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?