Friday 30 December 2016

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by: Ransom Riggs

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: June 7, 2011 by: Quirk
Pages: 352
Rating: 4/5 stars

When sixteen year-old Jacob's grandfather tragically dies in a mysterious accident, Jacob decides to visit a crumbling island off of Wales, the place where supposedly, his grandfather grew up. As Jacob explores the abandoned orphanage that his grandfather spent most of his days, he learns more about the odd children that lived there and their eccentric headmistress. But as the mystery of his grandfather grows deeper and deeper, Jacob begins to sense that the orphanage isn't abandoned after all. In fact, it is filled with peculiar children.

This book was...odd. It was definitely nothing I had ever read before and it left me feeling a little creeped out. This book was very strong in keeping an eerie atmosphere, that's for sure, but in some ways, it fell short on plot.

This book contains many old photographs of peculiar children that are weaved into the storyline. This was a very amazing touch as it led to the creepiness of the book and I could visually see what was being talked about in the book. The fact that the photos were real too and not staged made it all the more eerie.

Like I said, I loved the mood created by this book. I read it on a rainy fall day covered up in a blanket, and it really helped to convey that sort of rainy, odd atmosphere. The world-building in this book is so incredibly done that you think you have stepped right into the story yourself.

What I think this book lacked was an extremely captivating plot. I felt like some parts were so slow and boring towards the end that I lost interest. This isn't meant to be a fast-moving fantasy at all, but I would have liked a bit more action towards the end.

Overall, a really unique book. Nothing that you have ever read before, and will leave a chill down your spine. I think this book has a great underlying message of acceptance, while weaving in fact and fiction. Plus, if you're a photography lover, the pictures are really cool.

Have you read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday 28 December 2016

2016 End of Year Survey!!!

I can't believe it's the end of the year!!! I'm so excited for 2016 to be over and done with and for 2017 to be a lot better for a lot of people. I think we can all agree that 2016 will not be missed. Here's everything that happened this year! Also, there will be an influx of The Raven Cycle in this post. Sorry, not sorry.

Reading Stats: 

Number of books you read: 85
Number of re-reads: 2
Genre you read the most from: Honestly, I think it was fantasy this year! (whaaattt???)

Best in Books 

Best book you read in 2016: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by: Benjamin Alire Saenz
Book you were excited about but was a let down: A Court of Mist and Fury by: Sarah J. Maas
Most surprising book you read: Cursed Child by: John Tiffany and Jack Thorne
Best series you started in 2016? Best sequel? Best series ender?: Series: The Raven Cycle by: Maggie Stiefvater Sequel: A Torch Against the Night by: Sabaa Tahir Series Ender: The Raven King by: Maggie Stiefvater
Favourite new author you discovered: Sabaa Tahir!
Best book from a genre you don't typically read from: The Martian by: Andy Weir
Most action-packed book: An Ember in the Ashes by: Sabaa Tahir
Book you read in 2016 that you will most likely re-read: The Raven Cycle series
Favourite cover of a book you read: Everything, Everything by: Nicola Yoon.
Most memorable character: Adam Parrish
Most beautifully written book: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by: Benjamin Alire Saenz
Most thought-provoking book: A Monster Calls by: Patrick Ness
Book you can't believe you waited until 2015 to read: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by: Benjamin Alire Saenz
Favourite passage from a book you read: Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both. - A Monster Calls 
Shortest and Longest book you read: Shortest: The Shawl by: Cynthia Ozick. (69 pages)  Longest: Les Miserables by: Victor Hugo (1463 pages) 
Book that shocked you the most: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by: Maggie Stiefvater 
Favourite OTP: PYNCH from The Raven Cycle!
Favourite non-romantic relationship: Jack and his ma from: Room by: Emma Donhughe 
Favourite book from an author you read previously: THE RAVEN CYCLE AGAIN I'M SORRY 
Best book you read in 2015 based on a recommendation by someone else: A Monster Calls 
Newest fictional crush: Richard Campbell Gansey the third 
Best 2016 debut: Rebel of the Sands by: Alwyn Hamilton 
Best Worldbuilding: Miss Peregrine's by: Ransom Riggs 
Book that put a smile on your face: Simon vs. The Homosapiens Agenda by: Becky Abertelli 
Book that made you cry: A Monster Calls by: Patrick Ness 
Hidden gem of the year: Tales of the Peculiar by: Ransom Riggs 
Book that crushed your soul: Salt to the Sea by: Ruta Sepetys 
Most unique book you read: The Knife of Never Letting Go by: Patrick Ness 
Book that made you the most mad: We All Looked Up by: Tommy Wallach 

Blogging/Bookish Life 

New favourite blog you discovered in 2016: Denise @ The Bibliolater 
Favourite review you wrote: A Court of Mist and Fury 
Best discussion: I Almost Quit (But I Didn't!) 
Best event you participated in: The Thanks U Give 
Best Moment: When I received so much support on twitter after racist misogynists at school got me down. 
Most Challenging Moment: When I almost quit in July. 
Most Popular Post this Year: I Hate How English Classes Handle Required Reading 
Post you wished got a little more love: What's the Problem with John Green Book's? 
Best bookish discovery: Etsy! 
Did you complete any challenges?: I completed my goodreads goal of reading 80 books! 

Looking Ahead: 

Book you didn't get to in 2016 but will make first priority: Crooked Kingdom by: Leigh Bardugo 
Book you are most anticipating in 2017: Carve the Mark by: Veronica Roth 
2017 debut you're most anticipating: The Hate U Give by: Angie Thomas 
Series ending/a sequel you're most looking forward to: Hopefully that Ronan-centred trilogy we're all hoping for?? 
One thing you hope to accomplish this year: Read 100 books! 

That's it!! I want to wish, from the bottom of my heart a very happy new year to all of you amazing blog buddies. I hope 2017 is your best year yet and I can't wait to see what's in store. Here's to love, peace, and diversity in 2017. 

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Saturday 24 December 2016

Finding Audrey by: Sophie Kinsella

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: June 9, 2015 by: Delacorte Books
Pages: 286
Rating: 5/5 stars

Audrey suffers from a severe anxiety disorder that disruptes her everyday life. She has quit school and is focusing on making progress with her therapist, Dr. Sarah. However when her brother's new friend starts showing up at the house, she becomes intrigued in him. She wants to talk to him, she wants to know him, she just doesn't know how. With the help of her family, therapist, and herself, Audrey starts to fight her mental illness, to start living the life she thought she'd never know.

FINALLY! A mental illness book that has romance but does not have the boy "cure" the person's illness! This book was such a breath air from the mental illness books we usually see, because it involves a person taking control of their own life and not having their crush fix it for them. I loved this book!

I kind of liked how this book wasn't dark and heavy. I think with a lot of anxiety books it's very dark, emotional and such, and this was kind of light-hearted. There was sort of a tasteful wittiness to it that showed that Audrey was still very much a normal teenager at heart, she just needed some help getting there. This book was a very easy read.

I liked how this book was real. It didn't portray romance as the curer of the anxiety, it focused on Audrey getting the help she needs to build up that romance. It showed the impacts of her anxiety on all factors, such as herself, her family, her friends and even her therapist. I think this was a book that a lot could relate to as it shows that it takes a village of kind, caring people to help someone.

This book also shows some stigma of mental illnesses, such as the reactions of the people Audrey used to go to school with. I really liked those parts because it shows how much ignorance there still is in the world when it comes to these issues and how we really need to combat them.

Overall, a really amazing book that I think everyone should read. Whether you have a mental illness and need a motivator, or you don't but want to learn more, this book was amazing in every sense.

Have you read Finding Audrey? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday 21 December 2016

Paperback's Pondering's: When Your Opinion on Books Change

I was thinking about this topic the other week. I was on goodreads reading reviews for the fault in our stars just because i was bored. Of course, many of them were negative as per usual. Now you probably know this already, but I loved the fault in our stars. Read it in 2013, gave it 5 stars, and spent the rest of my grade 8 life obsessing over Ansel Elgort and keeping an Ok? Ok. wallpaper on my phone. But last week when I was reading up on reviews, I couldn’t help but wonder if I would have given the book 5 stars if I had read it now. Or any book I used to love for that matter.

I definitely think that my opinion on books has changed since I was younger. When I was 13, my opinion on YA books was that the more fluff, the more swoony the white male lead was, the better the book. I didn’t care if it was cliche, or non-diverse, it just had to be “romantic”. The fault in our stars fits into this very category, and it’s one of my favourite books. But now, my opinion on books is very much, the more diverse, the better. I like twists and turns, books that make me think, and that don’t have me predicting the ending. So the question is, would I have liked tfios as much now?

Honestly, I don’t really want to find out because I wouldn’t want to suddenly start hating a book that I have spent so much time loving. It would really be quite awkward and weird, don’t you think?

I really wonder if there’s anyone out there who was obsessed with a book when they were younger but don’t really enjoy it now. How do you deal with the guilt that comes with practically breaking up with a book? I just wouldn’t be able to handle it!

So for now, I’m trying to just convince myself that the books I liked back then are still my favourite books and they are so much more than cliche and stupid. Even though a lot of people have hated tfios, and I can honestly see where they’re coming from, I need to continue to love it because hating it now would just upset me too much. I’ve invested so much time over the years in this book!

