Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The Upside of Unrequited by: Becky Abertelli

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: April 11, 2017 by: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 336
Rating: 4/5 stars

Molly Peskin-Suso has experience unrequited love exactly twenty six times. She crushes often on boys, but has never worked up the courage to tell them her feelings. When her twin sister Cassie gets a girlfriend, Molly begins to wonder if she is losing her best friend, who has now become lovesick and so utterly annoying. But Cassie's girlfriend has a super cute hipster best friend who may be perfect for Molly, if she can get over her crush for her awkward co-worker Reid. Now Molly finds herself crushing on two boys, what's a girl to do?

This was a really sweet book! It was easy to get through and absolutely filled with diverse representation. I loved and can relate to the character of Molly, who is very shy and introverted, and I rooted for her all the way. While this book wasn't particularly anything complex or spectacular, it definitely was a good read.

There was great diversity in this novel! Molly has two mom's who were literally the sweetest couple ever, a lesbian twin sister and also adopted siblings of various ethnicity's. A main feature in this book is also the fact that Molly is a plus-sized girl, and this book highlights the struggle she goes through with her confidence in herself to find love.

Like I said before, the plot was very easy to get through, it just wasn't anything special. I could definitely predict what was coming, which made this book just pretty good for me. I think it's great for anyone looking for a fluffy, diverse read.

Have you read The Upside of Unrequited? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Thursday, 12 April 2018

A Little More Information on my WIP

Hello all! Today I thought I'd give more insight on my WIP, as I have been working on it for a really long time but have never really shared a lot about it. If you recall, a while ago I shared what was in my writing portfolio, one of which was a snippet from my current work that I'm writing. It is a YA fantasy novel, probably going to take forever to finish, but I am slowly but surely completing chunks of it. I haven't come up with just the right title for it yet, so for now it's being know as Gray Palace. This will probably change.

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published: Probably Never
Pages: Too many to count
Rating: To be determined

Synopsis: Ely belongs to a group of mystical fortune tellers known as the Aquarys, social outcasts that are seen as valuable only for their ability to tell the future and are otherwise banished to a small village in the shadow of the tyrannical Nuvian empire. King Kyle of Nuvia is a ruthless king, who has killed countless Aquarys and starved his civilians without remorse. His elusive castle, Gray Palace is a threat to anyone who approaches it. When Kyle requests for a fortune teller to be brought to Gray Palace for a summer party, Ely will risk every possible danger by jumping at the chance, seeing it as an opportunity to use her hypnosis powers to seduce, and kill the king. But Ely will find that Gray Palace holds secrets that she should have never known, and her murder plot will prove to be a lot more difficult once Kyle takes it upon himself to try and get into her head.

That's pretty much it! I would share a snippet but I have an irrational fear of sharing my writing so you all will just have to deal with a synopsis for now LOL. But maybe with a lot more time and editing I will share down the road. I'm still happy to have shared the synopsis :)

Have you got a WIP?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 9 April 2018

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by: Kendare Blake

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: September 20, 2016 by: HarperTeen
Pages: 398
Rating: 4/5 stars

On the island of Fennbirn, triplet girls are born to every generation, each possessing a powerful gift that they will use to kill the others once they come of age in order to become queen. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to control the weather to her advantage. Katharine is a poisoner, trained to consume deadly poisons without even a stomachache. Lastly, there's Arsinoe, the naturalist, who is said to be able to control the fiercest of animals, however her powers have not come yet. Mirabella is the favourite to win the crown, but Katharine and her mentors will not go down without a fight, and Arsinoe is determined to prove her worth to herself, and to her sisters.

This book was wild!! It captured my attention straight away, and I was in love with the concept. I thought it was such a unique book overall, with beautiful writing that didn't seem overly descriptive. While it took a slow turn, I was fully into it from the start.

I loved the concept of this book. The fact that this is a fight to the death situation and each girl has a gift they find most powerful was so cool. I found myself wanting to read more because I was so captivated by the writing and wanted to see if the girls would start fighting yet.

The problem is, that by the middle of the book, things slowed down!! I wanted so badly for the big fight for the crown to begin, and they built it up so much, but by the middle things lagged so badly and I was just itching for some more action. It seemed to me that a lot of the focus was put on Arsinoe, who in my opinion was not the story I was most interested in, and I wanted to get some more content with Katharine and Mirabella.

