Thursday, 21 December 2017

See You All in the New Year!

Hey everyone! So it's been over a week since I've posted last and I just wanted to provide a little update. I'll be taking a break from posting for my Christmas break and will just focus on having a little me-time. I just can't seem to feel inspired to write and honestly I just want to shut my computer down until the new year! But don't fret, I will be back January 10th once I return to school with new posts.

I just want to wish you all a Happy Holidays, Happy New Year and all the best in 2017! Hope you all have a lovely time this season.

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

More Happy Than Not by: Adam Silvera

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: June 2, 2015 by: Soho Teen
Pages: 304
Rating: 4/5 stars

The Leteo Institute's memory relief procedure promises to erase all of the bad memories of your life, to make you happy again. To Aaron Soto, that sounds promising, considering he's grown up in a poor Bronx neighbourhood all his life and lives with a mother and brother who barely look at him. But then Aaron meets Thomas, a sweet boy who becomes the support system Aaron has never had, and starts making him happy again. But Aaron still has to grapple with this sexuality, and a community that is less than supportive of it. Would the procedure really be a bad idea?

This book was my first Adam Silvera book I have ever read and I was really impressed by it! It was his debut and I do think I'll enjoy his other books better, but this was still a great, emotional read that deals with a lot of stuff.

I loved the concept of this memory institute. It was almost like a sci-fi facility within the real world, and it was kinda creepy and almost acted like the villain of the book. I thought it was a really unique concept and Silvera did a great job handling it.

I also loved the characters. Aaron was so sweet and I really felt for him, and Thomas was just such a good soul. I loved those two together and this book definitely gave me all the feels.

One minor thing I didn't love about this book was that it seemed a little long. I think it could've been condensed a bit more and some parts did drag. But still, overall, a great debut!!

Have you read More Happy Than Not? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

12 Days of Clink Street Christmas- Fifteen Words by: Monika Jephcott- Thomas

This December, I'm taking part in the 12 days of Clink Street Christmas, a blog tour showcasing the best of Clink Street Publishing's books! So I'm here to review Fifteen Words by Monika Jephcott- Thomas, a harrowing historical fiction novel.

Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: November 22, 2016 by: Clink Street Publishing
Rating: 4/5 stars

In WW2 Germany, Catholic Max is a war doctor, helping the wounded all while concealing his true opinions on Hitler. On the other hand, his wife Erika, a agnostic product of the Hitler youth is all the way in Siberia in a POW camp. Despite their vast differences, the two are in love, and the distance is killing Max as his only contact with his wife is through letters, in fifteen words or less. As Erika struggles with being pregnant in the camp, Max is trying to keep in contact with her and toy with his personal morals, and his country's.

This was a really interesting book! I have read many WW2 novels, but never from a German perspective. I think it's very important for books like these to be sensitive to the victims of the war, especially Jews, and this book did just that. It gave a good look on a German man against Hitler's regime, as well as his wife who is sadly a product of her environment.

I loved Max. I thought he was a well-rounded character with a heart of gold who truly cared. He had such compassion and was also very knowledgeable, and I enjoyed reading about him a lot. I also loved the fact that he was a doctor, as I love medical stuff and seeing him in action was great.

I didn't love Erika though. She did kinda put a damper on the book for me because I couldn't help but hate her views on Hitler, despite her having no choice, and I thought Max deserved a lot better than her. They just seemed like a weird couple to me, I didn't really get their chemistry.

I thought this was a very easy book to read. I was scared it would be too heavy, as a lot of historical fiction books are, but it was very easy to read and I got through it quickly. I would definitely recommend!!

That's it for me! Be sure to check out the other 12 Day's blog posts this month.

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 1 December 2017

Month in Review: November

This month's wrap up will be very short and condensed, as I totally forgot that I needed to post a month in review and now am scrambling to write it December 1st morning. Bare with me, it's exam season. *sighs*

What I Read:

Moxie by: Jennifer Mathieu: 3.5/5 stars
History is All You Left Me by: Adam Silvera: 5/5 stars
Paradise Lost by: John Milton: 1/5 stars
If There's No Tomorrow by: Jennifer Armentrout: 2/5 stars
Gulliver's Travels by: Johnathan Swift: 4/5 stars
Fifteen Words by: Monika Jephcott-Thomas: 4/5 stars
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by: Leigh Bardugo: 4/5 stars
The Girl from Everywhere by: Heidi Heilig: 4/5 stars
The Rape of the Lock by: Alexander Pope: 2/5 stars
Theogony/Works and Days by: Hesiod: 5/5 stars

Please don't mind all the classics in this list, it was all for English class. I would never pick these up on my own.

Favourite book: History is All You Left Me!! Adam Silvera is an amazing author and makes me feel all the feels.

What I Blogged:

I just published a (semi-controversial) post about Moxie by: Jennifer Mathieu! I was really scared at not sounding like a crappy person while still voicing my opinions. Please check it out and let me know what you think!

Life Stuff:

Exams, that's about it. I am stressed, cramming, and have no idea what my mark is in any of my classes so that's fun. But after that, December brings Christmas and my 18th birthday, so that's something fun!

How was your November?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Moxie by: Jennifer Mathieu

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: September 19, 2017 by: Roaring Brook Press
Pages: 330
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Vivian Carter has had to deal with enough scrutiny and hate in her small-town Texas high school, especially when it comes to the boy's football team who will stop at nothing to bring down all of the girls in school. Fed up with the boys' misogyny and inspired by her own mother's past as a punk-rock feminist, Vivian publishes a feminist zine called Moxie, and distributes it to all the girls in school. Pretty soon, Vivian has started a revolution, and the girls of her high school rally together to stop the hate.

Moxie was a very powerful and very feminist novel. It dealt with a variety of issues such as dress codes, hallway catcalling, and overall misogynistic stereotypes and kicked some ass in the process. However, I did have some thoughts on it that I wanted to bring up. I don't know if this will be articulated well within this post, but I'm willing to give it a shot. This will be more like a discussion post than a book review. Please be nice in the comments, even if you don't agree. *deep breaths*

I found this book to be a bit man-hating. Now I get it, a lot of men are rude, misogynistic, downright disgusting individuals who pick on women or adopt the "meninist" movement. I get that, I have had to deal with that personally. However, this book sort of puts all men into the category of being "trash", which I think is very degrading and kinda misses the point of feminism.

