Friday, 5 October 2018

Maus: A Survivor's Tale by: Art Spiegelman

Genre: Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction
Published: November 1, 1991 by: Pantheon Books
Pages: 159
Rating: 5/5 stars

In an attempt to reconnect with his cantankerous and ailing father, Art Spiegelman begins writing and illustrating a story about his father's experiences as a prisoner in Auschwitz. As his father recounts the blurry details of a horrific past, Art splits between writing about the war, and about how he wishes his father was less stubborn and a bit more compassionate to his patient wife. This graphic novel is a story about the gruesome details of the Holocaust, but it is also about the long-term affects that the war had on the elderly, and the relationships severed because of it.

This book was flawless. The illustrations were poignant, heartbreaking, and so incredibly real, and the story of Art's father was heartbreaking. What's unique about this book is that Art uses the metaphor of the cat and mouse in his illustrations. All Jews in the book are drawn as mice, and all Nazi's are drawn as cats. These details really show the harsh authority that took over the war, and the innocence of the victims.

I loved how this graphic novel didn't really read like one. I do not like graphic novels that have too many pictures and not enough text, but this one was overflowing with rich dialogue that felt like I was reading just a regular book. You can tell that Art is as talented a writer as he is an illustrator.

This book is special because it flips between Art's father in the 1940's, and how he is now. You can really see the affect that the Holocaust had on his mental health, and that has made the relationship with his son difficult. This is a brilliant novel that explores much more than you ever thought you knew about the Holocaust.

Have you read Maus? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 28 September 2018

Month in Review: September

I have been so busy this month I barely literally forgot I was reading a book. But, I did survive the first month of second year, although I am exhausted. Here's what happened in September:

What I Read: 

Little Fires Everywhere by: Celeste Ng: 5/5 stars 
Maus II: A Here My Troubles Began by: Art Spiegelman: 5/5 stars 
Pretty Madcap Dorothy by: Laura Jean Libbey: 1/5 stars 
Titus Andronicus by: William Shakespeare: 4/5 stars
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by: Emily M. Danforth: 4/5 stars 

Favourite book: Little Fires Everywhere was my favourite book of the month. It was suspenseful, dramatic, and beautifully written. I finished it all in about a day, and I definitely want to read more from Celeste Ng. 

What I Blogged: 

I had a good old talk with a lot of you guys about Writer's Block and feeling uninspired. Thanks to you, I now feel motivated to just post what I love and I am looking forward to the future. 

Favourite Blog Posts: 

Based on my writer's block post, Cee posted her own post about how to combat writer's block that I think a lot of you may find helpful. Check it out: 7 Radical Ways to Defeat Writer's Block

Life Stuff: 

Uhm, it's been a month. The stress of second year and having to go back to reality after a really fun summer took its toll on me, and I found myself really sad and anxious most of the time. I don't really love my school schedule and I have also switched jobs in the process which means more time devoted to learning a whole new job, and stressing over not doing things correctly. But hopefully with my fall break and Thanksgiving coming up in a week, I will feel a lot better.

 So that was my September. How was yours? 

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

My TV Show Pet Peeve: Lazy Writing

So going off of my post last week in which a lot of you told me to just write what I love, I decided to revisit a post that I scrapped because it was just too rambly and all over the place. I am reworking it a bit and hopefully get a good rant in! Although not book related, this post mostly has to do with a TV show well known in the book community, and that is The 100. There aren't any detailed spoilers in this post but some plot points may be revealed so if you want to go into season five completely blind, you have been warned.

I cannot stand it when tv shows get lazy. Meaning that plot lines are ignored, there are extreme continuity errors, and things that have been built up all season are completely thrown out. Nothing checked all of those boxes more than Season 5 of The 100 series.

I'll try to keep things as neutral and spoiler free as possible, but in a nutshell, a huge battle that was teased all season, was completely, (literally and figuratively) blown up. The war barely even happened, and instead, in the last 15 minutes of the season finale, a whole new plot came along that involved the characters racing against time to save the entire human race. Again. By the end of the season, we were introduced to yet another time jump, only this one is a lot longer than the first.

I feel like The 100 writers have just gotten very lazy. They keep building up these huge issues throughout seasons and then they don't even end up happening! Season 4 was when this first started becoming a problem, but Season 5 was just an absolute mess. There is nothing worse for a tv lover, in my opinion, to have to sit through hours of buildup with no end result. And the ending we do get, is just a cheesy, way too fast moving scene that ignores the core of the story. Seriously, all of this "destroying the earth and racing to get back to space" is so damn repetitive.

I don't really know why tv writers decide to scrap plot points towards the end of the season. I guess the technical term is lazy writing, however I think that the poorly made action scenes are also just a cheap way to get more viewers. Let's be honest here, despite my frustration with the series, I will always watch those action scenes because I just need to make sure my faves don't get hurt. But I am tired of writers and their commitment to just rushing through things to make way for a new season to come. I seriously think that The 100 needs to plan a lot better for Season 6, as I'm not sure how deep my frustration can go before I stop watching.

Have you ever watched a tv show that contained lazy writing? What did you think of The 100 finale?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 10 September 2018

I've Got Writer's Block

This year, I am entering my creative writing course at university, which will hopefully give me the tools needed to turn writing into a career. To prepare, I decided to revisit my semi-abandoned WIP. I have about twelve pages of it written, which is farther than any other WIP I've started. (If you don't count my NaNoWriMo book, which was just a disaster.) I hadn't really touched my WIP since May, and when I tried to start continuing it now, I just couldn't. I wasn't inspired by it anymore.