That being said, I will be continuing the series because I have got to see what happens next! I am so into these girls' stories and I hope this next book will contain more of their fight. I need more action.

Have you read Three Dark Crowns? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

The Odyssey by: Homer

Genre: Greek Epic Poem
Published: November 30, 2006 by: Penguin Classics
Pages: 541
Rating: 4/5 stars

Years after the Trojan War, the Greek hero Odysseus is making is journey back to the island of Ithaca, where he is king. Along the way, the spiteful god Poseidon will make his quest difficult, and Odysseus will gave to battle the ferocious Cyclops and rough seas to Ithaca. Meanwhile, his wife Penelope longs for his safe return, and it is only when they are reunited that all will be at peace.

I was really excited to read The Odyssey. I actually got the book way back in the summer but my mom wanted to give it to me as a Christmas present and so I waited until December to read it. While it didn't give me quite as much as the thrills from The Illiad, this poem is a classic that all lovers of mythology will love.

I always found the character of Odysseus fascinating in The Illiad, and so I loved a more in-depth look at him, as there definitely was more story to tell. I also loved the allusions to the deceased characters of The Illiad, such as Achilles' ghost. Achilles is my all time favourite Greek hero so I loved that he still made an appearance in The Odyssey. I also loved that more women got stories in The Odyssey, such as Penelope. I loved reading about her.

I don't think this "wowed" me as much as The Illiad did. The battles were just a little toned-down, and I didn't feel as emotionally invested in it as I was in The Illiad. While I obviously prefer The Illiad to the two, I do think this is a must-read for people who love Greek classics.

Have you read The Odyssey? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 2 April 2018

Month in Review: March

Well this was a busy March! There were definitely some ups and downs, and I also feel like I wasn't as "in" to reading as I have been before, but now I am in my last month of school and exams are coming!!

What I Read: 

The Lady of Shalott by: Alfred Lord Tennyson: 5/5 stars
The Dead by: James Joyce: 3/5 stars
Discoucia by: Nicholas Lovelock: 3/5 stars
Station Eleven by: Emily St. John Mandel: 5/5 stars
Three Dark Crowns by: Kendare Blake: 4/5 stars

I had to re-read Station Eleven to prevent a reading slump so that was obviously my fave of this month, and overall I just read a lot of poetry and stuff for English class.

What I Blogged:

My favourite post of this month was What Being a Writer Means to Me. I thought it was a good time to reflect on writing pressures and the meaning of the word: writer.

Favourite Blog Posts: 

Cee talks about Pressures and Not Feeling "Good Enough." 
Veronika talks about Stuff that Pisses Her Off in Books 
Amy shares What She's Currently Writing 

Life Stuff: 

Well, I failed my driving test for the third time. That wasn't fun. But on a positive note, I did get a job!! I'm actually more nervous than anything to be honest because I have a huge fear of screwing up and this is my first proper job. Hopefully all will go well. Now I'm also into exams as well which will surely take up a lot of my time.

What did you get up to in March?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Clink Street Publishing's Spring Reads Blog Tour: Discoucia book #1 by: Nicholas Lovelock

This year, I'm taking part in Clink Street Publishing's Spring Reading Week blog tour! So to go with the event, here is my review of Discoucia by: Nicholas Lovelock:

Genre: Fantasy
Published: June 29, 2017 by: Clink Street Publishing
Pages: 345
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Sir Arthur Pageon is protector of the realm of Avalonia, a magical land full of monstrous creatures, and the Discoucian Monarchy. Returning home from one of his quests, he discovers that he is being followed by The Purple Guard, a rebellion group led by his sister, Queen Lily Pageon. Lily longs to take over the Discoucian monarchy. However, the heir to the throne, Princess Josephine, knows of her plot, and her and Arthur will embark on a journey all across Avalonia to try and stop Lily from taking over the kingdom.

This book is about as fantasy as you can get! It had fantastic world building, incredible descriptions of setting, and will fully engross you in the world. The tone was humorous and witty, which brought a unique charm, and I think all fantasy lovers would love this. While I had some issues with it because of the fact that I do have a love/hate relationship with worlds as complex as this, I think that it will capture the hearts of all fantasy die-hards.

This book was very different from other fantasies I've read. The tone was very informal and witty, which actually made this more enjoyable from other heavy fantasies. There were a lot of funny elements to it and it didn't seem as serious as other fantasies.

