Friday, 27 February 2015

The Elite (The Selection #2) by: Kiera Cass

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopia, Romance
Published: April 23, 2013 by: Harper Teen
Pages: 336
Rating: 4.5/5
*contains spoilers*

The Elite is the second installment in Kiera Cass' Selection series. Here, we follow America Singer's continuing adventures in the Selection competition to win Prince Maxon's heart. The competition has been narrowed down to six girls, and with a growing revolution, time is running out. America must deal with Maxon, her past love Aspen and the threat of war on the horizon. No one is safe anymore.

Like the first book in the series, I enjoyed this very much! As soon as I finished The Selection, I needed to find out what happens next. So I picked this book up the first chance I got. I have to say that I extremely enjoyed the plot, characterization as well as the theme.

The first positive was the fact that this book was not at all boring. I literally finished this book in a day because I could not put it down. The action was perfectly spanned out, but it also wasn't too fast-paced. I loved that the energy in the book wasn't thrown at you as soon as it started, but instead lead into it. It was a very organized book.

Secondly, the characters came back better than ever! What I love about America, is that she is a relatable girl. She isn't ditzy, overly confident or rude. She is hilariously sarcastic, and she stands her own ground. This is the way a heroine should be. America was one of those strong female characters who you just couldn't help but love. She wasn't cookie-cutter.

Then there's Maxon. Oh, adorable Prince Maxon. He's so cute, and I wish he was a real person! Again, not a cookie-cutter hot male character that you could see in other books. He was a gentleman, yet he had a humorous side as well. I loved reading about him. Aspen was a good character too, however my personal opinion, is that Maxon deserves America. Aspen just doesn't seem right for her!

Lastly, the theme of the book was incredibly versatile. I love this series because it is both a romance and dystopia. It has themes of uprising and war, but also of love and family. The love isn't cheesy, because you have this perfect dystopia plot to go along with it. Both fans of action and romance, would enjoy this book.

Overall, this book got a 4.5/5 star rating because it was very easy to get through, and was very interesting. The only complaint I have is that Aspen really annoys me, but hey, there's always going to be that one character, who you just don't like. I can't wait to read The One!

Have you read the Selection? Are you a team Maxon or team Aspen?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #21 Favourite Heroines!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme from The Broke and The Bookish that allows users to share their top choices of the topic of the week!

Heroines are what make stories interesting, and inspiring. Here are some of my favourites! (In no particular order.) 

1. Tris Prior 
Tris had to endure so much throughout the Divergent series. She was incredibly strong! 

2. Hazel Grace Lancaster 
I chose Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars because she had an amazing development throughout the book. Not to mention how brave she was. 

3. Annabeth Chase 
Annabeth from the Percy Jackson series was so hilarious and sarcastic! She was a true leader.

4. Margo Roth Spiegelman
Margo from Paper Towns was so mysterious and unique. I enjoyed reading about her. 

5. Hermione Granger 
Where do I even start with her? Hermione from the Harry Potter series was smart, loyal and courageous. 

6. Eleanor Douglas 
So she may not have fought crime or fantasy creatures, but Eleanor from Eleanor and Park had to deal with many social and emotional problems, and for that, I am inspired by her. 

7. Sam (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
 Sam was wise, patient and kind. She will forever be one of my favourite book characters. 

8. America Singer
America from The Selection was incredibly funny and clever! I admired her uniqueness. 

9. Lena Haloway
Lena from the Delirium series was such a rebel. I've admired her since I was 12. 

10. Katniss Everdeen 
I may not have loved the Hunger Games series all that much, but Katniss' determination and will-power is hard to forget. 

That's it! Who are your favourite book heroines? 

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 20 February 2015

The Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you very much to Ranu @ The Bookish Life for nominating me to do this award! 

Here are the rules: 
- If you are nominated, you've been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award
- Thank the person who nominated you, just to be nice :)
- Link back to their blog. They'd be ever so grateful!
- Select 15 blogs or bloggers for the award (ones you recently discovered or follow regularly)
- Nominate them for the award (remember to notify them once you do!)
- Lastly, tell the person who nominated you seven things about yourself. Easy as that!
My Random Facts
1. I am the only person in my entire family/extended family who is left-handed. It is a struggle. 
2. I really don't like pasta, which is ironic because I am Italian and was basically brought up on it. 
3. Besides reading and blogging, I am shamelessly obsessed with One Direction. 
4. I will forever be obsessed with Disney and I listen to Disney songs on a normal basis. 
5. My favourite Disney movie is Aladdin, and my favourite princesses are Belle and Jasmine. (Because Belle was one of us; a bookworm) 
6. I don't really watch TV, and I prefer movies much better. (Or books!) 
7. The first book series I ever read was The Magic Treehouse series by: Mary Pope Osborne 
That's it! I couldn't nominate 15, but I would like to tag the following bloggers to write a post if they want to :) 
Jillian @ Jillian's Books
Kate @ My Book Life
Claire @ Cover to Cover
Erica @ Books4ev
Thanks again to Ranu for tagging! 
Emily @ Paperback Princess

The Geography of You and Me by: Jennifer E. Smith

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Romance
Published: April 15, 2014 by: Poppy
Pages: 337
Rating: 2/5 Stars

The Geography of You and Me is another installment of Jennifer E. Smith's romance novels. This book follows Lucy and Owen, both teens in New York City who meet in a jammed elevator during a power outage. The two form  a bond, and even after the power is restored, they remain friends. Until, Lucy is whisked off to Scotland for her dad's job. The two are torn apart, that is until fate brings them back together once more.

I really had high expectations for this book. Smith's other book: The Statistical Probability of Love At First sight was quite good, so I really had high hopes. I was very let down.

On the positive side, the book had great characterisation. I loved that Lucy was a strong-willed female, and not at all like the ditzy females in other romance books. Owen was extremely charming, and I really fell in love with his character. They were a unique couple, and did not cause any problems.

I also liked that the book was very realistic. There were no cheesy quotes, love triangles and Lucy and Owen's relationship was not perfect. Long-distance relationships are a reality that many face, so I really liked how Smith kept with a simple theme, and did not write about everything being completely positive between the characters.

To the negative side, this book was very predictable. The plot was very simple, no twists and turns and nothing really interesting to follow. I found myself practically reciting the entire book back to myself before even reading the whole thing. I just found that it was very safe. The characters were unique, but the plot was not at all.

I also was very confused by the book. Everything moved very quickly, and some important details were lost. I needed more detail to the book.  I thought that it was quite literally short and sweet, but I wish it wasn't that way. The plot needed way more excitement.

Overall, I rated this book 2/5 stars for the disappointment. I applaud Smith for creating some amazing characters, as she always does, but I was very underwhelmed when it came to the plot. It was just your average romance plot.

Have you read any of Jennifer E. Smith's romance books? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #20 Book-Related Problems

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme from The Broke and The Bookish that allows users to share their top choices of the topic of the week!

Reading can be a struggle sometimes... here are 10 problems that only readers have! 

1. One More Chapter! 
Are you ever right in the middle of a chapter, and suddenly you are called to go somewhere? As much as you want to find out what happens, you have to leave reading and you're constantly wondering when you can get back. 

2. Loosing Bookmarks 
I am guilty of this 24/7. For some reason, I can never find any bookmarks and often resort to pieces of paper and/or random objects. 

3. No Bookworm Friends 
I can gush about a book all I want, but nobody cares because I am the ONLY one in my group of friends who reads. 

4. Cliffhangers 
Picture this: You've invested a week into a book, only to find that it ends stupidly with no sequel. Enough said. 

5. TBR Lists 
Do you ever have a TBR list so large, that you forget books that are on it? Then it becomes a year until you've finally read it because of every other book! 

6. Ignorant People 
This is probably the #1 thing that bugs me. Have you ever read a really good book, that becomes a popular movie and suddenly all of these teen girls are obsessed with it because there is a hot actor or something? They don't appreciate the book, just the hype around it. 

7. School
School is probably a readers worst enemy. Why? Because more school=less time for reading. 

8. I Get Emotional Easily 
I cry in basically every book. It's even worse when I'm in public. Yup. I've cried over a book in school before. 

9. Having to Wait for Sequels 
Waiting is the worst part of any series! I even set countdowns on my phone. 

10. Reading Slumps 
When you just can't find the motivation to do anything book-related. Terrible. 

That's my rant on being a reader! What are some of your book problems? 

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Bookentine's Day!

