Friday, 30 September 2016

Les Miserables by: Victor Hugo

Genre: Historical Fiction, Classic
Published: March 3, 1987 by: Signet Classics
Pages: 1463
Rating: 4/5 stars

Jean Valjean has spent years in jail, all for stealing a loaf of bread for his sister's starving son. Now released in the midst of the French Revolution, Valjean is on the run from the evil Inspector Javert, who wants to see Valjean be punished for life. Meanwhile, a poor single mother named Fantine is struggling to find a home for her daughter Cosette, due to her ailing health. When Cosette is sent to live with a evil innkeeper and his wife, she is brutally starved and mistreated. But Cosette and Valjean's paths will cross, and a journey through childhood, love, and a revolution ensues.

I don't know what I was thinking taking on a book of these proportions. I absolutely love the musical, it was one of the first musicals my parents ever took my sister and I to see, and my parents saw the musical on their first date, so you could say that this musical is a huge part of our lives. I've always wanted to read the book, but I just never found the time. Well at last, I read it, but honestly, I would watch the movie/see the musical before reading.

Hugo really created a beautiful story here. It's so upsetting to see the treatment of some of the people during this time period, however he also brings in so much joy and patriotism as well. This book is so emotional, and I always cry just thinking about it, but I think it's so important for us to remember this historical time period.

The characters in this book are one of a kind, each of them has a different story to tell and not one is more perfect than the other. Valjean has an incredible voice throughout the book, and some of the quotes you will get from this book will stay with you forever.

What made me prefer the musical to the book is the fact that the book went on tangents a lot. Every once in a while there would be a good 200 pages dedicated to specific philosophy or theme, that didn't weave in the story. It seemed like I was reading a non fiction essay.

I will say, if you're interested in the story, maybe watch the movie or see the musical first. I don't think I would have understood the story as well as I did if I hadn't known what was going to happen first, and I definitely think that the musical accurately tells the story. It will just save you a lot of time, and the songs are to die for.

Have you read Les Miserables? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Paperback's Pondering's: I Almost Quit (But I Didn't!)

This is gonna be a hard post to write, because I'm just gonna be fully honest here. I play up like my experience blogging has been nothing but sunshine and rainbows, but the truth is, these past couple of months have had it's rough patches. And it's important to talk about.

So the truth is, at the end of June going into summer, I seriously considered quitting my blog. Like literally just dropping off the face of the blogosphere, just stop tweeting, stop blogging, and stop caring. I figured, I haven't met any of my blog buddies in real life, so it wouldn't be so embarrassing if I just quit. I want to tell you why I felt this way.

Blogging just felt like a chore to me. I hated having to open up my laptop, sit down for an hour and write when I could have been spending time outside and such during the summertime. It seriously felt like homework during the summer.

I also felt so completely unmotivated. I thought that doing a Paperback's Pondering's every week was getting repetitive, I had no other creative ideas, and I just didn't want to deal with having to be out of the box anymore. Again, it felt like a chore.

So why didn't I stop? It was my sister, actually who told me that it would be stupid to throw away two years of my life for a silly little rough patch. She suggested taking a summer hiatus, but I knew that if I did, I would probably never come back.

What did I do then? I hid behind tags upon tags upon tags because they were easy and didn't require any creativity, because the questions were already made up for me. I didn't have to worry about putting some actual thought in my posts. I have nothing against tags, but doing them week after week was incredibly boring. I didn't care though. I had literally thrown my content out the window.

Now this may seem pretty negative, but the truth is, I'm all good now! I had a true pep talk with myself after my 2 year blogiversary post, when I saw how lovely everyone was and I realized that I felt appreciated in the blogosphere. I felt like people enjoyed my company, and I didn't want to throw it away.

I'm now actually extremely inspired. I've been taking a Writer's Craft course at school which has been helping me tremendously, and I really want to share what I've learnt on my blog, because a lot of us are aspiring writers and I think my teacher's advice could be beneficial to others. I plan on bringing back the discussions, putting out even more reviews, and more importantly, caring again.

I wanted to share this because I needed to get this weight off my chest. Sometimes people think that a break can always help, but for me, that wasn't the case. I had to push through, but now, I am totally ok. This blog deserves better than this, and all of you in the blogosphere deserve better than this. I'd like to thank all of you for the endless motivation you give me, it clearly keeps me going.