The characters were also really well written. You have some typical characters of magical kingdoms, such as the Knight, the Queen, the Princess, but they were really different and their personalities were quite interesting. I especially liked the whole aspect of Lily being a tyrannical dictator, and the fact that she was related to Arthur. I thought that brought a cool dynamic.

I think the main problem why I couldn't be fully into this book was because the plot was too complex for me. I didn't feel really connected to it as there were a lot of different settings, characters, and organizations and I had trouble following. I found myself having to go back and re-read sections to understand what was going on, which I didn't really like. That being said, if you take things slow with this one, or if you're used to reading fantasy all the time, you may really like this.

About the author: Based in a small village in Oxfordshire Nicholas Lovelock is the author of the Alavonia series. As well as a passion for history, Nick holds a keen interest in Numismatics —the study and collection of coins, banknotes and medals— counting a 200 year-old 1826 half-crown and coinage of monarchs like Queen Anne, Elizabeth the First and Henry the Eighth as part of his collection.
Thanks to Clink Street for including me in their blog tour! Be sure to check out all the other posts going up this week with the #SpringReads

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 26 March 2018

Fables: Legends in Exile by: Bill Willingham

Genre: Comic Book, Fantasy
Published: December 31, 2000 by: Vertigo
Pages: 128
Rating: 4/5 stars

The characters from all your favourite fairy tales and fables have been exiled to a magical building right in the heart of New York City! Snow White is the mayor of Fabletown, a massive skyscraper that houses all of the magical creatures from fairy tales. When her sister, Rose Red goes missing and is presumed dead, it is up to Snow White and Fabletown's police sheriff, The Big Bad Wolf, to uncover if the killer is Rose Red's husband Bluebeard, or her past lover, the troubled Jack (from the bean stock).

I was not expecting to be as big of fan of this comic book as I was! I've had kinda a love-hate with comic books before, but this one had a thrilling plot, some amazing characters, and of course I couldn't help but find it so cool that they were all from beloved fairy tales!

All of the characters were so badass. You would not expect Snow White to be this hard hitting, feminist mayor, but Willingham gave her such a great storyline! Not to mention that Cinderella is also a fencer who kicks some ass, and who divorced Prince Charming. This book brought harder themes onto characters who were once considered to be damsels in distress, and I thought that was awesome.

The plot was really cool too. I was weary that this comic would just be a cheesy representation of fairy tale characters, but the fact that there was a literal murder mystery in it was amazing! This book is definitely not for children, but it was nice for the adults to get an age appropriate fairy tale retelling that was more complex. While I'm still not sold that the comic book format is for me, this was definitely the best I've read.

Have you read Fables: Legends in Exile? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

One of Us is Lying by: Karen M. McManus

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Mystery
Published: May 30, 2017 by: Delacorte Press
Pages: 361
Rating: 5/5 stars

Five students went into detention at Bayview High, only four walked out. Bronwyn is the brain, destined for greater things. Cooper is the jock, a southern sweetheart who is just trying to make it in baseball. Then there's Addy, the beauty queen, and Nate, the criminal. Finally, Simon, the outcast who runs a gossip website solely used to embarrass the students at Bayview. When Simon is dead by the end of detention, all fingers point to somebody who was in the room with him. All four of these students have secrets, and the question is, how much are they willing to reveal?

I literally finished this book in less than 12 hours. It is so thrilling to find something so incredibly fast-paced that hooks you in straight away!! I could not put this down and I thought that the breakfast club theme made it even better.

I fell in love with all of the characters. Nate was by far my favourite and I really felt so bad for him but loved how sweet he was inside. He was your perfect example of a bad boy who is just so damn lovable. I also loved Cooper and enjoyed his storyline the most as well. I think there was so much depth to each of the characters.

The plot was off the charts amazing! Every chapter had a twist and I did not see the ending coming. I thought that everything came full circle in the end and it was overall a really well-thought out novel.

Have you read One of Us is Lying? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 19 March 2018

What it Means to Me to be a Writer

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

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

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

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

What does writing mean to you?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 12 March 2018

Five Little Pigs by: Agatha Christie

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Reacting to My First Blog Post

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Review: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 5 March 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 26 February 2018

Month in Review: February

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

What I Read: 

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

What I Blogged:

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

Favourite Blog Posts: 

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

Life Stuff: 

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

How was your February?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Thursday, 22 February 2018

They Both Die at the End by: Adam Silvera

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: September 5, 2017 by: HarperTeen
Pages: 368
Rating: 5/5 stars

Death Cast is a system that calls people 24 hours before they are going to die. It gives them a chance to live life to the fullest, say goodbye to loved ones, or engage with other soon to be dead people through the app Last Friend, for a final chance at a friend before your impending doom. Mateo and Rufus are strangers, but they both have one thing in common, and that is they will die on the same day. They meet through Last Friend for one final adventure, and to keep each other company on what is meant to be a not so good day.

Adam Silvera has done it again, folks! He was once more managed to make me laugh, cry, and just be utterly shocked all in one amazing book. This man knows how to write, and truly embodies a very gifted person who is able to weave sci-fi elements into realistic fiction, all while keeping things incredibly diverse.

This book was so unique. I had to keep reading no matter what because I felt like Mateo or Rufus could die at any moment. It's kinda sad, but Silvera keeps things comical and humorous at times to break up the overall morbid theme. It was really cool.

I loved everything about this book. The cover, the concept, the characters, everything was perfect and I couldn't put this down.

Have you read They Both Die at the End? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 19 February 2018

The Dark Prophecy (Trials of Apollo #2) by: Rick Riordan

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Mythology
Published: May 2, 2017 by: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 414
Rating: 5/5 stars

On his second quest to gaining his immortality back, the god Apollo must track down his lost mentor Meg Mcaffrey, all with the help of son of Hephaestus Leo Valdez, his girlfriend Calypso, and a group of retired hunters of Artemis who will all try to protect themselves against the many enemies Apollo has made during his time as a god.

I will never, ever get tired of Rick Riordan's writing. I mean, this guy went from writing books that were not so diverse and quite predictable, to some of the most diverse middle-grade/YA books out there. He weaves mythology into the modern day world, and his witty humour and pop culture references never get old.

I think I may have enjoyed this book even more than the first. Probably because my boy Leo Valdez was a central character, and he is ultimately my favourite character Riordan has ever created. I loved reading about him again, as well as the introduction of new characters who were so lovable and funny.

I can fly through these books. They are hilarious, educational, and satisfy my love for mythology like no other. I hope Riordan never gets tired of writing in this world because it's perfect.

Have you read The Dark Prophecy? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Paperback's Pondering's: J.K. Rowling, You Need to Stop

I'm sure if you're around in the book community then you know the drama that's been surrounding J.K. Rowling recently. Basically, she has said that Dumbledore is canonically gay, and yet refuses to acknowledge that in any of her works or the million fantastic beasts movies that are coming out. Now this is harmful and useless in the grand scheme of diversity, and most definitely paints JKR as a person who is just trying to seem diverse without putting in the effort. But I'm not here to ridicule this topic, there's plenty of #ownvoices people who can steer you towards that, instead, I'm going to talk about how JKR has ruined a childhood series I once loved:

Now a lot of people after this drama and JKR's decision to keep Johnny Depp in the film said that they will be boycotting the new Fantastic Beasts movie set to come out. But the truth is, I was planning on boycotting this film before any of this drama even happened, and that is simply because I do not want to give my money to the HP franchise anymore, as they are exploiting what was once a good thing.

I miss the good old days. When there were seven books, eight movies, the conclusion wrapped up into a tiny little bow and we all moved on. That was fine for me. But this constant "eighth book," "prequel dealing with Newt Schamander," "Grindelwald finally revealed," does not interest me in the slightest!! MY series, the original, seven-book series, to me are the only books pertaining to Harry Potter's world and I could so do without this other shit.

I'm calling it like it is, these new forms of media are not here because JKR wants to expand the story and give new insights; she, and others, have realized how much money they can make when they slap "Harry Potter world" onto something and are just trying to milk this franchise to no end. And the truth is, these new additions have ruined the series for me, because so much focus now is being put on them and not on the original story I truly love.

So J.K. Rowling, you need to stop. You need to stop exploiting your series, you need to stop queer-baiting people, and you need to stop ruining what was once a good thing. I know a lot of people buy into the hype surrounding these new features, but for me, count me out.

What do you think about all this business?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 12 February 2018

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: August 28, 2017 by: Random House Children's Books
Pages: 364
Rating: 3/5 stars

Princess Diana longs to prove herself worthy to her warrior sisters. But when she risks everything by rescuing a mortal, she is soon sent into a quest with the mysterious Alia, a direct descendant of Helen of Troy who is being hunted down, as she holds the power to unleash a world war. Together, the two girls with endure supernatural enemies and coming to terms with their own strengths, in order to save both of their very different worlds.

I'm kind of up in arms about this book. On one hand, it was unique, what could have been a thrilling tale about a beloved superhero from a much beloved author. On the other, it was a book that I may have forced myself to like, because of said beloved author and my willingness to attempt to get myself into superheroes.

The one geeky thing I can't seem to get myself into are superheroes. Comics are ok, but not my favourite, and the superhero movies just don't interest me all that much. But dammit, if Leigh Bardugo writes a book, you read the book. I didn't hate this book, it just wasn't my cup of tea, although I do enjoy the concept of wonder woman and the mythological undertones.

Overall, this book just wasn't for me. I enjoyed the action and learning about a superhero I don't know much about, but I don't think I'll be picking up any other YA superhero retellings from now on. I just find them boring and dull. But hey, if you like Wonder Woman, you may love this book.

Have you read Wonder Woman: Warbringer? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Top Ten by: Katie Cotugno

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: October 3, 2017 by: Balzer and Bray
Pages: 320
Rating: 5/5 stars

Gabby is an introverted girl with social anxiety that forbids her from ever wanting to attend a party. Ryan is a popular hockey boy who is a social butterfly. Against all odds, they not only become the best of friends, but they also become each others person, willing to pick each other up when they get down and keep each other in check. Now in the midst of high school graduation, Gabby and Ryan are counting down the top ten moments of their friendship, and reflect on all the good times, and all the bad.

This was such a light, fluffy book! I have never read anything from Katie Cotugno before and was really afraid the plot would be unoriginal and bland, but instead I flew through this book and really enjoyed the representation.

This book not only touches on anxiety, but it also goes into the issue of concussions in hockey, and how toxic masculinity perpetuates hockey players to not seek medical help. It was interesting and really well written!

I also loved the characters. Gabby is literally me in every way, and Ryan was also quite sweet but also flawed. I liked how Gabby kept Ryan in check and how important he was to her, even if it wasn't a romantic relationship.

Overall, I thought this book had some great concepts in it. A boy and a girl not romantically linked and from two very different backgrounds are the best of friends, and that's not something you typically see in YA contemporary.

Have you read Top Ten? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 5 February 2018

When Breath Becomes Air by: Paul Kalanithi

Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir
Published: January 19, 2016 by: Random House
Pages: 208
Rating: 4/5 stars

At the age of 36, Paul Kalanithi is at the top of his game. He has just completed decades worth of training and is now an accomplished neurosurgeon. That is, until he's not. Paul is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, and now, with perhaps just a year to live, he and his wife's lives are turned upside down. In this moving memoir, Paul reflects on what it's like to carry on with such a devastating diagnosis, and, while he died before the memoir was finished, his wife finishes the story and tells of her husband's triumphs in the face of death.

This memoir was sad. It kinda reminded me of Tuesday's With Morrie in the sense the we hear a dying man's perspective of life and loss, and this was a refreshing take on it. It was really interesting to hear the perspective of a neurosurgeon, of someone whose life depended on science, and now he is faced with philosophical questions that rattle his mind. It was a very moving memoir.

This memoir was short and very captivating in just 200 pages. It was easy to follow and didn't rattle my brain with hard-hitting stuff. It was sad, but it didn't leave me feeling just completely down on myself.

That being said, I'm not the biggest non-fiction reader, so I don't think I enjoyed this book quite as much as I would a fiction novel. Still, it was really good if you're looking for a short, heartfelt read.

Have you read When Breath Becomes Air? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Turtles All the Way Down by: John Green

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: October 10, 2017 by: Dutton Books
Pages: 304
Rating: 3/5 stars

Aza and her friend Daisy are eager to investigate the mysterious death of billionaire Russell Picket, all for a cash reward worth thousands. But when Aza starts growing close to Picket's teenaged son Davis, she begins to wonder if her budding into his dead father's life is really worth it. Mix that with her severe diagnosed OCD and a controlling mother, Aza struggles to be the perfect version of herself, and a perfect detective.