Thank you very much to Erica @ Books4ev for tagging me to do this fun Valentine's Day themed post. I wasn't able to get this post up yesterday, but seeing as everyone is still probably in Valentines-mode from yesterday, I decided to still do it! Here are the questions:

1. My OTP
This is such a tough one, as I have so many! I'm going to have to say Eleanor and Park from Eleanor and Park by: Rainbow Rowell, just because they were such a unique couple.

2. My Favourite Ship to Ship 
By far, it is FourTris, from the Divergent series! Tris Prior and Tobias (Four) Eaton were such forces to be reckoned with!

3. Favourite LGBTQ Ship
Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments series. So cute!

4. Favourite YA Contemporary Romance Book
To All The Boys I've Loved Before by: Jenny Han. It was incredibly adorable.

5. Favourite Ship that Isn't from a Contemporary Romance 
I'm going to have to go back to FourTris on this one.

6. Favourite Friendship 
Isaac and Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars. I feel like their friendship goes unrecognised because of Hazel and Augustus' love, but they really were such a strong friendship.

7. Top Book Boyfriend of All Time 
Again, such a tough one! I'm going to say Tobias Eaton again, from the Divergent series. He's so protective over the ones he loves.

8. Top Three Other Book Boyfriends (because we can't have one!) 
Thank goodness for this question! Now I'm going to say: Augustus Waters, Maxon from the Selection series, and Harry Potter from the Harry Potter series.

9. The Character I Wish My Valentine Was
Can I say Tobias, again? If you haven't already guessed, I'm kind of obsessed with him.

10. The Character I Wish I Could Spend Valentine's With, Sulking Over the Fact that We Don't Have Dates 
Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series just because she's Hermione Granger and I want to talk to her.

11. Most Painful Ship to Ship 
Katniss and Gale from the Hunger Games. THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN TOGETHER.

12. Favourite Love Triangle 
Maxon, America and Aspen from the Selection series. So dramatic!

13. A Villain You Secretly Love
Draco Malfoy from the Harry Potter series. (shhh don't tell anyone)

Thank again to Erica to tagging, and happy day after Valentine's Day everyone!

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 13 February 2015

Book Lover's Questionnaire!

I was tagged by Azee @ UnderCover Critique to take this fun bookish questionnaire! Here are the questions:

1. Do you have a specific place for reading? 
I do not. Whether I'm in my room, in the kitchen, or outside, reading just seems to follow me :)

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper? 
I do love bookmarks, however I lose them 99% of the time. Therefore, a random piece of paper seems to get the job done.

3. Can you stop anywhere in a book, or do you have to finish a chapter? 
I need to finish the chapter! I'm very into finishing what I started, so I feel obligated to finish the chapter.

4. Do you eat or drink while eating? 
Yes I do! There's nothing more comforting than reading and eating your favourite snack.

5. Music or TV when reading? 
I get distracted very easily, so I do need dead silence when reading. I can't have background noise, or else I just won't focus on the book.

6. One book at a time, or several? 
I read several books at a time because there are usually some that I take to school to read, and others that are just for home.

7. Reading at home, or elsewhere? 
I can pretty much read at anyplace I'm comfortable, but home is where most of the reading happens!

8. Reading out loud, or silently? 
I've always read silently, so I don't think that I could get used to reading out loud.

9. Do you read ahead or skip pages? 
I used to when I was young, but since then I hate having the book spoiled!

10. Breaking the spine, or keeping it new? 
I try not to break the spine, but sometimes the book is really flimsy that it just does on it's own!

11. Do you write in your books? 
I can't say I ever have. I wouldn't be brave enough to do it!

Thanks again to Azee! I would like to tag anyone interested :)

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #19 Things That I Like/Dislike In Romance Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme from The Broke and The Bookish that allows users to share their top choices of the topic of the week!

One things is for certain, and that is that I have a love-hate relationship with romance novels. I can deal with adventure books with romance weaved in, but straight up romance can either go really well, or really bad. Here are five things that I like about romance books, and five things that I dislike about romance books: 

The Likes 
1. It's so damn cute! Romance can just make me so happy and put me in a great mood! It can be a great pick-me-up. 

2. Amazing characters. Romance can really make a character so incredibly adorable. I could fall in love with a character from the way they treat their significant other. 

3. Very strong plots. A romantic storyline can add great emotion to plots.

4. Love advice. Romance is obviously very realistic, so I think that it could be relatable and even give advice to many people in the same situations. 

5. The quotes. This one may seem odd, but I love the beautiful quotes that come out of romance novels. They're really inspirational. 