I guess you could say I have writer's block. This WIP which was so vivid in my head about a year ago, has now turned into absolute mush. I have no idea where I want it to go, and I can't even bring myself to keep writing it. I've been feeling so uninspired recently that none of my ideas, if I even have any, seem good or groundbreaking enough.

I've been feeling this with my blog as well. Book reviews are pretty much the easiest things to write because I have a vehicle provided to me to go off from. But a book blog is not built on book reviews alone, and I literally don't know what else to post about anymore. Every time I think something will work and begin writing, it derails and I scrap it. I care very much about what people think when they read my posts, and I quite frankly am not proud of anything original that I've been writing.

I know that there are writing prompts all over the Internet to help with these kind of things, but nothing seems to be working. I feel like when I take somebody else's prompt, the idea is not mine. But the problem is, that I cannot come up with my own ideas!

It doesn't help that there are so many amazing books out there being published, that I don't want my idea to be a "been there, done that." I'm at the point where if I read a really good book, I say to myself,"why didn't I think of that?"

I'm appealing to the book and writing community. What do you do when you have writer's block? Do you sometimes struggle with being "original enough" in the blogging community?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

The Color Purple by: Alice Walker

Genre: Classics, Historical Fiction
Published: April 1, 2004 by: Pocket
Pages: 295
Rating: 4/5 stars

In the American South, Celie is born into a world of poverty and segregation. She is raped repeatedly by her stepfather, and is tragically separated from her only friend, her beloved sister Nettie. When she is sent to work for and marry into a wealthy and abusive family, she meets Shug Avery, a glamorous singer who takes Celie on a journey to find her joy and reunite with her loved one.

I have read a few essays from Alice Walker for my English classes, but for some reason The Color Purple never stood out to me to read. One day at the library I saw it on the shelf and decided to give it a go. I have listened to a few songs from the Broadway musical and thought it would be a powerful read. I was totally correct.

Alice Walker has such a unique way of writing that is very poetic. Even if she is writing in prose, her words fly off the page and have such deeper meaning than just explaining plot. She perfectly captured Celie's distinct voice that it almost felt like she was right there telling me the story. There is a very distinct tone in this novel.

I love novels that come full circle in the end, and this one did. Every plot point served a purpose and the ending was absolutely superb. Walker was very clever in the way that she planned events in the novel, in a way that made them all make sense by the end. I'll admit I did feel very emotional by the end.

The only problem I had with this novel is that it is very visceral. By this I mean that the details, especially the rape scenes, were very graphically written in a way that was a bit uncomfortable. This poor girl went through so much in this novel, and there were times when things just got a bit too heavy for me. But at the same time, I do think that this book's point is to make you uncomfortable, and to not hold back on the harsh realities of black people during this time. That being said, if these things trigger you, do proceed with caution.

Overall, I am really happy that I gave this novel a go. Alice Walker has become one of my favourite writers and she is overall an amazing exemplification of an incredible artist in her craft.

Have you read The Color Purple? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Month in Review: August

Summer is over, I am a wreck because I am starting uni again and I absolutely hate fall. So you could say things are going pretty well at the moment! August was an amazing month and I am truly sad to see it go, but I do have some other great things during the year to look forward to. Here's what happened:

What I Read:

The Girls by: Emma Cline: 2/5 stars
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by: Jenny Han: 5/5 stars
P.S. I Still Love You by: Jenny Han: 5/5 stars
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by: Jenny Han: 3/5 stars
Circe by: Madeline Miller: 5/5 stars

Favourite Book: My fave book was Circe. I loved The Song of Achilles so much and this book just satisfied my Greek mythology-loving heart.

What I Blogged:

My favourite blog post of the month was my review on the highly acclaimed To All the Boys I've Loved Before movie! I reread the series this month to gear myself up for the film, and it met all of my expectations. Please watch it.

Favourite Blog Posts:

Amy shares some Writing Facts about Herself
Veronika and Clare discuss Books that Should be Required Reading
Cee explains Straight-Passing

Life Stuff:

August was eventful and I am so upset that it's over. I went to a lot of birthday parties, it was fun catching up with extended family. Last week I went to Centre Island, an amusement park in Toronto with my cousins. It has always been a tradition of ours and I don't think we will ever stop going. (No matter how squished we get in some of the rides nowadays)

I also went to a concert this week. On August 27th I went to see 5 Seconds of Summer with my sister and cousin. This was my most highly anticipated event of the summer as I have loved this band since 2013 and their new album is off the charts amazing. It was my first time at a general admission concert in which the fans have been absolutely ruthless and while some people were quite disrespectful (we're talking cutting in line), it was an incredible day that I just wish never ended.

Tomorrow I'm seeing Ed Sheeran, and it is very much my last event before moving back to university. I am already pretty sad and dreading for it to be over, because once it is I will be in full back to school mode. But I am also very excited because Ed does put on an amazing show.