We talk about this a lot in school, about how the feminist movement has developed and what are its strengths and weaknesses. Now personally, and I know a lot of other women in my life agree with me, I think that the branch of feminism that declares that "men are trash" and that we should "drink up the male tears," is not gonna help any more men declare themselves feminists. If anything, it would make them feel unwelcome, unappreciated, and below us as opposed to equal to us. I don't know about anyone else, but if I were called trash on a daily basis online without ever having done anything bad in my life, I would feel pretty pathetic.

This book deals with that a lot. Suddenly all men are evil and there's not a single nice one in all of Texas. (Except of course Vivian's crush).Vivian even goes so far as to judge people's political background's, like immediately hating her mother's Republican boyfriend simply because he's a Republican, but he never says anything derogatory at all. Now I'm not going to go fully into politics here, but there are many Republicans that do not support Trump's policies, or the policies that we typically associated with Republicans, such as gay rights being wrong, abortion being wrong, etc. There are so many other things that make up the political spectrum and it's a lot more complicated than people think. There isn't a firm left or right anymore.

I think this book also could have done with more WOC rep. It mentions it a little bit, but I wouldn't go so far to say that this feminism was intersectional as it seemed to exclude some of the more marginalised groups of women in this world. I think more could've been said, and I also would have liked more attention on what moxie girls would do to help girls in third-world countries, because it is a whole other world of terror there that I feel like many seem to forget.

I didn't hate this book. I actually thought it was quite empowering, quite important, and I enjoyed reading it. I appreciated the author bringing such a poignant image of the struggles that some high-school girls face. However the feminism that was portrayed in this book is not the feminism that I typically associate myself with, because I think that that feminism puts up more barriers between the good men and women in the world, then draw them together.

So those are my thoughts. I understand that many may disagree with me, but I am also confident that other women in my life do agree with me. I'd appreciate your thoughts, positive or negative, but I do hope that you will be respectful. There's already too much hate in the world.

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by: E.K. Johnston

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: March 15, 2016 by: Dutton Books
Pages: 248
Rating: 5/5 stars

Captain of the coveted Palermo Height's cheerleading squad, Hermione Winters is ready for summer training camp and to bring pride to her small town. But when a party at camp turns dark, Hermione soon finds herself a rape victim, and pregnant. Still, Hermione is determined not to be seen as a "cautionary tale" and with the help of her community, she attempts to regain control of her life and find justice for survivors.

This book was amazing!!! I have read many YA books that deal with rape over the years, but I think that the way this book handled it was one of the best. It was empowering, inspiring, and incredibly detailed in the stereotypes and hardships that survivors have to go through and how you could help. It didn't shy away from the tough issues, even including abortion, but it did so in a way that was sensitive to victims and not overly explicit. Obviously a trigger warning still applies, but I think that as far as books dealing with sexual assault goes, this would be the healthiest one to read.

I loved Hermione, I think she was strong, intelligent and incredibly brave. Her friends and family were incredible, and I loved how this book highlighted her healing process. She had her ups and downs, but this book ended on such a high note that I was confident that Hermione was going to be ok. This was a splendid novel.

Have you read Exit, Pursued by a Bear? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Paperback's Pondering's: "I Only Read the Classics"

You know that one person in your class that just gets on your nerves so much that as soon as they start talking you cringe? For me, it's this girl in my English class. She is just incredibly pretentious and such a know-it-all and she does this thing where she'll make snide remarks to you but mask it as a compliment. I do not like her. But just recently a group of us were chatting about the latest YA books we have read, to which she replied, "Oh you guys are into YA? I only read the classics." That's when I realised that that is one of the most annoying things that somebody could say.

I don't understand why people limit themselves to the classics. I know that a lot find mainstream fiction and YA fiction unintelligible, unoriginal, and cheesy, but I swear I feel more connected to most YA books than any classic novel I have ever read!! Why do you think you are a better reader if you only read the classics?!

I personally have never really gotten into the classics. I find them hard to understand, and while I appreciate the philosophy and meaning behind a lot of them, they just don't work for me. So since I am appreciative and respectful of classics, why can't classics lovers be respectful of YA?

YA has changed drastically over the years. Now is the time where it is the most socially-aware, the most daring, the most unique. I'm not one to tell others what to read, but I feel as if you are seriously missing out if you aren't reading YA! There is a whole world of new books out there just waiting for your approval and you're stuck inside the mind of an 18th century old white dude! I just don't get it!!

Basically, I'm tired of some readers thinking that they're better than us. I'm tried of YA not being considered as "literature" because honestly, 500 years from now, the books we are reading now will be seen as the classics. So, might as well get an appreciation for them today while you still can.

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 10 November 2017

Geekerella by: Ashley Poston

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: April 4, 2017 by: Quirk Books
Pages: 320
Rating: 2/5 stars

Teenager Elle Witttimer is obsessed with the Starfield TV series, and has a lot of passionate opinions when heartthrob Darien Freeman is cast as Prince Carmindor in the reboot. When she sees a cosplay contest that could win her a ticket to ExcelsiCon, and a chance to meet Prince Carmindor himself, she jumps at the chance, and tries to hide her plans from her evil stepmother, who wouldn't be impressed by her going. But when disaster strikes and Elle finds her cosplay ruined, it'll take a fairy godmother to help her make it to the con. Seriously, I don't mean to be harsh, but everyone online has been RAVING about this that I knew I had to give it a go. It's even nominated for a Goodread's Choice Award! Most Cinderella retellings are unbelievably cheesy and cliche, but I figured, since everybody seems to love this, it might be something cool and different. Instead I got literally exactly what I was expecting.

The plot was cheesy, predictable and so unoriginal. Despite the fact that this retelling had a geek theme, there was nothing about it that made it interesting and the characters were boring and lifeless. I had no care for any of them and I knew everything that was going to happen.

This book also reads like a middle-grade. Now don't get me wrong, sometimes I love middle-grade books, but the dialogue was incredibly childish and so simple that I would hardly give this a YA title. It just seemed like something I would read in Grade 6.

I guess the only thing I liked in this book was that it was easy to get through. It was sugary sweet and great to get out of a slump, but that's where my love for it ends. Why is this book so loved?

Have you read Geekerella? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Month in Review: October

Happy November everyone, aka, the time in which it is actually acceptable to start talking about Christmas. I have already seen my first Christmas commercial and I am just so excited!! Here's what I got up to in October:

What I Read:

The Glass Castle by: Jeannette Walls: 5/5 stars
Othello by: William Shakespeare: 3/5 stars
Top Ten by: Kate Cotugno: 4/5 stars
Turtles All the Way Down by: John Green: 3/5 stars
When Breath Becomes Air by: Paul Kalanithi: 4/5 stars

Favourite book: Definitely and wholeheartedly The Glass Castle. I remember my mom reading this book years ago, and it was just fantastic. Heartbreaking, but also motivating, uplifting, and inspiring. It doesn't read like a non-fiction at all and is just spectacular.

What I Blogged:

I got back to doing discussion posts this month! Check out Why I Don't Cry When Reading Books 

Favourite Blog Posts:

Cee talks Presumed Innocence and Believing Victims 
Veronika dives deep into the Life of the Blood Countess Elizabeth Bathory
Cait talks about Her Debut Novel!

Life Stuff:

Oh gosh, the beginning of this month was a breeze, nothing major to report, but the end, that's when things got way out of control.

Basically, my grandfather was vacationing in the US when he fell off of a 6 foot ledge and onto pavement. We first thought that it was nothing serious, as the hospital in the US said that all x-rays were clear and discharged him. But he was in excruciating pain. We ended up taking him back to Toronto to the hospital there, and what we found out was astonishing.

His head was basically hanging onto his spinal cord by a thread, at any moment in the car ride home it could have snapped and he would have died right then and there. He was extremely lucky to be alive. They did emergency surgery which would basically decide his fate, and THANKFULLY, everything went well. The surgeon said it was the most complicated surgery of his life. We were scared of paralysis, but he is now slowly learning to walk again and he can talk and feed himself. It will be a long road of rehab ahead, and he will never be able to drive again, but he is alive, and that is all that matter's.

It really shocked my entire family and all of us came home and spent the entire weekend with him. It was just really astonishing that the hospital in the US didn't find anything. But anyways, we're just looking towards the future. He is making such a fast recovery for somebody who could have died just weeks ago, it's a miracle.

On a better note, how was your October? Did you do anything fun for Halloween?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

We Are Still Tornadoes by: Michael Kun and Susan Mullen

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: November 1, 2016 by: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 304
Rating: 4/5 stars

In the summer of 1982, everything is about to change. Scott and Cath have just graduated high school, and vow to keep in touch. With Cath navigating university life, and Scott trying to get his band off the ground, the only thing familiar the two can hold onto are a series of letters they send to each other all year, talking about everything from relationships to families, to annoying roommates. Growing up is difficult, but they can always turn to each other to get through it.

This was a cute little summer read that I was happy to get into! What's unique here is that the entire book is told through the letters that Cath and Seth send to each other. There are no other plots, no other characters sharing their opinions, we only get information from the letters. I thought this was a very interesting concept for the book, and I wasn't even aware it was like this before I started. It was something different, and I appreciated that.

I think this was a very easy read. It was short and sweet, and because of the format, there wasn't much to get confused by and there definitely wasn't an info-dump. It was very two the point, which is why I think this would be the perfect read for a summer, because it gives you that nostalgia of the 80's, mixed with some typical teenage themes.

I think I could relate a lot to this book because I am starting university myself in a few weeks. I could relate to Cath's nervousness and her wanting to hold onto the past, as I myself am very scared for the change and a part of me really wishes to be back in high school. I would recommend this book to anyone going through the same thing at the moment.

Overall, there's not much left to say about this. It was an easy read with a relatable message, nothing overly spectacular, but gave me some insight on growing up that I really needed.

Have you read We Are Still Tornadoes? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Why Don't I Cry When Reading Books?

Hey! It's been a minute since I've done a Paperback's Pondering's, but I just knew I had to write this post. I wouldn't consider myself an emotional person in real life. I don't really like affection, anything sentimental just makes me cringe and I rarely ever cry. But gosh darn it, when something happens in a movie or tv show that tugs on my heartstrings, I will bawl. So, you'd think being an expert bookworm, I would equally be tearing up over books all the time. But the weird thing is, I don't think I've ever cried in a book.

When I was younger, and even in my old blog posts, I would legitimately lie all the time that a book made me cry. I just thought that it was the best thing to explain my feelings about the book. But in real life, I didn't cry at all. Something just so sad could happen, and I'd obviously be sad, but I just could not shed a tear. However, if I were to see that being played out on a movie screen, I would cry.

I honestly wish I was the type of person to cry in books. I feel like it's a powerful feeling for a book to just make you feel that emotion, and I have tried, but it just isn't the same than seeing an explicit visual in front of me.

I can easily imagine what a book scene is like in my head, but for some reason, it just doesn't have the same affect on me as watching a tv show would. And it's weird, because I can get so emotionally invested in the characters of a book, but if they die, I will not cry about it. I often think that I'm not like the average bookworm in that sense.

So I want to know, am I the only person who doesn't cry in books? What do you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Saints and Misfits by: S.K. Ali

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: June 13, 2017 by: Salaam Reads
Pages: 352
Rating: 4/5 stars

Janna, an Arab Indian-American hijabi, is trying to figure herself out. On one hand, she's a booknerd, photographer, and graphic artist, and wanting to date her longtime crush Jeremy. On the other, she is a modest, respectful Muslim girl, living in the shadow of her brother's so perfect, almost saint-like fiancee. Janna wants to be the ideal Muslim girl, but that is jeopardised when someone very close to her, someone who is also seen like a saint in the Muslim community, does something that Janna will never be able to forget. Does she risk calling him out, or does she stay quiet?

This was a very surprising book. First off, kudos to the author for putting a hijabi girl on the cover! That was so great to see and I know that the author is a hijabi herself, so this was a really diverse novel. However, it was a little misleading, and here's why:

I hadn't really read the description of this book properly before going in, and I kinda just went in based on the cover. I was expecting a light-hearted, summery novel about love and cuteness, which is what the book was being marketed as, but what I got was much darker. Not that that is a bad thing!! I'm just saying, that this book's main theme is rape and that people going into it should be cautious, because they could be expecting something much lighter. So I think I was just a tad surprised by the turn of events, but still, I quite enjoyed the book.

I loved the characters. Janna was so complex, very three-dimensional and everyone in her circle were very well-rounded as well. I enjoyed reading about each and every person in her community, and how they affected her.

