Wednesday, 30 December 2015

2015 Recap: What I've Accomplished and What I Want to Work On

Hello lovelies! I'm sure you've heard this plenty of times before, but my, has 2015 gone by fast. For me, it was a whirlwind of work, play, accomplishments and even some failures, however I'm going into 2016 with a smile on my face and book's in my arms, ready to take on the year! Since this was technically my first full year of blogging, I wanted to reflect on everything that happened bookish wise, blogging wise, and even life wise.

In the Bookisphere: 

During this year, I was able to complete 60 books and surpassed my goodreads challenge of reading 50 books per year! Here were some of my favourites:

All the Bright Places by: Jennifer Niven - This book was thought provoking and inspiring, and has become one of my all time favourites.

The Selection series by: Kiera Cass- Definitely one of my favourite series that I read this year; these books were sweet, easy reads that were so addicting!

Burn for Burn series by: Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian- WOAH WAS THIS SERIES EVER SO INTENSE! It was filled with twists and turns unlike no other.

Life of Pi by: Yann Martel - Ever so inspiring with such a deep meaning, my favourite book that I've ever had to read for school.

Wonder by: R.J. Palacio - A middle-grade and YA book full of beautiful life lessons and an amazing set of characters.

One by: Sarah Crossan - Beautiful, absolutely stunning, sad, and unique. This book held a special meaning to me.

Honourable Mentions: 

I started the ever so popular Throne of Glass series this year! While the books started off very well for me, it did turn into a downward spiral, but I am still happy to have gotten back into fantasy.

None of the Above by: I.W. Gregorio - This was definitely my most diverse read of 2015! It was very educational and ever so different.

In the Blogisphere: 

I expanded my following, reached new bloggers and also surpassed 1000 pageviews! My blog has grown throughout the year and I haven't been happier.

I finally created a blog button for myself! While my 2015 resolutions was to expand my horizons in photoshop and blog design, I was able to get a better understanding of customization and I'm slowly, (but surely) making changes.

I REACHED MY FIRST BLOGIVERSARY! July brought this milestone quicker than I thought, and I was so thrilled with my accomplishment. I have now been blogging for almost a year and a half.

I took a hiatus in November. I did not post for the entire month in an effort to focus on writing, and I really benefited from it. I came back in full swing mode and refreshed.

I kicked off a series on my blog called Paperback's Pondering's! I started writing a lot more discussion posts to fully get thoughts off my mind, and it really helped my to organize my opinions and hear others!

Life Wise: 

The main thing I did in 2015 was write my first book! I partaked in NaNoWriMo, which helped me to create my very first WIP, which I could not be more proud of.

I passed grade 10 with honours! I am now in my senior years, ready to take on the scary tasks of finding out what I want to do with my life.

I went to my last One Direction concert for a while, with my all time favourite band going on a break. This may seem like such a random and weird thing to talk about, but this band has impacted me so much that I couldn't help but mention how much they meant to me during this hard year.

2016 Goals: 

Now it's time for me to mention what I would like to accomplish this coming year!

- I want to reach 10 000 pageviews! I'm almost there, and this goal would mean the world to me.
- I want to publish my book! After editing is finished, I will hopefully self publish my boom and get it out there.
- I want to reach my 2 year blogiversary! This one will probably be a given, and it will be even more exciting than my first!
- I want to host my very first giveaway. People, including myself, love entering them, and so I really want to celebrate a special occasion to thank my lovely readers this year.
- I want to start writing more personal posts. There is a whole other side of me that I sometimes don't share on my blog, so I want to open up more.

So that was my 2015! Let me know what you got up too this year, and what you have to look forward to! Wishing you all a Happy New Year and the best of luck in 2016.

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Thursday, 24 December 2015

The Inside Out Book Tag!

Thanks to the lovely Ranu @ The Araliya Bookshelf for tagging me! I have to admit, I have still not seen Inside Out despite the fact that everyone OBSESSES over this movie, but I will one day!

Joy- Which Book Brings you the most Joy? 

Definitely without a doubt, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. It's probably the lightest and happiest of all the books, because poor Harry does not know what's coming for him in the following years.

Sadness- Which Book Made you cry the hardest? 

I recently read One by: Sarah Crossan, and oh my goodness was this ever so heart wrenching. A review will be coming soon, because this book tore me to pieces.

Disgust- Which book made you grossed out the most? 

OBVIOUSLY After by: Anna Todd. It was raunchy, rude and a gross portrayal of one of my favourite human beings, Harry Styles. (The book is based off of One Direction fanfiction) Ugh.

Fear- Which book scared you more than anything? 

I'm not big on the horror genre, and really the only book I've read that was remotely scary was The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by: Michelle Hodkins. The fact that she hears voices and can kill people just by thinking about it made me really freaked out.

Anger- Which book pissed you off? 

THE HEIR BY: KIERA CASS!! I was so looking forward to the fourth book in a great series, but instead I got one of the most brattiest, stuck-up and most annoying main character of all time. Eadlyn Schreave needs an attitude check.

Thanks to Ranu for tagging, I'd like to tag anyone interested!

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Christmassy Traditions!

I wanted to do a Christmas post to get into the spirit of the season, and I also wanted to try to keep it not bookish related. Maybe this is just because I am a curious person, but I love reading about other people's traditions so I hope that some might be interested in reading about mine!

Christmas will always be my favourite time of year, not only because of the festive cheer, but also because my birthday is so close to it; December 19! I get off school the week before Christmas, and the countdown begins! Normally the day we get off my sister and I will watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation with our family, and let me just say that this is a STAPLE  in my house! It is the funniest Christmas movie ever!

Next comes my birthday, which I usually prefer a quiet celebration with my closest family. I've never really liked when all of the attention is on me. My mom makes my all-time favourite dessert which is Jello, (very random and weird) and my twin gets a proper cake. If you can't tell, we are polar opposites. This is sort of the kick-off to Christmas week in my house!

On around December 20-21, my family and I drive to Downtown Toronto to see the Christmas Markets in the Distillery district, as well as look at the Christmas windows in the Hudson's Bay centre and we go skating in Nathan Phillip's square! These places are so beautifully decorated, and reminds me so much of Christmas in New York that you see in the movies, only with a Canadian twist!

Then comes Christmas Eve. This is a time dedicated to my father's family, which is Italian. An Italian Christmas tradition is that you do not eat meat for Christmas dinner, only fish, so my mom makes a medley of seafood and pasta! We go to church, eat, exchange presents, and enjoy each others company.

Next is the glorious Christmas Day! My family and I open presents at home, and then we go over to my grandma's for brunch with my cousins. We spend the entire day there, get dressed up fancy in the evening and have a traditional Christmas dinner of turkey. It is truly a LONG day of celebration!

The days after are just a whirlwind of various Christmas parties and mostly just visiting family members that we don't normally see. I have a huge family, and so it is important to be able to connect with them every once in a while, it's what Christmas is all about :)

And that's basically my Christmas week! It is jammed packed but I wouldn't change it for the world.

What are your Christmas or Holiday Traditions? I'd love to know if you celebrate other holidays, and what you get up to on these days! Please share!

I'd also like to extend a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all of you lovely bloggers! Friday is my usual post day, but I probably won't post on Christmas so I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all! Hope you all have a lovely week with whatever you do :)

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 18 December 2015

Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by: Tahereh Mafi

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopia
Published: February 5, 2013 by: HarperCollins
Pages: 461
Rating: 5/5 stars
*highlight white text to reveal minor spoilers*

Unravel Me is the sequel to Shatter Me, a story about tortured teen Juliette, as she escapes the corrupt Reestablishment in search of a revolution against the man who terrorized her. Juliette contains a gift, or more like a curse, that allows her touch to be lethal. As Juliette joins the rebellion, she must face coming to terms with her love Adam, and new love Warner, which pushes Juliette to put her trust to the test. 

WOAH WOAH WOAH WOAH I WAS NOT EXPECTING THIS AT ALL. I had some troubles with Shatter Me, I found it to be kind of a let down. Ironically, a girl at my school who has read the entire series told me to keep going, as it would get better. AND LET ME JUST SAY THAT SHE WAS RIGHT! This book was suspenseful, cunning, romantic, and one big thrill-ride! I'm glad I put my trust in the sequel.

 I don't know why, but this book was just so much more interesting! We get to see Juliette in a form like never before, where she is more stable and aware of her actions. I loved how Mafi this time didn't include too many repetitive words; (that drove me insane) and instead gave a more developed character. I loved the introduction of new characters; (Kenji being my favourite) and I even grew a soft spot for Warner; (and began to hate Adam's guts). Overall the character development in this book was INSANE.

