Friday 26 June 2015

P.S. I Still Love You by: Jenny Han

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: May 26, 2015 by: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 337
Rating: 5/5 stars
*highlight white text to reveal major spoilers*

P.S. I Still Love You was the satisfying sequel to Jenny Han's heartwarming love story: To All The Boy's I've Loved Before. Here, Lara Jean picks up the pieces from her failed relationship with Josh, and moves forward with Peter. However their new found love is short-lived when a scandal rocks their school and threatens to ruin Lara Jean's "good girl" reputation. All that, and the threat of Peter going back to his old girlfriend, Lara Jean must make one final decision.

I.Loved.This.Book. I don't know how Jenny Han manages to tug on my heart strings every single time. This book was heartwarming, intriguing, and utterly adorable. Each character came back in full swing, and the ending was so amazing.

When reading To All The Boy's, I found Lara Jean to be a bit naive and annoying. However she really changed! She was so caring to the ones she loved, and was incredibly strong through all that she went through. Her bond with her sisters is unbeatable. There was one character in this book that blew me away even more though: Peter Kavinsky.

Peter was one of those characters who you can't help but love. He may seem a bit narcissistic on the outside, but he cared so deeply for Lara Jean, and was compelled to make things right. I can't say enough about how much I admire his character.

The plot to this book was so climactic, and well-written. It was not cheesy, boring or predictable. The ending was sooooo cute as well. There was fluff, but just the right amount.

Overall, I was so impressed with this ending, and I will miss these books very much.

Have you read P.S. I Still Love You? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Paperback's Pondering's: The Damsel in Distress

Paperback's Pondering's is a weekly discussion when I take a topic and well, ponder about it! This week's topic is all about strong female leads.

I have a love-hate relationship with romance novels. On one hand, I love the chemistry, fluff and of course, otp's that you can get out of a good romance. However, the reason that some of them don't appeal to me is because they can sometimes portray girls to be weak and helpless without a guy. Now this is not just limited to romance! There can sometimes be that problem in fantasy, dystopia and more, where the girl is swept off her feet by some gorgeous guy, who seems to make everything better.

Luckily, I haven't read a book with this problem in a long time, but it is still an on-going thing that I think needs to be talked about. My first question is: why is it always a girl? Who says that a magnificent heroine can't swoop in and save her partner, who is in distress. It doesn't always have to be a damsel.

I have a huge admiration for The Hunger Games series, because I've always thought of Katniss to be very independent. She doesn't need a "strong" man to come do all the dirty work for her, she is her own person. I don't like it in books when they portray a girl to be weak, because let's be honest, no girl is!

I think that it is not only great to have a kick-ass female lead, but I also think that it would be great if more YA books didn't have a girl falling in love at all. Who says that you necessarily need to find a boyfriend? Yes, it can add a great deal of cuteness to be the plot, and I'm not saying that a love is a bad thing, but wouldn't it be nice to just change it up a bit?

I absolutely love how the world is advancing in the issue of feminism. Girls are seen as strong, independent, and a force to be reckoned with. This is what I love to read about.

I'd love to know what you think about female leads! What are some of your favourite books that feature these women?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday 19 June 2015

Just Listen by: Sarah Dessen

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: April 6, 2006 by: Viking Books
Pages: 383
Rating: 2/5 stars

Annabel used to have it all. A model for Kopf's department store, her life was a series of glitz, glam and popularity. That is, until a tragic lie makes her best friend turn on her, her sister cripples under an eating disorder, and Annabel is stuck friendless and hopeless. That is, until she meets Owen, and music-loving boy who is willing to help her be happy again. Can he do it?

This book was okay. I found it to be not very climactic, and I was kind of bored. There were some aspects that I liked, but cons outweighed the pros.

I did love the character development of this book. We start off with a sad and lonely Annabel, but by the end of the book she is able to blossom out of her shell, reveal the secret that's been haunting her, and start loving life again. I felt for her, in how sad she must have been and how horrible people were to her. Owen was such an amazing male lead. He was kind, thoughtful and protective over Annabel. I loved how he had a strong interest in music, and he was so cute.

The plot of this book was pretty much non-existent. I didn't find much interest in it until the end, when everything got better. I just found a lot of the book to be pointless, uneventful and not go anywhere. I couldn't connect, and I didn't think this book was anything special.

This is only the second Sarah Dessen book I've read, and I am looking forward to reading more from her, but this one was a disappointment. It just didn't have enough rising action for me.

Overall, I loved the characters, but the plot left me wanting a bit more. That is why this book got 2 stars.

Have you read Just Listen? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Paperback's Pondering's: My Dreaded Reading Slump

Paperback's Pondering's is a weekly discussion when I take a topic and well, ponder about it! This week's topic is all about those dreaded slumps; some may last days, or even months!

It is an awkward situation that no bookworm wants to be in: when your mom tells you that she can't remember the last time she saw you pick up a book. I heard this from my own mother about a year ago, during my dreaded reading slump.

I've had this idea ever since I started this blog, that I always need to be reading a book because I need to keep reviews coming. However there is always that point when life kind of gets in the way and you start putting your priorities elsewhere. Now I have to admit, some of these priorities are more important such a studying for exams or preparing for your future, but what if the priority is just that you're not motivated?

I was in a huge reading slump about a year ago, when watching youtube videos took over my life and I was reaching towards my phone more than reaching towards a book. I just couldn't find a book I enjoyed because my mind was more focused on watching Zoella's new tutorial or watching Tyler Oakley's collabs. While I was enjoying these things, I couldn't help but wonder what happened to the Emily who would read book after book in elementary school. My parent's confronted me about it, and I realised that I needed a balance between my two hobbies.

Obviously everyone gets reading slumps for different reasons. My reason was that I had found another hobby, but others could say that they hadn't read anything really good lately, they're busy with school etc. This blog has kept me reading often now, which is great, but I can't help but wonder what would happen if I slipped back into a slump, but needed to put up reviews.

I think that the important thing for me, is to accept when I need to take a break, and to not force reading onto myself. It only makes it worse when you're dragging yourself through books that you have no interest in whatsoever. It's better to take time for yourself, and do other things that will make you happier.

Reading will always be my number one hobby, but that's not saying that it's not okay to have breaks once in a while. While it may be frustrating, it's better to sit back and relax, and it will all be over soon. And when all else fails, re-read Harry Potter. Harry Potter will always make you happy.

So I want to ask you now, how to you get rid of reading slumps? Do you accept the break, or do you pull through like a trooper? I'd love to know your tips and tricks :)

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday 12 June 2015

Beautiful Blogger's Award

Thank you very much to Konstantina @ The Reading Armchair for nominating me :)

Link to the blogger who nominated you.
List seven random facts about yourself.
Nominate seven, creative bloggers.
Notify the amazing people that you nominated for the award.

1. I am the most indecisive person ever.
2. I'm obsessed with the t.v. show  Full House even though I wasn't even born when it originally aired.
3. I have a year-old puppy named Lilo named after my love for the movie Lilo and Stitch.
4. I once stood in line for 2 hours at Disneyworld just so I could meet Aladdin.
5. I used to be a pretty good public speaker, but now I can't even make a simple class presentation without shaking uncontrollably.
6. I feel guilty about everything, and even a little white lie will make me feel like I've done something terrible.
7. I feel like the only person in the world who hates the season of fall. I'm a summer girl all the way!

I nominate: 
Michelle @ A Thousand Lives Lived
Emma @ Emma Likes Books
Charlotte @ Bookmarks and Blogging
Ranu @ The Bookish Life
Mishma @ Chasing FaeryTales

And anyone else interested :)

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Extraordinary Means by: Robyn Schneider

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary 
Published: May 26, 2015 by: Katherine Tegen Books 
Pages: 336
Rating: 3/5 stars 
*highlight white text to reveal major spoilers* 

Extraordinary Means was the love story of two teens: Lane and Sadie, who are fighting a terminal strain of tuberculosis. When Lane is sent to Lantham House, a hospital/boarding school that isolates people with this disease, he meets Sadie, who teaches him to live life on the edge and invites him into her rebellious group of friends. But as time goes on, the group gets sicker and the couple begins to wonder if they’ll ever get a second chance at life again.