This is the first contemporary book I have read with a Muslim main character, and I was really impressed. I learnt a lot, it was very informative and a great change from the typical white main characters I usually see. There was also an entire scene dedicated to the burkini, which was great, and I think the author handled it very well. This book had a good mix of humour and information.

So overall, this was a very good book, but you gotta know what it's about before you get into it. There are explicit themes of rape, which I had no idea about prior. It's always good to put trigger warnings :)

Have you read Saints and Misfits? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Month in Review: September

Hey! So I survived my first month of uni!! It's been a helluva month with a lot of changes, but I'm excited to share them all with you.

What I Read: 

The Lost Hero by: Rick Riordan: 4/5
The Son of Neptune by: Rick Riordan: 5/5
The Blood of Athena by: Rick Riordan: 5/5
The House of Hades by: Rick Riordan: 4/5
The Blood of Olympus by: Rick Riordan: 5/5
More Happy Than Not by: Adam Silvera: 4/5
Exit, Pursued by a Bear by: E.K. Johnston: 5/5 stars
Piecing Me Together by: Renee Watson: 4/5 stars
The Art of Being Normal by: Lisa Williamson: 3/5 stars
We are Okay by: Nina Lacour: 3/5 stars
Attachments by: Rainbow Rowell: 2/5 stars
The 100 by: Kass Morgan: 2/5 stars

Favourite Book: Look who got back into the swing of reading! You'd think I'd have less time due to school, but honestly I think I have only pushed myself to read more, and I have been reading a lot of short books to prevent myself from slumping. Besides the obvious Heroes of Olympus re-read I went on, my favourite book would have to be Exit, Pursued by a Bear! It was so empowering and feminist-oriented, I thought it was great.

What I Blogged: 

I'm keeping up with a semi-normal schedule lately. I haven't been posting twice a week anymore, but I have been posting once a week so I wouldn't say I'm in a slump. My favourite post would have to be my review on Love and Gelato. That was a fun rant to go on.

Favourite Blog Posts of the Month:

Veronika shares Classics she will Conquer this Fall 
Cee discusses Book Censorship

Life Stuff: 

Ok, so where do I begin? September 2nd brought FanExpo, aka the happiest day of my life. I was surrounded by geek-central, and I was so amazed by the cosplayers, the merch, and of course, meeting my favourite celebrities. I met Gaten Matarazzo from Stranger Things and Bob Morley from The 100. Both of them were so nice and I swear Bob is the sweetest person ever. He has genuine conversations with each person he met and he gave everyone a hug. I am still giddy about it.

I also went to the Stranger Things panel, and I swear, those boys are so funny!!! They had the entire room cracking up and they have so much energy, it's contagious. They were great.

I bought a GoT Lannister notebook from the event, which I have already put to good use. There were so many amazing things to choose from that I literally wanted to buy one of everything!! Overall, I was pretty nervous for FanExpo and extremely bummed that the main guy I wanted to go see, James Marsters, cancelled 2 days before the con, but I had the best time and am definitely going to go next year. It was worth every penny.

So that day was great, and then literally the next day, I was shipped off to uni! I spent the entire day in a shriveled up mess, because I had to be really sociable that night for Frosh week kickoff. I met some people who I spent the night with, but honestly, we had little in common and they were a lot more extroverted then I am. I was pretty uncomfortable the entire night.

Now for a partially sad storytime...

So by day 3 of uni I had realized that I hadn't really made any new friends, so I decided to bite the bullet and text the girls I had hung out with on the first night if they wanted to hang out. They said sure, and that they would great ready and would meet me at a place. Well I waited at that place for 3 HOURS and they didn't show. I waited for so long because I was quite honestly afraid to text them telling them to hurry up. So I finally did, and they responded saying that they had forgotten about me and had already gone out somewhere else, but that I could tag along if I wanted. So, I replied with a polite no thank-you, because sometimes I am just too nice, and facetimed my cousin and sister in tears for the rest of the night. Fun day!!!

The days after that I buried myself in work and just focused on my readings. I realized that first and foremost, I am here for an education and that I should put my energy into that instead of in people not worth my time. And so that brings us to today.

Currently, I'm feeling happy. I am on top of my work and enjoying my courses. They are hard, and I spend 5 hours everyday doing work, but I know that if I slack off, it will just get worse. I have talked and started warming up to a few other English majors in my classes, and so maybe a friendship will spring out of that, but honestly, I don't mind if I just make a lot of acquaintances. I've joined the creative writing club and have talked to some like-minded people there as well, and I've been having a lot of fun at meetings. I've got friends outside of school, and really, I'm just going to that place to get my degree. I could care less about parties, or homecoming, or being part of "the uni experience." And I think that's ok.

*deep breath* How was your September?

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Love and Gelato by: Jenna Evans Welch

Genre: YA Fiction, Contemporary
Published: May 3rd, 2016 by: Simon Pulse
Pages: 389
Rating: 1/5 stars

Lina's mother's dying wish was for her daughter to travel to Tuscany and finally meet her father, a man who was only mysteriously recorded in her notebook all her life. Now Lina is being whisked away for the summer, to live with a man who should have been there when he wasn't. But when Lina is given the notebook her mother kept, she begins unravelling secrets she never knew, and discovering a part of Tuscany out of a fairytale. And when the charming Ren comes into her life, Lina steps into her own fairytale as well.

Say it with me, folks: garlic bread and meatballs are not Italian. If my Nona had gotten a hold of this book, it would annoy her and my dad's entire family at the stuff in this book that was supposed to portray Italian culture. I don't know what Tuscany this author went to, but it was not what anyone I know experienced.

I think the main thing that pissed me off in this book was just the lack of research that went into Italian culture. If you wanna write a book set in another country, at least make it authentic and not an American portrayal of what Italian is. Seriously, everytime these people had dinner it looked like a scene out of East Side Mario's. The red and white checkered tablecloth, the garlic bread, the spaghetti and meatballs, this is not how Italians eat!! It may be how Italian-Americans eat, but in Tuscany, it's a whole other story.

I also felt like the main character was extremely naive. I would imagine that her mother would at least tell her some things about Italian culture, but this girl goes in not even knowing what gelato or a pizza Margarita is. It was just the typical trope of a girl going into a new country acting like it's a completely different planet, when in reality, it's just common knowledge. Also, why did Lorenzo go by "Ren?" They couldn't even keep his Italian name in there.

It may seem like I'm being overly critical of this book, but it just annoys me when people don't get the culture right. There should be more research done into the traditions and customs of countries in YA books, because otherwise, you end up wasting your time like me. For more info, Cee made a great post on a similar issue in The Raven Cycle series, in regards to Welsh culture. I encourage you to read that post, because she obviously spoke a lot more eloquently than me: Why I'm Hesitant to Read the Raven Cycle

Have you read Love and Gelato? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

What I Would Do to Prepare Myself for a Book Convention

It has always been on my bucket list to attend a book convention. I've been to FanExpo, which was a great geeky convention, but I have yet to be in a room with strictly just every bookworm you could imagine. Every year when BEA and Bookcon comes around, I have to convince myself that booking a trip to NYC would be a waste of money and that I'll just have to wait for one closer to me. But, I have always planned my dream preparations for a book convention, and so this post will be highlighting that today.

I'm going to compile my list as if I were going to Love N. Vegas. Love N. Vegas is a, you guessed it, Vegas-based book convention happening this October 27-29 at Planet Hollywood! Tons of authors will be there such as Anna Todd, Adriana Locke, and BB Easton, and there will be signings, events, and so much more!! Now University has completely taken over my life and so I won't be leaving the country any time soon, but if you're interested, there are so many great hotel and flight deals on, so I would totally check it out. Las Vegas knows how to throw a party :D

So now, let's get into what I would bring:

1. A big purse. This is essential for any convention. I have a big leather backpack that I take anywhere were I'll be carrying a lot of stuff, because let's be honest, there's gonna be a ton of books to lug around.

2. WATER!! It's important to stay hydrated!! I have been to enough concerts to know that water can get expensive, so I refillable water bottle is always a great choice.

3. Lots and Lots of book merch. Seriously, if I went to a book convention, I would probably be decked out in every book-themed thing I own. My Harry Potter t-shirt, my wand, my fake Harry Potter glasses, anything.

4. Comfy shoes. I would definitely wear comfy shoes, and again, this goes for any long event. Unless something is extremely fancy, I go less for style and more for comfort with some running shoes.

5. Last but not least, this isn't a physical thing, but I would definitely prepare what I'm going to say when I meet my favourite author. The one time I went to a book signing, I just could not fathom what to say and sounded like a blubbering idiot. So, if you're easily star-struck like me, make sure to practice what you wanna say.

That's it! I really hope I'll get to go to a book convention soon, and if you have or intend to, let me know your tips and tricks!

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

Genre: YA Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance
Published: April 11, 2017 by: G.P. Putnam
Pages: 368
Rating: 4/5 stars

It's 1777 in New York, and the Revolution is sparking excitement in everyone. On the eve of the legendary Schuyler family's winter ball, middle-daughter Eliza Schuyler is less enthused by her graceful older and gentle younger sisters, and is more focused on making a change in America. But when she meets Alexander Hamilton at the ball, a bright young colonel with a lot of ideas, they start something that will change the course of American History forever.

I'll be honest, I would probably never read this book if the musical Hamilton never existed. And even so, would this book even exist if the musical Hamilton was never created? Lin- Manuel Miranda has truly influenced the literature and art scene forever.

I really liked this book. It provided great, vivid descriptions of 1777 America, and the author really took on the tone of people in the time period, which is hard to do. It didn't feel watered down to modern audiences, she really kept it authentic.

I loved how she portrayed the character of Eliza, and I could definitely see the parallels between her Broadway counterpart. She was brilliant and enthusiastic, as was Alexander Hamilton. Both characters seemed to keep up with the personalities of their stage versions.

This book didn't feel boring to me, and I was really worried it would. I think it was probably because I was already familiar with the story of Alexander Hamilton, because if I had gone into this book completely ignorant, I would probably have no time for the information. So, I'm not sure how a non-Hamilton lover would read this.

I felt as if this book was a little too long. It took a lot for action to build up, and Alexander and Eliza's relationship didn't flourish until literally the very end of the book, something I did not expect. I would have really liked for their relationship to have happened sooner.

But other than that, I think this book was a great nod to Hamilton. It was romantic and cute, but it just took too long to get there.

Have you read Alex and Eliza? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Mousetrap by: Agatha Christie

Genre: Play, Mystery
Published: 1952
Pages: 70
Rating: 5/5 stars

In Christie's classic story that has turned into the world's longest running play, a group of strangers are snowed in a historical mansion while a detective investigates which one of them is connected to a mysterious murder that happened earlier in the day.

I had to read this play for my horror and mystery lit class, and I was really into it! It was the first Christie play I had ever read, so I was incredibly impressed by her plot twists, her characters, and the way she really plays up the suspense.

I love the idea that the ending to this book is a sworn secret. When people see the play, they are told not to reveal who the killer is to the public, so everyone gets to experience it for themselves. I kept guessing and guessing as the story went on, but I never knew until the very end, and I was really shocked when I found out! Christie has such talent in making everything come full circle in the end.

Christie also creates amazing characters. Each one has such detailed, specific traits that could make any one of them the suspect, which makes the guessing game even harder. Every character was well-rounded and three-dimensional, and I loved every one of them.

I don't think this will be my last Agatha Christie play I read. I don't get into mystery all that often, so when I do, I am often left so amazed by the author's ability to deter you from the actual suspect. Christie is a classic author of mystery and she definitely is the best at it, so I think I will be steering my direction into her books in the future.

Have you read The Mousetrap? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boy's #3) by: Jenny Han

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: May 2, 2017 by: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 325
Rating: 5/5 stars

It's senior year for Lara Jean, and life couldn't be more perfect. Her and Peter's relationship is flourishing, and fueled by class trips to NYC, glamorous prom, and her optimism when it comes to college applications. Her father and Ms. Rothschild are also getting married, throwing Lara Jean into wedding planning mode. Love is in the air, until Lara Jean receives news that throws her entire life off balance. Suddenly, she must resort to plan B, and it could change her and Peter's relationship forever.

I am so sad to be letting go of this series :((( This book series was my feel-good, my pick-me-up, my ultimate fluffy books. I could always guarantee that I would enjoy picking up Lara Jean's story, which is why it was really upsetting to me for it to end. Still though, I guess I have the movie to look forward to, and although I'm kinda underwhelmed with the cast, I'm sure I'll get a lot of re-reads out of the books to keep me going.

This book was the perfect conclusion. As usual with this series, I can kinda predict all that was gonna happen, but I never really care with books as sweet and fluffy as these. I was really scared for Lara Jean and Peter to go through some drastic changes in this book, but I could not be happier with how everything turned out and where everyone ended up in their lives. All my ships took flight, and that was good enough for me.

I saw a more mature side to Lara Jean, which I loved. She was confident in her decisions and she knew what she wanted. She wasn't fawning over every little thing now, she was so cool and collected, and very driven. Her character reached its peak.

Jenny Han never fails with me. I wanna thank her so much for creating such lovable characters and a really great story, because sometimes these books were all I needed after a bad day.

Have you read Always and Forever,  Lara Jean? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 1 September 2017

Month in Review: August

As I type this, I am becoming a nervous wreck at the thought of going to University :( In less than a week, I will be all moved in, and navigating a task I have never had good luck with in the past: making friends. Please send happy thoughts my way.

What I Read: 

In August, I really got back on track with my reading!!

Saints and Misfits by: S.K. Ali: 4/5 stars
Geekerella by: Ashley Poston: 2/5 stars
The Star-Touched Queen by: Roshani Chokshi: 3/5 stars
We Are the Ants by: Shaun David Hutchinson: 4/5 stars
When We Collided by: Emery Lord: 5/5 stars
The Lost Hero by: Rick Riordan: 4/5 stars

Favourite Book: The clear winner was When We Collided!! It had such good mental health rep and really was a harrowing story.

What I Blogged: 

I really enjoyed getting back into writing blog posts this month! I loved my review of When Dimple Met Rishi, and it seemed to generate a lot of comments as well, which was very much appreciated.

Favourite Blog Posts of the Month: 

Cee shares some views on Education 

Ruzaika explains why we should totally read The Upside of Unrequited 

Geraldine does the Around the World Book Tag

Life Stuff: 

This month was the month of moving. My entire room was taken down and packed into a big truck for university. I feel very out of place and I'm not really enjoying the changes at all, but luckily I did have some other things this month to keep my mind off of it.

For starters, my mom's cousins celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary with a huge party! A lot of my cousins from England came and it was like a huge family reunion. The main thing that I was excited about was getting to get all dolled up in Pakistani and Indian wear. My family rarely ever wears lehengas, saris, or even henna tattoos, and I feel like that night we really embraced the culture and I felt really beautiful :) Here are some photos:

The second thing that really lifted my mood was seeing Coldplay in concert. They are one of my favourite bands and I can honestly say that was one of the best shows I've ever been to. The colours, the lighting, the confetti, everything was just so beautiful.

Now pretty much the only thing I have left to look forward to is Fan Expo on the 2nd. Then literally the next day, I am being whisked off to the next chapter of my life. And I could not be more terrified.

How was your August?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The Around the World Book Tag!

Thank you so much to Geraldine @ Corralling Books for tagging me! I love to travel, so I knew I had to give this tag a go :)

1. Sailing Across the Seas- A Book about Travelling (bonus points if it's across a sea!)

My experience: I don't think I've ever sailed across the sea before, but I have taken a short ferry boat across the Mediterranean before, and the islands surrounding it were beautiful!

My book: The Blood of Olympus by: Rick Riordan has a large chunk on a boat, so that's my choice!

2. Fine Dining- A book with amazing descriptions of food

My experience: The best meal I ever had while travelling was tempura-fried tofu in Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario! Now this isn't exactly a journey to get to, but it was part of my vacation so I'm counting it ;)

My book: Obviously The Wrath and the Dawn by: Renee Adhieh! That book's descriptions of food are mouthwatering.

3. From Motels to Hotels: A Book with an Unexpected Surprise

My experience: My family and I once stayed in a hotel in Rome that was off the charts gorgeous! It had beautiful columns, a huge courtyard and gardens, and literally looked like a Roman temple. It was incredible!

My book: The Host by: Stephenie Meyer. I did not have high hopes for this book at all because of my distaste for the Twilight books, but the plot was so complex and the characters were out of this world amazing!!

4. Miscommunication: A Book that's Hard to Understand

My experience: German was a really hard language to grasp when we were away. Luckily my mom's cousin lives in Germany and really helped us with the translations, but on our own, we really relied on hand signals to get our message across.

My book: The Love that Split the World by: Emily Henry. I can't really explain this book. I was so lost and honestly there's nothing else to it.

5. Sightseeing: A Book you picked up because it's really popular

My experience: When we went to see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, we could hardly even move without hitting someone else. It is probably the most famous piece of artwork ever, so it was a literal must-see.

My book: Geekerella by: Ashley Poston was everywhere around the blogosphere!! I have to say though, I was disappointed.

6. Dealing with the Desert: A book that was so addicting that you could have gone days without water just to finish it

My experience: I've never been to the desert, but I have been to Sicily which is basically the same thing. It is so hot and dry there that everything looks tan and brown. Kinda unbearable.

My book: An Ember in the Ashes by: Sabaa Tahir!! I honestly finished this book in one sitting.

7. Journey through the Jungle: A book that was hard to navigate through

My experience: Never been to the jungle! But I am an animal lover so I would love to visit one day.

My book: I really could not get through Me Earl and the Dying Girl by: Jesse Andrews. It was just, meh.

8. Holiday House in the Hamptons: A book you can always revisit

My experience: My family has a house in Niagara-on-the-lake that we always visit in the summer!

My book: The Outsiders. And I have talked about this book way too much in the past to give an explanation.

9. Souvenirs: A book you would give as a gift to a friend

My experience: Whenever a friend of mine travels to a place with a volcano, she brings me back a lava rock! I just think that's so cool.

My book: A Monster Calls by: Patrick Ness. I would give this book to anyone and everyone.

10. There's No Place Like Home: A book that always makes you feel at home

My experience: No matter where life takes me, Toronto will always be my home. It's a little sad since I've moved away for university, but I have so much love for that city.

My book: The Percy Jackson series!! This was the first series I took with me to University, and I will always love it.

That's it!! I'm tagging anyone interested :)

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

When Dimple Met Rishi by: Sandhya Menon

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: May 30, 2017 by: Simon Pulse
Pages: 380
Rating: 4/5 stars

Dimple Shah is ready to have the perfect summer: travelling to a highly-coveted convention for aspiring web-developers,the change to meet her absolute idol at said convention, and most importantly, away from her nagging mother who is insistent on finding her "the ideal Indian husband." But all this takes an unexpected turn when she meets Rishi Patel at the same convention, and he claims to be her arranged husband. While Dimple is upset with her parents for arranging their meeting, Rishi is excited at the chance to know Rishi, and believes that holding onto tradition is important. While their opinions clash, love will still manage to find its way in.

I was so happy to get my hands on this book! Everyone in the book community had been talking about it, and I thought it would be really cool to read such a diverse love story, rich in Indian culture and also with themes such as arranged marriages weaved in.

I like to think that I know a decent bit of Indian culture. My family is from Pakistan, and a lot of the traditions are quite similar, including that of arranged marriages. I feel like the perception of arranged marriages is always perceived to be quite negative in Western culture, which is why I think that this book did great in bringing both sides of the issue to the table. Dimple is strong-willed and independent, and Rishi is a traditionalist, and they find a way to make it both work. I really appreciated that.

I loved how this book had humor, romance, and also strong women doing great things in the world of tech. Dimple Shah could be a real girl hoping to do something good in the world with her talents, and I thought that was so bad ass.

The one issue I had with this book is that I thought it was a bit too long. For the storyline and how everything was going, things seemed to drag on longer than they should have and so I sometimes lost interest. It just needed to be shorter, that's all.

Overall, if you like Bollywood references, strong females, and a great love story, you will love this book.

Have you read When Dimple Met Rishi? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 18 August 2017

The Handmaid's Tale by: Margaret Atwood

Genre: Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Published: March 16, 1998 by: Anchor Books
Pages: 311
Rating: 5/5 stars

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. Her sole duty is to bear children for her Commander and his infertile wife. She is not allowed to leave the house unless instructed, she is not allowed to read, and most importantly, she is not allowed to to poison herself with birth control and abortion, methods that are what led the world to have to be cleansed by the Gilead in the first place. Offred had a life beforehand, but that doesn't matter now. She is sworn to serve her Commander for the rest of her fertile life, or she might risk being sent to The Colonies.

I knew I had to pick up this book after being completely engrossed in the tv show. I don't know what possessed me to start watching, but I was so into it that reading the book after the season ended seemed inevitable, Now I have had problems with Atwood in the past, but this book surely redeemed herself for me and gave me a message so powerful and so scarily relevant to today.

Offred's life sucks. Her and all the other Handmaids are bound by the radical Christian group, the Gilead, who took over the formerly known United States and made it impossible for women to have any rights. Seem familiar? It's really telling that this book was sort of resurrected during this day and age, because women are going through such similar issues in the US right now when it comes to rights for birth control and reproductive health. Now obviously the US is not nearly as harsh as the Gilead, but what I find amazing is that the handmaid has become sort of a symbol now to women of feminism.

I loved this story. I thought it was shocking, twisted, and disturbing, but I could not put it down as I just needed to know what happened next. I do think Atwood wrote this as a cautionary tale, and rightfully so. I think this is a book that every woman should read if they need some inspiration to go out there and stand up to the patriarchy.

Have you read The Handmaid's Tale? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Blogival 2017: Q&A with Joe Treasure!

Hey everyone! I am so excited to be partaking in Clink Street Publishing's 2nd Annual Summer Blogival! All month long you can check out amazing content from other bloggers, as we feature exclusive interviews, reviews and highlight some incredible books! Today, I will be conducting a Q&A session with Clink Street author Joe Treasure, author of the literary fiction novel The Book of Air

About The Book of Air:

Retreating from an airborne virus with a uniquely unsettling symptom, property developer Jason escapes London for his country estate, where he is forced to negotiate a new way of living with an assortment of fellow survivors.

Far in the future, an isolated community of descendants continue to farm this same estate. Among their most treasured possessions are a few books, including a copy of Jane Eyre, from which they have constructed their hierarchies, rituals and beliefs. When 15-year-old Agnes begins to record the events of her life, she has no idea what consequences will follow. Locked away for her transgressions, she escapes to the urban ruins and a kind of freedom, but must decide where her future lies.

These two stories interweave, illuminating each other in unexpected ways and offering long vistas of loss, regeneration and wonder.

The Book of Air is a story of survival, the shaping of memory and the enduring impulse to find meaning in a turbulent world.

*synopsis taken from Goodreads


1.  In the Book of Air, Agnes’ society is constructed based on Jane Eyre. This is such an unique concept! Why did you choose that specific book, and what does it mean to you?

I do love that book. But I also love the idea of people reading it in a completely different way from me, not even understanding that it’s a work of fiction designed for pleasure, but scrutinizing it for guidance on how to live.  At the same time, I thought these villagers living a very basic life in the future would be baffled by most fiction, but would understand Jane’s world. Rochester’s mad wife is locked in a room in the house. When Jane runs away from Rochester’s house she nearly starves to death on the moor. These things would make sense to them.   

2.  Besides Jane Eyre, what would be your “Book of Air,” a book you would base your rituals and beliefs on?

Luckily I don’t have to choose, because I’m fortunate enough to live in a society that doesn’t put limits on what I can read. But if I had to, and if it was going to be a novel, I’d go for something that more broadly and more consciously considers the values people should live by, such as Middlemarch.

3.  Post-plague/apocalyptic societies are very popular settings for books nowadays. Why did you choose this setting for your novel and what themes did you want to present?

When I write fiction, I don’t always know why I make decisions of this kind. Themes emerge often without my conscious control. Taking a leap into the future allowed me an extra dimension of freedom as a story-teller. I wanted to imagine a society organized differently from ours, living by very different rules. I can see, now that the book is finished, that I was interested in people’s ability to give their lives meaning even in the darkest circumstances, in the impulse to create communities, and in what makes a community a source of harm or of healing.  

4.  Who would you rather be, Jason, a survivor with memories of past life, or Agnes, born after and living in a world where The Book of Air is all she knows?

I’m so much closer to Jason in age and life experience than I am to Agnes. And it’s hard to imagine myself growing up in Agnes’s world. On the other hand, Jason experiences almost unbearable losses. For Agnes, because she’s young and has begun to question the certainties that have been instilled in her from birth, life is full of unimagined possibilities. I would have to choose Agnes.