Have you gone through a rough patch? What did you do to get past it?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 23 September 2016

The Way I Used to Be by: Amber Smith

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: March 22, 2016 by: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 384
Rating: 3/5 stars

Eden's life was seemingly perfect. She had a strong group of friends, good study habits, and a loving family. However all of that changes the night her brother's best friend rapes her. Threatened to keep the rape a secret, Eden goes through her four years of high school with intense emotional trauma which eventually leads to the deterioration of her character, and her spirit. Eden must find the voice to tell what really happened, before it's too late.

This book is told in 4 parts, each showing Eden's life throughout her 4 years of high school after she is raped. I will not sugar coat this, this book was brutal. It was disturbing, it was upsetting, and it contained a slew of harsh themes in addition to the rape. I thought that it was a very harrowing book, but there were some parts that didn't sit well with me.

Firstly, I thought that the concept of this book was really great. To tell a story through the 4 years of high school was incredibly unique and important, and I think that the author did a great job at capturing the deterioration of an individual through the years that they are kept silent. It gave off an incredible voice.

I think that this book was very realistic, meaning that things weren't glazed over and Eden seemed like a very believable character. It's sad, but I could see the events in the book happen in real life. I liked how the author stayed true to what real life events could turn to.

I guess this book just disturbed me and frustrated me. I could see Eden try to tell someone about what happened, but for one reason or another she never did. It was very frustrating to see all of these moments where she was about to tell someone go wrong, I just wanted to help her and I couldn't, which left me feeling annoyed.

I think the reason this book was only ok for me was because it's not really my cup of tea. I enjoy contemporaries and I enjoy reading about harsh issues, but in small doses. The girl in this book didn't seem to ever catch a break, and I know it's impossible to provide comic relief in a book like this, but I just needed a break from all the hardship at times.

So overall, a very important book with a very important message, but I would not go for this book if you're in a good mood. It will definitely leave you feeling a bit sad.

Have you read The Way I Used to Be? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Paperback's Pondering's: When a REALLY Good Book Puts you in a Reading Slump

It feels like FOREVER since I've put up a Paperback's Pondering's and I'm so happy to be back to my normal ranting self! Judging by the title, you're probably wondering what the hell I'm talking about. Usually the story goes that we as bookworms read a really crappy book, and then find ourselves slipping into a reading slump. Well for me, this isn't really the case and instead, the roles seem to be reversed.

I recently read a book, The Truth About Forever by: Jennifer L. Armentrout. This book was STUNNING in every sort of way. I devoured all of it's goodness and I was genuinely sad when I had finished it. So naturally, after I'm done with a book I would immediately add a new book to my currently reading. Well I found myself after reading The Truth About Forever COMPLETELY unmotivated to start anything else. I just didn't think that anything else could top it.

This happens to me every single time I read an amazing book, no joke. I literally slip into a bookish mourning if you will that forbids me from wanting to read anything else. It's partly because I don't think anything else could top it, and also because I'm just on a high from the book that I will just be thinking about it every time I try to pick up a new one.

The funny thing is, I don't really get into reading slumps after reading a crappy book. If anything, I am more motivated to get my mind off of the book and trying something that I hope will be better. It's a total reversal from what any other bookworm might say.

So how do I get out of this reading slump? To be honest, I find it really hard. I normally go about a week of crawling through a new book, skimming the pages without really retaining anything and hoping for the next book to be something better. It's like I need to be with a good book all the time.

I'm not really sure if anything I'm saying makes any sense, but the point of this post, is that I want to see if anyone else feels the same way. Do you get into a slump when you read a really good book, or am I just a weirdo?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 16 September 2016

The Hidden Oracle (The Trails of Apollo #1) by: Rick Riordan

Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology
Published: May 3, 2016 by: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 376
Rating: 5/5 stars

*excessive use of caps lock ahead*

After Zeus has the last straw with his son Apollo, Apollo is banished to Earth where he is turned into a mortal, a teenager boy to be exact. Without the powers that he has grown accustomed to for thousands of years, Apollo now must navigate the human world, with his former enemies looking to take advantage of this. With his life in danger, Apollo must go to Camp Half Blood, the infamous safe ground, for people like himself.

I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW EXCITED I WAS WHEN I FOUND OUT THAT RICK WAS WRITING ANOTHER PERCY JACKSON SPINOFF! Those books were my CHILDHOOD in every way possible, and I was in serious mourning when The Heroes of Olympus series ended, because I thought we had seen the last of Camp Half Blood. But my prayers have been answered and I could not be happier!

Apollo was absolutely hilarious in this book! Well, all of Riordan's books are. If you're familiar, all of his character have incredibly humorous voices, and this was no different. I cracked up multiple times and I had a smile plastered on my face through the entire book. Apollo was such a fun god to read about, I think this series was such a clever move.

