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

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Month in Review: September

Hey! So I survived my first month of uni!! It's been a helluva month with a lot of changes, but I'm excited to share them all with you.

What I Read: 

The Lost Hero by: Rick Riordan: 4/5
The Son of Neptune by: Rick Riordan: 5/5
The Blood of Athena by: Rick Riordan: 5/5
The House of Hades by: Rick Riordan: 4/5
The Blood of Olympus by: Rick Riordan: 5/5
More Happy Than Not by: Adam Silvera: 4/5
Exit, Pursued by a Bear by: E.K. Johnston: 5/5 stars
Piecing Me Together by: Renee Watson: 4/5 stars
The Art of Being Normal by: Lisa Williamson: 3/5 stars
We are Okay by: Nina Lacour: 3/5 stars
Attachments by: Rainbow Rowell: 2/5 stars
The 100 by: Kass Morgan: 2/5 stars

Favourite Book: Look who got back into the swing of reading! You'd think I'd have less time due to school, but honestly I think I have only pushed myself to read more, and I have been reading a lot of short books to prevent myself from slumping. Besides the obvious Heroes of Olympus re-read I went on, my favourite book would have to be Exit, Pursued by a Bear! It was so empowering and feminist-oriented, I thought it was great.

What I Blogged: 

I'm keeping up with a semi-normal schedule lately. I haven't been posting twice a week anymore, but I have been posting once a week so I wouldn't say I'm in a slump. My favourite post would have to be my review on Love and Gelato. That was a fun rant to go on.

Favourite Blog Posts of the Month:

Veronika shares Classics she will Conquer this Fall 
Cee discusses Book Censorship

Life Stuff: 

Ok, so where do I begin? September 2nd brought FanExpo, aka the happiest day of my life. I was surrounded by geek-central, and I was so amazed by the cosplayers, the merch, and of course, meeting my favourite celebrities. I met Gaten Matarazzo from Stranger Things and Bob Morley from The 100. Both of them were so nice and I swear Bob is the sweetest person ever. He has genuine conversations with each person he met and he gave everyone a hug. I am still giddy about it.

I also went to the Stranger Things panel, and I swear, those boys are so funny!!! They had the entire room cracking up and they have so much energy, it's contagious. They were great.

I bought a GoT Lannister notebook from the event, which I have already put to good use. There were so many amazing things to choose from that I literally wanted to buy one of everything!! Overall, I was pretty nervous for FanExpo and extremely bummed that the main guy I wanted to go see, James Marsters, cancelled 2 days before the con, but I had the best time and am definitely going to go next year. It was worth every penny.

So that day was great, and then literally the next day, I was shipped off to uni! I spent the entire day in a shriveled up mess, because I had to be really sociable that night for Frosh week kickoff. I met some people who I spent the night with, but honestly, we had little in common and they were a lot more extroverted then I am. I was pretty uncomfortable the entire night.

Now for a partially sad storytime...

So by day 3 of uni I had realized that I hadn't really made any new friends, so I decided to bite the bullet and text the girls I had hung out with on the first night if they wanted to hang out. They said sure, and that they would great ready and would meet me at a place. Well I waited at that place for 3 HOURS and they didn't show. I waited for so long because I was quite honestly afraid to text them telling them to hurry up. So I finally did, and they responded saying that they had forgotten about me and had already gone out somewhere else, but that I could tag along if I wanted. So, I replied with a polite no thank-you, because sometimes I am just too nice, and facetimed my cousin and sister in tears for the rest of the night. Fun day!!!

The days after that I buried myself in work and just focused on my readings. I realized that first and foremost, I am here for an education and that I should put my energy into that instead of in people not worth my time. And so that brings us to today.

Currently, I'm feeling happy. I am on top of my work and enjoying my courses. They are hard, and I spend 5 hours everyday doing work, but I know that if I slack off, it will just get worse. I have talked and started warming up to a few other English majors in my classes, and so maybe a friendship will spring out of that, but honestly, I don't mind if I just make a lot of acquaintances. I've joined the creative writing club and have talked to some like-minded people there as well, and I've been having a lot of fun at meetings. I've got friends outside of school, and really, I'm just going to that place to get my degree. I could care less about parties, or homecoming, or being part of "the uni experience." And I think that's ok.

*deep breath* How was your September?

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Love and Gelato by: Jenna Evans Welch

Genre: YA Fiction, Contemporary
Published: May 3rd, 2016 by: Simon Pulse
Pages: 389
Rating: 1/5 stars

Lina's mother's dying wish was for her daughter to travel to Tuscany and finally meet her father, a man who was only mysteriously recorded in her notebook all her life. Now Lina is being whisked away for the summer, to live with a man who should have been there when he wasn't. But when Lina is given the notebook her mother kept, she begins unravelling secrets she never knew, and discovering a part of Tuscany out of a fairytale. And when the charming Ren comes into her life, Lina steps into her own fairytale as well.

Say it with me, folks: garlic bread and meatballs are not Italian. If my Nona had gotten a hold of this book, it would annoy her and my dad's entire family at the stuff in this book that was supposed to portray Italian culture. I don't know what Tuscany this author went to, but it was not what anyone I know experienced.

I think the main thing that pissed me off in this book was just the lack of research that went into Italian culture. If you wanna write a book set in another country, at least make it authentic and not an American portrayal of what Italian is. Seriously, everytime these people had dinner it looked like a scene out of East Side Mario's. The red and white checkered tablecloth, the garlic bread, the spaghetti and meatballs, this is not how Italians eat!! It may be how Italian-Americans eat, but in Tuscany, it's a whole other story.

I also felt like the main character was extremely naive. I would imagine that her mother would at least tell her some things about Italian culture, but this girl goes in not even knowing what gelato or a pizza Margarita is. It was just the typical trope of a girl going into a new country acting like it's a completely different planet, when in reality, it's just common knowledge. Also, why did Lorenzo go by "Ren?" They couldn't even keep his Italian name in there.

It may seem like I'm being overly critical of this book, but it just annoys me when people don't get the culture right. There should be more research done into the traditions and customs of countries in YA books, because otherwise, you end up wasting your time like me. For more info, Cee made a great post on a similar issue in The Raven Cycle series, in regards to Welsh culture. I encourage you to read that post, because she obviously spoke a lot more eloquently than me: Why I'm Hesitant to Read the Raven Cycle

Have you read Love and Gelato? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

What I Would Do to Prepare Myself for a Book Convention

It has always been on my bucket list to attend a book convention. I've been to FanExpo, which was a great geeky convention, but I have yet to be in a room with strictly just every bookworm you could imagine. Every year when BEA and Bookcon comes around, I have to convince myself that booking a trip to NYC would be a waste of money and that I'll just have to wait for one closer to me. But, I have always planned my dream preparations for a book convention, and so this post will be highlighting that today.

I'm going to compile my list as if I were going to Love N. Vegas. Love N. Vegas is a, you guessed it, Vegas-based book convention happening this October 27-29 at Planet Hollywood! Tons of authors will be there such as Anna Todd, Adriana Locke, and BB Easton, and there will be signings, events, and so much more!! Now University has completely taken over my life and so I won't be leaving the country any time soon, but if you're interested, there are so many great hotel and flight deals on, so I would totally check it out. Las Vegas knows how to throw a party :D

So now, let's get into what I would bring:

1. A big purse. This is essential for any convention. I have a big leather backpack that I take anywhere were I'll be carrying a lot of stuff, because let's be honest, there's gonna be a ton of books to lug around.

2. WATER!! It's important to stay hydrated!! I have been to enough concerts to know that water can get expensive, so I refillable water bottle is always a great choice.

3. Lots and Lots of book merch. Seriously, if I went to a book convention, I would probably be decked out in every book-themed thing I own. My Harry Potter t-shirt, my wand, my fake Harry Potter glasses, anything.

4. Comfy shoes. I would definitely wear comfy shoes, and again, this goes for any long event. Unless something is extremely fancy, I go less for style and more for comfort with some running shoes.

5. Last but not least, this isn't a physical thing, but I would definitely prepare what I'm going to say when I meet my favourite author. The one time I went to a book signing, I just could not fathom what to say and sounded like a blubbering idiot. So, if you're easily star-struck like me, make sure to practice what you wanna say.

That's it! I really hope I'll get to go to a book convention soon, and if you have or intend to, let me know your tips and tricks!

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Mousetrap by: Agatha Christie

Genre: Play, Mystery
Published: 1952
Pages: 70
Rating: 5/5 stars

In Christie's classic story that has turned into the world's longest running play, a group of strangers are snowed in a historical mansion while a detective investigates which one of them is connected to a mysterious murder that happened earlier in the day.

I had to read this play for my horror and mystery lit class, and I was really into it! It was the first Christie play I had ever read, so I was incredibly impressed by her plot twists, her characters, and the way she really plays up the suspense.

I love the idea that the ending to this book is a sworn secret. When people see the play, they are told not to reveal who the killer is to the public, so everyone gets to experience it for themselves. I kept guessing and guessing as the story went on, but I never knew until the very end, and I was really shocked when I found out! Christie has such talent in making everything come full circle in the end.

Christie also creates amazing characters. Each one has such detailed, specific traits that could make any one of them the suspect, which makes the guessing game even harder. Every character was well-rounded and three-dimensional, and I loved every one of them.

I don't think this will be my last Agatha Christie play I read. I don't get into mystery all that often, so when I do, I am often left so amazed by the author's ability to deter you from the actual suspect. Christie is a classic author of mystery and she definitely is the best at it, so I think I will be steering my direction into her books in the future.

Have you read The Mousetrap? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boy's #3) by: Jenny Han

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: May 2, 2017 by: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 325
Rating: 5/5 stars

It's senior year for Lara Jean, and life couldn't be more perfect. Her and Peter's relationship is flourishing, and fueled by class trips to NYC, glamorous prom, and her optimism when it comes to college applications. Her father and Ms. Rothschild are also getting married, throwing Lara Jean into wedding planning mode. Love is in the air, until Lara Jean receives news that throws her entire life off balance. Suddenly, she must resort to plan B, and it could change her and Peter's relationship forever.

I am so sad to be letting go of this series :((( This book series was my feel-good, my pick-me-up, my ultimate fluffy books. I could always guarantee that I would enjoy picking up Lara Jean's story, which is why it was really upsetting to me for it to end. Still though, I guess I have the movie to look forward to, and although I'm kinda underwhelmed with the cast, I'm sure I'll get a lot of re-reads out of the books to keep me going.

This book was the perfect conclusion. As usual with this series, I can kinda predict all that was gonna happen, but I never really care with books as sweet and fluffy as these. I was really scared for Lara Jean and Peter to go through some drastic changes in this book, but I could not be happier with how everything turned out and where everyone ended up in their lives. All my ships took flight, and that was good enough for me.

I saw a more mature side to Lara Jean, which I loved. She was confident in her decisions and she knew what she wanted. She wasn't fawning over every little thing now, she was so cool and collected, and very driven. Her character reached its peak.

Jenny Han never fails with me. I wanna thank her so much for creating such lovable characters and a really great story, because sometimes these books were all I needed after a bad day.

Have you read Always and Forever,  Lara Jean? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 1 September 2017

Month in Review: August

As I type this, I am becoming a nervous wreck at the thought of going to University :( In less than a week, I will be all moved in, and navigating a task I have never had good luck with in the past: making friends. Please send happy thoughts my way.

What I Read: 

In August, I really got back on track with my reading!!

Saints and Misfits by: S.K. Ali: 4/5 stars
Geekerella by: Ashley Poston: 2/5 stars
The Star-Touched Queen by: Roshani Chokshi: 3/5 stars
We Are the Ants by: Shaun David Hutchinson: 4/5 stars
When We Collided by: Emery Lord: 5/5 stars
The Lost Hero by: Rick Riordan: 4/5 stars

Favourite Book: The clear winner was When We Collided!! It had such good mental health rep and really was a harrowing story.

What I Blogged: 

I really enjoyed getting back into writing blog posts this month! I loved my review of When Dimple Met Rishi, and it seemed to generate a lot of comments as well, which was very much appreciated.

Favourite Blog Posts of the Month: 

Cee shares some views on Education 

Ruzaika explains why we should totally read The Upside of Unrequited 

Geraldine does the Around the World Book Tag

Life Stuff: 

This month was the month of moving. My entire room was taken down and packed into a big truck for university. I feel very out of place and I'm not really enjoying the changes at all, but luckily I did have some other things this month to keep my mind off of it.

For starters, my mom's cousins celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary with a huge party! A lot of my cousins from England came and it was like a huge family reunion. The main thing that I was excited about was getting to get all dolled up in Pakistani and Indian wear. My family rarely ever wears lehengas, saris, or even henna tattoos, and I feel like that night we really embraced the culture and I felt really beautiful :) Here are some photos:

The second thing that really lifted my mood was seeing Coldplay in concert. They are one of my favourite bands and I can honestly say that was one of the best shows I've ever been to. The colours, the lighting, the confetti, everything was just so beautiful.

Now pretty much the only thing I have left to look forward to is Fan Expo on the 2nd. Then literally the next day, I am being whisked off to the next chapter of my life. And I could not be more terrified.

How was your August?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The Around the World Book Tag!

Thank you so much to Geraldine @ Corralling Books for tagging me! I love to travel, so I knew I had to give this tag a go :)

1. Sailing Across the Seas- A Book about Travelling (bonus points if it's across a sea!)

My experience: I don't think I've ever sailed across the sea before, but I have taken a short ferry boat across the Mediterranean before, and the islands surrounding it were beautiful!

My book: The Blood of Olympus by: Rick Riordan has a large chunk on a boat, so that's my choice!

2. Fine Dining- A book with amazing descriptions of food

My experience: The best meal I ever had while travelling was tempura-fried tofu in Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario! Now this isn't exactly a journey to get to, but it was part of my vacation so I'm counting it ;)

My book: Obviously The Wrath and the Dawn by: Renee Adhieh! That book's descriptions of food are mouthwatering.

3. From Motels to Hotels: A Book with an Unexpected Surprise

My experience: My family and I once stayed in a hotel in Rome that was off the charts gorgeous! It had beautiful columns, a huge courtyard and gardens, and literally looked like a Roman temple. It was incredible!

My book: The Host by: Stephenie Meyer. I did not have high hopes for this book at all because of my distaste for the Twilight books, but the plot was so complex and the characters were out of this world amazing!!

4. Miscommunication: A Book that's Hard to Understand

My experience: German was a really hard language to grasp when we were away. Luckily my mom's cousin lives in Germany and really helped us with the translations, but on our own, we really relied on hand signals to get our message across.

My book: The Love that Split the World by: Emily Henry. I can't really explain this book. I was so lost and honestly there's nothing else to it.

5. Sightseeing: A Book you picked up because it's really popular

My experience: When we went to see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, we could hardly even move without hitting someone else. It is probably the most famous piece of artwork ever, so it was a literal must-see.

My book: Geekerella by: Ashley Poston was everywhere around the blogosphere!! I have to say though, I was disappointed.

6. Dealing with the Desert: A book that was so addicting that you could have gone days without water just to finish it

My experience: I've never been to the desert, but I have been to Sicily which is basically the same thing. It is so hot and dry there that everything looks tan and brown. Kinda unbearable.

My book: An Ember in the Ashes by: Sabaa Tahir!! I honestly finished this book in one sitting.

7. Journey through the Jungle: A book that was hard to navigate through

My experience: Never been to the jungle! But I am an animal lover so I would love to visit one day.

My book: I really could not get through Me Earl and the Dying Girl by: Jesse Andrews. It was just, meh.

8. Holiday House in the Hamptons: A book you can always revisit

My experience: My family has a house in Niagara-on-the-lake that we always visit in the summer!

My book: The Outsiders. And I have talked about this book way too much in the past to give an explanation.

9. Souvenirs: A book you would give as a gift to a friend

My experience: Whenever a friend of mine travels to a place with a volcano, she brings me back a lava rock! I just think that's so cool.

My book: A Monster Calls by: Patrick Ness. I would give this book to anyone and everyone.

10. There's No Place Like Home: A book that always makes you feel at home

My experience: No matter where life takes me, Toronto will always be my home. It's a little sad since I've moved away for university, but I have so much love for that city.

My book: The Percy Jackson series!! This was the first series I took with me to University, and I will always love it.

That's it!! I'm tagging anyone interested :)

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

When Dimple Met Rishi by: Sandhya Menon

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: May 30, 2017 by: Simon Pulse
Pages: 380
Rating: 4/5 stars

Dimple Shah is ready to have the perfect summer: travelling to a highly-coveted convention for aspiring web-developers,the change to meet her absolute idol at said convention, and most importantly, away from her nagging mother who is insistent on finding her "the ideal Indian husband." But all this takes an unexpected turn when she meets Rishi Patel at the same convention, and he claims to be her arranged husband. While Dimple is upset with her parents for arranging their meeting, Rishi is excited at the chance to know Rishi, and believes that holding onto tradition is important. While their opinions clash, love will still manage to find its way in.

I was so happy to get my hands on this book! Everyone in the book community had been talking about it, and I thought it would be really cool to read such a diverse love story, rich in Indian culture and also with themes such as arranged marriages weaved in.

I like to think that I know a decent bit of Indian culture. My family is from Pakistan, and a lot of the traditions are quite similar, including that of arranged marriages. I feel like the perception of arranged marriages is always perceived to be quite negative in Western culture, which is why I think that this book did great in bringing both sides of the issue to the table. Dimple is strong-willed and independent, and Rishi is a traditionalist, and they find a way to make it both work. I really appreciated that.

I loved how this book had humor, romance, and also strong women doing great things in the world of tech. Dimple Shah could be a real girl hoping to do something good in the world with her talents, and I thought that was so bad ass.

The one issue I had with this book is that I thought it was a bit too long. For the storyline and how everything was going, things seemed to drag on longer than they should have and so I sometimes lost interest. It just needed to be shorter, that's all.

Overall, if you like Bollywood references, strong females, and a great love story, you will love this book.

Have you read When Dimple Met Rishi? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 18 August 2017

The Handmaid's Tale by: Margaret Atwood

Genre: Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Published: March 16, 1998 by: Anchor Books
Pages: 311
Rating: 5/5 stars

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. Her sole duty is to bear children for her Commander and his infertile wife. She is not allowed to leave the house unless instructed, she is not allowed to read, and most importantly, she is not allowed to to poison herself with birth control and abortion, methods that are what led the world to have to be cleansed by the Gilead in the first place. Offred had a life beforehand, but that doesn't matter now. She is sworn to serve her Commander for the rest of her fertile life, or she might risk being sent to The Colonies.

I knew I had to pick up this book after being completely engrossed in the tv show. I don't know what possessed me to start watching, but I was so into it that reading the book after the season ended seemed inevitable, Now I have had problems with Atwood in the past, but this book surely redeemed herself for me and gave me a message so powerful and so scarily relevant to today.

Offred's life sucks. Her and all the other Handmaids are bound by the radical Christian group, the Gilead, who took over the formerly known United States and made it impossible for women to have any rights. Seem familiar? It's really telling that this book was sort of resurrected during this day and age, because women are going through such similar issues in the US right now when it comes to rights for birth control and reproductive health. Now obviously the US is not nearly as harsh as the Gilead, but what I find amazing is that the handmaid has become sort of a symbol now to women of feminism.

I loved this story. I thought it was shocking, twisted, and disturbing, but I could not put it down as I just needed to know what happened next. I do think Atwood wrote this as a cautionary tale, and rightfully so. I think this is a book that every woman should read if they need some inspiration to go out there and stand up to the patriarchy.

Have you read The Handmaid's Tale? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Blogival 2017: Q&A with Joe Treasure!

Hey everyone! I am so excited to be partaking in Clink Street Publishing's 2nd Annual Summer Blogival! All month long you can check out amazing content from other bloggers, as we feature exclusive interviews, reviews and highlight some incredible books! Today, I will be conducting a Q&A session with Clink Street author Joe Treasure, author of the literary fiction novel The Book of Air

About The Book of Air:

Retreating from an airborne virus with a uniquely unsettling symptom, property developer Jason escapes London for his country estate, where he is forced to negotiate a new way of living with an assortment of fellow survivors.

Far in the future, an isolated community of descendants continue to farm this same estate. Among their most treasured possessions are a few books, including a copy of Jane Eyre, from which they have constructed their hierarchies, rituals and beliefs. When 15-year-old Agnes begins to record the events of her life, she has no idea what consequences will follow. Locked away for her transgressions, she escapes to the urban ruins and a kind of freedom, but must decide where her future lies.

These two stories interweave, illuminating each other in unexpected ways and offering long vistas of loss, regeneration and wonder.

The Book of Air is a story of survival, the shaping of memory and the enduring impulse to find meaning in a turbulent world.

*synopsis taken from Goodreads


1.  In the Book of Air, Agnes’ society is constructed based on Jane Eyre. This is such an unique concept! Why did you choose that specific book, and what does it mean to you?

I do love that book. But I also love the idea of people reading it in a completely different way from me, not even understanding that it’s a work of fiction designed for pleasure, but scrutinizing it for guidance on how to live.  At the same time, I thought these villagers living a very basic life in the future would be baffled by most fiction, but would understand Jane’s world. Rochester’s mad wife is locked in a room in the house. When Jane runs away from Rochester’s house she nearly starves to death on the moor. These things would make sense to them.   

2.  Besides Jane Eyre, what would be your “Book of Air,” a book you would base your rituals and beliefs on?

Luckily I don’t have to choose, because I’m fortunate enough to live in a society that doesn’t put limits on what I can read. But if I had to, and if it was going to be a novel, I’d go for something that more broadly and more consciously considers the values people should live by, such as Middlemarch.

3.  Post-plague/apocalyptic societies are very popular settings for books nowadays. Why did you choose this setting for your novel and what themes did you want to present?

When I write fiction, I don’t always know why I make decisions of this kind. Themes emerge often without my conscious control. Taking a leap into the future allowed me an extra dimension of freedom as a story-teller. I wanted to imagine a society organized differently from ours, living by very different rules. I can see, now that the book is finished, that I was interested in people’s ability to give their lives meaning even in the darkest circumstances, in the impulse to create communities, and in what makes a community a source of harm or of healing.  

4.  Who would you rather be, Jason, a survivor with memories of past life, or Agnes, born after and living in a world where The Book of Air is all she knows?

I’m so much closer to Jason in age and life experience than I am to Agnes. And it’s hard to imagine myself growing up in Agnes’s world. On the other hand, Jason experiences almost unbearable losses. For Agnes, because she’s young and has begun to question the certainties that have been instilled in her from birth, life is full of unimagined possibilities. I would have to choose Agnes.

5.  What themes or beliefs from Agnes’ world do you think we could use in our world today?

The belief system Agnes shares with the other villagers is strange and unduly restrictive, rooted in a misreading of Jane Eyre. But their ability to live simply is admirable. They live a sustainable life in harmony with their environment. Perhaps that’s something we could learn from.  

6.  What inspired you to be a writer? I read in your biography that you first excelled in music and arts, and then won a place to read English. Do you think your background in the arts helped you craft words?

I was inspired to write by the pleasure I’ve always found in reading. I’m sure my art and music have helped me, even more than studying English. I’m aware of the music of sentences and paragraphs and of the rhythm of dialogue. Everything I write I read aloud to hear the sound it makes. At the same time I think I’m quite a visual writer. When I’m writing a scene, I like to know where it’s taking place, what the weather is doing, where the light is coming from.

7.  Lastly, what advice would you give to other aspiring writers, specifically those who want to go into more literary fiction?

Be ambitious for your writing more than for your career. The vast majority of writers are neglected and overlooked, even those whose books are published. The drive to write for its own sake must come first. Then find people you can trust to share your work with. Other aspiring writers are often best, because they’ll understand what you’re struggling with, and because you can reciprocate. Be open to whatever criticism they offer, however clumsily expressed. You can always ignore it if it doesn’t help, but first ask yourself honestly if it rings true. As long as the criticism is meant to help and not to wound (free-floating hostility being possible in any human interaction) be grateful for it. If you react defensively, your critics will pull back and limit themselves to offering bland encouragement. Above all, keep writing, and follow where the writing wants to go. Don’t limit yourself with conscious preconceptions of what the end product should look like.
Go check out this fabulous book! It will change your perception on how we view our favourite pieces of literature, and how they can influence the world. 
About Joe Treasure: 
Joe Treasure currently lives in South West London with his wife Leni Wildflower. As an English teacher in Wales, he ran an innovative drama programme, before following Leni across the pond to Los Angeles, an experience that inspired his critically acclaimed debut novel The Male Gaze (published by Picador). His second novel Besotted (also published by Picador) also met with rave reviews.
That's it for me! Use the #blogival to check out the other posts going up this month! 

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Talking as Fast as I Can by: Lauren Graham

Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir
Published: November 29, 2016 by: Ballantine Books
Pages: 209
Rating: 5/5 stars

Follow Lauren Graham through her childhood, first jobs, and rise to fame in beloved shows Gilmore Girls and Parenthood in these collection of personal essays. Lauren shares witty humour, reviews Gilmore Girls' coveted seven seasons, and shares thoughts on the revival everyone was talking about. In this memoir, Lorelai Gilmore is back to reflect on just how much the show has meant to her.

This memoir was like the warm hug I needed after watching the Gilmore Girls revival! I can't say you'll love this book if you're unfamiliar with Lauren Graham or Gilmore Girls, but for me I was completely fangirling and laughing over Lauren's heartwarming stories and reflections on the show. It gave me (some) of the closure I needed after that dreadful Fall episode.

I loved how it literally felt like Lorelai Gilmore was talking to me throughout this book. Her fast-paced sentences, witty humour and heartwarming stories were so adorable and made me fangirling hard! She had such nice things to say about Gilmore Girls and all the cast and I love her little anecdotes.

I loved how this book was very Gilmore-girl oriented. I thought it would be a mix of a number of things. but the fact that it was gilmore-centric was awesome! There were stories from filming, funny banter, and she even reviewed each season of the show! I felt like I was being let in on behind the scenes secrets never before shared!

Overall, if you're a Gilmore Girls fan, you will love this book. It's hilarious and adorable, and written by our favourite female tv star. Lauren Graham will always be Lorelai Gilmore.

Have you read Talking as Fast as I Can? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Month in Review: July

I am slowly but surely making my way back to my normal schedule! Hey everyone, I feel like we haven't talked properly in a while since I've been on vacation. But I am back and looking to be more active! Here's all about my crazy July vacation!

What I Read:

The Outsiders by: S.E. Hinton
Rumble Fish by: S.E. Hinton

Wow, a whopping two books! You'd think I'd have more time to read while away but I actually barely had time to do anything so: meh. Hopefully I'll be able to pick up a book again soon!

What I Blogged:

I had scheduled a few posts while I was away, and my favourite was on When Books Turn into TV Shows. It was good to get some things off my chest.

Favourite Blog Posts:

I feel like I didn't nearly read enough blog posts from others while I was away, which really sucks because I hate being inactive :( I'm really sorry, but I promise to be more active comments-wise soon!

Life Stuff:

I'm gonna try and keep things short and sweet, with a few pictures sprinkled in here and there! If you didn't know, my family and I went to Europe for 3 weeks. We started off in London, where we were caught up in London Pride and it was all really exciting! But my favourite highlight of London was seeing Les Miz on the West End. That musical means so much to me and it was an incredible show!

Then we went to Ghent, Belgium. There was this breathtaking Medieval castle there with a ton of weapons and actual torture instruments inside! I nerded out big time.

Next came Amsterdam. I think it's a fascinating city considering the fact that literally everything is legal there. Their red-light district was also interesting to see because they are so positive about sex and prostitution. They shed a different light on such a controversial issue.

We found the infamous Fault in our Stars bench!!!

We also saw the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam which was one of the most harrowing things ever. My mother actually started crying when we got into the room with her original diary in it. On the wall, was a quote from her wanting to be a writer. That really hit close to home.

The only picture I took of her house. I was too emotionally invested to get out my phone other than outside. 

Next we went to Germany! The history of Berlin was soooo cool, especially the things involving the Cold War. They actually have a cobblestone strip all across the city that marks where the Berlin wall stood.

We visited another castle outside of Berlin. It was gorgeous! 

Prague was one of my favourite cities to visit. The history involving that city was breathtaking, especially with all that happened during The Reformation. The coolest fact I learnt was that the lights all across the infamous castle in the city were bought by Mick Jagger, who was so taken by the castle that he wanted it to be seen at night!

Our last country was Italy. We went to the beach, but most of the time was spent in my dad's hometown visiting family and friends. We have a lot of memories in that place.

And... now I'm home! I had an amazing time away but I am happy to be back on home soil and getting everything in order for uni in the fall. Now, the stress begins!

How was your July?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Saturday, 29 July 2017

3 Years...

I can't believe it has been three years since I started blogging! It's been a world wind and I feel like I've grown better with each passing year. Time flies when you're having fun :)

My Accomplishments:

This year, I exceeded 28k pageviews, 227 followers on Twitter and have met so many amazing bloggers! I have written more than ever before and am looking forward to finally getting some WIP's off the ground. I have learnt so much about my passion this year :)

The Thank You's:

I'll try not to ramble on here but you all know how much you mean to me:

Cee, you are still my bestest blog buddy and I consider you like a big-sister. Your posts are passionate, informative, and always teach me something new. Thank you for being supportive, kind, and always willing to stand up for what you believe in.

Ruzaika and Veronika, you girls have been here since the beginning! I love how you two always leave the loveliest comments and always make me feel so good about my posts. I love your blog to bits and I hope we can remain blog buddies for many years to come :)

Lais, you are the sweetest human being ever! You always say such nice things and we have definitely grown closer over this past year. Keep putting out the most amazing posts!

Anna, my twitter buddy! Our weekly chats are always something I look forward to and even though we have never met in real life, I feel like you're my bestie. I can talk to you about anything, and I'm so grateful for that :)

Also, immense thank yous go out to Denise, Amy, Brooklyn, Uma, Charlotte and Zoe, for being amazing blog buddies, some old and some new, and I love communicating with you all :)

Another year has past! The next one will be a lot different, but I hope I can keep up blogging and that you will all still be there with me. I love you all :)

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 28 July 2017

Paperback's Pondering's: When a Book Becomes a TV Show, All Hell Breaks Loose

Fasten your seatbelts folks because it's ranting time! Well, not totally, but I'm going to be talking about an issue that I have taken two sides on. It's one thing when a book becomes a movie, but when it becomes a tv show, well that's just a whole other story.

I'm sure you and everyone you know have heard of Thirteen Reasons Why. Most bookworms know that it was a book first, but other die-hard fans of the show seem to forget that. When the show came out, I watched it, and I was really disappointed on how it all pulled together. To me, it seemed to completely throw away the message of the book, a message I thought was quite clear when I read it, and everything turned into a huge debate. Now I'm not here to talk about the content, there's plenty of articles you can read about why this show is harmful, but I'm here to simply ask the question why the producers are turning the show into a money grab?

The show sucked regardless, but now we're getting a new season. It ended where the book ended, so why are the writers of the show now further corrupting something that wasn't their original story? The whole point of books is that the ending is supposed to draw everything to a close, but now with the show, we're open to more debate, more dumb secondary storylines, and more room for them to screw up what used to be a good story. At least in movies, they typically end when the book ended, but who knows how long this show will be going on from now on?

On the other hand though, there was one show that ended where the book ended, but I cannot wait to see what happens next in season two. The Handmaid's Tale rose even above the book to create such a powerful storyline, and I enjoyed every minute of the show. When it ended, I was dying for more episodes. So I'm stuck in two minds over being completely against tv adaptions adding more seasons, and waiting patiently for another one?

In most cases, I don't like it when tv adaptions corrupt the story of the book. It almost always turns out bad, but The Handmaid's Tale was an exception. We all know we get very overprotective of our stories, so when they become hyped by another medium, all hell breaks loose.

What do you think about tv adaptions adding more seasons to a finished book storyline?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Half Blood (Covenant #1) by: Jennifer Armentrout

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: October 18, 2011 by: Spencer Hill Press
Pages: 281
Rating: 1/5 stars

Descendants of Hematoi fall into two categories: pure bloods, carry god-like powers like their two parents, and half-bloods, born to fight in battle, but not as powerful as the pure. Relationships between pure and half-bloods are strictly forbidden. Alexandria is a half-blood training at The Covenant to become a Sentinel, and she has a huge crush on Aiden, a pure-blood. But their relationship could put them both in grave danger, and threaten Alexandria's future.

I was extremely misguided by this book. It fell under the category of Greek mythology, so I was so pumped to read another YA adaption on one of my hugest interests. However what I got here, was absolutely no Greek mythology whatsoever and such a boring  plot.

I wanted to like this, I really did. So many of my blog buddies have raved about this book, and I was ready for some mythology that I thought I would enjoy. However there was little to no Greek mythology, nothing was was really recognizable to me at least, and instead so many fantasy elements that I found quite boring and unoriginal. I just had no connection to this book whatsoever :(

The plot went way over my head. I could care less about any of the characters, and was more focused on getting it done than actually being invested. I should have dnf'ed this when I could, because it just wasted so much of my time and was such a huge disappointment.

Maybe if you like more traditional fantasy, you would like this. But for me, mythological stuff is what I'm looking for and I just did not get that. And it's really quite a shame :(

Have you read Half-Blood? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 10 July 2017

The Rainbow Player by: David Kerby- Kendall Blog Tour!

Genre: YA Fiction, Contemporary
Published: June 20, 2017 by: Whitely Publishing
Pages: 292

I'm happy to be partaking in the Blog Tour for The Rainbow Player by: David Kerby-Kendall! Here is the synopsis from goodreads:

England footballer, Sammy Hatchington, has never considered sexuality before. As a teenager, Sammy broke the mould of his youthful peers with his desire to open the door to life's endless possibilities. He escaped a deprived estate and, with the help of Old Thomas, his surrogate father, Davey, his soul-mate, and Gran, the connoisseur of footballer's bottoms, launched himself on a path toward his personal and professional goals. Now, several years later, he must make a decision that could destroy everything he has fought for, and create a furious media frenzy.........

David Kerby-Kendall's joyous and witty novel challenges preconceptions about professional sportsmen and love, and is also a delightful and moving story of a young man's journey to self-knowledge.

The Rainbow Player was a harrowing novel about something I hadn't read about before, and that is LGBT people in sport! The author decided to highlight this in the theme of English football, I sport that I am unfamiliar with, but seemed very familiar to him. This book seemed very British, and had a lot of terms and banter that I think my English blog buddies would love. 

Pick up The Rainbow Player if you are into learning more about the trials and tribulations of LGBT+ issues in sport. It is a theme I think that is not commonly highlighted in YA, but is all the more important. 

You can buy the book here: The Rainbow Player

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's #2) by: Ransom Riggs

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: February 24, 2015 by: Quirk Books
Pages: 428
Rating: 4/5 stars

Fresh from their escape off of Miss Peregrine's island, Jacob and his group of peculiars set sail for London. There, they meet even more peculiar people than ever before, and make new friends, new enemies, all while trying to figure out just how to turn Miss Peregrine back from bird, to human form. A new journey is on the way for Jacob and his band of misfits.

I just love how Ransom Riggs writes. (That was some consonance right there!) The tone that he takes in these novels, followed up by his series of mystical photographs, makes this such a unique fantasy read and sets it apart from others. This is pretty much the only fantasy series I can keep up with, to be honest.

I love, love, love how Riggs weaves a ton of fantasy elements into this series. There's some traditional fantasy, some folklore, some supernatural elements, and even magic realism! It makes this book take on an incredible atmosphere and helps you to be transported to another world. I have little to no patience for most fantasies, but this series has somehow stuck with me.

The characters came back better than ever. I fell in love with these children in the first book, their curiosities and different traits were so capivating, and Jacob is such a great leader. In this particuklar novel, he took on such a leadership role and he is such a sweetheart.

I think the only thing I didn't like about this book was that action-wise, the first book was better. This one was more about the journey and about picking up the pieces from the happenings of the first book, which made it slower and less of a page-flipper. However I'm looking forward to more action in the next book and I hope these poor kids get a break!

Have you read Hollow City? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 30 June 2017

Month in Review: June- Changes Are Coming!

If you're reading this, I graduate high school today! I'm so happy to be done with 4 years of stress and am ready to start 4 more years of stress! But in all reality, I am looking forward to a new start in university.

What I Read:

The Mousetrap by: Agatha Christie: 4/5 stars
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by: Jenny Han: 5/5 stars
When Dimple Met Rishi by: Sandhya Menon: 5/5 stars
Death of a Salesman by: Arthur Miller: 4/5 stars
The Book of Air by: Joe Treasure: 4/5 stars
The Handmaid's Tale by: Margret Atwood: 5/5 stars
Alex and Eliza by: Melissa De la Cruz: 4.5/5 stars

Favourite book: Always and Forever Lara Jean!!! I'm so upset that my favourite contemporary series is coming to a close and I know I will always turn back to it when I'm feeling down :((((

What I Blogged:

My favourite blog post this month was probably my review of The Virgin Suicides. I enjoyed ranting about the dangers of this book and I was happy to get out a lot of the disgusted feelings I had.

Favourite Blog Posts:

Ruzaika rants about How to Write a Problematic Book 
Charlotte talks about Compulsive Skin Picking 
Kate re-reads The Book Thief

Life Stuff:

Well, I had exams, and I survived four years of high school. It's kinda bittersweet because I don't typically enjoy change, but I do think I wasted away my high school years worrying too much about little things, and I really want to start fresh in university. How easy that'll be, I have no idea.

There are some changes coming to the blog for the next couple of months. All of July I'm going on vacation to Europe, so I will be limiting my posting to one post a week. My apologies if I'm kinda distant on commenting or on Twitter, or if I miss a week of posting, but I'll try to update when I can. I also won't be doing a July month in review, so August and July will probably be combined.

Speaking of August, I'm not sure how much I'll be posting then either. I have a lot of things going on that month as well, such as my driving exam that HOPEFULLY I will pass, as well as other things. If I miss a week of posting, again, please don't be alarmed.

I don't know what September will bring. Moving into university and my first semester of my first year could go very bad or very good, but I hope I can keep this blog up during my University years. I will try my best, and I'm sure I'll be able to pull through. This is gonna be a crazy journey :)

All this being said, how was your month? Are you guys done school?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

A Study in Charlotte by: Britney Cavallaro

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Mystery
Published: March 1, 2016 by: Katherine Tegan Books
Pages: 321
Rating: 2/5 stars

Jamie Watson does not want to be at the prestigious Sherrington prep school, and he most certainly does not want to associate himself with Charlotte Holmes, also known as Sherlock Holmes' great-great-great granddaughter. When a fellow student is killed and Watson and Holmes are framed, Watson must join forces with the cunning girl he clashed with so that she can clear their names, and protect them from any danger that may be lurking.

All I can say about this book is: meh? Sherlock has never really interested me, but I thought a YA retelling with a female Holmes would be a lot more to my taste. I can say that this book still left me underwhelmed, and quite unattached. It seemed like I was reading the words, but not comprehending the story whatsoever.

I will say that I liked the characters in this book. I thought Holmes was a great protagonist, cunning an intelligent, and Watson was witty and adorable. I enjoyed their banter and thought it was a great addition to the otherwise quite boring plot.

I guess I wanted more action from this book? There was some, obviously it is a mystery, but nothing really got the book going for me and made me want to keep flipping. In the simplest of terms, I was bored from beginning to end and honestly didn't feel like I grasped any of the story. If you asked me to recite the plot back to you, I don't think I could. I didn't retain much from this.

Overall, if you liked Sherlock Holmes maybe you'd enjoy this more than I did. I think it's more suited towards hardcore mystery lovers, and people who have read Holmes before. For me, it missed the mark.

Have you read A Study in Charlotte? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 23 June 2017

The Song of Achilles by: Madeline Miller

Genre: Mythological Fiction, Romance
Published: September 20, 2011 by: Bloomsbury
Pages: 352
Rating: 5/5 stars

Everyone knows the myth of the Trojan war, and the infamous story of Achilles, a remarkable hero tragically killed for having one weakness, and Patroclus, an exiled prince and his noble friend. But what if Achilles and Patroclus were more than friends? In this retelling, Achilles and Patroclus develop a relationship much deeper than friends, but their fates could prove that not everyone gets a happy ending.

CAN I JUST SAY THAT THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING I COULD EVER WANT IN A NOVEL?! Ya'll know how much of a Greek mythology nerd I am. and believe me, I have watched the Brad Pitt version of Troy, in which Patroclus is his cousin, more times than I can count. I have been waiting and waiting to get my hands on this book, and when I finally got it, I finished it in one sitting. That may have something to do with the fact that I was horribly ill and bed-ridden at the time, but in between violent coughs, I was trying not to cry tears of  joy while reading this.

Let me start off by saying that I think the Trojan War could have happened. I've read a lot of articles on it, and while there's no proof that Achilles was as godly as he was, if he actually existed, him and Patroclus were 100% lovers, I have no doubt about that. In Ancient Greece, homosexuality was actually quite common as it was said to improve "masculinity" in soldiers. I just love that Miller wrote this story as it confirms a lot of historian's suspicions and finally portrays Achilles as being more than a womanizing straight dude.

I love Patroclus with all my heart. He's such a cute little awkward guy but his heart is so huge and I just want to give him a hug. He deserved better :( I don't want to give too much of the ending away but if you're familiar with the Trojan War then you kinda know how the story goes. It wasn't much of a surprise, but I still love how Miller wrote it and her writing is out of this world, beautiful. It gave me inspiration for the Greek mythology retelling I keep telling myself I have to write.

Overall, if you're a mythology nerd, pick this up and please geek out with me! It was fabulous in every way possible :D

Have you read The Song of Achilles? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 19 June 2017

My Dream Reading Space!

Hey everyone! Today's post is going to be one that I've always wanted to do. I'm going to be highlighting my dream reading room, if I had all the possibilities to create a space however I'd like. Realistically I only have a small chair in the corner of my room, but it's fun to dream :) Here are all the things I'd want in my reading room!

I've included links of where I found all of these pieces. Most are from

First off, the walls would be painted an off-white, maybe a very light blue. I love the colour blue and my current bedroom is painted a very light blue, so I would definitely keep with that theme, and with lighter colours. I love this shade in "cloud."

Find it here

Next, a sofa! I love this grey one from Arhaus, because again, I'd like to keep the colour tones grey, blue and white.
Find it here
For more comfy sofas, visit Arhaus' main couches page!

I'd want to have a chair as well, because sometimes you want to be all snuggled in as well! I love this one from Arhaus as well: 

Find it here

I love accent tables to put some little knick knacks on, and this one with a design is so pretty!! 

Find it here

I love a good chandelier, and this one is so unique and sooo gorgeous!!! 

Find it here 
For more lighting, visit Arhaus' main lighting and fixtures page

For my rug, I'd go with a grey one. This one really suits me!! 

Find it here

For my print, it would have to be The Outsiders themed, because I've always wanted a poster of them hung up on my wall!! And it fits the scheme :) 

Find it here

Finally, the main and most important attraction would be the book shelf! I love this oak one as it's simple and adds a bit of brown to the room :) 

Find it here 

That's my dream reading room! What would be your reading room essentials? 

Emily @ Paperback Princess