That was my August! How was your month? Are you as upset as I am that summer is over?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Movie Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before

If you have been absent from book twitter for the past week, then you might be unaware that the To All the Boys movie came out on Friday. People have pretty much been going mental over how utterly adorable is, myself included, and I just knew I had to write a full review on it. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible, but if you haven't seen the movie yet and want to go into it fully blind, then you can just skip over this review, I won't mind.

Release Date: August 17
Rating: PG-13
Director: Susan Johnson
Run-Time: 1 hr 39 min

To All the Boys was released on netflix as opposed to in theatres which I thought was such a smart move. As someone who doesn't have anyone that would be interested in seeing the movie with me, I didn't have to go to the theatres myself and instead could enjoy from the comfort of my own home. And boy was this film comforting.

The acting was superb. I was a bit hesitant over Peter's casting when it was first announced; Noah Centineo just didn't look like a Peter to me, but by his first scene, I instantly fell in love. Right down to the way he talked, was utterly Peter K. I also really loved Lana Condor as Lara Jean. She was so cute and awkward, exactly how I pictured her. Lana and Noah also had impeccable chemistry, without being overly sexualised.

This movie had such witty dialogue and actually made me laugh out loud at scenes. Some parts were so quirky and relatable that I couldn't help but chuckle. It was funny with no overly dramatic points, perfect for a light and easy to get through film.

Even though the film was not exactly like the book, it stood on its own as a heartwarming tale. Jenny Han even made a cameo which was so sweet and got me really excited. It was quite emotional to see a series I have loved so much be so well received by the general public. And can we talk about that post credits scene?! There HAS to be a sequel now.

If you haven't seen this movie already and you have Netflix, please do. It needs to be hyped up and I am convinced that this story needs to continue.

Have you seen To All the Boys I've Loved Before? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The NOPE Book Tag

I saw Veronika @ The Regal Critiques do this tag on her blog and since I ABSOLUTELY LOVE spewing out my feelings, whether good or bad, I knew this would be the tag for me. So please bask in my negative opinions:

1. NOPE Ending: A book that made you go NOPE in denial or rage, or simply because it was so crappy.

The Princess Diaries by: Meg Cabot

I know virtually nobody in the blogisphere agrees with me on this, but I absolutely HATED the ending of the first book. I expected some big fairytale moment like in the movie, but LITERALLY NOTHING HAPPENED and it was really one of those books that just "sets up" for the million others in the series.

2. NOPE protagonist: A main character you dislike and drives you crazy.

I just finished A Map for Wrecked Girls by: Jessica Taylor and boy did I HATE Henri. I mean, we are meant to hate her as it is obvious how bratty and entitled she is, but the fact that her actions were totally glossed over in the end and she never really apologized for her dangerous decisions really got to me.

3. NOPE series: A series that turned out to be one huge pile of nope, after you invested all that time and energy in it, or one that you had to give up on because it wasn't worth it anymore.

I will never forgive Kiera Cass for what she did to The Selection series. To take such lovable characters like America and Maxon, and make them spawn such a bitchy human being that is Eadlyn, is unforgivable. I had absolutely no care for her story and to me, The Selection series ended on book three.

4. NOPE popular pairing: A "ship" you do not support.

I'm sorry, it's 2018 and we're still shipping Feyre and Rhysand from ACOTAR together?? I gave up on the series a long time ago, but this creepy, abusive relationship has GOT TO GO.

5. NOPE plot twist: A plot twist you didn't see coming or didn't like.

Now don't get me wrong, I loved One of Us is Lying by: Karen M. Mcmanus, but that plot twist at the end was kinda a let down and also quite uncalled for. It was predictable, cliche, and very insensitive, despite the rest of the book being virtually flawless.

6. NOPE protagonist decision: A character decision that made you shake your head.

Winner of the most crappy decisions definitely goes out to Evie in The Girls. I just finished this book and just couldn't wrap my head around this girl's thought process. That book is one big yikes.

7. NOPE genre: A genre you will never read.

Pretty much the only one that I completely steer clear of is erotica. I get that some people like it, but I find it for the most part uncomfortable.

8. NOPE book format: Book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different addition.

I could totally relate to Veronika on this when she said audiobooks! I absolutely hate them and always end up not paying attention or falling asleep. I have never been able to get through one.

9. NOPE trope: A trope that makes you go NOPE.

I saw a tweet the other day that made me realize that a trope I really hate is when teenagers in contemporary novels are CONSTANTLY talking/worrying about sex. In reality that is not a thing that every single high schooler does nor is it the norm and I didn't even think of it when I was in high school. We need to normalize YA contemporary novels that don't always have sex scenes in them.

10. NOPE recommendation: A book recommendation that is always pushed at you that you simply refuse to read.

A Game of Thrones by: George R.R. Martin. People assume because I like the show that I will LOVE this series, but I know for a fact that I will never be able to get through a single chapter in these books as heavy fantasy novels are not my thing!!

11. NOPE cliche/pet peeve: A cliche or writing pet peeve that makes you roll your eyes.

When writers use overly descriptive language to describe a simple thing. Like, I get you want us to engage multiple senses when reading, but when a plate of pasta is described as: "a mound of scrumptious noodles, elegantly dripping with ripe tomato sauce, a dusting of cheese lying upon it like fairy dust," we've got a problem here.

12. NOPE love interest: A love interest that's not worthy of being one.

Going way back here and saying Christina from the Divergent series. I'm not gonna spoil it even thought this series is a bazillion years old, but having Christina become *highlight text to see spoiler*Tobias' love interest at the end of the series just so he wouldn't end up old and alone was so pointless. Tris was his only love, leave Christina be. 

13. NOPE book: A book that shouldn't have existed that made you say NOPE.

Oh so many choices, so little time! I think I'm going to have to go with After by: Anna Todd on this one. It's not a very well known book, but if you're a One Direction fan, you know how sick and twisted it is.

14. NOPE villain: A villain/antagonist you would hate to cross and would make you run in the opposite direction.

Probably Katherine from Three Dark Crowns. I mean, the girl can ingest literal poison without feeling a thing, and is out to kill her two sisters. Pretty vicious if you ask me.

15. NOPE death: A character death that still haunts you.

Again, so many choices! I'll highlight it white for those who do not want to be spoiled, but Dieter's death in Station Eleven was so upsetting, especially after all he'd been through. 

16. NOPE author: An author you had a bad experience reading for and have decided to quit.

You couldn't pay me any amount of money to read another Tolkien novel. The Hobbit is by far the worst classic I have ever read and I refuse to read anything else in the Lord of the Rings world!

And that's it! Do you agree/disagree with any of my opinions? What are some of your unpopular book opinions?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Month in Review: July

There is only one month of summer left and I already know that it's gonna fly by :( Trying to savour the last bits of vacation as much as I can! Here's what happened in July:

What I Read: 

Puddin' by: Julie Murphy: 3/5 stars
Maus by: Art Spiegelman: 5/5 stars
The Silver Star by: Jeannette Walls: 4/5 stars
The Dream Thieves by: Maggie Stiefvater: 4/5 stars
A Map for Wrecked Girls by: Jessica Taylor: 5/5 stars

Favourite book: Definitely the graphic novel, Maus. I hate to sound repetitive but hopefully I'll shut up about this book once my full review goes up this month. This novel was emotional, clever and beautifully drawn.

What I Blogged: 

I finally did an update on My Goodreads Challenge! I've been doing really well and as far as reading challenges go this one has been the most enjoyable for me.

Favourite Blog Posts: 

Veronika does the Nope Book Tag (Definitely gonna be doing this one!)

Cait shares tips on How to Keep Writing if you have a Mental Illness 

Cee shares her Meta Nerd Church 

Life Stuff: 

I went on a little impromptu vacation to Quebec City with my family this month! It was fun to get a break from work and to experience such a beautiful city. Seriously, this place is like a European town without actually going to Europe! I am the worst at pictures so I didn't take much, but if you ever get to experience this beautiful city, enjoy it!!

And that was pretty much my month! How was your July?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

That Inevitable Victorian Thing by: E.K. Johnston

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction
Published: October 3, 2017 by: Dutton
Pages: 330
Rating: 4/5 stars

In an age where the Victorian era never ended, Crown Princess Victoria-Margaret is spending one last summer of freedom before she is married in an intricate match-making process. When she arrives in Canada for weeks of lavish balls and political meetings, she meets Helena Marcus, a brilliant daughter of a geneticist, and August, the heir to a powerful shipping firm. Together, the trio form an unlikely bond, and look to carry on the first Queen Victoria's legacy of tolerance and acceptance.

This book was hopeful, and interesting. The basic premise is that the British Empire has carried on by keeping promises and respecting all different colonies. Basically, colonization never happened. The result is a seemingly perfect world where everyone respects each other and their space. It seems like a dream, but this world is real.

There was some great f/f representation in this book. I would never think that a crown princess in real life would be accepted as a lesbian, but Victoria Margaret's empire is basically perfection. Her relationship was so witty and cute, and I loved her character.

My favourite character was probably August, I thought he was charismatic and charming, but not predictable. All of the characters in fact were very well written and the trio complimented each other well. The plot was also very light and humourous, this book was not hard to get through in the slightest.

I think the only issue I had with this book was how perfect it was. Like I said before, basically it's all sunshine and rainbows in the world, and while there is some minor confrontation in other aspects of the book, the whole "nothing can go wrong" mentality just made it very unrealistic. I actually wrote a story with a world similar to this a few years ago and I grew to hate it because I felt like there were no cracks to get under. And that just makes it seem uncomfortable and fake.

I use hopeful to describe this book because it seems like the author is trying to look forward to a better future. The British Empire cannot fix past mistakes, but it can ensure that they never happen again. While my cynicism prevents me from thinking that a world like this could ever happen, it is nice to dream about.

Have you read That Inevitable Victorian Thing? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

My Goodreads Challenge Update

Hello all! Given as we are a little halfway over the year, I decided that I would take a look at my progress on my yearly goodreads challenge. I want to see how things are going so far and which books are looking to be my favourites. I'll be looking at some stats on what I have been reading so far!

My Goodreads Challenge:

My Goal: 50 books from January 1, 2018- December 31, 2018
Books read so far: 37 (13 more to go!)

Breaking Down the Books:

Out of the 37:

8 have been YA contemporary
9 have been YA fantasy
3 have been YA historical fiction
9 have been classics
4 have been adult realistic fiction
4 have been graphic novels

Five Star Reviews:

I have had twelve five-star reviews so far which seems pretty good to me! I only have one one-star review which is so awesome. To me that seems like I have established what I like and have developed a strong rhythm in my reading.