I tried so hard to not compare this to tfios, but I just couldn’t help it :( . A book about teens fighting the same illness can either go really well or miss the mark.  I have to say that this book sadly didn’t meet the expectations I had for it.

I thought that the concept of this book was original and inspiring. Even though it was set in the modern world, I could feel a little dystopia in it because of the deadly illness that is threatening to sweep the nation. I felt for all of the teens in the facility, being sick was such a normal occurrence for them and it was upsetting to see them deteriorate. This book’s main idea wasn’t like anything that I have read before.

I just felt like this book needed more emotion. It wasn’t very captivating, it was actually pretty boring. 90% of the book follows the teens in their daily lives at Lantham, and the rest of it was the deterioration of Sadie, and you guessed it, her death. I saw it coming, and this book was probably one of the most predictable books I’ve ever read. The ending wasn’t emotional at all; I wanted more feeling into it. It kind of felt like everyone got over everything that happened so quickly.

I didn’t feel the connection with Lane and Sadie at all. It took so long for their relationship to develop, and I didn’t really feel like there was anything special about them. There wasn’t a lot of chemistry, and I just feel like all of the characters fell flat.

Overall, I thought that this book’s concept was very unique, but it lacked emotion and chemistry. I wanted more of a bond between the characters.

Have you read Extraordinary Means? What did you think? 

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday 10 June 2015

Paperback's Pondering's: Writing Woes

Paperback's Pondering's is a weekly discussion when I take a topic and well, ponder about it! This week's topic is all about writing: the struggles, the perks, and if I want to pursue it.

I've read a lot of blog posts of bloggers beginning to write, whether that would be short stories, books, poems etc. I've always admired these people, because I've always wanted to be a writer. The problem is, I haven't written anything!

All my life I've been dreaming about being a New York Times bestselling author, but I've never gotten the courage to sit my butt down and actually start working. I used to write silly little stories when I was younger;  (those will get me nowhere) but other than that I've made excuse after excuse as to why I won't start. I realize that if I don't start now, there's no chance, but the truth is that I don't know what to write about!

With the explosion of YA fiction in the past decade, it seems as though all the "good ideas" are gone. I'm not too sure if people are tired of a post-apocalyptic city with a kickass female lead, or two star-crossed lovers that are torn apart by illness. I am probably the least creative person on this planet, and the imagination I had when I was a kid, is suddenly all gone.

I think it's because I read in place of everything, so I don't give my mind enough room to think of my own ideas. I'm stuck daydreaming about Augustus Waters or Tobias Eaton, that I forget that I should probably make my own male protagonist.

The other thing stopping me from writing is the fear of being judged. I know that if I write a book in a notebook, people in my family are going to want to read it and that will make me so uncomfortable. I already feel awkward when my mom brings up my blog at every family reunion, let alone if she shared with everyone that I had written a story! I could probably keep it a secret, but my sister is practically with me 24/7, and although I love her dearly, she can be my worse critic.

I know that there are so many positive aspects to writing though! My mom showed me a program at a university that offers a creative writing class, but to get in, you need a portfolio of your written work. That would help me tremendously! It will help me live my life-long dream, and make me feel proud that my hardwork paid off. My problem is that I need to stop dreaming and start doing.

So my question to you writer's is: Do you find it hard to come up with ideas? How do you find your inspiration? I'd love to know :)

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday 5 June 2015

Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn #2) by: Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: August 13, 2013 by: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 517
Rating: 5/5 stars
*highlight white text to reveal spoilers*

Fire with Fire was the thrilling sequel to Han and Vivian's Burn for Burn series. Here, Lillia, Mary and Kat return to try and pick up the pieces from their homecoming accident. But nothing has changed, and the people who have wronged them are still in full force. To top it all off, Mary's been acting weird, and is determined to find out why she is "different" than everyone else.

