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

Friday, 16 June 2017

The Virgin Suicides by: Jeffrey Eugenides

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: 2002 by: Bloomsbury
Pages: 250
Rating: 0/5 stars

This is the story of the Lisbon sisters, five girls shielded away from society by their over-protective parents. When one of the sisters commits suicide, the girls are never the same, and soon take their own lives in a suicide pact that nobody in the town can explain. Told from the perspective of the neighbourhood boys that were intrigued by the sisters, The Virgin Suicides is a tale of a mysterious family and their rebellious children.

What. The. Fuck. What even was this book? How can I even explain it? Oh, I know! It was a toxic, creepy, stupid book which such poor representation of suicide that I would even consider it dangerous. I don't know what the author was thinking in coming up with this story, because it completely justifies suicide and makes it such a shitty plot point.

I heard such raving reviews of this book, and at first I couldn't understand why, but soon answered my own question. This entire book is one big aesthetic. It's the stuff you would see on an angsty teen's Tumblr profile, all mysterious and haunting, and I can already imagine how many people have posted artsy photos of this book. But the truth is, that this book is neither haunting, nor artsy, nor breathtaking. It uses suicide as an aesthetic, as this graceful thing that these girls do in flowey white dresses, their hair billowing in the wind. It never once shows the dangers and harms of suicide, it, dare I say, shows it as being something good. AND THAT IS SO DANGEROUS.

What really pissed me off about this book is that we never ever learn why the girls did what they did. There is never any signs of mental illness, bullying, and there is no message at the end condemning suicide and being upset over what happened. Instead, the deaths are used as graceful plot points, something that everyone looks at as being chilling, but then just shrug their shoulders and move on with their lives. This book is sick and twisted and I don't even want to talk about it anymore.

If you are depressed or suicidal, please STAY CLEAR OF THIS BOOK and seek help by calling this number: 1 800 668 6868 You're worth more than a fancy aesthetic.

Have you read The Virgin Suicides? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The Hate U Give by: Angie Thomas

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: February 28, 2017 by: Balzer and Bray
Pages: 444
Rating: 5/5 stars

Starr Carter lives in two worlds: her tight-knit black community in which she lives, and her fancy, predominately white prep school. When Starr is the sole witness to her best friend Khalil's murder by a police officer, her two worlds have a lot different reactions to the event. Khalil's story becomes a headline, and while her community rallies around protesting his murder, others outside question his role as a gang banger, a drug dealer. Only Starr holds the answers to what happened that devastating night, but revealing the truth, could change her world forever.

If you've been living under a rock and haven't heard about this book yet, just know that you have to read it. This book tells the story of Black Lives Matter. It reveals the harsh truth of racism, stereotyping, and sadly, the epidemic of unarmed black teens being murdered for reasons I still can't seem to comprehend. This book deserves ever ounce of attention its gotten, and I have seen people talk about it that have never talked about YA books before. So if you're going to read one YA novel in your lifetime, make sure it's this one.

Obviously the main theme in this book is police brutality and Black Lives Matter, but I also love this book because it shows the core of a community coming together in times of crisis. You will fall in love with Starr's family, her parents are superheros and the family themes are honestly stronger than any other relationship in the book. Each character was perfect in their own way, and I especially loved Seven.

I also loved how Thomas really made the book relevant to the times. Not only with the theme, but with her references to pop culture. She really captured the voice of a sixteen-year old girl in 2017, and that was really special. I really felt as if I was reading a story that actually happened, which is sickening in a way, but also I'm happy that Thomas made this so realistic. She is shedding light on an issue that everybody and their cousins has an opinion on, but who we should really be listening to, are the people affected first. The black men and women who have had loved ones, husbands, fathers, brothers, taken from them, because they were reaching into a glove compartment, getting chocolate from the store, trying to live their lives. Black Lives Matter. There's really nothing else to that.

Have you read The Hate U Give? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 9 June 2017

Homegoing by: Yaa Gyasi

Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: June 7, 201 by: Knopf Books
Pages: 305
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

It all started with Effia and Esi in eighteenth century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman, and her half-sister Esi is trapped under her very home in the dungeons, ready to be shipped off to America in the booming slave trade. Homegoing will follow these two sisters journeys, from Ghana, to America, and will trace their descendants right up until present day. The two sisters had no idea about each other, but their offspring will unknowingly cross paths more times that once. And will eventually, make it back home.

I buddy-read this book with Denise @ Riot Grrl Reads and boy were we both blown away! There were a lot of tears shed, a lot of gasps, and a lot of vicious page turning. This book was so expertly crafted and such a unique tale that it's hard not to fall in love.

This book follows the generations of two girls. Each chapter tells a different story of someone along the lineage of Esi or Effia. What's incredible is that this book literally covers every important era of Black history, from the slave trade, to the civil war, to the great migration, to the jazz clubs of the 20's, all until now. It's hard to grasp the concept of such history that all traces back to two women, and that's what makes this story so interesting to be told. You never know where you're gonna go next.

I think this book is such an important Black history novel. There are of course, some harsh topics to deal with, but Gyasi keeps this book so real, so true to what some actually had to face. What I love is how she shows the ups and downs, that sometimes, it didn't get easier. She exposes a raw reality that unfortunately, some try to forget.

I think the only problem I had with this novel is that, with so many storylines over so many years, sometimes it was hard to track which person was from Esi or Effia's side. There is a family tree at the beginning of the book, but I found myself having to flip back to it way too much. But other than that, read this! Please, you won't forget it.

Have you read Homegoing? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The Night Circus by: Erin Morgenstern

Genre: Fiction, Magic realism
Published: October 6, 2016 by: Vintage Children's Classics
Pages: 656
Rating: 4/5 stars

The Circus of Dreams arrives without warning. It opens at night, closes at dawn, and the public are free to come and experience its dazzling wonders inside, but only for one night. You never know what you may find, once you step through that curtain.

This book is something that you really just have to experience for yourself. You think my description is vague? The one on goodreads is even vaguer. This book is a fantastical thrill-ride that has dazzling imagery and characters that you will not help but be enthralled in. But be cautious, because its twists and twirls can be hard to keep up with.

This book makes me want to write like the author. I've always had such a great appreciation for magic realism, it's a genre that I long to write one day but one that I've never quite grasped the concept of myself. So whenever an author does it well, it gives me some inspiration for my own writing. And the fact that Morgenstern did this while weaving such an intricate storyline of a circus, makes it all the more magical.

The imagery in this book is so unbelievably stunning. You will be sucked into this book through its descriptions of delectable circus foods, to stunning costumes, to a magician's illusions. This book feels like one trippy ride at an amusement park that you just can't get off of, I guarantee, you will be transported to another world through this.

This book gives you everything you'd ever want in a circus book. It's enchanting, it's wondrous, but it could get confusing. Amidst all the glitz and glamour, is a lot of complicated storylines and a lot of interweaving conflicts, that put me off track. I got really lost in this book, which I think can be expected.

If you are an aspiring writer, specifically for fantasy or magic realism, you'll want to read this. It is such an amazing example of great writing, and something that you will drool over. Morgenstern, you are one talented lady.

Have you read The Night Circus? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 2 June 2017

The Unexpected Everything by: Morgan Matson

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: May 3, 2016 by: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 519
Rating: 1/5 stars

Andie was ready to get away for the summer. Away from her distant politician father and his troubling scandals, and away from her sleepy small town that would be far too boring. But when an unexpected turn of events happens, Andie finds herself stuck in her town for the summer, and stuck walking dogs as a job. This summer hasn't turned out how she had planned, but it definitely will be a time for new changes. New loves. New jobs. A new Andie.

This book was over 500 pages of pure shit. Like literally would take this book and stomp on it with my feet, it was worth absolutely nothing to me. Ok, maybe that last part is exaggerating a bit, but seriously, why was this book hyped? If contemporary authors continue to put out bratty, entitled, common-white girl characters in small towns with diners that serve milkshakes as if that's the only god-damn food they have, then count me out. This book got me fired up, and here's why:

First off, every single character in this book sucked. Lets start with Andie, our protagonist. She's a precious little rich girl, the daughter of a politician father who showers her with everything to get over the fact that he's never there for her. Literally, this girl has never been told "no" once in her life. Then her father has a scandal and it's all "woe is me," "daddy's reputation is ruined," "however will he pay for my iphone 12?" I HATE THIS GIRL.

Her friends were boring and flat as well. You had the stationary random Indian girl for diversity, and when I mean random, I mean it, because literally she's the only brown girl in the entire town. Andie's friends dote on her as if she's the only one with problems, and everything has to go back to her. GOD FORBID anyone have a problem worse than Andie, because it will not be touched on.

The plot was boring, unoriginal, and painfully long. You got your typical All-American town, very Riverdale-esque, with waitresses that call everybody "doll," and everybody miraculously knowing each other. Andie meets the cute boy-next door who's visiting with the summer, may I mention that he's a little nerdy, not at ALL like her type, but she will eventually get past the fact that he wants to be a "writer" and decide that he's cute. How thoughtful of you Andie, to put aside your shitty judgement of ones passion and see how hot he can be beneath those glasses.

I was dragged through this book. I wanted to finish it because I felt the need to, but really, I would have saved myself a lot of pain. Everything happened exactly how I knew it was gonna be, and everything was wrapped up nice in pretty in a bow for our protagonist in the end. There was no chemistry, no originality, and nothing prepared me for how long this was gonna be. Save your time, save your money, save your summer.

Have you read The Unexpected Everything? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Month in Review: May

If you're reading this, I survived May! I'm not exactly out of the woods yet because exams are still to come, but it seems crazy to think that by my next month in review, I'll be a high school graduate. Here's what happened in May:

What I Read:

Hollow City by: Ransom Riggs: 4/5 stars
Thirteen Reasons Why by: Jay Asher: 3/5 stars
Half-Blood by: Jennifer Armentrout: 1/5 stars
Hamlet by: William Shakespeare: 3/5 stars
Talking as Fast as I Can by: Lauren Graham: 5/5 stars
We Are Still Tornadoes by: Michael Kun and Susan Mullen

Favourite book: Obviously Talking as Fast as I Can seeing as it was my only 5 star review! But to be honest, there weren't any books this month that completely and utterly shattered my mind. I'm kinda in a "meh" stage of reading.

What I Blogged:

I'm actually quite proud of my blog posts this month! I really enjoyed writing my Gender Neutrality in Writing post and got a lot of great opinions!

Favourite Blog Posts of the Month:

Brooklyn shares her Winter Reads 
Sierra has made a Return to Blogging 
Cait shares YA Parents that Need Prequels 
Lais discusses Reading in Other Languages

Life Stuff of the Month:

Oh god, what didn't happen this month?! Prom happened, University acceptances happened, flooded basements happened, birthdays happened, tv shows being awesome happened, being sociable happened as well! It was a hell of a month and being finished is such a relief.

I am happy to be getting into June, and more than happy to be almost done high school. But enough about me, how was your month? Did you do anything fun?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 26 May 2017

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by: Iain Reading

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Mystery, Adventure
Published: November 30, 2012 by: Amazon Digital Services
Pages: 336
Rating: 3/5 stars

*Synopsis taken from Goodreads

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales, Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska's inside passage and Canada's Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Thank you very much to Book Publicity Services and the author for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest review. Kitty Hawk is a adventurous series of a teenage pilot and mysteries she needs to solve amongst her travels. This was my first Kitty Hawk book, and it was thrilling, that's for sure! If you love action and adventure novels, then I definitely think you would love this. 

I loved the setting of this book. It's set in Canada (some bias there), in the Yukon mountains. Reading did an amazing job at establishing a beautiful setting and inspiring me to put the Yukon on one of my travel lists. Just the atmosphere alone made me want to continue reading. It seemed breathtaking. 

I also really liked how this book features a strong female heroine. You don't read many books about teenager pilot, and Kitty gave me kind of Amelia Earhart vibes that I thought was very powerful. 

I wasn't too crazy about the plot of this book, however. I found that it jumped from thing to thing, and was quite confusing to follow. I think it just moved too fast and there were way too many plot lines that was hard to follow. I think there was too much going on for me to be fully invested. 

That being said, for a fast-paced adventure book, it definitely delivered that and if you love some action, you will get that. 

Have you read Kitty Hawk? What did you think? 

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by: Sherman Alexie

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Published: March 1, 2008 by: Thorndike Press
Pages: 301
Rating: 5/5 stars

Aspiring cartoonist Junior lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation, and is determined to succeed. He decides to leave his school on the rez and move to the all-white high school across town, and is immediately caught in a world of racism and ignorance. But Junior isn't here to get angry, instead, he expresses his feelings through humorous cartoons and witty dialogue, that puts a comical, and yet very real reality of Aboriginal rights, that we still can't seem to grasp today.

This book was real. However, it wasn't deep, dramatic, or emotional in any sense. The book is funny; it's supposed to be, which was such a unique way to tackle what we know about racism against First Nations peoples and what it means to fit in.

As Junior is a cartoonist, the book has a lot of cartoons by "Junior";as he draws the people in his life. These were the main sources of humour, as his drawings of both the white and Spokane people were extremely accurate as to what he was describing and also had the complete tone of a teenage boy. They were such a unique touch.

This book is not serious, and yet so serious at the same time. Alexie chose to talk about harsh issues on racism, reservations, and the troubles of Juniors family, and yet the dialogue is completely sarcastic, informal and even a bit risque at times. I think this is what really sold the book to me, because I knew I was learning a lot from it, and yet it didn't seem hard to handle. It was extremely easy to get through and I couldn't put it down.

I have read books that take place on reservations before, but this was my first fictional one and my first one that doesn't portray it in such a serious sense. Now I don't know what actual Spokane people think of this book, as I think the way Junior talked about some things could be seen as insensitive to some, but I think the dark humour in this book really hits you deep and makes you think hard about the conditions that these people are put in. It helps to put your own life into perspective. I definitely think that the North American governments need to think long and hard about what they've actually been doing to "help" these people, besides taking over their land. I think this book is important, and I was happy to read it.

Have you read The Absolutely True Diary? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 19 May 2017

Lullabies for Little Criminals by: Heather O' Neill

Genre: Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: October 17, 2006 by: Harper Perennial
Pages: 330
Rating: 4/5 stars

At just thirteen years old, Baby has had to grow up too fast. With a single father with a serious heroin habit, and living in the red light district of Montreal, Baby has seen things that most children grow up years not knowing much about. Throughout her years, she makes friends. Some good, and some bad, but it is her growing relationship with a local pimp that finally makes her dad look up and get involved. Baby has been put into some dangerous situations, but will she be able to get out?

Wow. This book was just: wow. It was incredibly disturbing, and sad, and uncomfortable. And yet, I somehow couldn't put it down. I was shocked at how everything seemed so real, and so poignant. It almost read like a memoir, and although I'm pretty sure it wasn't, it was incredibly compelling to read.

First things off, these characters were unlike any I've read before. The thing with Baby is, that her norm is so different to any other 13-year old. Because of this, she talks about things that she believes in that we would never dream believe was right. For example, she think it's normal for a 40 year old pimp to be with her, she thinks that it's normal that her father sometimes overdoses and is in the hospital from time to time. It's so interesting to see the mindset of someone who has been immersed in such hardship all her life, that it just seems normal. She is a product of her own environment.

I will say that everything in this book is hard to deal with. There is no comic relief, just a lot of children being put into a lot of disturbing situations. This book deals with drugs, prostitution, childhood rape, suicide, and even the living conditions of these people may be hard to deal with. Now I can usually be unaffected by books that skim the surface of these topics, but this book got so deep so fast, that I felt like I couldn't possibly give it 5 stars, because I didn't necessarily enjoy reading some of the content.

I can't say that reading about a child prostitute was "amazing," because truth be told, it wasn't, but that isn't to say that these stories shouldn't be told. I think it is vital to our society, especially people who live in big cities, to be aware of what goes on in some of the areas. So I applaud this author for getting real, and I think from a psychological standpoint, this book was quite interesting, but if you are sensitive to any of the above topics, I would give this a pass. This book was rough.

Have you read Lullabies for Little Criminals? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

I Have a Favor to Ask...

Hey guys! Today's post is just a quick one where I've got a favour to ask you:

For my final assignment in English, we had to read a book, and then create a blog as one of the characters. We had to base the theme of the blog on what the character would write about. I chose Hidden Figures by: Margot Lee Shetterly, and I took the role of Mary Jackson, one of the women of the West Computers.

Part of the assignment requires at least 4 comments on each post, in which you engage in discussion with others. My teacher said you could create your own comments, but I thought it would be better to get actual people's thoughts.

So, I am asking a little something. If you guys could please, try to go over to that site and comment on one or more of the posts, I would greatly appreciate it. If you could pretend the writer was actually Mary Jackson, that would be preferred. I really want to know what people think of these posts and I figured I would reach out to the book community. The comment section is set up with Disqus, as that is a comment type that a lot of bloggers seem to have. If you comment, I would sooo appreciate it!

The link to the site is:

Thank you all in advance :)

Friday, 12 May 2017

The Kingdom of Oceana by: Mitchell Charles

Genre: Young Adult/Middle-Grade Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology
Published: November 27, 2015 by: Butterhose Media
Pages: 222
Rating: 3/5 stars

*synopsis from Goodreads

When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise. As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt-just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki's spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? ONLY ONE CAN RULE.

This was the first book I have read about Hawaiian mythology and I was absolutely intrigued! I think the author did an amazing job capturing atmosphere and teaching me about a new culture. While I had issues with the pacing and overall plot of the book, I think that this book gave me new insight into a culture I don't know much about. 

The author said that he got his inspiration for this book from a love for the ocean all his life, and his time living in Hawaii. He really made me feel as if I was right there with the prince, the atmosphere he created was incredibly beautiful and Hawaii remains a place I long to visit. You could tell that Charles was drawing from his own experiences living in Hawaii, as I thought his sights and sounds were so vivid and detailed. That was a huge plus. 

I did have issues with some of the pacing in this book. I felt as if the book jumped right into action, I didn't really have a chance to fully get introduced to the characters. Because of this, I was left kind of confused and out of the loop with the entire novel, and everything just moved a bit too fast for me. 

I think the pacing left me a bit uninterested with the plot. I enjoyed reading the settings of course, but I couldn't really connect with what was actually going on. So if everything moved a bit slower, I think it would have flowed better. 

Overall, I think Charles got the setting down-pact. He made me really appreciate Hawaiian culture, I just wish I was more into the story. 

Have you read The Kingdom of Oceana? What did you think? 

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Paperback's Pondering's: Gender Neutrality in Writing

Today's post is not really book related, rather writing related, and something that I really wanted to discuss and get other people's opinion on.

So the other day in my religion class, my teacher handed back a writing assignment that we had done. When my friend got hers back, she noticed that she had gotten a mark off next to a word in her assignment: mankind. When she asked our teacher, the teacher told her that she had taken the mark off because she should have stayed gender neutral in her assignment, thus using "humankind" instead of "mankind," because it implies that she is only talking about men. We were all kind of baffled about this because we had never been told this in any other classes before, mankind is just something you put without even thinking about it. I've never taken offence with someone using "mankind." That's when I knew I had to make a blog post on this and get some other opinions.

This teacher in particular is very big on gender neutrality. Even in another assignment that I had done, which was about the legalization of prostitution, I referenced women as being the prostitutes I would focus on, as they are typically the gender that goes into forced prostitution, and typically are more likely to be abused. But she insisted that I change "women" to "people."

This whole debate sparked her to do an entire lesson on remaining gender neutral and insisting that this notion should have been taught to us years before. But the truth was, it hadn't. Literally none of my other teachers in my entire life have even given a second glance at the word: mankind. And I haven't either. It's just one of those words that you obviously know isn't just referencing a man, but just uses man because unfortunately when the English language came to be, it was a male-dominated society.

I can't help but think that there are worse problems in the world. It sounds harsh, but to be honest, all of the females in the room agreed that we were not and probably never will be offended by the word: mankind. It's just something that we're used to. But then I began thinking about the topic further, and thought about what a non-binary, genderqueer or genderfluid person might think about using mankind? Some people do not identify with being just male or just female, so would they prefer using humankind to be inclusive of all gender types? So should we all make the switch?

The point I'm trying to maker here is, that the teenagers of today, or at least all of the ones I talked to about the subject, are not really affected by the use of masculine words in writing. We simply just don't care either way. But that doesn't mean that it's not a problem and really I think you could argue either way.

So please, share your opinions with me because I'm dying to know what other people think about this. And especially if you identify under a different gender umbrella, I'd love for you to educate me.

Emily @ Paperback Princess