I don’t know if I’ll ever reread tfios to see if my opinion on it has changed. Part of me wants to, but part of me is still hoping that I still love it. But I think we can all agree that opinions on books can change and do change, sometimes for the good, but sometimes for the bad.

Have you ever changed your opinion on a book?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday 16 December 2016

ARC Review: The Radius of Us by: Marie Marquardt

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: January 17, 2017 by: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 304
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Ever since being attacked, Gretchen suffers from extreme panic attacks and PTSD. She sees her attacker everywhere, and it has taken a toll on her life. Phoenix has escaped from the brutal gangs of El Salvador and is focusing on becoming a citizen in the United States and protecting his little brother from the trouble that he got into when he was young. Both of these characters have harsh pasts, and when they are brought together, they will discover that they are very alike in many ways.

This is a very compelling book. A lot of issues are brought to the core here, such as trauma, mental illness, violence, gangs and even immigration. This book is very diverse in how it deals with issues and I think that anyone could find something to connect with from it. While I did have some issues with plot, the main root of the novel was very strong.

The characters were beautifully written. Each one had a story to tell, and a past to share. I loved how the author eloquently captured their inner demons, and why they are the way they are today. I especially loved Phoenix. I thought that he was so loyal and wanted the best for his brother, and I respected that about him. He was a class act.

This book deals heavily with traumatic pasts and I thought it did it in a way that was diverse. The characters have very unique pasts and the author focused on a variety of issues. I loved how there was POC representation and not just one side to the story.

I did find the book to be kind of slow however. I really liked the beginning, but once I got to the middle, the plot kind of dragged on for me and I wasn't as captivated as I was in the beginning. I really liked Phoenix's points of views but Gretchen's were a bit boring for me and harder to get into. I wished the book was consistently captivating throughout. To me, Phoenix's storyline was a lot more interesting to me to read.

Overall, I think this book would have gained 5 stars if I was fully engrossed into the middle, and especially with Gretchen. But still, this book brings a lot of important issues to light and it is very diverse in representation.

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Genre: Fantasy
Released: November 18, 2016
Running Time: 2h. 13 min.
Rating: 3/5 stars

*highlight white text to reveal spoilers*

In 1926, magizooologist Newt Schamander has entered New York City in hopes to find some rare breeds of beasts. However when a no-maj named Jacob accidentally takes the briefcase of beasts that Newt keeps with him, chaos ensues, and suddenly Newt is thrown into a wild adventure with new friends to find all the misplaced beasts.

I didn't know what I was expecting from this movie. I wasn't sure if I was looking for some sort of prequel for Harry Potter, or an action-packed movie filled with one of my favourite actors, Eddie Redmayne, but honestly, I left Fantastic Beasts feeling somewhat underwhelmed at somewhat confused. Idk, it just wasn't all I had hoped for.

Let me start with the positives first. Eddie Redmayne could play a potato and I would still go see the movie and gush about how great of an actor he is. There's just something about this man that is so charming, and he is able to adapt to literally play any role. I couldn't have imagined a better Newt and I thought he played the role perfectly.

I also really liked the whole beasts storyline. It was witty and funny and kept me interested. I really like Jacob and him and Newt going to find the beasts was very entertaining. I liked how the beasts were portrayed and the scene where they go inside the briefcase and see all of the beasts was really well done.

Now to the not so good things. What the hell was the point of Ezra Miller? Every once in a while we'd just go to his character and this weird witch organization with this little girl and I was so confused??? I did not understand the significance/relevance of those parts at all and I was very bored.

I also didn't really get the end. The crisis seemed so out of loop with the whole "fantastic beasts" story and I just couldn't grasp it. And then Johnny Depp shows up and I was like: whaaattt?? I did not understand.

So overall, a good movie, but not as great as everyone says it was. I needed more of the beasts storyline and less of the orphanage to have been thoroughly engaged throughout the entire thing.

Have you seen Fantastic Beasts? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday 9 December 2016

Me Before You by: Jojo Moyes

Genre: Fiction, Romance
Published: February 1, 2013 by: Thorndike Press
Pages: 631
Rating: 4/5 stars

Louisa Clark's life has always been pretty boring. She has never exited the confides of her small village, and she still resides with her close family, even though money is getting tight. When Louisa decides to get a job to support her family, she takes up an offer taking care of the moody Will Traynor, a rich man who is bound to a wheelchair after an accident. Will soon makes it known that he does not want Louisa's help, so Louisa tries to help him in a new way: by teaching him how to live again. And it will take both of them on the adventure of a lifetime.

I really quite liked this book! I understand there is some controversy, but since I am able-bodied I will not be speaking about that. Instead I will be focusing on how heartwarming and important I thought this book was.