I also loved the representation in this book! Apollo was bisexual, his son is gay, it was so great to see LGBT representation in a book that also appeals to Middle Grade readers. It shows them how great diverse books can be!

We get introduced to some new characters, and get to be reunited with others. LIKE MY PRECIOUS BABY LEO I MISSED YOU SO MUCH!  I loved how the old characters were actively involved, but also gave room for the new characters to grow. It was so incredible.

Some people are annoyed that Rick keeps milking this world but honestly if he didn't I wouldn't know what to do with myself. These books were second to Harry Potter for me, and I will never be able to let them go.

Have you read The Hidden Oracle? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The Greek Mythology Tag!

I'm so happy that Erin @ The Book Archive tagged me to do this because Greek Mythology is my sh*t! Alright, let's get started:

Zeus- God of the Sky: Favourite Book of Your Own Category

I'm gonna choose historical fiction for my category and say that Salt to the Sea by: Ruta Sepetys is my new favourite! This book was educational, and yet so harrowing, upsetting, but so important. It gave me new insight on an event that I didn't even know existed.

Hera- Goddess of Love and Fertility: Favourite Book Couple

OBVIOUSLY Pynch from the Raven Cycle! Adam and Ronan were so precious, I could go on and on.

Poseidon- God of the Sea: Book that Drowned you in Feels

It wouldn't be a tag without mentioning Harry Potter, so I'm gonna say Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! The last book was so emotional and shocking.

Athena- Goddess of Wisdom and Handicraft: Series with the Best World Building

I think that the Divergent series had amazing world building that was completely screwed up in the movies!

Hades- God of the Underworld: Book with a Dark Plot

The Perks of Being a Wallflower had a lot of dark themes and heavy material, but was still amazing nonetheless!

Aphrodite- Goddess of Love and Beauty: 2016 Release with the Most Beautiful Cover

The Thousandth Floor has such a stunning cover! Look at it, just LOOK AT IT!

Ares- God of War: Most Violent Book you've Read

I'm gonna say that An Ember in the Ashes by: Sabaa Tahir was just BRUTAL. AMAZING, but so harsh.

Hephaestus- God of Blacksmiths: Scorching Hot Character

While we're on the subject, Elias Veturius from An Ember in the Ashes is a STUNNER.

Artemis- Goddess of the Hunt and Fertility: Kick ass Female Character


Apollo- God of the Light and Healing: Sequel that Redeemed a Series

Unravel Me in the Shatter Me series was so much better than the original that I actually learned to love the series!

Hermes- Messenger God: Book with the Best Message

The Outsiders by: S.E. Hinton. What I took from this book is incredible.

Hestia- Goddess of the Home: Book that's the Most Relatable

Fangirl by: Rainbow Rowell hand's down! I swear this is a book on my life.

Demeter- Goddess of Agriculture: Favourite Bookish Setting

I would say Hogwarts but that's OBVIOUS, so instead I'll say Cabeswater from the Raven Cycle. It's such a magical, mystical forest.

Dionysus- God of Wine and Celebration: Anticipated Release

I CAN'T WAIT for Veronica Roth's new series!

That's it! I'm tagging:

Cee @ Diary of a Reading Addict

Thomas @ Intro to Blurb 

Lais @ Harumansae Books 

Thanks again, Erin!

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 9 September 2016

The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2) by: Renee Ahdieh

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: April 26, 2016 by: G.P. Putnam
Pages: 416
Rating: 4/5 stars

Now back with her family, Shahrzad is forced to choose between her once monstrous husband that she has grown to love, and her childhood lover who is convinced that Khalid should be killed for his crimes. Shahrzad and Khalid have been ripped apart, and as the curse set upon him gets stronger, Khalid must decide whether or not to go after his true love, or stay undercover for his own safety.

I absolutely LOVED The Wrath and the Dawn! I thought it was magical, mystical and captivating in it's own unique way. While The Rose and the Dagger gave me a satisfying ending that could not have been better, I did find that it just wasn't quite as good as it's predecessor was.

I really loved the new characters that were introduced in this book. We got to see more of Shahrzad's family, and I especially loved learning about her sister. I liked how the attention was equally split between Shahrzad, Khalid, and secondary characters. It gave me more of a glimpse of how other people were affected by their love.

I also think that the ending to this book could not have been more perfect. It was happy without being predictable, and it left me on the edge of my seat to see what would happen next. The ending left me guessing as to what was going to happen, and I could not have been more satisfied with how the characters ended up.