The Dislikes 
1. Boring females. Some females in romance novels can be portrayed to be damsels in distress who can't survive without their partner. WOMEN ARE STRONG AND INDEPENDENT. WE DON'T NEED THE CONSTANT HELP OF A MAN. 

2. Love triangles. Love triangles in my opinion are really cheesy and predictable. Plus, my favourite character never wins. 

3. Impulsiveness. Sometimes lovers can be overly impulsive and just plain dumb. Firstly, love at first sight is extremely unrealistic, and some lovers make decisions without thinking first. e.g. Romeo and Juliet. 

4. Cheesy couples. Romance can be very cheesy. There's a fine line between being cute and being annoying.

5. Predictability. The plots in romance books can also be very boring and predictable. We all know who the character is going to end up with, and there's no action to the plot.

So that's my rant about romance books! What do you like/dislike about them?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 6 February 2015

We Were Liars by: E. Lockhart

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery
Published: May 13, 2014 by: Delacorte Press
Pages: 227
Rating:4.5/5 stars
*all reviews may contain spoilers*

A stunning book about love, loss and mystery, We Were Liars tells the adventures of 4 best friends: The Liars, in their family's summer manor. However, a tragic accident has left one of the Liars with amnesia, and she tries to remember all that happened during the past summer, that lead up to the accident, as well as where she stands with another Liar, after their summer fling.

*now time to freak out*

OMG THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING!! Glad I got that out of my system. But in all seriousness, this book was beautiful. I think what made this book so special, was that it's so different. There is no other book out there quite like this one. Mystery books aren't really my thing, but this book was a mixture of mystery, romance and contemporary all jumbled together in an amazing YA read.

I loved this book because it was quite unpredictable. Every chapter brought a new plot development, but it all flowed very nicely. Everything just made sense. Then there's the plot twists!! I feel like the selling point of a book for me are the plot twists, and this book had A LOT of them. Again, they still complimented each other and didn't make things confusing.

The Liars could be very relatable. Four teens in for some adventure, but in an instant, it is all torn apart. I loved the realistic fiction component, about what it feels like to lose something close to you. Each Liar had their own struggles, and I really enjoyed reading each of them on their journeys, as well as their developments.

I think that the only thing that prevented me from giving this book a perfect 5, is that it was a bit confusing at the start. The book started with immediate action, and I would have liked some background information first. However by the third chapter, I was hooked.

I rated this book 4.5 stars because of the amazing journeys, developments and how unique it was. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a great, emotional contemporary. If you're into mystery, this book would be great was well.

Have you read We Were Liars? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #18 Books From The Contemporary Genre That I Want To Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme from The Broke and The Bookish that allows users to share their top choices of the topic of the week!

I love the contemporary genre, and there are so many books in this genre that I've never read before and I need to read ASAP. Here are my choices: 

1. Just Listen by: Sarah Dessen 
A beautiful book about love, loss and how music can heal anything. 

2. The DUFF by: Kody Keplinger 
I've heard many bloggers rave about this book, and I think it would be a great confidence-booster. 

3. The Sky is Everywhere by: Jandy Nelson 
I'm currently reading I'll Give You The Sun by Nelson, and I love her emotional form of writing. 

4. This is What Happy Looks Like by: Jennifer E. Smith 
I recently read The Geography of You and Me, but this book is the one I've been patiently waiting for to find time to read. This plot looks sooo good! 

5. Twenty Boy Summer by: Sarah Ockler 
I love Ockler's other books, and this looks like an adorable contemporary with a lot of romance.

6. Panic by: Lauren Oliver 
I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK. (sorry for screaming) I LOVE Lauren Oliver's Delirium series and this book looks so mysterious. 

7. Burn for Burn by: Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian 
I've heard mixed reviews from this book, but I love Han's writing and really want to venture into Vivian's writing. 

8. I Am The Messenger by: Markus Zusak
I loved the Book Thief from this author, and I think that this has a great mystery component. 

9. Anatomy of a Misfit by: Andrea Portes 
Once again talking about this book! Next time I go to the bookstore, the first thing I'm doing is pick this one up so I don't get distracted. This looks so cute! 

10. Just One Day by: Gayle Forman 
I really need to read some of Forman's other books. I this looks like such a charming romance. 

What books from the contemporary genre, or any other genre, do you want to read? 

Emily @ Paperback Princess