Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by: E.K. Johnston

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: March 15, 2016 by: Dutton Books
Pages: 248
Rating: 5/5 stars



Captain of the coveted Palermo Height's cheerleading squad, Hermione Winters is ready for summer training camp and to bring pride to her small town. But when a party at camp turns dark, Hermione soon finds herself a rape victim, and pregnant. Still, Hermione is determined not to be seen as a "cautionary tale" and with the help of her community, she attempts to regain control of her life and find justice for survivors.

This book was amazing!!! I have read many YA books that deal with rape over the years, but I think that the way this book handled it was one of the best. It was empowering, inspiring, and incredibly detailed in the stereotypes and hardships that survivors have to go through and how you could help. It didn't shy away from the tough issues, even including abortion, but it did so in a way that was sensitive to victims and not overly explicit. Obviously a trigger warning still applies, but I think that as far as books dealing with sexual assault goes, this would be the healthiest one to read.

I loved Hermione, I think she was strong, intelligent and incredibly brave. Her friends and family were incredible, and I loved how this book highlighted her healing process. She had her ups and downs, but this book ended on such a high note that I was confident that Hermione was going to be ok. This was a splendid novel.

Have you read Exit, Pursued by a Bear? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Paperback's Pondering's: "I Only Read the Classics"



You know that one person in your class that just gets on your nerves so much that as soon as they start talking you cringe? For me, it's this girl in my English class. She is just incredibly pretentious and such a know-it-all and she does this thing where she'll make snide remarks to you but mask it as a compliment. I do not like her. But just recently a group of us were chatting about the latest YA books we have read, to which she replied, "Oh you guys are into YA? I only read the classics." That's when I realised that that is one of the most annoying things that somebody could say.

I don't understand why people limit themselves to the classics. I know that a lot find mainstream fiction and YA fiction unintelligible, unoriginal, and cheesy, but I swear I feel more connected to most YA books than any classic novel I have ever read!! Why do you think you are a better reader if you only read the classics?!

I personally have never really gotten into the classics. I find them hard to understand, and while I appreciate the philosophy and meaning behind a lot of them, they just don't work for me. So since I am appreciative and respectful of classics, why can't classics lovers be respectful of YA?

YA has changed drastically over the years. Now is the time where it is the most socially-aware, the most daring, the most unique. I'm not one to tell others what to read, but I feel as if you are seriously missing out if you aren't reading YA! There is a whole world of new books out there just waiting for your approval and you're stuck inside the mind of an 18th century old white dude! I just don't get it!!

Basically, I'm tired of classics lovers thinking that they're better than us. I'm tried of YA not being considered as "literature" because honestly, 500 years from now, the books we are reading now will be seen as the classics. So, might as well get an appreciation for them today while you still can.

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 10 November 2017

Geekerella by: Ashley Poston

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: April 4, 2017 by: Quirk Books
Pages: 320
Rating: 2/5 stars



Teenager Elle Witttimer is obsessed with the Starfield TV series, and has a lot of passionate opinions when heartthrob Darien Freeman is cast as Prince Carmindor in the reboot. When she sees a cosplay contest that could win her a ticket to ExcelsiCon, and a chance to meet Prince Carmindor himself, she jumps at the chance, and tries to hide her plans from her evil stepmother, who wouldn't be impressed by her going. But when disaster strikes and Elle finds her cosplay ruined, it'll take a fairy godmother to help her make it to the con.

What.do.people.see.in.this.book? Seriously, I don't mean to be harsh, but everyone online has been RAVING about this that I knew I had to give it a go. It's even nominated for a Goodread's Choice Award! Most Cinderella retellings are unbelievably cheesy and cliche, but I figured, since everybody seems to love this, it might be something cool and different. Instead I got literally exactly what I was expecting.

The plot was cheesy, predictable and so unoriginal. Despite the fact that this retelling had a geek theme, there was nothing about it that made it interesting and the characters were boring and lifeless. I had no care for any of them and I knew everything that was going to happen.

This book also reads like a middle-grade. Now don't get me wrong, sometimes I love middle-grade books, but the dialogue was incredibly childish and so simple that I would hardly give this a YA title. It just seemed like something I would read in Grade 6.

I guess the only thing I liked in this book was that it was easy to get through. It was sugary sweet and great to get out of a slump, but that's where my love for it ends. Why is this book so loved?

Have you read Geekerella? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Month in Review: October


Happy November everyone, aka, the time in which it is actually acceptable to start talking about Christmas. I have already seen my first Christmas commercial and I am just so excited!! Here's what I got up to in October:

What I Read:

The Glass Castle by: Jeannette Walls: 5/5 stars
Othello by: William Shakespeare: 3/5 stars
Top Ten by: Kate Cotugno: 4/5 stars
Turtles All the Way Down by: John Green: 3/5 stars
When Breath Becomes Air by: Paul Kalanithi: 4/5 stars

Favourite book: Definitely and wholeheartedly The Glass Castle. I remember my mom reading this book years ago, and it was just fantastic. Heartbreaking, but also motivating, uplifting, and inspiring. It doesn't read like a non-fiction at all and is just spectacular.

What I Blogged:

I got back to doing discussion posts this month! Check out Why I Don't Cry When Reading Books 

Favourite Blog Posts:

Cee talks Presumed Innocence and Believing Victims 
Veronika dives deep into the Life of the Blood Countess Elizabeth Bathory
Cait talks about Her Debut Novel!

Life Stuff:

Oh gosh, the beginning of this month was a breeze, nothing major to report, but the end, that's when things got way out of control.

Basically, my grandfather was vacationing in the US when he fell off of a 6 foot ledge and onto pavement. We first thought that it was nothing serious, as the hospital in the US said that all x-rays were clear and discharged him. But he was in excruciating pain. We ended up taking him back to Toronto to the hospital there, and what we found out was astonishing.

His head was basically hanging onto his spinal cord by a thread, at any moment in the car ride home it could have snapped and he would have died right then and there. He was extremely lucky to be alive. They did emergency surgery which would basically decide his fate, and THANKFULLY, everything went well. The surgeon said it was the most complicated surgery of his life. We were scared of paralysis, but he is now slowly learning to walk again and he can talk and feed himself. It will be a long road of rehab ahead, and he will never be able to drive again, but he is alive, and that is all that matter's.

It really shocked my entire family and all of us came home and spent the entire weekend with him. It was just really astonishing that the hospital in the US didn't find anything. But anyways, we're just looking towards the future. He is making such a fast recovery for somebody who could have died just weeks ago, it's a miracle.

On a better note, how was your October? Did you do anything fun for Halloween?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

We Are Still Tornadoes by: Michael Kun and Susan Mullen

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: November 1, 2016 by: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 304
Rating: 4/5 stars



In the summer of 1982, everything is about to change. Scott and Cath have just graduated high school, and vow to keep in touch. With Cath navigating university life, and Scott trying to get his band off the ground, the only thing familiar the two can hold onto are a series of letters they send to each other all year, talking about everything from relationships to families, to annoying roommates. Growing up is difficult, but they can always turn to each other to get through it.

This was a cute little summer read that I was happy to get into! What's unique here is that the entire book is told through the letters that Cath and Seth send to each other. There are no other plots, no other characters sharing their opinions, we only get information from the letters. I thought this was a very interesting concept for the book, and I wasn't even aware it was like this before I started. It was something different, and I appreciated that.

I think this was a very easy read. It was short and sweet, and because of the format, there wasn't much to get confused by and there definitely wasn't an info-dump. It was very two the point, which is why I think this would be the perfect read for a summer, because it gives you that nostalgia of the 80's, mixed with some typical teenage themes.

I think I could relate a lot to this book because I am starting university myself in a few weeks. I could relate to Cath's nervousness and her wanting to hold onto the past, as I myself am very scared for the change and a part of me really wishes to be back in high school. I would recommend this book to anyone going through the same thing at the moment.

Overall, there's not much left to say about this. It was an easy read with a relatable message, nothing overly spectacular, but gave me some insight on growing up that I really needed.

Have you read We Are Still Tornadoes? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Why Don't I Cry When Reading Books?


Hey! It's been a minute since I've done a Paperback's Pondering's, but I just knew I had to write this post. I wouldn't consider myself an emotional person in real life. I don't really like affection, anything sentimental just makes me cringe and I rarely ever cry. But gosh darn it, when something happens in a movie or tv show that tugs on my heartstrings, I will bawl. So, you'd think being an expert bookworm, I would equally be tearing up over books all the time. But the weird thing is, I don't think I've ever cried in a book.

When I was younger, and even in my old blog posts, I would legitimately lie all the time that a book made me cry. I just thought that it was the best thing to explain my feelings about the book. But in real life, I didn't cry at all. Something just so sad could happen, and I'd obviously be sad, but I just could not shed a tear. However, if I were to see that being played out on a movie screen, I would cry.

I honestly wish I was the type of person to cry in books. I feel like it's a powerful feeling for a book to just make you feel that emotion, and I have tried, but it just isn't the same than seeing an explicit visual in front of me.

I can easily imagine what a book scene is like in my head, but for some reason, it just doesn't have the same affect on me as watching a tv show would. And it's weird, because I can get so emotionally invested in the characters of a book, but if they die, I will not cry about it. I often think that I'm not like the average bookworm in that sense.

So I want to know, am I the only person who doesn't cry in books? What do you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Saints and Misfits by: S.K. Ali

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: June 13, 2017 by: Salaam Reads
Pages: 352
Rating: 4/5 stars



Janna, an Arab Indian-American hijabi, is trying to figure herself out. On one hand, she's a booknerd, photographer, and graphic artist, and wanting to date her longtime crush Jeremy. On the other, she is a modest, respectful Muslim girl, living in the shadow of her brother's so perfect, almost saint-like fiancee. Janna wants to be the ideal Muslim girl, but that is jeopardised when someone very close to her, someone who is also seen like a saint in the Muslim community, does something that Janna will never be able to forget. Does she risk calling him out, or does she stay quiet?

This was a very surprising book. First off, kudos to the author for putting a hijabi girl on the cover! That was so great to see and I know that the author is a hijabi herself, so this was a really diverse novel. However, it was a little misleading, and here's why:

I hadn't really read the description of this book properly before going in, and I kinda just went in based on the cover. I was expecting a light-hearted, summery novel about love and cuteness, which is what the book was being marketed as, but what I got was much darker. Not that that is a bad thing!! I'm just saying, that this book's main theme is rape and that people going into it should be cautious, because they could be expecting something much lighter. So I think I was just a tad surprised by the turn of events, but still, I quite enjoyed the book.

I loved the characters. Janna was so complex, very three-dimensional and everyone in her circle were very well-rounded as well. I enjoyed reading about each and every person in her community, and how they affected her.

This is the first contemporary book I have read with a Muslim main character, and I was really impressed. I learnt a lot, it was very informative and a great change from the typical white main characters I usually see. There was also an entire scene dedicated to the burkini, which was great, and I think the author handled it very well. This book had a good mix of humour and information.

So overall, this was a very good book, but you gotta know what it's about before you get into it. There are explicit themes of rape, which I had no idea about prior. It's always good to put trigger warnings :)

Have you read Saints and Misfits? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess