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

Friday, 5 May 2017

The Sun is Also a Star by: Nicola Yoon

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: November 1, 2016 by: Delacorte
Pages: 348
Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Natasha is an aspiring scientist whose family is about to be deported back to Jamaica. Desperately trying to get out of the situation, she spends her last day in America circling around an immigration lawyer, and waiting for his call back. It is during that day that she meets Daniel, an aspiring poet that wishes for his parents to recognize his true passions. During this one day, the universe will bring Natasha and Daniel together more than once, but what else does it have in store for them?

This book was one of those books I was really looking forward to reading and then kind of went like: meh? It's safe to say I had high expectations of this because I do like Yoon's style of writing and her diverse characters, but to be honest, the characters are what annoyed me the most about this.

First it's worth mentioning that I really like the cover of the book. Yoon puts so much life and colour into her covers that really draws you in. It's definitely a selling point.

I also kinda enjoyed the plot? I mean, it was cute and I think was a good representation of the struggles of undocumented immigrants, and definitely gave me new information on immigration and deportation. The topic of immigration always interests me in YA and I was happy to read about it again.

I liked how diverse the characters were, Natasha was obviously Jamaican and even rocked her natural hair, and Daniel was Korean. However this was pretty much the only thing I liked about them. Natasha was extremely judgemental of people who pursue art careers, and didn't really develop to realize that this was wrong. I found her to be really uptight to the fact that she was smart and she really seemed to look down on everyone else. Plus, she was way too much of a realist and questioned everything, which got on my nerves. Daniel on the other hand, was way too much of a dreamer and was incredibly obsessive to the point of being creepy. Like dude, you just met her, calm down.

There's also instalove in this book, which I don't particularly enjoy. Sometimes it's not the end of the world, but in this case it seemed so out of place and odd. How can two complete strangers know by the end of the day that they need to be together, forever? It's super unrealistic.

At the end of the day, I am happy I tried this book because I did like the plot, but I wanted more from pretty much everything else. And that was disappointing.

Have you read The Sun is Also a Star? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Hidden Figures by: Margot Lee Shetterly

Genre: Non-Fiction, History, Science
Published: December 6, 2016 by: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 359
Rating: 3/5 stars

Ever wondered who the black woman who got John Glenn to the moon was? Before the US was close to the Space Race, Langley Research Center recruited hundreds of brilliant women, known as "human computers" to complete calculations to help get man into space. Amongst these women were an exceptional group of African-Americans, known as "the west computers." Dorothy Vaughan, Katherine Johnson, and Mary Jackson all made significant advancements in such a vital part of history, and yet many did not know they existed. Until now.

I don't reach much non-fiction. However when I do, it's because I am super interested in a topic and have researched it and thought about it before. In Hidden Figures' case, I had watched the movie during awards season and absolutely loved it. So when I had the opportunity to study this book for my English final assignment, I took the chance. Now I have to be honest, the movie was a lot more interesting to me than the book, but I still think that this is an important read.

Props to Margot Lee Shetterly for recognizing that these stories had to be told. Stories of African-American women overcoming racism, sexism, and being knocked down, all to work for one of the most prestigious organizations in the world: NASA. I knew of John Glenn, I knew of Neil Armstrong, but I had no idea who Katherine Johnson was before Hidden Figures. And even a lot of Americans didn't know either. I think this is a book that all history/science bluffs should read.

The book had some witty contexts, some powerful dialogues, and a ton of information, but I think the info-dump is what made this a bit, and I use this word lightly, boring. Now don't get me wrong, the whole story of the figures wasn't boring, but there was a ton of science information in this that just went right over my head. The movie focused more on the personal lives of the figures and work life, but the book focused more on what they did on the job. And this could be very interesting to a science nerd, but for me, I couldn't understand any of it.

For me to really love a non-fiction book, it needs to write about stuff I'm thoroughly interested in, and science unfortunately is not one of them. I thought it would be a lot more historical and more focused on the racism going on at the time, and it did to an extent, but I couldn't follow all the way through. But I still think that this was an extremely important read and one I was happy to pick up.

Have you read Hidden Figures? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 28 April 2017

Month in Review: April

We are now in the 2nd last month of the school year and I could not be more stressed! I'm going to be put in a lot of social situations this month which I am not used to, so if we could just fast forward to June, I would really appreciate it.

What I Read: 

The Shining by: Stephen King: 2/5 stars
The Hate U Give by: Angie Thomas: 5/5 stars
The Virgin Suicides by: Jeffrey Eugenides: 1/5 stars
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by: Iain Reading: 3/5 stars
The Song of Achilles by: Madeline Miller: 5/5 stars
A Study in Charlotte by: Brittany Cavallaro: 2/5 stars
The Kingdom of Oceana by: Mitchell Charles: 3/5 stars

What I Blogged: 

9 blog posts went up this month! I think my favourite post was Don't Judge a Book by Its Publisher. It was kind of interesting to talk about and something that I've been thinking about for a while.

Favourite Book: Without a doubt, The Song of Achilles. It combined two of my favourite things: Greek Mythology, and a good romance, and I know I will be re-reading this one for a long time.

Favourite Blog Posts of the Month: 

Cee explains that Millennials are not Lazy 
Lais discusses Trigger Warnings
Amy review Six of Crows
Uma explains how she Develops Fantasy Worlds

Life Stuff of the Month: 

Nothing really significant happened this month. A lot of worrying for the upcoming months, especially May, but other than that I haven't got anything new to really report. I just really hope that I will be able to calm myself down for this month. Hopefully when I'm writing my Month in Review for May, I will be saying some positive things!

How was your April?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Holding up the Universe by: Jennifer Niven

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: October 4, 2016 by: Knopf Books
Pages: 400
Rating: 3/5 stars

Libby Strout was once known as "America's Fattest Teen." Since losing weight and dealing with her mother's heartbreaking death, Libby is ready to step back into high school, and deal with the pressures of being a teenager. It is at her new school that she meets Jack, a charismatic popular guy, but with a rare disorder that he keeps secret. Jack cannot recognize faces, even of his close family members. As Libby and Jack get to know each other, they realize that their struggles make them who they are. And while navigating the cruel world of high school, they will depend on each other even more.

This book was kinda a hit and a miss at the same time. While I really enjoyed Niven's previous book, All The Bright Places, this book gave me the familiar beautiful writing and lovable characters that she does so well, but seemed a bit tropey in my opinion. And I'll explain why.

So first things first with the positives, I love how Niven writes a love story. She gives her characters amazing chemistry and utter adorableness that you just can't help but fall in love yourself. Her characters are so well-written and are given such witty attributes, that makes them so lovable. Jack and Libby were no exception.

The plot of this book wasn't boring, but wasn't exactly spectacular. The characters really made the book for me, because the plot didn't seem like it had anything special going on. It was just kinda average and predictable, but at the same time, didn't bore me as some other contemporaries do.

What really annoyed me about this book were some of the "fat girl tropes." Now I can't really accurately comment on these issues because I've never been overweight, but to me they seemed pretty recognizable. For me, I would love to read a book about a fat girl who didn't find the need to lose weight and THEN present herself to society. I want a book in which the girl owns her confidence and her weight is not the overarching problem throughout the entire book. Now this book could be very inspiring and body-positive, there's no doubt about that, but it's nothing that I haven't seen before. I would have liked it a lot more if it had taken more of a Dumplin' by: Julie Murphy approach.

So really, I'm in two heads about this book. Have you read Holding Up the Universe? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 21 April 2017

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: September 20, 2016 by: Henry Holt and Company
Pages: 546
Rating: 5/5 stars

*highlight white text to reveal spoilers*- there are some major ones in here so be cautious!

Fresh off of pulling off their deadly heist, Kaz Brekker and co. have a new task on their hands: battling new enemies and unlocking the secrets to a deadly drug that is circling through the Grisha world. A war is looming on the horizon, and Kaz and his crew must fight even harder to keep the people they love alive, or surrender to the people out to get them.

I mean, what else can I say about this series other than the fact that you have to read it? It is seriously one of the best series I have read. With diverse characters, a fast-paced plot, and killer relationships, this book is wickedly good. Read it and weep.

First off, Bardugo has written some of the strongest characters I've ever seen. period. Each character has their own strengths, weaknesses, and you will fall in love with each of them. Not to mention that she keeps her characters incredibly diverse, so I guarantee you will connect with someone in this book. Even the villains are expertly crafted!

The plot of this book was magical and incredible in every sort of way. There are a lot of parallels with the first book of course, and everything came full circle in the end. Although I will say, you will cry at times. Bardugo tugs on your emotions like its her job and she will kill off the people you love the most!! *sniff* Matthias *sniff*. I understand why she had to do it, it added to the plot, but still :((((

I'm happy with how the duology ended. I think I got the closure I needed, and as devastating as some parts were, I know why they had to happen. Bardugo carries major themes in her novels that just hit you with such strength. It's hard not to become emotionally attached to her books.

You gotta read this series. It has the most magical world-building, the twistiest of plot-twists, and the most lovable of characters. It is an incredible fantasy with an incredible message.

Have you read Crooked Kingdom? Can we cry together?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Paperback's Pondering's: Don't Judge a Book by Its Publisher?

I was thinking the other day on how much I actually judge books by their publishers. I feel like I create the judgemental notion that, if a book comes from a popular publisher such as HarperCollins or Penguin, then it will be better than a book from a publisher I haven't heard of. I judge books by their publishers so much that I knew I had to do a post on it, and I'm going to be focusing on a number of factors.

I'm just gonna come out and say it: I usually only ever read books from mainstream publishers. And I fully admit that this makes me look like a crappy person, because I'm thinking that a book only gets better when it's picked up by a mainstream publisher. When in reality, there are a ton of diamond in the ruff's out there, especially from indie authors, that need more attention. I myself am an aspiring writer and know that it takes a lot to be picked up by one of the big guys. I don't understand why I'm not exposing myself to those books more?

One might also judge a book by their publishers because the publisher might be a bit sketchy. Take Simon and Schuster for example. Simon was recently going to publish a racist book by Milo I don't care that much about him to put his last name. Because of this, a lot of people started to boycott Simon and refuse to buy books from that publisher. I seem to not read a ton of Simon books, but I'm definitely more aware than I used to about the company.

So the question is, is it ok, for whatever reason, to judge a book by their publisher? Whether that would be from stereotypes, from the publisher being sketchy, or by something else? Do all books published by a publisher fit into that publisher's worldview? It's an interesting thing to think about where we normally gravitate towards.

For me, I typically read Penguin and Harper novels. But Harper has had a history of publishing some problematic books in the past as well, so should I distance myself from Harper novels? I think that the views of the author do not necessarily reflect the views of the company. However it makes you wonder, if Simon and Schuster considered themselves not racist, why would they pick up the deal for a racist book? I think it is important to be cautious where you're putting your money into.

So I kinda talked about two sides to judging a book by a publisher. On one hand, I have this stereotype that they will be better, and on the other hand, it seems more moral to not support publishers who publish racist books. But where do you draw the line?

I want to know what you think. Do you judge books by their publishers, and if so, for what reason?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 14 April 2017

Carve the Mark by: Veronica Roth

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science- Fiction
Published: January 17, 2017 by: Katherine Tegan Books
Pages: 468
Rating: 4/5 stars

Cyra is a Shotet, a brutal group of people on a mysterious planet that are in constant war with the Thuvhe. In Cyra's world, people have current gifts that stay with them all their life. For Cyra, that means a constant pain that she can put unto others, and that her ruthless brother has been willing to exploit. Akos is a Thuvhe, captured by Shotet soldiers and tortured by Cyra's brother. But when Cyra and Akos start forming a connection, they put both of their lives in danger, as well as the fate of their galaxy.

DISCLAIMER: This book has been called out for being problematic, including being racist towards members of the indigenous community and to people of North African heritage. It has also been said to be abelist to people who experience chronic pain. Since I do not belong to any of these groups, I cannot comment on these issues, I can only comment on my honest opinions on the book. If you are a member of any of these communities, please be mindful when reading this book and be sure to read reviews from people who belong to these groups.

I was really surprised by this book! I went into it kind of dubious because I'm not the hugest fan of science fiction, but I was really surprised by how much I actually enjoyed it. I thought it was fast-paced and exciting, and left me wondering what would happen next.

I really liked the plot of this book. It had a lot of plot twists and turns, and I was thoroughly engaged through it all! I did not get bored one bit, which really shocked me because I usually find sci-fi quite boring. But Roth provided a lot of elements in the book that kept the plot super intriguing.

I thought the characters fell a bit flat in this book. I wanted to know a bit more about them, especially the antagonist, Cyra's brother. I didn't mind Akos and Cyra, but I really wanted a glimpse into the villain's mind to see his inner motifs and what drove him to where he was. I don't think this book's characters really struck me, despite me being fully taken by plot.

So overall, I loved the plot, but wanted a bit more on characters. But I think that this book was really enjoyable, you just need to make sure that you take its controversies into consideration. Never, ever read something that you're not comfortable with or that may offend you.

Have you read Carve the Mark? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) by: Alwyn Hamilton

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: March 7, 2017 by: Viking Books
Pages: 513
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Cunning gunslinger Amani al' Hiza now as a new mission: take down the vicious sultan and his regime before it's too late. To do this, Amani finds herself caught up in the sultan's harem, trying to gain access to his trust, all while desperately wondering where Jin, her partner has disappeared to, just when she started expressing feelings for him. Will Amani be able to take down the tyranny, or will she get caught just as she begins to get close?

I was so happy when Netgalley approved me for this book! I really liked Rebel of the Sands, and I definitely think that this book got even better in terms of plot. There were still some minor kinks that I would have liked to be worked out, but overall this was the sequel that I needed!

I really liked how plot-driven this novel was. There were many twists and turns that made me desperately wanting to keep flipping through. I got through this book so quickly because it was really high-action and so interesting! I definitely found the plot of this to be a huge improvement from Rebel of the Sands.

I also really loved Amani in this book. She was so fierce, as per usual, and she really took the reigns of her mission in this novel and put me in for a thrill. She was incredibly courageous, loyal and kind, and a terrific heroine that I always enjoy reading. Hamilton writes this character extremely well.

I enjoyed getting to know a bit more of the secondary characters in this book, although I did have some issues with Jin. I found him to be a bit flat in this book, which is a shame because I found him a lot more interesting in Rebel of the Sands. I feel like he was a lot more serious than charming and witty, and I wanted more from him.

But other than that, I think I enjoyed this book more than the first! It gave me a great continuation, and I am dying to know what happens next in the series! I need more Amani in my life!

Have you read Rebel of the Sands? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 7 April 2017

Girl Mans Up by: M.E. Girard

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: September 6, 2016 by: HarperCollins
Pages: 384
Rating: 5/5 stars

Pen is caught in a battle between what she wants to do and what her parents want her to do. She would rather wear "boy" clothes, things that make her feel comfortable. Her traditional Portuguese parents would rather her wear "girl" clothes, and be the respectful young lady she was meant to be. Get those issues, mixed in with a defiant brother, an authoritative friend, and a new crush that her parents would also disapprove of, Pen is on the journey of expressing her true self. And it's going to take a lot of scrutiny from others for her to get there.

This book was actually one of the most diverse books I have every read, literally everything you could want in representation. You've got a non-binary MC, F/F romances, Portuguese rep, Asian rep, sex positivity and abortion without there being shaming for it! I think the author hit the nail on the head with this book and taught me something new about the LGBTQIAP+ spectrum. To top it all off, the book is #ownvoices so spend time supporting this author!

I feel like I was made less ignorant by reading this. I like to think I am a pretty educated person when it comes to LGBTQIAP+ issues, but there are actually so many things I still need to learn, and this book in particular put me in the shoes of someone who is non-binary. To be honest, when I first read the synopsis I just assumed Pen was gonna be transgender, but news flash to me, there's more than just cis-gender and transgender rep out there! This book can teach a lot of people about the gender issues and roles we have.

I loved the culture representation in this book as well. Pen is Portuguese, and her parents are very traditional, and there was a lot of traditions and customs put into this book as well as language. It was great for the author to actually shed light on the MC's background, as opposed to her just being presumed white. Pen's friend group were also a mix of a lot of ethnicity's and backgrounds, which truly showed that friend groups do not fit into one category.

I also would just like to show some Canadian pride for this book! This book is by a Canadian author and is actually set in Canada, as opposed to every other popular YA book which is set in the US! This is honestly such a big step for the Canadian YA community because I don't feel like our books are represented enough in mainstream YA. I just love how this author got to show our country!

I feel like I've talked a lot about this book! Basically, it was so knowledgeable and important to the conversation that I think you should all read it.

Have you read Girl Mans Up? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

My Trip to New York!

Bit of a different post going up today! I said in my monthly recap that I was going to do a post highlighting my recent trip to New York, so here it is! I hope it might be helpful to any of you who may want to visit someday. Now I'm still a novice New York tourist, there's still so much of the city I have yet to explore, but there were a lot of things I found useful that I thought I might share:

Also, I've just started writing and I'm realizing that this will be the epitome of long posts, so apologies in advance:

Night 1: 

The night we arrived as absolute chaos. Getting into the city is one thing, getting into the city during rush hour is another. If you're driving, don't expect to get into the city for at least an hour, no joke. Traffic is insane, and driving will be LONG. Also, people love to jaywalk, honk their horns, and everyone believes they have the right of way, so just BE CAREFUL.

But once you get into your hotel, park your car and hope to not have to use it again until you leave, the fun can actually begin. The first night, we ate at this AMAZING restaurant called Don Antonio. It's near Radio City Music Hall. It had the most delicious authentic Italian pizza, and there was even a famous Food Network chef eating beside us, so you know its good!