I loved how this book did a love triangle, but in a good way. The romance was descriptive but not cheesy, and I actually enjoyed reading about the romantic conflicts. I found this love triangle to be done a lot better than in the first book, and I feel as if the characters had a lot more chemistry with each other. WILL SHE PICK ADAM? WILL SHE PICK WARNER? I DON'T KNOW!!

Basically, I would say that even if you didn't like the first book, you should still give it a try. I found it a lot more organized and put-together than the first, and I also really liked the romance, which is weird for me because love triangles aren't normally my forte. It almost seems like this book put me under a spell.

So give it a go!!! I'm so happy that I went along with reading this book because it proved to me for the first time that sometimes you can't just give up on a series.

Have you read Unravel Me? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

My Favourite Bookish Quotes!

Today I decided to do something a bit more personal and deep, and that it is to count down  my all-time favourite quotes from books. There are so many quotes that have stood out for me, so it was hard to find the sequence, but I really wanted to do this! So without further ado:

*Disclaimer: I cannot confirm that all of these quotes do not have spoilers in them, so proceed with caution*.

10. "Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look  nice; it was supposed to make you feel something."- Eleanor and Park by: Rainbow Rowell 
I love this quote because it is the definition of a diverse read. Here we have an average girl, and average boy. Their love is not perfect, but Park is willing to fight for it. 

9. "You love me, real or not real? Real."- The Hunger Games by: Suzanne Collins 

Even though I was not that emotionally attached to this book, this quote still made me cry. It's just so damn romantic, and after all that Katniss and Peeta went through, this made it all worth it. 

8. "Peter would probably throw a party if I stopped breathing.''Well,' he says, 'I would only go if there was cake."-Divergent by: Veronica Roth 

Couldn't resist throwing in a more humorous quote in here from one of my favourite male leads! This quote DEFINES Tris and Tobias' relationship. :') 

7. "I'll say it one last time: Be brave."- Allegiant by; Veronica Roth 

This quote never fails to send shivers down my spine. Seeing as the whole series is based around bravery, this part of the book gave me all the feels. Without giving too much away, this quote was basically when I started bawling in the book. I just love this series. 

6. "What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person."- Paper Towns by: John Green 

One of my all-time favourite books, first of all! This quote perfectly captures the sarcastic tone that the book puts on, and I read this quote on the daily. I think that it perfectly captures how we treat people in society, and how even an ordinary person can do great things. 

5. "The thing I realize is, that it's not what you take, it's what you leave."- All the Bright Places by: Jennifer Niven 

This quote and this book were all kinds of perfection. I love this because it explains that mark that we leave on this world, and how we can put our selfish actions aside and focus on being good people. 

4. "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light".- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by: J.K. Rowling 

I read this quote whenever I am feeling sad. The wise words of Albus Dumbledore can be an instant mood changer, and I think that we can all learn a lot from this quote. 

3. "You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices."- The Fault in Our Stars by: John Green 

I CRY I CRY I CRY!!! I lost every ounce of composure I had left when reading this. It says a lot about the way we treat others, and about the way that we let people hurt us. If you've read this book, then you know when this quote was read and I'm pretty sure I'll remember this forever. 

2. "You'll stay with me? 'Until the very end,' said James."- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by: J.K. Rowling 

Call me crazy, but I literally just started tearing up simply writing this quote down! I think for anyone who has read the series, this was a big moment, a moment when you realized that this was all coming to an end, and a moment that you will never forget. I'll never forget the first time I read this quote. 


1. "We accept the love we think we deserve".- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by: Stephen Chbosky 

Uhmmm... where do I begin with this one? Basically this book was one of the most thought-provoking, inspiring and most heartfelt book I have ever read. If I could meet Stephen Chbosky and just thank him for writing such a work of art, I would in a heartbeat. This quote speaks about love, about how we should all have what love we want but unfortunately not all of us get it. I love this quote, and I love this book. 

Now as I wipe the tears from my eyes; I want to know: What are YOUR favourite book quotes? 