This was unlike any other John Green book I have ever read. You all know John Green. His books are cheesy, his teens do not talk like teens, and 12-year olds love them. But this book was by far his most mature read. The characters were relatable and raw, however this book was not without its faults. Mainly the problem was for me, it was too damn triggering.

I'll start with the positives. Like I said before, this book was extremely relatable and incredibly diverse. I admire Green for taking an issue such as OCD and having his character deal with it, but it not being the central plot. It made it all the more real.

The plot was ok. It was a little boring in parts and to be honest, I didn't find it as easy to get through as his other novels. This is probably just because it was a lot heavier.

But now to the main issue I had with this book. The OCD images were so visceral that I found this book too triggering and disturbing for me. I do not have diagnosed OCD but I most certainly have some OCD ticks, and this book took me down a dark spiral and made me really uncomfortable. It got to the point where I skipped some parts because I just didn't want to read about that stuff.

If you're willing to give this book a go, give it a go. I think out of all of Green's books, it's the least predictable, but just be cautious especially if you have OCD.

Have you read Turtles All the Way Down? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 29 January 2018

Month in Review: January

Look who's back on track! Not only have I gotten back into a regular blogging routine but I've also been reading a lot and writing a lot too! Here's what I got up to in January:

What I Read: 

They Both Die at the End by: Adam Silvera: 5/5 stars
The Dark Prophecy by: Rick Riordan: 4/5 stars
Ms. Marvel: No Normal by: G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona: 3/5 stars
Lines, Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey by: William Wordsworth: 1/5 stars
The Amazing Spiderman Vol. 1 by: Stan Lee: 3/5 stars
Pride and Prejudice by: Jane Austen: 4/5 stars

So as you can see, there were some hits and some misses, and also comic books?? My favourite book was obviously They Both Die at the End. It was so unique and beautiful and sad and ugh so perfect.

What I Blogged: 

I changed up my schedule a bit. I now blog on Monday and Wednesday, and I'm enjoying blogging again. My favourite post was What's in my Writing Portfolio? It was fun for me to finally share my writing with you guys and I felt good doing it.

Favourite Blog Posts of the Month: 

Cee @ Diary of a Reading Addict: Cut Yourself Some Slack 

Amy @ A Magical World of Words: Romanticised Abuse: Bad Boys 

Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales: I Struggle to Find My Place in the Changing Dynamics of the Book Community

Life Stuff: 

I have started semester two of uni and I finally have started by creative writing course! I'm really liking the prof so far but the course is definitely not what I expected. I'm now working on my portfolio to get into my creative writing program next year and I'm really nervous. But hopefully, all will be well!

How was your January?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

My Top Five Favourite Science-Fictions

I've decided that every once in a while, I want to share some recommendations of my favourite books from a certain genre or topic. I have branched out a lot recently when reading, so it's always good to share some new and old favourites in a narrowed-down topic. Today, I'm sharing my top five sci-fi novels that I've read over the years! In no particular order:

1. The Handmaid's Tale by: Margaret Atwood

You've probably heard of the tv show, but have you read the book? Atwood wrote this novel in 1985, and it captures the shocking tale of a woman held captive for her ability to reproduce in a world dominated by the patriarchy. Read it, it will surprise you!

2. The Martian by: Andy Weir

This book kinda gets a bad rap, but I personally loved its use of humour in a setting where things could have been quite serious. When an astronaut is left stranded on Mars, he must learn to survive by himself and keep going until someone years from now can come and rescue him. It will surprisingly make you laugh!

3. Station Eleven by: Emily St-John Mandel

Oh god, she's talking about this book again! But seriously, if you're new to my blog and don't know about my obsession with this book, it's about a plague sweeping through the earth and how humans before, during, and after the epidemic learn to cope with it. This book has astonishing lessons on philosophy and hope that are so inspiring.

4. Divergent by: Veronica Roth

An oldie but a goodie. If you're the type of person who is scared of the cliche YA dystopia's I would still urge you to read this one out of all the rest. In a post-apocalyptic world, people are separated by their morals and values in 4 different factions. When a young girl named Tris moves outside of the faction she was born into, she changes the way people think and works to tear down the corrupt government.

5. The Selection by: Kiera Cass

Definitely the lightest and fluffiest of sci-fi books. In this dystopic world, people are separated into castes that determine their social status. When the kingdom of Illea's prince is looking for a wife, women of various castes are selected to compete in a very Bachelor-esque competition for his hand. If you are in need to a pick me up and something to get through fast, look no further.