I guess just what led to the ending was a little more slow than TWATD. I loved how in Wrath, Ahdieh had such descriptive language that seemed almost poetic. Here, I didn't see that much of the descriptive language that I loved, which made me a little bored at times. It could have been kind of uninteresting at points.

But overall, I was happy with the ending and that's what a sequel should do! I'm so thankful to have read this beautifully diverse duology and I can't wait to see what Renee does next.

Have you read The Rose and the Dagger? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The Real Neat Blog Award!

Thanks so much to Thomas @ Intro to Blurb for nominating me to do this award!

The Rules: 

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to them.

2. Answer the 7 questions they gave you.

3. Think up 7 more questions and nominate 7 other bloggers to answer them.

The Responses: 

1. Turn to a random page in the book you're currently reading and read a quote.

This is from Me Before You by: Jojo Moyes:

"I can tell you the exact day I stopped being fearless".

2. Can you read on long car journeys?

Absolutely not! I get incredibly nauseous and people who can read in the car are freaks of nature in my opinion!

3. Favourite breakfast cereal?

Honey Nut Cheerios!

4. Is there a literary trope you adore, but are afraid to admit for fear of immediate shunning from society?

To be honest, I don't mind love triangles all that much! I enjoy reading about someones relationships with different people, and I love predicting who they're going to end up with!

5. What is your favourite time period to read about? Any must reads from said era?

I love reading about the 1920's! Unfortunately, I have yet to come across a YA set in the 20's, but the Great Gatsby by: F. Scott Fitzgerald is a great classic that I love!

6. Favourite pizza topping?

Spinach. I have no shame whatsoever.

7. Play "Snog, Marry Kill" with your favourite fictional characters.

OH MY. My favourite fictional characters are Harry Potter, Leo Valdez (from The Heroes of Olympus) and Adam Parrish (from The Raven Cycle) THIS IS SO HARD!

Snog: Adam. I couldn't marry him because he belongs with Ronan but I couldn't bear to kill him so I'll snog him.


Kill: Harry. I'M SORRY I'M SORRY! The other two characters are just so precious that I couldn't dare. And Harry's come close to death many times, maybe he's used to it?

My Questions: 

1. What book is your guilty pleasure read?

2. Switching it up with Thomas' question: Play "Snog, Marry, Kill" with your LEAST favourite characters.

3. Favourite book to movie/tv show adaption?

4. What book genre would you erase from this world? i.e. eliminate all books in said genre.

5. Are you a cat person or a dog person?

6. What exotic animal would you have as a pet?

7. Which fictional character would you want to bring to life and be your best friend?

My Nominees: 

Temecka @ Library of Tomes 

Sierra @ The Nerdgirl Review 

Cee @ Diary of a Reading Addict 

Veronika and Ruzaika @ The Regal Critiques  

Becca @ The Book Keeper's Apprentice 

Bryce @ Novels to Song 

Katelyn @ KatieeDidd 

Of course, don't feel obligated to do this tag, but if you do, I'd love to read your responses!

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 2 September 2016

Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah by: Erin Jade Lange

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: February 16, 2016 by: Bloomsbury
Pages: 320
Rating: 4/5 stars

Once a popular queen bee, Andi is now a tatooed rebel. Bully York torments anyone who will come near him, even his little brother. York's brother Boston is just trying to get into a good college, although he is labelled a geek. Sam has always been the invisible pariah, until one night. When all of these teens from different pasts find themselves escaping from a busted party in the same car, it unfolds a series of events that make them unlikely group fight for survival.

What drew me to this book was the fact that it was described as "a more thrilling breakfast club". I loved that movie, so I thought that this book would really fit with me. I really enjoyed the concept and I thought that it was very thrilling as well as shocking.

I loved the characters of this book. I loved how different they were to each other and how they all worked in harmony. I liked how none were the same and it really did feel like a breakfast club situation.

This book was very thrilling and also quite shocking at times. The sequence of events were something that would probably never happen in real life, and it was cool to read about. It is kind of hard to explain what happens, it's one of those books you kind of have to read to believe.

I guess the only complaint I would have about this book is that it is a little too fast paced. By that I mean that the sequence of events move so quickly that it was kind of hard to understand sometimes what was going on. I needed further explaination on things that were going on, as I felt that some things were just rushed.

So overall I really liked the theme of this book and how unique it was to The Breakfast Club. I just wish that it was a little bit clearer.

Have you read Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess