Friday 24 February 2017

My Staying in Essentials: The Life of an Introverted Bookworm

As a bookworm who also happens to be the biggest introvert on the planet, I stay in a lot. I just prefer cozying up with a good book rather than a night on the town, but that's just me. So when Leesa, an online mattress company  was looking for people to share their staying-in essentials, I knew I had to share. So here are my tips for the perfect night:

First off, I like to take a nice shower. I like to be clean when I'm spending a night in, it helps me to sleep and overall relaxes me. So I shower, put on some sweet smelling body butter and get into a cozy onesie. Fuzzy socks are also on my list because I am always cold and my feet are always like bricks of ice, so that's a must. Then, it's time to get into my bed.

Like I said, I'm always cold, so I like to have a ton of blankets and pillows around me. It feels like my own personal fort, and I love being surrounded like that.

My favourite staying in snack has got to be something sweet. I love cupcakes or donuts, and usually will bake something the day before to have as a snack. I like to have comfort food.

I like to watch some Netflix or Youtube during my staying-in night, and I usually do this early on in the evening because when it gets too late I will be too tired to pay attention lol! I will either re-watch an episode of Gilmore Girls, my perfect comforting show, or I will watch a new episode of the show I'm currently watching: Suits.

Then, the main star of the show, my book. I read near the end after I'm done watching my show because it helps me to unwind my mind and get away from the electronics. I usually read the book I'm currently reading, I don't like to re-read a book just for a staying-in night, so currently I'm reading The Sun is Also a Star by: Nicola Yoon and that is my staying-in book! I think fluffy romances make the best cozy books.

Finally, I will put away everything, and meditate for 10 minutes. This may sound cheesy, but I've been doing this right before I go to sleep for about a month now and I just feel like it helps to put all my anxious thoughts to bed and gives me a better sleep. I like to meditate on my Headspace app.

Then, it's bed time. I will get out of my meditation, stretch, and turn off the lights. It's been my definition of a perfect night :)

What are your staying-in essentials?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday 22 February 2017

A Thousand Nights by: E.K. Johnston

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling
Published: October 6, 2015 by: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 328
Rating: 3/5 stars

Lo-Melkhiin is a ruthless king, a killer, who takes a bride only to kill her that same night. When Lo-Melkhiin arrives at her village, and tries to take her sister, her best friend, she decides that she must risk everything to save her sister's life. She is brave, fearless, and she is determined to prevent her death by enthralling the king into her master storytelling. Will she be able to survive? 

Another retelling One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, although, it was kind of a let-down? Idk, I felt like this book dragged on for too long and lost me by the ending, although I do love the concept and am always a sucker for a retelling. 

I liked how this book didn't name the main protagonist. She is the narrator, but people don't refer to her by her name through the entire book. I thought that this was very unique and mysterious, and really helped to contribute to the mood. However, it is kind of nice to put a name to a face. 

I tend to automatically rate retellings higher because I really do love them. Especially this story, I loved The Wrath and the Dawn and was so willing to start a new one, and I especially like how these books are big on the description. This book has some beautiful writing because it has a lot of details, and also appeals to the senses. It will keep you intrigued. 

However I found this book to be incredibly slow. I was intrigued in the beginning, but as it went on it just dragged and dragged, and I was less interested with every page. It was almost like there was too much description and not enough plot, that it just lacked in any action. 

I also didn't find much chemistry with our protagonist and Lo-Melkhiin. They just seemed forced and unnatural, and just really wrong. It didn't feel like a romance at all. 

So overall, this book was kind of: meh? It was ok, but definitely wasn't as interesting as I thought it would be. 

Have you read A Thousand Nights? What did you think? 

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday 17 February 2017

The Knife of Never Letting Go by: Patrick Ness

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction
Published: May 2, 2013 by: Walker Books
Pages: 528
Rating: 4/5 stars

In the town of Prentisstown, everyone hears everyone else's thoughts in an endless stream of Noise. When Todd and his dog Manchee uncover a town that has complete silence throughout, Todd becomes weary of the life he thought he knew that the people he thought he trusted. Just weeks away from becoming a man, Todd faces great danger, and must choose whether or not to reveal the silent town, or continue as if everything is normal.

Mr. Ness creates some unique books. His books are so odd and yet so cool that it seems like he thinks differently than everyone else. I love his ability to weave fantasy and diversity together so perfectly, and creating truly, one of a kind themes.

This book will mess with your head. It will make you rethink everything you thought about sci-fi, and it reveals it in a whole new light. Like I said before, this book is unreal. I guarantee that you have not read anything like it.

This is kind of a weird thing to love about a book, but I loved that there was a dog as a central theme. I am a huge dog person and I don't read many YA books that have a dog as a fearless sidekick, so I found this so unique and cute too! It was really really special.

Like I said, I loved the diversity of this book and how Ness approaches it. He looks at different sides to all kinds of spectrum's, and he doesn't shy away from talking about serious issues. At the same time though, he also has this great wittiness about him that he manages to put in every book, which I find so comical. He's really a jack-of-all-trades.