I firstly really loved the atmosphere created in this novel. It had a cute little English vibe to it, and the tone of voice mixed with the settings made me feel I was in a little rainy English town. It had a very cozy atmosphere to it.

I loved the characters. Louisa was so charming and adorable, and I could really picture her in my mind. Maybe this is because the movie influenced me, but I did picture Emilia Clarke in my mind, but it was still accurate to me. I also loved Will's tone mixed with his development, and how he never failed to get what he wanted. He stood his own and I respected that.

The ending, now that's when stuff gets interesting. I'm going to try to keep this review spoiler free, but I'm just going to say that I didn't get it. I thought that it was unexpected and equally sad, but for me, I would have liked something different. Again, it's not really my place to comment, but I just felt like there were so many alternatives that could have happened to make things a bit happier. I just felt like everything that had been built up, was lost.

Then again, this had a very important message and issue at hand that I really think you need to just see for yourself. I think everyone will have a different opinion on this and it's important that we respect them all. But overall, a very heartwarming book.

Have you read Me Before You? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday 2 December 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by: J.K. Rowling

Genre: Fantasy, Screenplay
Published: July 31, 2016 by: Little Brown
Pages: 343
Rating: 4/5 stars

*highlight white text to reveal spoilers*

It has been 19 years since Harry Potter famously defeated Lord Voldemort and went on with his free life. Now, he faces a new task: facing hardwork at the Ministry of Magic and dealing with his three children. But it's his son Albus that is really finding it hard to deal with the future. Albus is annoyed that he has to deal with his father's fame, as well as finding it hard to adjust to life at Hogwarts. In this highly-awaited sequel, past and present Potters will intertwine, both dealing with new changes, and new enemies.

In truth I actually finished this book early August, but I haven't gotten around to writing this review until now, so sorry!! But, I still want to talk about my feelings because hey, this book was ANTICIPATING! Gotta say thought, it wasn't as great as the other Harry Potter books.

I really loved the new characters in this book. Albus was perfectly crafted in my head, I could fully picture him and his development was so good! I also really loved Scorpius. I thought he was funny and adorable and I just loved him to pieces. I enjoyed the returning characters, such as the golden trio we all know and love. New Hermione was exactly like old Hermione, as was Ron, so props to J.K. for being consistent.

I enjoyed the twists in this book. From the house Albus was sorted in, to Draco's wife, this book definitely filled the questions I had about the lives of the characters and provided great where are they now answers.

I guess where the book lacked was that the new villains were not as strong. Voldemort was such a strong and cunning villain, but the "bad guys" here fell flat. And because of this, the plot near the end was kind of boring.

I also did not appreciate the fact that Scorpius and Albus were not a couple in this book. That was the canon that EVERYONE WAS WAITING FOR! And instead we got a friendship that had so much romantic feelings in it that it sounded stupid for them to not fall for each other. J.K. had an opportunity to give some great representation here, and it lacked big time.

So overall, good, but not great. I loved the returning characters, but the relationships and the villains in the book needed to be way stronger for the plot to have blown me away.

Have you read Cursed Child? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Thursday 1 December 2016

Month in Review: November

Happy December everybody! I'm sooo excited for my birthday, Christmas, and for 2016 to be OVER! December is my favourite month for a reason :) Here's what I got up to in November:

What I Read: 

This month was crap for reading. I'm in a reading slump right now and have been on the same book for about two weeks. Hopefully I'll get over it soon!

All The Light We Cannot See by: Anthony Doerr: 4/5 stars
Tell Me Three Things by: Julie Buxbaum: 3/5 stars
Red Queen by: Victoria Aveyard: 5/5 stars

What I Blogged: 

I really loved the blog hop I participated in this month: The Thanks U Give! My post, Top Ten Reasons Why I Love the Book Community, made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside :)

Favourite Blog Posts of the Month: 

Lais gives her Thanks for the Book Community

Cait explains how Her Reading Habits Changed in 2016 

Veronika shares the books she's Excited to Read, but Never Actually Feel like Picking Up 

Cee shares The Diary of a Sexually Fluid Girl 

Bridget shares Your Ultimate Gilmore Girls Playlist

Blogger of the Month: 

This month's featured blogger is Lais @ Harumansae Books! She is one of the loveliest, and sweetest bloggers you will meet, and I'm so excited because I realized that I can actually comment on your posts! Go give her some love :D

Life Stuff of the Month: 

This month has been crazy with school! Between midterms, university applications (I still haven't applied) and projects, I think this is the main reason why I'm in a reading slump.

I also have been trying hard to get a job. I need the money, but so far the search has been going negatively. I got an offer, but the manager was extremely rude and intimidating so I turned it down. Not sure if I made the right decision or not :( I'm so looking forward to this break!

How was your November?

Emily @ Paperback Princess