kind of rushed at times and quite confusing. I wasn't exactly sold on it.

Overall, I think if you like Stiefvater's writing style, definitely give this book a go. It goes with her theme of magic realism, but I prefer some of her other books.

Have you read The Scorpio Races? What did you think?

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Radio Silence by: Alice Oseman

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: February 25, 2016 by: Harper Collins
Pages: 403
Rating: 2/5 stars



Frances is a shy girl with only one goal: to go to an elite university. Then enters Aled, a tech genius behind Frances' favourite podcast. He shows Frances true friendship for the first time, and helps her to come out of her shell and reveal some hard kept secrets. But when Aled's podcast goes viral, Frances must finally address some secrets in her life that she thought she'd never share, while Aled has some secrets of his own.

I feel like I am the only person in this world who just didn't get this book. I understand what the author was going for, and I appreciated the diversity and Frances' growth as the book went on. However as a whole, I just think I was so disconnected from this book and in too much of a reading slump to be wowed over it.

This book was just... too techy for me??? I never watch podcasts and don't really get them, so I wasn't really interested in that theme throughout the book. I just didn't feel like this book clicked with my personality and interests, and thus, I was just bored.

I wasn't really into Aled and Frances' relationship either. I just didn't see much chemistry there and I found it hard to really connect with them. While I can relate to Frances in the sense that I am also very academically driven, she just didn't click for me.

Overall, this book wasn't for me. However every other review I have read about this book has been positive, so I think you really should experience this book for yourself.

Have you read Radio Silence? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Queens of Geek by: Jen Wilde

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: March 14, 2017 by: Swoon Reads
Pages: 262
Rating: 3/5 stars



SupaCon is a place where fandoms unite to become a family. Introverted Taylor knows that all too well, she is looking forward to attending the con with her best friend Jamie, and she is even considering telling him that she may want to be something more. On the other side of the con, Charlie is an extroverted vlogger and actress promoting her first movie, and trying to conceal her feelings for Alyssa Huntington, a cool-girl actress who appeared unexpectedly as a surprise guest. Throughout the con, relationships will be tested, and hopefully, new ones forming too.

I don't really know what drew me to this book. I was in kinda a slump when I started it, and just wanted something quick and lighthearted. While I definitely got just that, I'm not sure this book wowed me enough for me to rate it high.

It was a cute novel. Having been to con's before, it was fun to read a book that takes place during an entire day at a con, where a lot can happen in so little time. I appreciated the diversity and the fact that the author showed that fans come from all different walks of life.

It did seem a bit childish for me. The writing seemed very middle-grade and especially the whole "internet star" theme took me back to when I was thirteen. I would love to read more mature versions of books like these, as I have found that a lot of the lighthearted contemporaries I seem to read nowadays don't really strike me as interesting.

Overall, I think this book is great for anyone who appreciates a good fandom, but don't expect anything groundbreaking. It was just ok, and very predictable.

Have you read Queens of Geek? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Blog Commenting Formats- What's Your Preferred Platform?


Blogger has gone and messed me up again. I used to always get emails whenever someone would comment on a post, but now, I'm assuming with new privacy policies changing, I don't! I have tried a number of things and I just can't seem to get my emails back, making it so I have to check every single post for new comments.

This isn't a cumbersome thing for my most recent posts, however if someone were to comment on an older post, I have no way of knowing and therefore feel like an ass for not replying :((( I love replying to comments and getting emails was a sure way to remember to do them. Now, I'm not sure what to do.

I know there are a few blog commenting formats out there, Disqus is notably the one I see the most besides regular blogger, and I'm just not sure whether to make the switch. I am not the most techy person and while I assume I'd be able to set it up on my blog, I am unsure whether it will decrease my commentors or not. Not everybody has a Disqus account and I know not many people like to have a million accounts for different things, and I just don't want people to feel obligated to sign up for yet another thing. I enjoyed the convenience that everybody with a google account could comment on my blog, but it's not exactly convenient for me anymore.

So, I am appealing to the book community. Do you have Disqus? Blogger? Any suggestions on how to get my emails back??? Please let me know what commenting format you have and if it works for you. I am open to any suggestions as long as they're easy to install and give me notifications when somebody comments. And, if you are a regular reader of my blog, how would you feel if I switched to another platform? I am at a loss here.

Emily @ Paperback Princess