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 11 December 2015

Dreamland by: Sarah Dessen

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: May 11, 2004 by: Speak
Pages: 250
Rating: 2/5 stars

Caitlin O' Koren has been lost ever since her sister mysteriously disappeared. Her mother is disconnected from the world, her father is over protective of her, and Caitlin is stuck in the middle. The enters Rogerson, a cocky and seductive senior who takes Caitlin under his wing and shows her how to mask her feelings. Caitlin feels like she's floating in a dream, under Rogerson's spell. That is, until Rogerson starts acting different, more violent. Will Caitlin be able to bring herself back to reality?

All I can say about this book is: dark. It is EXTREMELY emotional, it is deep, and it is devastating. The book ultimately deals with abuse, with the main protagonist stuck in a dangerous relationship that she has emotionally bonded herself too. Caitlin feels alone and isolated, and so she enters the relationship so she can share her feelings with someone who relates to her. This book was so emotionally frusturating, with me many times wanting to hurl the book at the wall. It is sad :(

The characters were so real, so very, very real. Caitlin felt like a real person, that I was hearing her story and I couldn't do anything about it. Rogerson seemed exactly like a teenager who could do this in real life: broken himself, struggles with drug abuse, and so many terrible, horrible things. I understand exactly what Dessen was going for, she hit the realistic spot on, and it hit me hard.

I guess the reason that I didn't enjoy this book that much is because there was nothing happy about it. It is definitely to an aquired taste, and it hit hard after the humorous and lighter books that I have read from her previously. I would say that she did dark well, but it just wasn't for me.

There isn't that much left to say about this book, quite honestly. It wasn't what I expected at all, I thought that it would have been a fluffier romance quite honestly, but that just goes to show to not judge a book by it's cover. I sympathized with Caitlin so much, and it was so terrible to see her suffer.

So overall I guess, if you're into very dark, dreary and upsetting books, then this would be one for you. If you like to cry, but not in a good way, then this would be one for you. But it wasn't for me, and gosh darn I needed to read something happier after this one.

Have you read Dreamland? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

A Letter to Newbie Bloggers

I decided to do something a bit different today. Seeing as there has been a lot of positivity going around lately, I decided to put my hand into it by writing a letter to newbie bloggers, because everyone could use a little support sometimes :)

Dear Bloggers,

First things first, I would like to say welcome! You have chosen to share all of your bookish thoughts with our community, that's awesome! Some of you may have chosen to do this because you don't have many people in your real life who relate to your book obsession, and you want to be able to have a little corner of the internet dedicated to your passion. Let me be the first to say that I've been there, most bloggers have been there, and it can be difficult. However you will soon feel much more welcome about your hobby when you are supported by a community like this.

I want you to know that this community is the place to be for anyone who needs a friend. You will be able to connect with people from all around the world, experience in bookish chats via social media, as well as communicate with your favourite authors! Although the task may seem daunting now, I hope that writing posts will become your favourite thing, if it is something that you are passionate about.

In my opinion, the most important thing about starting a book blog is to not be afraid of asking for help. This may be a whole new world for you, and you may feel overwhelmed with the task of running a website. Please know that there is a whole world of talented bloggers out there, just waiting to take your questions and give you advice. It was the support and guide of others that helped to kickstart my blog. So don't be afraid!

You may be wondering if this community has any drama like other fandoms, or if it is all just sunshine and rainbows. The answer is yes: there will always be a few rotten apples in a bunch, but the important thing to remember is to not get caught up in it. Don't worry about how many Advanced Reading Copies you have against others, don't compare your followers with other people, and most importantly, please leave the haters alone. They are bored and not worth your time.

During your blogging life, please know that it is important to voice your opinion, when appropriate. Don't be afraid of sharing your thoughts about a bad book, or about something that bothers you, but please, please, please, think before you speak! Remember, if you think your opinion might be offensive and controversial, leave it in your head and rephrase. It will help everyone get along better :)

The point I'm trying to make is, that this experience could be the best time of your lives. It is an opportunity to make new friends, be yourself, and go through the amazing process of reading in a whole new light. The world is waiting for you, make it the best time ever :)

From Your Friend,

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 4 December 2015

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by: Patrick Ness

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary
Published: August 27, 2015 by: Walker Books
Pages: 352
Rating: 5/5 stars

For high school senior Mikey, his school blowing up is nothing out of the ordinary. That's because there are the indie kids, the chosen ones, the ones who have to save the world from ultimate destruction and are constantly getting into trouble. But for Mikey, he's always been in the background of the madness, just trying to get through life and ask out his long time crush Henna, before she gets taken by someone else. In this unique and inspiring twist to a fantasy novel, we get a glimpse into the lives of the normal kids. The kid's who are usually left in the shadows of the heroes.

This book was probably one of the most unique book I have ever read. I don't know how Ness came up with the concept, but it was cool and funny and nothing like I had ever read before. It had a relatable aspect to it as well, and it proved an amazing message that we are all special in our own way.

The characters in this book were full of flaws, and that's what made this book so amazing! They were average kids; not wizards or werewolves or aliens. It was truly amazing to be able to get to know each of the character's personality types, and each one had their own unique characteristics. Despite the fact that this is ultimately a fantasy novel, these characters were relatable and I could really connect to them. They were perfection in their own flawful way.

I loved how this book had quite a light tone to it, despite the fact that drama is constantly around the corner. It had a very humorous approach, which is not like many fantasy novels, and I think it really added to the mood. I loved how comic relief was weaved into more dramatic parts, and I didn't find this book heavy to read at all. It was so easy to get through.

This book was kept interesting and descriptive without being long and dragging. I think that the idea to focus on the normal kids really worked in Ness' favour, as it took no time at all for me; who can a lot of the times not get into fantasy books, to be fully engrossed and entertained. This book dragged me out of a growing slump and I'm so happy that I chose it.

Overall, if you love fantasy books, or even hate fantasy books, give it a try! There's something for everyone, and I think that this book would be a great read for any teen who feels invisible to the people around them.

Have you read The Rest of Us Just Live Here? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Life Update: I'm Back, And I Wrote a Book!

Hello everyone, and what an amazing day it is because I can finally confirm that my hiatus for November is finished! It was harder than I thought, with me constantly wanting to be online and making sure that I was still in the loop with what was going on in the blogosphere. Although I got a lot of things accomplished during this time, I hope that it will not have to happen again in the near future. Anyways, so many things happened in November that I'm very proud of!

Bookish Wise:
The beginning of November was very slow when it came to reading. I hadn't read in about 2 weeks and I really thought that I was entering a slump. However, during this time, my school announced that they would be allowing students to borrow ebooks from their site, and this site has almost any title you can imagine! It will sure lesson the budget on book buying. During these past two weeks, I have read:

The Rest of Us Just Live Here: by: Patrick Ness -5/5
Dreamland by: Sarah Dessen -3/5
Unravel Me by: Tahereh Mafi -5/5
Panic by: Lauren Oliver-5/5
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by: Cynthia Hand-5/5

Reviews for all of these books will be coming soon!

Writing Wise:

The main reason why I took a hiatus was because I participated in my very first NaNoWriMo! It was an experience to say the least, but I had a blast while doing it. I was able to communicate with some amazing writers, receive pep talks and advice on how to improve my writing. Winning the challenge and officially confirming that I had finished my very first book, was a very emotional moment for me as this has been in a dream in progress since I was 9. I could not be happier with the outcome, and I'm looking forward to editing this novel and (hopefully) self-publishing! The future looks bright!

Life Wise:

Midterms just past and I am doing very well in my classes! I have really taken an interest in my Ancient History course, and it has definitely made me want to write something inspired by it! I'm enjoying the easy times while they last because I know that exams will soon be right around the corner and I will really need to buckle down! I am so happy to have gotten through this month :)

So where I'm going with this, is that I am back and ready to get back with blogging! Expect more reviews, discussions and anything else that I may like to write! Here's to a great December and a Happy Holiday Season!

I would now just like to take this opportunity to truly thank anyone who commented, tweeted or gave me any advice on how to deal with my hiatus and also in NaNoWriMo. It was an interesting month to say the least, and it was the support from the blogging and writing world that helped me deal with it. I've have never been happier to see all of the positivity posts that have been circling around lately, with Jillian @ Jillian's Books positivity campaign, and just general bloggers spreading the love, this has really become a routine! How amazing it is when a few people get together to make the internet a better place :)

So how's your life going? Read any good books lately? Did you participate in NaNoWriMo? Let me know as I feel like I've been so absent!

Emily @ Paperback Princess