5.  What themes or beliefs from Agnes’ world do you think we could use in our world today?

The belief system Agnes shares with the other villagers is strange and unduly restrictive, rooted in a misreading of Jane Eyre. But their ability to live simply is admirable. They live a sustainable life in harmony with their environment. Perhaps that’s something we could learn from.  

6.  What inspired you to be a writer? I read in your biography that you first excelled in music and arts, and then won a place to read English. Do you think your background in the arts helped you craft words?

I was inspired to write by the pleasure I’ve always found in reading. I’m sure my art and music have helped me, even more than studying English. I’m aware of the music of sentences and paragraphs and of the rhythm of dialogue. Everything I write I read aloud to hear the sound it makes. At the same time I think I’m quite a visual writer. When I’m writing a scene, I like to know where it’s taking place, what the weather is doing, where the light is coming from.

7.  Lastly, what advice would you give to other aspiring writers, specifically those who want to go into more literary fiction?

Be ambitious for your writing more than for your career. The vast majority of writers are neglected and overlooked, even those whose books are published. The drive to write for its own sake must come first. Then find people you can trust to share your work with. Other aspiring writers are often best, because they’ll understand what you’re struggling with, and because you can reciprocate. Be open to whatever criticism they offer, however clumsily expressed. You can always ignore it if it doesn’t help, but first ask yourself honestly if it rings true. As long as the criticism is meant to help and not to wound (free-floating hostility being possible in any human interaction) be grateful for it. If you react defensively, your critics will pull back and limit themselves to offering bland encouragement. Above all, keep writing, and follow where the writing wants to go. Don’t limit yourself with conscious preconceptions of what the end product should look like.
Go check out this fabulous book! It will change your perception on how we view our favourite pieces of literature, and how they can influence the world. 
About Joe Treasure: 
Joe Treasure currently lives in South West London with his wife Leni Wildflower. As an English teacher in Wales, he ran an innovative drama programme, before following Leni across the pond to Los Angeles, an experience that inspired his critically acclaimed debut novel The Male Gaze (published by Picador). His second novel Besotted (also published by Picador) also met with rave reviews.
That's it for me! Use the #blogival to check out the other posts going up this month! 

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Talking as Fast as I Can by: Lauren Graham

Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir
Published: November 29, 2016 by: Ballantine Books
Pages: 209
Rating: 5/5 stars

Follow Lauren Graham through her childhood, first jobs, and rise to fame in beloved shows Gilmore Girls and Parenthood in these collection of personal essays. Lauren shares witty humour, reviews Gilmore Girls' coveted seven seasons, and shares thoughts on the revival everyone was talking about. In this memoir, Lorelai Gilmore is back to reflect on just how much the show has meant to her.

This memoir was like the warm hug I needed after watching the Gilmore Girls revival! I can't say you'll love this book if you're unfamiliar with Lauren Graham or Gilmore Girls, but for me I was completely fangirling and laughing over Lauren's heartwarming stories and reflections on the show. It gave me (some) of the closure I needed after that dreadful Fall episode.

I loved how it literally felt like Lorelai Gilmore was talking to me throughout this book. Her fast-paced sentences, witty humour and heartwarming stories were so adorable and made me fangirling hard! She had such nice things to say about Gilmore Girls and all the cast and I love her little anecdotes.

I loved how this book was very Gilmore-girl oriented. I thought it would be a mix of a number of things. but the fact that it was gilmore-centric was awesome! There were stories from filming, funny banter, and she even reviewed each season of the show! I felt like I was being let in on behind the scenes secrets never before shared!

Overall, if you're a Gilmore Girls fan, you will love this book. It's hilarious and adorable, and written by our favourite female tv star. Lauren Graham will always be Lorelai Gilmore.

Have you read Talking as Fast as I Can? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Month in Review: July

I am slowly but surely making my way back to my normal schedule! Hey everyone, I feel like we haven't talked properly in a while since I've been on vacation. But I am back and looking to be more active! Here's all about my crazy July vacation!

What I Read:

The Outsiders by: S.E. Hinton
Rumble Fish by: S.E. Hinton

Wow, a whopping two books! You'd think I'd have more time to read while away but I actually barely had time to do anything so: meh. Hopefully I'll be able to pick up a book again soon!

What I Blogged:

I had scheduled a few posts while I was away, and my favourite was on When Books Turn into TV Shows. It was good to get some things off my chest.

Favourite Blog Posts:

I feel like I didn't nearly read enough blog posts from others while I was away, which really sucks because I hate being inactive :( I'm really sorry, but I promise to be more active comments-wise soon!

Life Stuff:

I'm gonna try and keep things short and sweet, with a few pictures sprinkled in here and there! If you didn't know, my family and I went to Europe for 3 weeks. We started off in London, where we were caught up in London Pride and it was all really exciting! But my favourite highlight of London was seeing Les Miz on the West End. That musical means so much to me and it was an incredible show!

Then we went to Ghent, Belgium. There was this breathtaking Medieval castle there with a ton of weapons and actual torture instruments inside! I nerded out big time.

Next came Amsterdam. I think it's a fascinating city considering the fact that literally everything is legal there. Their red-light district was also interesting to see because they are so positive about sex and prostitution. They shed a different light on such a controversial issue.

We found the infamous Fault in our Stars bench!!!

We also saw the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam which was one of the most harrowing things ever. My mother actually started crying when we got into the room with her original diary in it. On the wall, was a quote from her wanting to be a writer. That really hit close to home.

The only picture I took of her house. I was too emotionally invested to get out my phone other than outside. 

Next we went to Germany! The history of Berlin was soooo cool, especially the things involving the Cold War. They actually have a cobblestone strip all across the city that marks where the Berlin wall stood.

We visited another castle outside of Berlin. It was gorgeous! 

Prague was one of my favourite cities to visit. The history involving that city was breathtaking, especially with all that happened during The Reformation. The coolest fact I learnt was that the lights all across the infamous castle in the city were bought by Mick Jagger, who was so taken by the castle that he wanted it to be seen at night!

Our last country was Italy. We went to the beach, but most of the time was spent in my dad's hometown visiting family and friends. We have a lot of memories in that place.

And... now I'm home! I had an amazing time away but I am happy to be back on home soil and getting everything in order for uni in the fall. Now, the stress begins!

How was your July?

Emily @ Paperback Princess