OMG THIS BOOK WAS INSAANNNNEEEE!!!!! Phew, glad I got that off my chest. This book was suspenseful, passionate and such a surprise! The book captivated me the entire way through, and the ending blew my mind.

The characters came back stronger than ever. Kat was so determined and kept her hilarious self, Lillia was much more caring and powerful, and even sweet little Mary broke out of her shell and fought for what she wanted. The girls now know their limits, and they were a lot more strategic. I found them to be very intelligent.

The plot was so clever, intense and fast-paced. There were so many plot twists, and there was never a dull moment. I couldn't put this book down. The antagonists were as horrid as ever, but they still added to the plot amazingly and kept me wanting to read more. It was one big thrill-ride.

*Now this next paragraph is loaded with spoilers, so I've highlighted the whole thing, if you don't want to know the ending, then skip reading it all together*

Now let's talk about that ending!!! Mary is a ghost?! I knew from the moment her aunt started acting weird that something was up, but I never in a million years would have guessed that Mary isn't even actually in the human-world! My heart was racing when she found out, and when she started talking about taking "a life for a life", that's when I realized that I needed to read the third book. It was so unexpected, but I couldn't have asked for anything more. 

Overall, I loved this book because of how shocking it was. Nothing was what it seemed, and I can't wait to read the third book.

Have you read Fire with Fire? What did you think?

Also, I've just realized that this is my 100'th post! I never in a million years thought I would have made it this far, and here's to 100 more :)

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Paperback's Pondering's: Book to Movie Adaptions

I've decided that I wanted to stop doing memes, but I wanted something to take it's place. I love discussion posts, and I realized that I do have a lot of thoughts and opinions on things in the bookish life, so I want to start doing discussions! So without further ado, welcome to the first addition of Paperback's Pondering's! This will be every Wednesday, and I'm so excited to pursue it :)

The first post is all about book to movie adaptions, the good, the bad and the ugly.

One of the most exciting thing in the bookworm world, is finding out that your favourite book is becoming a t.v. show. However, things might not always turn out to be what you hoped for. If I'm being completely honest, it doesn't really bother me if a book I adore, is not quite like the movie adaption. I love movies as well as books, so as long as the adaption is not cheesy, I'm all for it.

There are some people, however who prefer the book and movie to be extremely similar, and that's alright too! There is the old saying: the book's always better, but for some reason, I've found that to be not always the case. There are a few books that didn't stand out to me, but I was absolutely intrigued by the movie. I think it all depends on people's different tastes. What could be amazing for one, could be a travesty for another.

Another big debate in this world is when a movie adds extra/cuts scenes from a book. Adding scenes can either go really well, or really bad, and I think it all depends on if the added scene really adds to the plot. Some scenes can be very pointless.

It can also be frustrating to have your favourite book scene be cut out of the movie scene! Sadly there is nothing you can do about this, but I think in a way, that can be positive too because you can imagine that scene exactly how you want it to be. No other person can decide that scene for you.

To the best things about movie adaptions now, it is that they can create a world that you always dreamed of. The characters that you've imagined can finally come to life, and nothing in this world is better than having a killer cast for a movie adaption.

I also love talking to other people who may have not read the book, but enjoyed the movie. It pulls people into our world, so they can finally see why we hype and fangirl all along. I lend a lot of the success in getting my friends to read my favourite books, to the movie that they watched.

Overall, book to movie adaptions can be a wonderful things. They can help you to fully visualise what you've always kept in your head. They can sometimes be underwhelming, but hey, at least people took an interest in your favourite book.

I want to know what you think! Do you jump at the chance to watch adaptions? Or would you rather leave everything to your imagination? Also, I would love if you left requests for future pondering's! I'm always looking for ideas :)

Emily @ Paperback Princess