The first night, we didn't do much except walk around and take in some views. It was late, so we saw Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center. Both I would highly recommend seeing at night because they're so pretty lit up!

Day One: 

Our first full day was PRODUCTIVE. We started by going to the Met, which I enjoyed, but nobody else in my family did. It's a lot of history, so you need to be mindful of the people you're going with and see if that will interest them.

                             I always remember this painting from the "Olivia" children's books :)

 One important thing I will say about the museums of New York, is that the fee to get in is SUGGESTED. Meaning, that you actually just have to give a donation of your choice to get in. They give a suggested fee of adults, seniors and children, and then in a little fine print they say that it is suggested. I guess this is a tourist tactic but it's important to know!!!

I will also give advice to eat in the museum you are in. When we left the Met, will still hadn't eaten lunch, thinking that there would be something around there to eat. There wasn't, and we ended up having to walk a lot, so eat when you can!

We then went to a number of place, The Brooklyn Bridge, The 9/11 Memorial, and Chelsea Market. The 9/11 Memorial is very poignant and very emotional, highly recommend, and The Brooklyn Bridge is a trek that is easily worth it! It takes a hefty amount of time to cross, but the view is indescribable! Plus you can see The Statue of Liberty without having to take the ferry.

Chelsea Market is my recommendation for the foodies. We went there for a snack and for dinner, an it's basically a ton of different food stands offering everything from pastas, to sandwiches, to crepes. It's delicious, but not really necessary if you don't really care that much for food.

We ended the night off by seeing a show. This was by far, my favourite part of the trip. We saw Aladdin, my favourite Disney movie, and it was breathtaking! The costumes, the singing, the dancing, everything was perfect! That would be my show recommendation.

Day Two: 

Our second day wasn't as planned. It was St. Patrick's Day and the city was CRAZY, and we got caught up in the huge parade. It was very, very long. On this day, we went to Wall Street, we saw the girl standing up to the bull, an amazing sight, and we went to Trinity Church to visit Alexander Hamilton's grave. Again, kind of unnecessary, but if you're a Hamilton fan, it was actually pretty emotional to see, Eliza is buried right next to him as well.

                                                 I was so happy to be able to see this little girl.

We ended up going to Grand Central Station for lunch, which was delicious! That place is insane! We then went to Magnolia Bakery for snacks, which was a delicious treat. Then before dinner, we went to the Empire State Building.

This building was incredible. I would so recommend seeing it at sunset like we did, as the view is something out of this world. You have a choice to go to the 86th floor or the 112th, but I would just say to do the 86th as you have to pay a lot more for the 112th, for the exact same view. But please go up nonetheless! You will not be disappointed.

We rounded out the night by eating at Eataly, a huge Italian supermarket with restaurants inside. We ate at Le Verdure, the vegetarian restaurant, and it was incredible! Finally, we went to Times Square to shop.

We didn't do much shopping in New York. The exchange rate is insane so it doesn't really benefit Canadians, but we still went to Forever 21 and H & M in Times Square. Those are really the only hotspots I wanted to go to, and I was fine with that.

At the end of the night, we went to The Richard Rodgers Theatre to go cry at the Hamilton signs. We had entered the lottery, but with expected no luck, but I still wanted to see the theatre. The show had just let out and everyone was crowded around the stage door, but we couldn't really see who was coming out. That being said, just to be able to see it in the flesh was amazing.

And THAT was my Trip. I'm sorry for rambling, its just New York is a big place with a lot of stuff. We got around everywhere by subway, which is not as confusing at it seems to be, and we never got lost. My only tip is to make sure your metro pass does not run out of money! You don't want to be stranded, so keep an eye on it.

New York is unlike any city. I feel like it's on a lot of people's bucket lists, mine included, and it is definitely something worth visiting. Whether you like history, food, sights, entertainment, its got it all. And I definitely want to visit again someday.

Have you ever been or want to go to New York? Tell me about it! I hope this was helpful :D

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 31 March 2017

Month in Review: March

It's spring! I have missed the sun so much and I hope that I won't have to deal with winter for a long time. Now if only my allergies will hold up *sighs*

What I Read: 

Lullabies for Little Criminals by: Heather O'Neill: 5/5 stars
The Iliad by: Homer: 4/5 stars
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by: Sherman Alexie: 5/5 stars
The Unexpected Everything by: Morgan Matson: 1/5 stars
The Night Circus by: Erin Morgenstern: 4/5 stars

What I Blogged: 

I feel like this was the month of reviews! I have been really behind on reviewing and have been posting reviews of books I read months ago, so I've been busy! I guess I could say my favourite was my review of Station Eleven, because well, you know why by now.

Favourite Blog Posts of the Month: 

Cee explains why The Earth is Blue.
Lais discusses DNF'ed Books. 
Mishma interviews Angie Thomas.
Charlotte shows her Bullet Journal.

Life Stuff of the Month: 

I went to New York!! There were so many amazing things I saw and I think I'm gonna do a whole post on it, because there were a lot of new things I learnt about the city that I think are important for tourists to know, so stay tuned for that!

Other than that, I'm back at school after March Break. Things are starting to pick up and prom is looming, something that my introverted self is just too stressed over.

That's it! How was your month?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Who Am I? Tag

(that awkward moment when you don't have a tag button for your blog or the skills to do it so you just put your blog button.)

A while back Kirsty over at Kirsty Chronicles tagged me to do this post, and now I finally have gotten around to doing it! So without further adieu:

What is the Meaning of My Name? 

My name is Latin and means: industrious or striving. I think that's pretty cool!

What is your Myers-Briggs Personality Type? 

INTJ. I feel like I've taken this test a solid 5 times in my high school life and have always gotten the same result. Ironically, my twin sister has exactly the same type except she is an E instead of an I! Coincidence?

What is my Zodiac Sign? 

Sagittarius. I feel like it's such an irrelevant sign and literally nobody I know has it! But its symbol is an archer, which I find pretty cool. I might get an arrow tattoo one day for it.

What is my Hogwarts House? 

Ravenclaw through and through! When I was younger I used to try and convince myself I was a Gryffindor, but I have luckily since then fully embraced my Ravenclaw.

What are my Learning Styles? 

I am a reader and a writer. I absolutely cannot focus with visual or oral queus and I need to see actual words on paper!

Am I Right or Left Brain Dominant? 

I am left brained! This probably goes with being left-handed, I've always found myself quite logical and detailed.

What is my Blood Type? 

A-positive I think?

What Career am I Meant to Have? 

I really hate taking quizzes to decide what career I should have, because my actual interests almost always never match up, so I'm just gonna go with what I actually want to be: a writer.

What Divergent Faction do I Belong In? 

I'm an Amity girl! I love Amity so much because they are peaceful, care for the environment and I can imagine love animals like me.

What Does My Birth Order Say About Me? 

Apparently being the youngest makes me free-spirited, a risk taker and charming, all of which I am not. I don't really believe in birth order all that much anyways, especially being a twin. Nobody's gonna call me the baby by just four minutes!

That's all! Thanks again Kirsty for tagging :)

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 24 March 2017

The Female of the Species by: Mindy McGinnis

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: September 20, 2016 by: Katherine Tegan Books
Pages: 352
Rating: 5/5 stars

Alex Craft isn't understandable by most people. Ever since her sister's death, Alex has unleashed violent energy against anyone who wrongs her. She knows how to kill. When Alex is finally noticed by Jack, the popular jock in her small hometown, she begins to feel love for the first time. Even the preacher's daughter Peekay connects with Alex, and shows her the world of friendship that Alex has never been in before. But when a party turns ugly, Alex once more unleashes her wrath upon the senior class, and it will take Peekay and Jack to bring her back to reality, but Alex cannot be tamed.

This book was so interesting and odd and yet I was so into it! It's one of those things you have to read to believe, and you're not really sure if it's a contemporary or a thriller or even something supernatural??? This book tells the story of injustice. Of rape culture, feminism, and revenge. While Alex's actions may be a bit extreme, her core values bring a strong message to light.

I loved how Alex was sort of an anti-hero in a way. She was a good person, there's no doubt, but there was something dark about her that was only unleashed when it needed to be. I loved how mysterious she was and how you're kind of unsure about her until the end. Then, everything pieces into place.

This plot was one big thrill ride!! There were twists and turns and I came up with a whole lot of theories as the book went on. The climax was UNREAL and kept me wanting to read more and more until I had finished. This book could not be put down and I read it all in one day.

This book brings a new way to tackle rape culture. Usually these contemporary novels are very straight-forward and sad, but this had the ability to weave thrill and mystery into there while still remaining sensitive to the topic. It was so brilliantly done as well!!

Overall, you gotta read this. This book tackles a hard issue but without making it appear too graphic and upsetting. The book gets real about the topic, but takes a different direction in delivering it that was so unique and a lot easier to read for me.

Have you read The Female of the Species? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Station Eleven by: Emily St. John Mandel: Why You Need to Read this Book in Your Lifetime

Genre: Literary Fiction, Science Fiction
Published: September 9, 2014 by: Knopf
Pages: 336
Rating: All the stars in the universe

One winter night, esteemed actor Arthur Leander dies of a heart attack while on stage performing King Lear. A few hours later, the world as we know it begins to crumble as a deadly flu swipes over North America, killing everyone who comes into contact. 20 years later, The Travelling Symphony are a group of surviving actors and musicians who enter towns rebuilt after the apocalypse and perform Shakespeare plays. Kirsten Raymonde is one of those actors, and she longs to remember any ounce of her past life, including finding information about a famous actor who died moments before the flu started coming. Told in alternating storylines and time periods, Station Eleven weaves past and present in a extravagant story about love, fame, and isolation.

I am going to cry while writing this review. It seems like I always get a bit teary-eyed when talking about this book. This book was unlike anything, ANYTHING that I had read before. I'm not the hugest fan of literary fiction, but this didn't feel like that to me. It felt like a spellbinding story that was so expertly crafted that every page adds a new twist to the story. And the overall meaning of this book tore me to shreds.

St. John Mandel is such an expert writer. The way she ordered the events, connected characters to each other, and allowed for so much metaphor that was so easy to understand, is something that I aspire to be like. Every single time I read a chapter I just kept thinking about how badly I want to write like her someday. She's just so clever!!

I loved every single character in this book. Even the antagonist was so amazingly written and so well developed that you will at least connect completely with one character. There is absolutely no way for you to not feel for someone. St. John Mandel was able to capture every single character's backstories and all in under 350 pages.

There's pretty much nothing else I can really say about this book other than the fact that you have to experience it for yourself. It's science fiction without being too sciency, it's literary without being boring in the slightest, and guaranteed you will find something to love and respect about this novel. It's truly a work of art, and I'm so happy to have discovered it and experience it.

P.S. My sister, who hates reading more than anything, loved this book so if that isn't a reason to read it, idk what is.

Have you read Station Eleven? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 17 March 2017

The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase #1) by: Rick Riordan

Genre: Fantasy, Mythology, Middle-Grade/YA
Published: October 6, 2015 by: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 499
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Ever since Magnus Chase's mother's mysterious death, Magnus has been homeless, a troubled kid who has no family. But when a complete stranger warns Magnus that he is in great danger, Magnus uncovers the truth about his family: he is the son of a Norse God. Now Magnus is swept into the magical world of the myths he never thought were true, and along his journey to find his father, he must embark on a quest. A quest to save his life, and the lives of the innocent people that fire giants long to destroy.

It's been a while since I've picked up a good old Riordan mythology series! I was very weary going into this book, since I've only known to love his Greek/Roman myths and never cared for the Kane Chronicles. And I think that was the main problem with this book. I'm not completely into other mythology, but I did enjoy the familiar wit of these novels and how easy to get through they are.