I won't decide officially until the end of the year, but it looks to me that Maus: A Survivor's Tale by: Art Spiegelman is on track to be my favourite book of the year, which is surprising considering it is a graphic novel! I would have never thought that a graphic novel would be my fave, but this book was so amazingly crafted, and I cannot wait to write my review on it.

The Main Things I've Noticed:

I read a lot more adult fiction these past few months! It seems like every other year in the past was filled with YA with a few classics sprinkled in, but I had a lot more of an even match between adult novels and YA novels as a whole. There was also a healthy amount of classics thanks to my literature class last year.

I also have been ahead of the game ever since I started the challenge, and this is probably due to me reducing my goal to fifty books instead of my usual hefty eighty. I decided to stop forcing myself to read an enormous number of books that I probably skimmed through, and instead focus on reading a smaller amount more closely and thoroughly. Reading has become a lot less stressful with this method!

Overall, over these past six months I found that I have been reading out of my comfort zone, and it has paid off! I would never have reached for as much adult fiction in times past, but I have been taking risks in my reading and the result has been that I have been enjoying books far more! In fact, most of my two-star reviews had to do with the YA's I have read. Now this is not to say that I hate YA, I just think it's good that my reading has matured over this year. I'm looking forward to the remainder of the year and hopefully reading a lot more awesome books!

How are your reading challenges going?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

The Princess Diaries by: Meg Cabot

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: July 1, 2001 by: Turtleback
Pages: 283
Rating: 2/5 stars

Mia Thermopolis is an awkward, nerdy freshman whose world is about to be turned upside down. It started with her mother revealing that she's dating Mia's algebra teacher. Then her long-absent father shows up revealing that he is the crown prince of Genovia, and that Mia will soon have to take over the throne. Documenting it all in her diary, Mia experiences the trials and tribulations of training to be a princess, all while just hoping to pass algebra.

I was very excited to start this book. I am such a huge fan of the Princess Diaries movie and I was expecting to go into this and fall in love. I wanted to become hooked onto the series and have nice, fluffy books to always go back to. Unfortunately, this book did not live up to my expectations, and I will remain adamant that the movie was better.

I was very disappointed with how Queen Clarisse was depicted in the novel. I kept wanting to envision graceful Julie Andrews, but instead this queen was quite tacky and rude. Now I understand the book came first so the movie did tweak many things, but the characters in the movie just seemed a lot more likable to me.

There were a lot of plot points in here that didn't match with the movie, which is unfortunate because a lot of my favourite scenes I was hoping to read about were nonexistent! I feel like Michael took such a backseat in this novel, as well as there was no heartwarming moment between Mia and Michael at the ball when her foot "pops."

I know it's bad to keep comparing the novel to the movie as they are completely separate entities,  but I think most of my dislike for the book does come from the fact that the film is so light-hearted and fun and I just didn't get that in this book. I mean, I got through it quite quickly as it was a very easy read which is a plus, but it lacked anything to make me fall in love. I cannot believe I'm saying this, but I am #teamfilm on this one.

Have you read The Princess Diaries? What did you think?

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Month in Review: June

It is so freaking hot in Toronto right now I might die. Seriously in need for things to cool down because it is honestly unbearable outside. Anyways, my June was pretty good! My summer finally got more exciting and to be honest I was so busy I completely forgot to write this post! Here's what happened:

What I Read: 

Half Broke Horses by: Jeannette Walls: 5/5 stars
The Color Purple by: Alice Walker: 4/5 stars
Appointment with Death by: Agatha Christie: 4/5 stars
Hero at the Fall by: Alwyn Hamilton: 3/5 stars

Favourite book: Definitely Half Broke Horses! I am in love with Walls' writing and this story that featured her grandmother was so beautifully written.

What I Blogged: 

I got real about my frustrations with Blogger at the moment. I need to find a good commenting platform, and I discussed it in my post: Blog Commenting Formats- What's Your Preferred Platform? 

Favourite Blog Posts: 

Clare and Veronika review A Thousand Perfect Notes 

Cee asks What the Purpose of the Purpose is 

Charlotte shares her First Year Feelings 

Life Stuff:

This month was very fun! I went to see Phantom of the Opera with my mom, two days later went to see Harry Styles in concert, and now I have friends from Italy staying with my family! It's been a busy few days of taking them around, I somehow feel like a tourist in my own city! But it's been really fun. It's also the Canada Day long weekend so everything is starting to really feel like summer now.

How was your June?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

The Scorpio Races by: Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Magic Realism
Published: October 18, 2011 by: Scholastic Press
Pages: 409
Rating: 3/5 stars

At the start of every November, the Scorpio Races happen on an elusive island, where the people are quiet and riders are resilient. Riders will attempt to tame fierce water horses all the way to the finish line. Many die, and the winner receives a cash prize. Sean is the returning champion, and he is determined to keep his father's legacy alive. Puck is entering the races for the first time, and not only is she the first girl to do so, but she is determined to win the money for her struggling family. Which one will prevail?

I have always loved Maggie Stiefvater's writing. All of her books are tied to magical realism, a genre that intrigues me so much. While I am absolutely obsessed with some of her other novels such as the Raven Cycle series, this book seemed to capture the essence of her writing, but wasn't necessarily my favourite.