The one thing that I didn't like about this book was that I tend to not completely *get* science fiction. It's not really my point of interest, and for that reason, I tend to find almost every sci-fi book a tad boring, no matter what it is. So I will say that for me, there were some slow parts, but don't let that discourage you if you love sci-fi.

Overall, this was a really intriguing read with the wit and charm of Ness that we all know and love.

Have you read The Knife of Never Letting Go? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday 10 February 2017

The Last Boy and Girl in the World by: Siobhan Vivian

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: April 26, 2016 by: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 432
Rating: 1/5 stars

Keeley Hewitt's town is underwater. After a raging storm threatens to destroy nearly everything in it's path, Keeley and her friends in Aberdeen county decide to make the most of it, by living life to the fullest and taking chances. Soon, Aberdeen is filled with parties and excitement as the teens have their fun, but for Keeley, all she wants to do is to try one last time to win over her long-time crush. Will she be able to do it, before everything turns to chaos?

Do not let this book fool you. At first glance, judging by the title and cover, I thought that this book would be a thrilling dystopian novel about *literally* the last boy and girl on earth. Instead, I got a crappy love story about a whiny white teen and her even less diverse friends, as they party it up while their town is in shambles.

Really, there was nothing I liked about this book. Keeley, the protagonist, was as bitchy as bitchy could be. I'm sorry, but your whole life is underwater and while your disabled dad is trying to cope, you whine that your crush won't love you? Ok girl, you need to get your priorities straight. This girl pissed me off to the core with the fact that she didn't seem to care about anyone but herself.

The other characters in this book were not amazing either. There was not a single person in this book that wasn't a straight white teenager who just wanted to have fun. I'm really sick of these pre-apocalyptic books that just depict privileged teens making stupid decisions as opposed to, you know, being with their loved ones. It's just so stupid.

And don't even get me started on the love story here. It was tropey and gross, love triangles, insta-love, you name it, this book had it. The characters had no chemistry at all besides the fact that Keeley was practically obsessed with her crush that she seemed to put everything else aside to get to him. And get this: he was just your typical young brooding white male.

This is one of those books where I'd say: don't judge it by it's title. What you'll get is an unoriginal romance with some silly teenagers in the mix. Don't waste your time.

Have you read The Last Boy and Girl in the World? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday 8 February 2017

Paperback's Pondering's: Harry Potter, What are you Doing?

This topic... god this topic. I've talked about my problems with revivals of classic books, tv shows, and movies before, but today, we're getting more specific. My first post was having not read Cursed Child, but now that I have, I needed to revisit this. I need to get more stuff off my chest.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't buy into the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts craze. Everyone did, I mean, we're loyal fans who for years haven't gotten a sign from the Wizarding World, and now Harry's checking in to let us know what he's been up to! How exciting! I read, and somewhat enjoyed Cursed Child, and I thought that Fantastic Beasts was ok. But the truth is, I'm sick and tired of these HP revivals. I'd rather that they didn't exist, and I'm not sure if I want to buy into them again. 

Cursed Child was just weird for me. It didn't feel like the eighth Harry Potter book, it felt like some sort of fan fiction that someone had written after finishing the Deathly Hallows. Harry didn't sound like Harry, Ron didn't sound like Ron, and don't even get me started on Hermione. She was so flat and didn't feel at all like the Hermione I used to love. I refuse to believe that book was the eighth Harry Potter book.

Then Fantastic Beasts. That to me, felt like a random movie about wizards set apart from the HP world. It was so incredibly random, and they're actually making five movies out of it?! Give me a break. 

The point I'm trying to make here is, that I don't think these revivals are coming out for the happiness of the fans anymore. I feel like if they were, they would take our opinions into account such as making a certain couple canonically gay and putting down that "snape was good" analogy forever. I would also much rather prefer a series on the Marauders rather than five freaking Fantastic Beasts movies. Maybe I'm just being cynical, but I'm seeing these things as a money grab alone. 

To me, this is all just a way to make more money. They know that anything with Harry Potter plastered on the front, people will buy in to, so they've been milking all of these revivals to the death. It makes me not want to see the five other Fantastic Beasts movies, or not even try to get Cursed Child tickets. It makes me angry that my favourite book is being exploited like this. 

Maybe I'm just being dramatic and negative. I don't mean to be a debby downer on all those who love the revivals, and you are not any less of a fan for wanting to do these things. I'm just saying that for me, these revivals have not been working out, and I wish that HP would either listen to the fans for what they want, or not do anything at all. 

How do you feel about HP at the moment? Please share! 

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday 6 February 2017

ARC Review: Code Red: A Faith Flores Mystery by: Janie Chodosh

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Mystery
Published: February 7, 2017 by: Poisoned Pen Press
Rating: 3.5 /5 stars

Fresh off of solving her mother's mysterious murder, Faith Flores is back for another tough crime to solve. When she excepts an internship at a lab facility, she begins investigating a string of overdoses surrounding a drug dubbed "liquid gold."When her step sister falls ill, it becomes personal, and Faith uses her fierce determination and new found friends to catch the culprit, and bring the victims to justice.

Thank you very much to the publisher and author for providing me with this copy for an honest review. This book is the second in the Faith Flores mystery series, and I thought that it was witty and captivating. While I did have some issues on some tropes, I do think that this book was a great young adult mystery.

First off, I loved the characters in this book. They were incredibly diverse, there was some great Latina representation and amazing biracial rep as well. I loved how this book touched on a slew of issues, and didn't just focus on your typical, white characters. The characters were incredibly well written and there was a great dynamic.

The plot was also very engaging, very interesting. I don't read much mystery, and I felt like this book was good for people like me who are just getting their feet wet in the genre. For me though, I felt as if there was a need for a little more drama and action. I felt as if that was what took away from it being a really thrilling mystery, there was a need for more thrilling aspects.

I also didn't not entirely enjoy the sort of insta-lovey tropes in this book. It's not very explicit, but it is kind of implied and for me, that took away from the chemistry of the two characters. It just seemed like the romance wasn't even necessary because I couldn't see the chemistry between them at all. I would have preferred for the protagonist to remain independent.

But other than that, I felt as if this was a really great mystery for me, who isn't all that familiar with mysteries! It was easy to get through and very easy to follow the story, so I am very thankful for that. You can catch Code Red being released tomorrow!

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday 3 February 2017

The Problem with Forever by: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: May 17, 2016 by: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 474
Rating: 5/5 stars

For all the years that she had been rescued from her abusive foster home, Mallory has been silent to almost everyone except for her new foster parents. When she starts high school for the first time in her life, her adoptive parents worry that she won't let her voice be heard. Until, Mallory finds her former protector and foster brother Rider going to the same school. Mallory begins to confide in Rider again, but his new life is more secretive than she remembers, and he might be getting into some serious danger, that could put both of their lives in danger.

This was my first Armentrout novel I have ever read. I know a lot of people love her, and I can definitely say that I fell in love with her writing in this book. She tackles harsh issues so well, and this book kept me captivated from page to page.

I loved all of the issues in this book. This book handles adoption, abuse, gangs, drugs, and ptsd all in one extremely emotional read. These issues were so raw and also incredibly realistic. I thought that it was so important for books like these to exist, and this book did the issues at hand justice.

Even though there are romantic elements to this book, the romance was not the be all and end all of everything. which I really liked. Rider and Mallory's chemistry went a lot deeper than high school crushes. I loved how Armentrout captured their relationship as a friendship, a family, and romantically all in one. They cared so much for each other and the lengths that these two went to protect each other was amazing.

There's also a lot of cultural diversity in this book, particularly Puerto Rican. While I can't vouch to say that it was accurate, I did appreciate the diversity and the fact that Armentrout didn't just go for the typical white characters. There was a lot of language and customs put in there as well, which was cool to learn.

Overall, a very emotional book that captures a relationship unlike any other. This book was so intriguing and kept me interested every step of the way, and I think that the issues were so well done.

Have you read The Problem with Forever? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday 1 February 2017

Month in Review: January

Exams are upon me and I could not be more stressed. However, 2017 hasn't been so bad so far so I'm just looking forward to starting a new semester. Here's what happened in January:

What I Read: 

I was in full-on reading mode this month! I finally broke my 3-month long slump, and look how much I accomplished! It feels so good. Also, I was really excited as I got my wish granted on Netgalley to receive a Traitor to the Throne ARC! I have never gotten an ARC wish, so it was a really exciting moment for me and made me so thankful for these opportunities :) Here's what I read:

Magnus Chase: The Sword of Summer by: Rick Riordan: 4/5 stars
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by: Benjamin Alire Saenz: 5/5 stars
Challenger Deep by: Neil Shusterman: 5/5 stars
The Female of the Species by: Mindy Mcginnis: 5/5 stars
Girl Mans Up by: M.E. Girard: 4.5/5 stars
Rumble Fish by: S.E. Hinton: 4/5 stars
Traitor to the Throne by: Alwyn Hamilton: 4/5 stars
Code Red by: Janie Chodosh: 3.5/5 stars

Favourite Book: I re-read Ari and Dante in the physical format (I had used the audiobook before.) and can definitely confirm that it was even more magical for me. I am very passionate about this book now.

What I Blogged: 

8 posts went up this month! My favourite was my participation in Disability Diaries, in which I reviewed Challenger Deep! This was an amazing event and I loved each and every post.

Favourite Blog Posts: 

Cee says that there's No Shame, No Stigma in revealing your illnesses.

Lais discusses all about Book Titles!

A.M.B. explains her diverse book: Anusha of Prospect Corner

Sam talks about Fixing Bad Bookish Habits and Resolutions

Life Stuff: 

Exams are currently happening but to be honest I am so ready to get rid of these classes and start fresh. Especially dump history forever.

I also am still a vegetarian! I'm still keeping it up and have been feeling healthy so far, although for my cousin's birthday in a few days we're going to a Brazilian steakhouse, so idk how I'm going to dodge that.

I have a job! Well, technically I've finished it now, but over December I worked in retail for the Christmas season and they decided to keep me in on an on-call basis! It's been good experience.

And that was my first month of 2017! How was yours? I hope it was good!

Emily @ Paperback Princess