This book as the similar tone of all of Rick's books. They are funny and sarcastic, a lot of references to pop culture and the modern world, but with an mythological twist. I once more appreciated this writing because of how easy it makes the reading, and how it doesn't feel heavy at all. I got through this book quickly.

Again, I loved the diversity once more brought to the table and how committed Riordan is at showcasing a variety of people in his novels. It is so healthy for children to read these types of books so that they can know just how diverse the world actually is.

But, the main downfall for this book was that I'm not all that into Norse mythology. Like I said, I'm only into the Greek and Roman stuff and so this book left me a bit bored and a lot less keen on learning about the mythology. I find Norse mythology just to be unfamiliar and not something I'm interested in, and for that, I lost interest in the book.

So overall, I liked this book. It was charming and funny, just not my cup of tea when it comes to mythology.

Have you read The Sword of Summer? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Paperback's Pondering's: In Defense of the Contemporary Novel

If you didn't know this about me already, I love contemporary. I love everything about a good dramatic, realistic novel, romance or no-romance, fluff or no fluff, I love it all. However I have begun to notice, not so much in the book community, but in my real life and especially in the books we are required to read in school, that nobody seems to like contemporary! And to me, it's such an important genre!!

I love contemporary novels because they are the most relatable. They bring me back to the real issues, issues of mental illness, relationships, teen stress, and more! They hit you right in the feels and allow you to connect with your problems. Even the fluffiest of romance novels can strike a feeling. I get most of my reading from contemporary novels, because they are easy to get through, rarely boring, and give you connections to your personal life. But it seems like I'm the only one in my school life who actually likes those novels.

Every single book we've had to read for English class has been a science-fiction, fantasy or historical fiction novel. One of my teachers even explicitly said one time that we would never read a contemporary novel. Whenever I've had to pick a book to read on a reading list, there has never been a contemporary novel. And for what reason?! Does everyone else think they're boring? Do they not find them a meaningful as I do?

You are hard pressed to find an English teacher who has made their students study a contemporary novel. To me, I find them the most important genre for young adults to read because we can relate to them!!! I'm not saying that we wouldn't find common ground in a sci-fi or fantasy, but it could be a lot more prevalent in a contemporary novel and they're not even giving us a chance :(

There is sort of a judgement that comes with being a contemporary fan as well. Students and teachers alike have said that people who read contemporaries are boring, and that fantasies and sci-fi's are the only option to keep people engaged. But I just don't think that way. I find contemporaries to keep me more intrigued than sci-fi's or fantasies, and I think it's unfair that my interests are never showcased.

I want to know what you think of contemporary novels. If you were in school, would you prefer to read a contemporary or something else? I do not want to be the only one here that genuinely reaches for contemporaries over anything else. Where are my people at?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 3 March 2017

Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: February 10, 2015 by: Orion
Pages: 383
Rating: 5/5 stars

In Mare's world, people are dominated by their blood: red or silver. The Red's, are the commoners, living often in poverty and forever in the shadows of The Silver's, the elite and brutal group that can be violent towards Red's. When Mare finds herself working in Silver Palace, she discovers that she has a deadly power, a power that poses a threat to The Silver's. The Silver's disguise her as one of her own, but as Mare starts growing feelings for a Silver prince, and starts to help a Red militant resistance group, it threatens everyone's world: red or silver.

THIS BOOK WAS UNREAL!!!! It's been a while since I have used all-caps and multiple exclamation points in a review, so you know that this is the real deal. I am a lover of a good plot that contains palaces and princes, so this book delivered on that and kept me entertained. AND THAT PLOT TWIST!!!!

I went into this thinking it would be too heavy. However once I realized that she would be going into a palace, I knew I would be hooked! I am such a sucker for fantasies that have kingdoms, good or bad. Because of this, the plot kept me intrigued, swooning over the princes and wanting to read more.

I loved all the characters in this book. Mare was so badass and exciting, she wasn't an annoying protagonist at all and I really loved her developments. The villains in this book were also so expertly crafted and so cunning, they roped me in and made me LOVE to hate them. That's always a good thing.

I also loved the concept of this book. Being separated from blood was so unique and also I think put a fantasy spin on the divide that we see within people even today. I definitely think that the rift between the two blood's was a metaphor for something that we could relate to, which was awesome.

Overall, an amazingly enthralling fantasy with kings, commoners and war. What else could you need?

Have you read Red Queen? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Month in Review: February

February has come and gone, and with it, the dread of a new semester!! Realistically, I'm pretty miserable and I'll explain that later. For now, let's get into books!

What I Read:

Carve the Mark by: Veronica Roth: 4/5 stars
Crooked Kingdom by: Leigh Bardugo: 5/5 stars
Wucaii by: Pembroke Sinclair: 2/5 stars
Holding Up the Universe by: Jennifer Niven: 4/5 stars
Station Eleven by: Emily St. John Mandel: 6/5 stars (yes, I know I put 6)
The Sun is Also a Star by: Nicola Yoon: 3/5 stars
The Outsiders by: S.E. Hinton: Do I even have to rate this one anymore?
Hidden Figures by: Margot Lee. Shetterly: 3/5 stars

Favourite book: Now I'll explain why I put the 6 for Station Eleven. Never, in my 12 years of going to school have I ever read a required reading book that I completely enjoyed. Then came Station Eleven. I read the whole thing within the weekend that the first chapter was assigned to us and I am standing by the decision that it will be my favourite book of the year. I'll talk more about it in my review of it, so stay tuned.

What I Blogged:

To be honest, it was kind of a slow blogging month. Just the same ol', but I did put up one post that I was very proud of: Swearing in my Posts. It was a good discussion and good to get things off my chest.

Favourite Blog Posts of the Month: 

I discovered a whole lot of new blogs this month and I have been loving it!!

Kirsty talks about her Anxiety 

Uma shares The Blog Squad's thoughts.

Lyha says hello to the blogisphere in her Welcome post.

Brooklyn reveals her Bookish Boyfriends 

Life Stuff: 

So like I said in the beginning, this month has been pretty rough in terms of my semester. I haven't enjoyed the change because my teachers are so much worse now, the people in my classes are the most irritating people ever, and to top it off, I have a new lunch without any of my friends, so basically I have nobody to eat lunch with. It's been pretty annoying and frustrating, but hey, only 4 more months of this bullshit!!!

On the bright side though, this month, my mom and dad surprised my sister and I by telling us that we're going to New York in March! I could not be more excited because this has been a dream of our's for such a long time, and I can now officially enter the Hamilton lottery! I doubt I'll win, but of course, I'm so looking forward to everything else there is to see. I literally cannot wait.

 I hope your February's went well! What did you get up to?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 24 February 2017

My Staying in Essentials: The Life of an Introverted Bookworm

As a bookworm who also happens to be the biggest introvert on the planet, I stay in a lot. I just prefer cozying up with a good book rather than a night on the town, but that's just me. So when Leesa, an online mattress company  was looking for people to share their staying-in essentials, I knew I had to share. So here are my tips for the perfect night:

First off, I like to take a nice shower. I like to be clean when I'm spending a night in, it helps me to sleep and overall relaxes me. So I shower, put on some sweet smelling body butter and get into a cozy onesie. Fuzzy socks are also on my list because I am always cold and my feet are always like bricks of ice, so that's a must. Then, it's time to get into my bed.

Like I said, I'm always cold, so I like to have a ton of blankets and pillows around me. It feels like my own personal fort, and I love being surrounded like that.

My favourite staying in snack has got to be something sweet. I love cupcakes or donuts, and usually will bake something the day before to have as a snack. I like to have comfort food.

I like to watch some Netflix or Youtube during my staying-in night, and I usually do this early on in the evening because when it gets too late I will be too tired to pay attention lol! I will either re-watch an episode of Gilmore Girls, my perfect comforting show, or I will watch a new episode of the show I'm currently watching: Suits.

Then, the main star of the show, my book. I read near the end after I'm done watching my show because it helps me to unwind my mind and get away from the electronics. I usually read the book I'm currently reading, I don't like to re-read a book just for a staying-in night, so currently I'm reading The Sun is Also a Star by: Nicola Yoon and that is my staying-in book! I think fluffy romances make the best cozy books.

Finally, I will put away everything, and meditate for 10 minutes. This may sound cheesy, but I've been doing this right before I go to sleep for about a month now and I just feel like it helps to put all my anxious thoughts to bed and gives me a better sleep. I like to meditate on my Headspace app.

Then, it's bed time. I will get out of my meditation, stretch, and turn off the lights. It's been my definition of a perfect night :)

What are your staying-in essentials?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

A Thousand Nights by: E.K. Johnston

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling
Published: October 6, 2015 by: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 328
Rating: 3/5 stars

Lo-Melkhiin is a ruthless king, a killer, who takes a bride only to kill her that same night. When Lo-Melkhiin arrives at her village, and tries to take her sister, her best friend, she decides that she must risk everything to save her sister's life. She is brave, fearless, and she is determined to prevent her death by enthralling the king into her master storytelling. Will she be able to survive? 

Another retelling One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, although, it was kind of a let-down? Idk, I felt like this book dragged on for too long and lost me by the ending, although I do love the concept and am always a sucker for a retelling. 

I liked how this book didn't name the main protagonist. She is the narrator, but people don't refer to her by her name through the entire book. I thought that this was very unique and mysterious, and really helped to contribute to the mood. However, it is kind of nice to put a name to a face. 

I tend to automatically rate retellings higher because I really do love them. Especially this story, I loved The Wrath and the Dawn and was so willing to start a new one, and I especially like how these books are big on the description. This book has some beautiful writing because it has a lot of details, and also appeals to the senses. It will keep you intrigued. 

However I found this book to be incredibly slow. I was intrigued in the beginning, but as it went on it just dragged and dragged, and I was less interested with every page. It was almost like there was too much description and not enough plot, that it just lacked in any action. 

I also didn't find much chemistry with our protagonist and Lo-Melkhiin. They just seemed forced and unnatural, and just really wrong. It didn't feel like a romance at all. 

So overall, this book was kind of: meh? It was ok, but definitely wasn't as interesting as I thought it would be. 

Have you read A Thousand Nights? What did you think? 

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 17 February 2017

The Knife of Never Letting Go by: Patrick Ness

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction
Published: May 2, 2013 by: Walker Books
Pages: 528
Rating: 4/5 stars

In the town of Prentisstown, everyone hears everyone else's thoughts in an endless stream of Noise. When Todd and his dog Manchee uncover a town that has complete silence throughout, Todd becomes weary of the life he thought he knew that the people he thought he trusted. Just weeks away from becoming a man, Todd faces great danger, and must choose whether or not to reveal the silent town, or continue as if everything is normal.

Mr. Ness creates some unique books. His books are so odd and yet so cool that it seems like he thinks differently than everyone else. I love his ability to weave fantasy and diversity together so perfectly, and creating truly, one of a kind themes.

This book will mess with your head. It will make you rethink everything you thought about sci-fi, and it reveals it in a whole new light. Like I said before, this book is unreal. I guarantee that you have not read anything like it.

This is kind of a weird thing to love about a book, but I loved that there was a dog as a central theme. I am a huge dog person and I don't read many YA books that have a dog as a fearless sidekick, so I found this so unique and cute too! It was really really special.

Like I said, I loved the diversity of this book and how Ness approaches it. He looks at different sides to all kinds of spectrum's, and he doesn't shy away from talking about serious issues. At the same time though, he also has this great wittiness about him that he manages to put in every book, which I find so comical. He's really a jack-of-all-trades.

The one thing that I didn't like about this book was that I tend to not completely *get* science fiction. It's not really my point of interest, and for that reason, I tend to find almost every sci-fi book a tad boring, no matter what it is. So I will say that for me, there were some slow parts, but don't let that discourage you if you love sci-fi.

Overall, this was a really intriguing read with the wit and charm of Ness that we all know and love.

Have you read The Knife of Never Letting Go? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Paperback's Pondering's: Swearing in My Posts

I came up with the idea for this post literally about 5 minutes ago, when I was about to put "f*ck" in a review and immediately changed it. This has happened to me many times before. I immediately know of the perfect swear word to describe what I'm feeling, but then I change it to make it kinder. And for what reason? I know that most people reading these posts are teens, and it's no secret that teens swear. I definitely swear in real life, so why am I so scared to put them in my posts?

I think there's a long-perceived notion that swearing= unprofessional, which is kind of true. You probably won't get the job if you're dropping the f-bomb 20 times in your interview. However this blog isn't my job, it's my hobby, and I'm thinking that I'm watering-down my content to make it more "professional" which really isn't me.

The choice to swear obviously lies in the person. Some are comfortable to swear in their posts, and others  just don't or just censor a few letters. But the strange thing with me is, that I want to swear, I just choose not to. So why am I not using my choice?

I guess I just care too much about the what if. I put my blog as a reference on my University application, so I guess I'm just afraid that they might actually log on here and find me too childish for swearing all the time. But it's highly unlikely that they'll even come on here and see my posts.

So from now on, I'm going to try to embrace myself and start swearing a bit more in my posts. That sounds a bit weird to announce, but again, I just care too much that people are going to be weirded out if they suddenly see me swearing my posts. Now I don't swear a ton, and I definitely do not, say offensive, racist, or sexual words, but the casual *this book fucked me up* every once in a while might come up. It's worth noting.

I think with swearing, it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't. You can get called a goodie two-shoes for not, or be called unprofessional for doing it. But the thing is, that it is all acceptable. If you don't feel comfortable swearing, that's ok. If you do, that's ok too. And I think that's something that I need to realise for myself too.

So people, if you want to express your emotions by proudly using some colourful language, go right ahead! I will  be right with you! And if you don't, then there are many other ways that you can express your emotions too.

What do you think? Do you swear in your posts?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 10 February 2017

The Last Boy and Girl in the World by: Siobhan Vivian

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: April 26, 2016 by: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 432
Rating: 1/5 stars

Keeley Hewitt's town is underwater. After a raging storm threatens to destroy nearly everything in it's path, Keeley and her friends in Aberdeen county decide to make the most of it, by living life to the fullest and taking chances. Soon, Aberdeen is filled with parties and excitement as the teens have their fun, but for Keeley, all she wants to do is to try one last time to win over her long-time crush. Will she be able to do it, before everything turns to chaos?

Do not let this book fool you. At first glance, judging by the title and cover, I thought that this book would be a thrilling dystopian novel about *literally* the last boy and girl on earth. Instead, I got a crappy love story about a whiny white teen and her even less diverse friends, as they party it up while their town is in shambles.

Really, there was nothing I liked about this book. Keeley, the protagonist, was as bitchy as bitchy could be. I'm sorry, but your whole life is underwater and while your disabled dad is trying to cope, you whine that your crush won't love you? Ok girl, you need to get your priorities straight. This girl pissed me off to the core with the fact that she didn't seem to care about anyone but herself.

The other characters in this book were not amazing either. There was not a single person in this book that wasn't a straight white teenager who just wanted to have fun. I'm really sick of these pre-apocalyptic books that just depict privileged teens making stupid decisions as opposed to, you know, being with their loved ones. It's just so stupid.

And don't even get me started on the love story here. It was tropey and gross, love triangles, insta-love, you name it, this book had it. The characters had no chemistry at all besides the fact that Keeley was practically obsessed with her crush that she seemed to put everything else aside to get to him. And get this: he was just your typical young brooding white male.

This is one of those books where I'd say: don't judge it by it's title. What you'll get is an unoriginal romance with some silly teenagers in the mix. Don't waste your time.

Have you read The Last Boy and Girl in the World? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Paperback's Pondering's: Harry Potter, What are you Doing?

This topic... god this topic. I've talked about my problems with revivals of classic books, tv shows, and movies before, but today, we're getting more specific. My first post was having not read Cursed Child, but now that I have, I needed to revisit this. I need to get more stuff off my chest.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't buy into the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts craze. Everyone did, I mean, we're loyal fans who for years haven't gotten a sign from the Wizarding World, and now Harry's checking in to let us know what he's been up to! How exciting! I read, and somewhat enjoyed Cursed Child, and I thought that Fantastic Beasts was ok. But the truth is, I'm sick and tired of these HP revivals. I'd rather that they didn't exist, and I'm not sure if I want to buy into them again. 

Cursed Child was just weird for me. It didn't feel like the eighth Harry Potter book, it felt like some sort of fan fiction that someone had written after finishing the Deathly Hallows. Harry didn't sound like Harry, Ron didn't sound like Ron, and don't even get me started on Hermione. She was so flat and didn't feel at all like the Hermione I used to love. I refuse to believe that book was the eighth Harry Potter book.

Then Fantastic Beasts. That to me, felt like a random movie about wizards set apart from the HP world. It was so incredibly random, and they're actually making five movies out of it?! Give me a break. 

The point I'm trying to make here is, that I don't think these revivals are coming out for the happiness of the fans anymore. I feel like if they were, they would take our opinions into account such as making a certain couple canonically gay and putting down that "snape was good" analogy forever. I would also much rather prefer a series on the Marauders rather than five freaking Fantastic Beasts movies. Maybe I'm just being cynical, but I'm seeing these things as a money grab alone. 

To me, this is all just a way to make more money. They know that anything with Harry Potter plastered on the front, people will buy in to, so they've been milking all of these revivals to the death. It makes me not want to see the five other Fantastic Beasts movies, or not even try to get Cursed Child tickets. It makes me angry that my favourite book is being exploited like this. 

Maybe I'm just being dramatic and negative. I don't mean to be a debby downer on all those who love the revivals, and you are not any less of a fan for wanting to do these things. I'm just saying that for me, these revivals have not been working out, and I wish that HP would either listen to the fans for what they want, or not do anything at all. 

How do you feel about HP at the moment? Please share! 

Emily @ Paperback Princess