I loved the feminism in this book. Puck is the main character, and she experiences harsh sexism and scrutiny throughout the book because riding in the Scorpio Races was always considered for men only. She was a very strong female lead, much like Stiefvater's other main characters, and I loved her.

I wasn't quite sold on the chemistry between her and Sean. I get it was supposed to be romantic, but I honestly didn't see much there between these two and it all seemed very forced. Their relationship needed to be developed more.

I think the concept of this book was interesting, but it didn't capture me as much as The Raven Cycle did. I found the plot to be kind of rushed at times and quite confusing. I wasn't exactly sold on it.

Overall, I think if you like Stiefvater's writing style, definitely give this book a go. It goes with her theme of magic realism, but I prefer some of her other books.

Have you read The Scorpio Races? What did you think?

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Radio Silence by: Alice Oseman

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: February 25, 2016 by: Harper Collins
Pages: 403
Rating: 2/5 stars

Frances is a shy girl with only one goal: to go to an elite university. Then enters Aled, a tech genius behind Frances' favourite podcast. He shows Frances true friendship for the first time, and helps her to come out of her shell and reveal some hard kept secrets. But when Aled's podcast goes viral, Frances must finally address some secrets in her life that she thought she'd never share, while Aled has some secrets of his own.

I feel like I am the only person in this world who just didn't get this book. I understand what the author was going for, and I appreciated the diversity and Frances' growth as the book went on. However as a whole, I just think I was so disconnected from this book and in too much of a reading slump to be wowed over it.

This book was just... too techy for me??? I never watch podcasts and don't really get them, so I wasn't really interested in that theme throughout the book. I just didn't feel like this book clicked with my personality and interests, and thus, I was just bored.

I wasn't really into Aled and Frances' relationship either. I just didn't see much chemistry there and I found it hard to really connect with them. While I can relate to Frances in the sense that I am also very academically driven, she just didn't click for me.

Overall, this book wasn't for me. However every other review I have read about this book has been positive, so I think you really should experience this book for yourself.

Have you read Radio Silence? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Queens of Geek by: Jen Wilde

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: March 14, 2017 by: Swoon Reads
Pages: 262
Rating: 3/5 stars

SupaCon is a place where fandoms unite to become a family. Introverted Taylor knows that all too well, she is looking forward to attending the con with her best friend Jamie, and she is even considering telling him that she may want to be something more. On the other side of the con, Charlie is an extroverted vlogger and actress promoting her first movie, and trying to conceal her feelings for Alyssa Huntington, a cool-girl actress who appeared unexpectedly as a surprise guest. Throughout the con, relationships will be tested, and hopefully, new ones forming too.

I don't really know what drew me to this book. I was in kinda a slump when I started it, and just wanted something quick and lighthearted. While I definitely got just that, I'm not sure this book wowed me enough for me to rate it high.

It was a cute novel. Having been to con's before, it was fun to read a book that takes place during an entire day at a con, where a lot can happen in so little time. I appreciated the diversity and the fact that the author showed that fans come from all different walks of life.

It did seem a bit childish for me. The writing seemed very middle-grade and especially the whole "internet star" theme took me back to when I was thirteen. I would love to read more mature versions of books like these, as I have found that a lot of the lighthearted contemporaries I seem to read nowadays don't really strike me as interesting.

Overall, I think this book is great for anyone who appreciates a good fandom, but don't expect anything groundbreaking. It was just ok, and very predictable.

Have you read Queens of Geek? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Blog Commenting Formats- What's Your Preferred Platform?

Blogger has gone and messed me up again. I used to always get emails whenever someone would comment on a post, but now, I'm assuming with new privacy policies changing, I don't! I have tried a number of things and I just can't seem to get my emails back, making it so I have to check every single post for new comments.

This isn't a cumbersome thing for my most recent posts, however if someone were to comment on an older post, I have no way of knowing and therefore feel like an ass for not replying :((( I love replying to comments and getting emails was a sure way to remember to do them. Now, I'm not sure what to do.

I know there are a few blog commenting formats out there, Disqus is notably the one I see the most besides regular blogger, and I'm just not sure whether to make the switch. I am not the most techy person and while I assume I'd be able to set it up on my blog, I am unsure whether it will decrease my commentors or not. Not everybody has a Disqus account and I know not many people like to have a million accounts for different things, and I just don't want people to feel obligated to sign up for yet another thing. I enjoyed the convenience that everybody with a google account could comment on my blog, but it's not exactly convenient for me anymore.

So, I am appealing to the book community. Do you have Disqus? Blogger? Any suggestions on how to get my emails back??? Please let me know what commenting format you have and if it works for you. I am open to any suggestions as long as they're easy to install and give me notifications when somebody comments. And, if you are a regular reader of my blog, how would you feel if I switched to another platform? I am at a loss here.

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Month in Review: May

I feel like I was so inactive this month in the blogosphere and I feel like a total failure :( Hopefully June will bring more inspo and hopefully some better blog posts!

What I Read: 

The Scorpio Races by: Maggie Stiefvater: 4/5 stars
The Princess Diaries by: Meg Cabot: 2/5 stars
That Inevitable Victorian Thing by: E.K. Johnston: 4/5 stars
Lets Talk About Love by: Claire Kann: 4/5 stars
And Then There Were None by: Agatha Christie: 5/5 stars

Favourite Book: Definitely And Then There Were None! This is by far my favourite Christie book I have read to date and was so well thought out!

What I Blogged: 

Like I said, inspiration was at an all time low this month. My favourite blog post was the Mental Health in YA Roundup I did with some fellow bloggers, but other than that, it was a "meh" month.

Favourite Blog Posts of the Month: 

Anna reveals the YA Novels with the Best Mental Health Rep! 

Cee explains her fascination with Reaction Videos 

Clare shares the books that Made Her a Reader 

Life Stuff:

This wasn't a very entertaining month. Literally all I did was work, and I have found that my summer is off to kind of a boring start, but in June I have a few concerts coming up and I will be seeing my family and friends more so hopefully things will pick up!

How was your May?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 25 May 2018

Otherworld by: Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Sci-Fi
Published: October 31, 2017 by: Delacorte Press
Pages: 335
Rating: 2/5 stars

Otherworld is unlike anything you have ever experienced, or so the company says. Avid gamer Simon thought that Otherworld was a simple video game, providing an alternate reality. However Otherworld is about to become more real than he could have ever imagined, and it will suck him and his friends into a wormhole that just cannot be escaped.

I have always been on the fence about sci-fi novels that deal with simulations and alternate realities. However, when Marshall from How I Met Your Mother writes a book, you read the damn book, so I decided to give it a shot. It did fall short because of the fact that these themes make my brain hurt, but I get how the overall concept could be very interesting to people who like gaming.

I think that there could have been a better explanation on what Otherworld actually is. The novel seemed to jump right into the alternate reality without building up to it, which made the whole concept of the game very confusing and I ended the book not really knowing what I just read.

I think that there is a huge market for books like these nowadays, and I think that the Otherworld series can capture the attention of tech-savvy people as well as those who are interested in simulations and the overall concept of reality being utterly fucked up. But you definitely have to read things over to make sure things are understood.

Have you read Otherworld? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Mental Health in Ya Blogger Roundup!

Hello all! About a month ago, I was asked by fellow book blogger Anna @ Annaish to participate in her mental health blogger roundup. Basically, she asked me and other bloggers to share a paragraph highlighting a YA novel we thought had great mental health representation.

There are so many YA books out there that deal with mental health however not all do it well, and this negative representation can be harmful and triggering. So, in honour of mental health health awareness month, I decided to share Anna's post on all of our paragraphs on my blog too, hopefully to spread awareness on some mental health books you should be reading! Please go check out Anna's blog as well as the other lovely participants of this event :D

Anna @ Annaish: Girl Against the Universe by: Paula Stokes:

When it comes to mental health, YA books tend to romanticise, cure, or isolate a mentally ill character. It’s frustrating, insulting, and misleading because those tropes don’t happen in real life. Thankfully, we do have YA books who don't fall into those tropes and one of those books is Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes.

The book follows Maguire, a girl who has PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder) and is on the path of recovery. For starters, her path of recovery isn’t romanticised. The book highlights her good and bad days. Maguire isn’t cured or isolated either. She goes to therapy and has loving support from family/friends. And, probably the best part about this book is, Maguire’s mental illness isn't her only personality trait. She’s spunky, sarcastic, and a fantastic narrator. I could talk about Girl Against the Universe all day long but I'll leave you with this, mental illnesses exists and more YA books need to talk about it.

Emily @ Paperback Princess: Top Ten by: Katie Cotugno:

When Anna asked me to choose a novel I thought had the best mental health representation, my mind immediately went to Top Ten by: Katie Cotugno. This YA novel features the main female protagonist, Gabby, going through high school with intense anxiety and agoraphobia, making her very shy and nervous when it comes to the overbearing parties her classmates throw. Gabby’s best friend is an extroverted star hockey player named Ryan, one of the most popular guys in school. However, what makes this book so awesome, is that Ryan doesn’t “save Gabby” from her mental illness. Instead, through their unlikely friendship, he encourages and supports her and the two remain good friends throughout the entire book. I loved this novel not just because I could relate heavily to Gabby, but also because it didn’t have to feature the trope that the guy and the girl must fall in love and suddenly all her fears are whisked away. It was refreshing to see Gabby and Ryan remain strictly friends and how Ryan learnt how to support Gabby during her panic attacks. This book made me wish I had a friendship like they had in high school.
Kenzie @ Paper Pizza: Turtles All the Way Down by: John Green:

There has always been a bit of controversy when it comes to the topic of John Green’s writing, but when I heard that he was working on a book about mental illness, I knew he would nail it. Aza is the main character in this story and she suffers from OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) which is also related to anxiety. Rarely do I ever see anxiety discussed in Young Adult literature and to find a book that describes it PERFECTLY feels like a phenomenon. Even though everyone experiences anxiety, it still seems there is a stigma towards it. With Turtles All The Way Down, you feel as though your soul has been ripped open and there is finally someone who understands you.

“The thing about a spiral is, if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening. Infinitely.”

