Monday, 19 March 2018

What it Means to Me to be a Writer

It seems like throughout every writing course I have ever taken, I've been given the same advice, and that is: to never stop writing. I saw a tweet the other day where someone stated that the main advice they had been given all their writing career was that "when you stop writing, you stop being a writer." This lines up exactly what I had been taught. I was always told to write at least 1000 words a night, to never take breaks, and to push myself beyond what I thought I could do. And, like the woman in her tweet said, I am now trying to push that rule out of my head.

Writing fiction is harder than people think. It is not as simple as stream of consciousness writing, in which you know exactly what you want to say and it all flows out. Actual thought has to go into each sentence, and it takes a long time. Bottom line, it is tiring, and I don't always have time to do it everyday. So, when people tell me than in order to be a successful writer, I have to be taking down chunks of a manuscript every evening, that discourages me.

One of my pet peeves is when people say, "you aren't a writer unless you've written a book!" Technically speaking, the definition of a writer is not a job, it is someone who uses written words to communicate their ideas. Hell, even writing essays for school makes you a writer!! I feel like there are some pretty pretentious people out there that think they are above everybody else because they have been published. This group is a few, but they are such a downer on the people who are just getting started.

Writing for me is something that I do when I want to. I am not hunched over a desk at 2:00 am rushing to meet deadlines because someone told me "when I stop writing, I stop being a writer." I am a writer simply by writing this post, by writing an essay, heck, when writing a coherent tweet! And I refuse to be pressured into forcing myself to write a story every night that isn't there. I think I will turn out better that way.

What does writing mean to you?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

The Hammer of Thor: Magnus Chase and The God's of Asgard #2 by: Rick Riordan

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Mythology
Published: October 4, 2016 by: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 471
Rating: 4/5 stars

Thor's hammer has made its way into enemy hands, and it's up to Magnus Chase and his demi-god friends to get it back before the Nine Worlds come crashing down. Along the way, they will find that they must gain the trust of Loki, aka the most hated to the god's, as only he has the power to negotiate for the hammer back, and prevent Ragnarok from beginning. And he'll do it, only for a price...

I did not think that I would enjoy this series as much as I am. I've usually only been a Greek mythology person, but this series keeps me entertained and of course has those little Percy Jackson easter eggs in there that I absolutely love. This is one of Riordan's most diverse series and it is so well written.

This book gave us a gender-fluid character in Alex, the return of the badass that is Samirah, and of course, Magnus, who is so charming and funny. I think I enjoyed this storyline even more than from the previous book as it basically gives me the only Norse God that I am familiar with, lol.

All this being said, I don't think I will ever enjoy this series just as much as I enjoy the Greek myths, but that's personal preference. I know a lot of people out there love Norse mythology, and if you do, you will love this series.

Have you read The Hammer of Thor? What did you think?

Monday, 12 March 2018

Five Little Pigs by: Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery
Published: December 15, 1985 by: Berkley
Pages: 224
Rating: 3/5 stars

Everyone knew that Caroline Crale had poisoned and killed her husband, a brilliant painter named Amyas. Now sixteen years after she was convicted and died in prison, Caroline's daughter seeks Hercule Poirot to reopen the case, after a letter from her mother before she died insists that she was innocent. Poirot interviews the group of people who were last around the Crale's before the incident, and with his knowledge of human psychology, Poirot finds himself caught into a web of truth and lie.

This was only the second Christie book I have read and I was extremely excited for it. I find her books clever, easy to get through, and they always leave me feeling shocked. While this one did not live up to the hype I had built up in my head, it definitely was cleverly thought out.

I wasn't as impressed as I had hoped to be while reading this. I found the case really confusing and too complicated for my liking, and I lost track a lot while reading. I don't think that this book captured my attention as well as The Mousetrap did, and I found myself with just a lot of questions after I finished.

I get Christie's intentions, and I definitely think that this case was extremely complex and well planned, but it just didn't click enough for me. That being said, I am definitely looking to read more of her novels as the endings always surprise me.

Have you read Five Little Pigs? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Reacting to My First Blog Post

* never gotten a chance to use this Ben Platt gif...until now

I see this trend a lot on Youtube where people reacting to their first video, and thought I would try it with my first blog post! I cringe everytime I look back on my own blog posts, so I thought it would be fun to paste my first book review here, and then reflect on it. So here is the first review ever on Paperback Princess, Eleanor and Park, published July, 2014:

At the beginning of summer, I was allowed to buy three books; one of them being : Eleanor & Park. No, this isn't a book about an intersection, (as my dad thought it was.) This is a book about two star crossed lovers, who didn't care what anyone thought of them. This may sound like a cheesy love story, but it is definitely much more than that.

What first drew me to this book, is that John Green had written a review on it, on the front page. (If John Green liked it, it must be good.) When I read the front flap, I saw that music played a role in the story. I love listening to music, so I thought I'd give it a try.

The first few chapters involve Eleanor and Park just meeting. At first, I didn't like the character of Park. I found him rude to Eleanor. After a while, I grew to love his character.

Although the book was told in third-person, the chapters involve alternating scenarios between Eleanor and Park. I liked that, because I could feel their thoughts and emotions. The pro of this book is the climax. (Emotionally-charged moment) I don't want to give too much away, but the climax had a lot of action, I was constantly turning the page to find out more.

Overall, Eleanor and Park was a good book if you like a cute love story that ends in a cliffhanger. I am not one for cliffhanger stories, so I found the ending a let down. I feel like their love story ended without me knowing what's next. Do they live happily ever after? Do they break up? Those questions were not answered, and I felt disappointed. I love a happy ending to a story, and I'm not sure that I got it in this novel.

Rainbow Rowell did a great job of capturing the feeling of a first love. (Although I've never felt that feeling yet.) However, I would have liked to read more of an ending.

If I were to rate Eleanor and Park, I would rate it a 4 out of 5 stars, for it's thrilling climax, but cliffhanger ending. If you have read, this book, let me know what you thought of it in the comments!

My Review: 

Ok so let's start off with the first paragraph, in which I thought use of a semi-colon would make me sound professional and an oddly placed joke about an intersection (that wasn't even true) would be funny. Smh. 

Then we go on to the John Green mention. I was still very much in my TFIOS stage at this point so all I can say is: ugh. 

"I love listening to music, so I thought I'd give it a try." Very interesting fact, Emily!! 

What the hell is that third paragraph? It's three sentences long and sounds like an 7 year old wrote it. 

I love how I had to clarify what a climax was to seem smart!! I'm pretty sure my mom edited this for me and told me to explain that just in case people didn't know, now I'm pretty sure anyone who has ever read a book knows what a climax is. 

I used to hate cliffhanger stories lol. Now I'm pretty much like: I'll take any kind of ending as long as the lead up to it is good. 

Awww look at little pre-teen me saying that I have never experienced the feeling of a first love. Spoiler alert, I still haven't, but I don't give a damn now lol. 

Fair rating, but I don't think today I would take away a whole point just because the ending was a cliffhanger. I do enjoy a cliffhanger nowadays! 

The last sentence has an unnecessary comma in there and I'm half-tempted to fix it even though this post has already been up for four years haha! 

And that folks, was my first review! Simple, straight to the point, and only goes into detail about the climax and the ending! I clearly had a lot of work to do, but I like to think that I've progressed. 

I'd like to see other people try this as well! Have you ever looked back on an old blog post and cringed? 

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 5 March 2018

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by: Mackenzi Lee

Genre: YA fiction, Historical Fiction
Published: June 27, 2017 by: Katherine Tegan Books
Pages: 513
Rating: 5/5 stars

Henry Montague could never conform to his wealthy English family's expectations for him. He embraced the wild side of life, with lavish parties, multiple hookups with both men and women, and has concealed a secret crush on his best friend Percy from his strict father. When Monty must embark on a grand tour of Europe to complete his education, he brings Percy, and his spunky sister Felicity along for the journey. But Monty's recklessness will cost the gang greatly, and will have them running across Europe for their lives.

I absolutely adored this book! It brought together two of my favourite things; historical fiction, and diverse reads. This book was funny, charming, and gave me serious travel nostalgia. I could not put this down.

The bisexual rep was golden in this book! Monty was such a hilarious, lovable character and Percy was such a sweetheart. They both deserved each other and I rooted for their relationship. I also loved Felicity, who was sassy and cool and not your stereotypical Victorian woman.

Mackenzi Lee kept things real in this book. The historical elements were extremely factual and she definitely brought up a lot of things that would have been issues during the time period. You could tell that genuine research had been done in the subject. This book had a great atmosphere and proved that any genre can be made diverse.

Have you read The Gentleman's Guide? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Ms. Marvel: No Normal by: G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona

Genre: Comic book
Published: October 30, 2014 by: Marvel
Pages: 120
Rating: 3/5 stars

Kamala Khan longs to be normal. She wants her strict Pakistani parents to give her some freedom, and she wants to be like all of the other high school kids from Jersey city. But when she is given powerful gifts from her favourite superhero, that could either aide or destroy her, Kamala must discover what her identity truly is, and come to terms with what it really means to be "normal."

Guess who read a comic book?! This girl!! Ok, it wasn't by choice, but I was still pretty proud of me stepping into a genre I literally know nothing about and one that I've always thought would not be my cup of tea. While I won't be picking up any other comics any time soon, I do think that this one was enjoyable.

The main thing I liked about this comic was that it is relatable. It was nice to see Pakistani representation in the comic and a lot of the things Kamala references I understood. I found her funny and likeable, which made me read this more like a book than a comic.

This was easy to get through, although I can't seem to enjoy the tone that comes with comic books. The dialogue and illustrations have always seemed a bit cheesy for me and I would have liked the plot to be a bit more complex. I can't say that comics sweep me off my feet, but that's just my personal preference. If you like comics, you may really enjoy this.

Have you read Ms. Marvel? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 26 February 2018

Month in Review: February

Hello everyone! I can't believe February is already over. To me it flew by and now I have only one month left of my first year of university! Here's what happened in February:

What I Read: 

Pride and Prejudice by: Jane Austen: 4/5 stars
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by: Mackenzi Lee: 5/5 stars
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor by: Rick Riordan: 4/5 stars
Five Little Pigs by: Agatha Christie: 3/5 stars
One of Us is Lying by: Karen M. McManus: 5/5 stars

What I Blogged:

We got a little ranty this month! My favourite post I did was JK Rowling, You Need to Stop. It was good to get some things off my chest regarding the Harry Potter series in its current state.

Favourite Blog Posts: 

Claire says #Never Again 
Amy explains why Tamlin and Feyre is an Unhealthy and Abusive Relationship 

Life Stuff: 

Nothing really eventful happened in February! Like I said, it kinda came and went quickly. I had my reading week so it was nice to have a break and go home. But other than that, it was just school and writing. I did get to submit my writing portfolio for my program, and I'll know by mid-April whether I'm accepted. Finger's crossed!

How was your February?

Emily @ Paperback Princess