So those are my picks. Have you read any of these? Got any sci-fi recommendations for me?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 22 January 2018

The Glass Castle by: Jeannette Walls

Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir
Published: January 26, 2006 by: Scribner
Pages: 288
Rating: 5/5 stars

Jeannette Walls tells the both tender and heartbreaking story of her life. Of living in a family of nomads, travelling along the Southwest desert and scrounging up whatever they could find. Her father was a drunk, but when sober, he captivated Jeannette and her three siblings with imagination and teachings that you could not replicate in a classroom. But when the money ran out, the family had to settle, and with it, Jeannette's father started drinking and became abusive. Their mother was absent and uncaring, and the Walls children began to fend for themselves. When they finally found the courage to leave home, Jeannette knew that this story had to be told.

Wow. Just wow. This book was unreal, unexplainable, probably the most captivating non-fiction I have ever read. What's incredible about this story is that it reads like a fiction, it's almost like the characters are made up and the author is simply telling just a heartbreaking tale. But it's all real. Jeannette used such vivid descriptions of her childhood that drew me in and made me not want to put it down.

Jeannette obviously had a hard life. Her and her siblings grew up very fast, and they could have ended up anywhere, but they decided to turn their lives around. But amazingly, Jeannette speaks of her parents with such fondness and affection. She doesn't look at them as horrid people who she is estranged from, instead, she looks upon them with generosity for their sacrifices and an appreciation for the fond memories. This is one strong woman.

I would recommend this book to anyone. Even if you don't like non-fiction, this book is not boring in the slightest and has such a beautifully painted picture of a not so beautiful life.

Have you read The Glass Castle? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

What's in My Writing Portfolio?

Like a lot of people I've met in the blogisphere, I want to be a writer someday. My absolute dream is to be published, and while I have already technically written a book for NaNoWriMo, it is nowhere near where I want my writing to be. However, I have just started my creative writing class at uni, and have started writing again after over a year. Here's what I've been up to:

So in order to get into my creative writing program which starts next year, I have to submit a portfolio. I'm pretty nervous because I don't really have a backup plan if I don't get in.  For my portfolio, I have submitted 10 pages of writing from various stories. I'm really excited about them and wanted to share what they're about.

My first story is a 2-page long excerpt from a potential YA fantasy that I worked on a lot a year ago, but kinda lost touch of. It's about a girl named Ely, a fortune teller who lives under a tyrannical monarchy and must go undercover in the palace in order to kill the ruthless king. It is probably my most developed story, I have 16 pages already written along with storyboards and even a query letter, because when the time comes, I would really love to finish and submit it to an agent.

My second piece is a character portrait of the ruthless king Kyle from the story above. I think he is the character I have the most clear picture of in my mind and I really love writing him. He's a terrible person, but he's also broken inside and really needs to be shown some sort of love.

My third is something completely different, it's an introduction to a dystopia about all the world being condensed into a single country. Basically, there has been only one survivor of each country in the world after the apocalypse, and so they all band together onto one piece of land and have to learn to cooperate. I don't think this story will go anywhere but it was fun to write nonetheless.

I finally got around to writing an ancient history retelling! This is about a girl who is trapped under the rubble of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in Pompeii. She recounts memories of her past life before the eruption and tries to make her way out of the rubble. I know there were no survivors of the eruption, but I wanted to have a little fun with a "what if?"

The last piece I've submitted is a short story about a woman driving to work in heavy downtown traffic and she talks about her anxieties about driving and ponders how fast moving society is nowadays. This was by far my favourite piece to submit because it has a plot twist in the end, and I have never written a plot twist before. I also don't really write short stories so it was a good change.

That's all that's in my creative writing portfolio! If all goes well, maybe I'll share some of the pieces I submitted later on, because I do feel like I need to be more open with sharing my writing.

Have you ever had to submit a writing portfolio? Do you have any tips?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 15 January 2018

The 100 by: Kass Morgan

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopia
Published: September 3rd, 2013 by: Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 323
Rating: 2/5 stars

For centuries after nuclear warfare, humanity has lived on a spaceship known as the Arc, far above from the now inhabitable planet. However, fuel and oxygen are beginning to run out, and so Chancellor Jaha orders that 100 juvenile delinquents be sent back to earth to recolonize. Among them is Clarke, an artist arrested for treason; and Bellamy, a troublemaker who snuck his way onto the mission in order to protect his sister Octavia. The 100 will face new found hardships and a planet unfamiliar to them, but they may be humanity's only hope.

Ok, so I absolutely love the tv show The 100. I find it so action-packed, complex, and the characters are unbelievably well-written. So I was eager to get my hands on the book to help me cope with this dreaded year-long hiatus. However, and this is a pretty popular opinion, I found that the tv show is way better than the book.

I didn't love how the characters were written. Clarke didn't seem even half as badass as she is in the show and Bellamy was just so dull. I couldn't imagine them as the characters that I know and love and I found them so underdeveloped and underwhelming. I thought Octavia was ok, she definitely still remains my favourite character, but still I wanted more.

The plot was also quite boring. I waited so long for something to happen and it took forever for things to get going. This is unlike the show, which through me right into the action.

I guess what kept me from fully hating this book was that I was already familiar with the characters and the general storyline, so I wasn't fully disconnected. However I now know that the show changed a lot of things, and I am very thankful for that. For once, the show was better.

Have you read The 100? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Paperback's Pondering's: Why I've Set My Goodreads Goal A Little Lower This Year

Paperback's Pondering's is back! Today I'm going to talk about Goodreads goals, and why I have set my expectations a little lower this year than in previous years.

I was anticipating not even setting a Goodreads goal this year, and here's why. I just found that for me, in previous years, I would rush through books just to make the goal. I wasn't actually reading, rather skimming, to fly through book after book because I felt as if this goal had to be met. I don't even know why this goal was so important to me, it's not like you win a cash prize or anything, but I associated not meeting my goal with failure. I needed to finish it.

So the first year I set the goal, it was at 65 books, and over the years I have always felt like I needed to top the goal from the previous year. So by 2017, I was at a whopping 80 books, which doesn't seem like much compared to other bookworms who clear at least 100 books a year (seriously, give me your powers), but it was honestly physically impossible for me. So again, I rushed through books and read a lot of pointless short books I wasn't even interested in just to meet and exceed the goal.

So this year, I have set my goal back from even my first year, at 50 books. To a non-bookworm, that seems like such a challenge, and to an avid bookworm, it may even seem a little measly. But with this goal, I can ensure that I actually closely read each book and only read books I am genuinely interested in. I don't want to waste my time anymore.

I would like to eventually work my way up to the incredible goal that is 100 books, but it will be impossible for a first-year university student to reach that quite fast. So for now, I'll be sitting here content with my 50 books.

Do you have a Goodreads goal? What is it set at?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 8 January 2018

Year in Review: 2017

I'm back!!! Hey everyone, how's 2018 treating you so far? I know I've taken a bit of a hiatus, but I have so many ideas this year and I can't wait for 2018 in terms of blogging, writing, and of course reading! But for now, here's a list of all the things I did in 2017:


I read 84 books in 2017, completing my goodreads challenge of reading 80 books! My favourite book from the year was by far Station Eleven, I'm sure you all are tired of me talking about that book. My favourite 2017 release was The Hate U Give. 2017 was great in terms of diverse books.


I kinda slacked off this year when it came to blogging. I took a lot of hiatuses and reduced my frequency in posting, but that was all because of the major changes that happened in my life this year. Now back into the swing of things, I hope to be posting more.

I was also thrilled that many bloggers came back from hiatuses this year! Claire @ Clairefy and TT @ Intro to Blurb to name a few. It's exciting to see some familiar faces making their return.


Well, what didn't happen this year?! I graduated high school, got to see many sights and sounds of Europe, attended FanExpo and met some of my favourite people, and of course, started university. It hasn't been easy and honestly I feel like my anxiety has been through the roof more than ever this past year, but all things just take time. I'm starting 2018 with a clean slate and a want for change.

My 2018 Goals:

This all brings me to my 2018 goals. This year, I want to get back into writing. I have a good book idea and I want to start getting it going, and I'm taking a creative writing course this year which I'm sure will help.

I also of course want to post more and want to work on scheduling posts every Monday and Wednesday. No more writing posts on the day that they go up.

I would love to get a job soon as well. University is not cheap and I like the idea of having a little extra money.

That was my 2017! I'm excited for 2018 and I hope it'll be great. How was your year?

Emily @ Paperback Princess