Aza is a great character. She is different from most female characters in the YA world, and what I loved most about this story was how real and raw it was. Whether you love YA or dislike it, everyone needs to read this book. It is an excellent representation of mental health, especially in young adult literature.
Abby @ Ups and Downs: Eliza and Her Monsters by: Francesca Zappia:

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia is one of my favorite books for its portrayal of social anxiety. For those unfamiliar with its plot, the book follows a girl named Eliza Murk with a famous web comic named Monstrous Sea who keeps this part of her life private. I loved to this book in many ways— the way it portrayed social anxiety and its relationship to how the protagonist connects on the digital world, the injection of art pieces showing Eliza’s comic, and her struggle towards opening up to her friend Wallace, who is also one of the most popular fan fiction writers of the comic. However relatable the character is, the book does get heavy fast, but it does so with an acknowledged nuance and understanding.
Tasya @ The Literary Huntress: Every Last Word by: Tamara Ireland Stone:

This book is one of the most underrated books out there. Every Last Word is a sweet and calm, but sad story about Sam, who has pure OCD. This book addresses the common misconception of all OCD people are obsessed with cleaning and tidying things up and tell Sam's story in such a way that make us empathise with her. The depth of the author research is shown with Sam's portrayal, it doesn't feel stereotypical or shallow, she felt like a real person. Another thing that I love is how supportive Sam's family and friends are and how positive her relationship with her psychiatrist is. She's open and always tells the psychiatrist about everything, she actively participates instead of raging and closing off, which is a great message. This is a really poignant and heartfelt book, and I wish more people read it!

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2) by: Kendare Blake

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: September 19, 2017 by: HarperTeen
Pages: 464
Rating: 5/5 stars

The battle for the crown has begun, and the Fennbirn triplets have made the stakes higher than ever in the quest to tear down each other. Katharine, the poisoner, has grown blood thirsty and strong. Arsinoe, the once weak sister, has discovered new found powers that could change the course of her life forever. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister, has grown soft and scatter-brained, haunted by the dangers that lie ahead. Only one sister can claim the throne, however some may be less willing to kill than others.

This book was such a step up from the one before it! As you may recall, while I enjoyed the setup that Three Dark Crowns provided, I wished for more action, and with the fight for the crown fully underway in this novel, I got just that! It was fiery and addictive, and I loved each of the sister's character developments.

I loved how this book dove deeper into the three girl's secrets and their mindsets. Katharine has become a full fledged villain, while the horrors of what she must do has finally gotten to Mirabella, who was once so ruthless. There was a dramatic power shift which I really liked.

I absolutely cannot wait for the third book in the series. This story is far from over and it ended on such a cliffhanger that I was so shaken by!! These girls are so well written and I have become so intrigued with their story.

Have you read One Dark Throne? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Month in Review: April

Exams are over, my job has fully started and I am in a whole new routine now! I have shortened my posting to once a week now as I haven't had much inspiration to blog lately, but hopefully over the summer I'll be brainstorming new ideas. Here's what happened in April!

What I Read:

The Upside of Unrequited by: Becky Albertalli: 4/5 stars
One Dark Throne by: Kendare Blake: 5/5 stars
Otherworld by: Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller: 3/5 stars
Queens of Geek by: Jen Wilde: 3/5 stars
Radio Silence by: Alice Oseman: 2/5 stars
The Raven Boys by: Maggie Stiefvater: 5/5 stars

Favourite Book: One Dark Throne of course!! I ended on SUCH A CLIFFHANGER and ugh I just can't wait for the new book to come out in September!

What I Blogged:

Like I said before, I've been feeling a little uninspired recently. I did do a discussion about Getting into New Adult Fiction that I really enjoyed, but other than that, it was mostly just book reviews.

Favourite Blog Posts:

Veronika and Ruzaika talk Reading Styles 
Cee discusses Toxic Friendships and Reclaiming Enthusiasm 

Life Stuff:

I started my job, and I am quite enjoying it! It is a learning process but I'm trying not to be too hard on myself when I make a mistake and just focus on getting better.

I also have finished my first year of uni! It went by so fast and while I can't say I fully enjoyed it, it was easier than I thought it would be. Summer is now upon me and I'm hoping to write a lot more.

The greatest news of the month: I got into my creative writing program! You may recall a few months ago I shared my writing portfolio. Well it was approved and now I am officially a creative writing major! A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

How was your April?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Getting Into New Adult Fiction

Recently I've found myself in a bit of a YA slump. Not many young adult books I have read recently have been impressing me and even the new releases coming out have not really sparked my interest. I noticed this mostly because I have a lot of Chapters gift cards and went online to the YA section to see what I should spend my money on, and I found myself feeling... underwhelmed? This is not to say that the books coming out recently are bad or boring, it's just that for me personally, no YA has stood out to me. So then I got to wondering, why is YA always my default genre, when there are so many other books in the new adult and adult category?

My heart will always stay true to YA books. I am a YA book blog and YA books are generally the books I am most comfortable reading, and most relate to. However I feel as if I may be sheltering myself from trying books from the adult category, simply because I have only ever read YA.

The truth is, I can probably count the number of new adult and adult fiction books I have read in the past four years on one hand. I am eighteen years old now, and while no age is too old to read YA books, I do feel like I should be branching out more.

Now don't get me wrong, the YA books that have been coming out these past few years have been more daring, more mature, and have pushed the boundaries of what is acceptable to talk about to teens. And that has really made the genre flourish for me. But the truth is, I do find myself curious about what's out there in the adult fiction category, and I am willing to start giving it a go. All I need now are some good recommendations.

Do you read New Adult/Adult Fiction? Please give me some rec's of books you loved!

Emily @ Paperback Princess

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