Friday, 31 March 2017

Month in Review: March

It's spring! I have missed the sun so much and I hope that I won't have to deal with winter for a long time. Now if only my allergies will hold up *sighs*

What I Read: 

Lullabies for Little Criminals by: Heather O'Neill: 5/5 stars
The Iliad by: Homer: 4/5 stars
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by: Sherman Alexie: 5/5 stars
The Unexpected Everything by: Morgan Matson: 1/5 stars
The Night Circus by: Erin Morgenstern: 4/5 stars

What I Blogged: 

I feel like this was the month of reviews! I have been really behind on reviewing and have been posting reviews of books I read months ago, so I've been busy! I guess I could say my favourite was my review of Station Eleven, because well, you know why by now.

Favourite Blog Posts of the Month: 

Cee explains why The Earth is Blue.
Lais discusses DNF'ed Books. 
Mishma interviews Angie Thomas.
Charlotte shows her Bullet Journal.

Life Stuff of the Month: 

I went to New York!! There were so many amazing things I saw and I think I'm gonna do a whole post on it, because there were a lot of new things I learnt about the city that I think are important for tourists to know, so stay tuned for that!

Other than that, I'm back at school after March Break. Things are starting to pick up and prom is looming, something that my introverted self is just too stressed over.

That's it! How was your month?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Who Am I? Tag

(that awkward moment when you don't have a tag button for your blog or the skills to do it so you just put your blog button.)

A while back Kirsty over at Kirsty Chronicles tagged me to do this post, and now I finally have gotten around to doing it! So without further adieu:

What is the Meaning of My Name? 

My name is Latin and means: industrious or striving. I think that's pretty cool!

What is your Myers-Briggs Personality Type? 

INTJ. I feel like I've taken this test a solid 5 times in my high school life and have always gotten the same result. Ironically, my twin sister has exactly the same type except she is an E instead of an I! Coincidence?

What is my Zodiac Sign? 

Sagittarius. I feel like it's such an irrelevant sign and literally nobody I know has it! But its symbol is an archer, which I find pretty cool. I might get an arrow tattoo one day for it.

What is my Hogwarts House? 

Ravenclaw through and through! When I was younger I used to try and convince myself I was a Gryffindor, but I have luckily since then fully embraced my Ravenclaw.

What are my Learning Styles? 

I am a reader and a writer. I absolutely cannot focus with visual or oral queus and I need to see actual words on paper!

Am I Right or Left Brain Dominant? 

I am left brained! This probably goes with being left-handed, I've always found myself quite logical and detailed.

What is my Blood Type? 

A-positive I think?

What Career am I Meant to Have? 

I really hate taking quizzes to decide what career I should have, because my actual interests almost always never match up, so I'm just gonna go with what I actually want to be: a writer.

What Divergent Faction do I Belong In? 

I'm an Amity girl! I love Amity so much because they are peaceful, care for the environment and I can imagine love animals like me.

What Does My Birth Order Say About Me? 

Apparently being the youngest makes me free-spirited, a risk taker and charming, all of which I am not. I don't really believe in birth order all that much anyways, especially being a twin. Nobody's gonna call me the baby by just four minutes!

That's all! Thanks again Kirsty for tagging :)

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 24 March 2017

The Female of the Species by: Mindy McGinnis

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: September 20, 2016 by: Katherine Tegan Books
Pages: 352
Rating: 5/5 stars

Alex Craft isn't understandable by most people. Ever since her sister's death, Alex has unleashed violent energy against anyone who wrongs her. She knows how to kill. When Alex is finally noticed by Jack, the popular jock in her small hometown, she begins to feel love for the first time. Even the preacher's daughter Peekay connects with Alex, and shows her the world of friendship that Alex has never been in before. But when a party turns ugly, Alex once more unleashes her wrath upon the senior class, and it will take Peekay and Jack to bring her back to reality, but Alex cannot be tamed.

This book was so interesting and odd and yet I was so into it! It's one of those things you have to read to believe, and you're not really sure if it's a contemporary or a thriller or even something supernatural??? This book tells the story of injustice. Of rape culture, feminism, and revenge. While Alex's actions may be a bit extreme, her core values bring a strong message to light.

I loved how Alex was sort of an anti-hero in a way. She was a good person, there's no doubt, but there was something dark about her that was only unleashed when it needed to be. I loved how mysterious she was and how you're kind of unsure about her until the end. Then, everything pieces into place.

This plot was one big thrill ride!! There were twists and turns and I came up with a whole lot of theories as the book went on. The climax was UNREAL and kept me wanting to read more and more until I had finished. This book could not be put down and I read it all in one day.

This book brings a new way to tackle rape culture. Usually these contemporary novels are very straight-forward and sad, but this had the ability to weave thrill and mystery into there while still remaining sensitive to the topic. It was so brilliantly done as well!!

Overall, you gotta read this. This book tackles a hard issue but without making it appear too graphic and upsetting. The book gets real about the topic, but takes a different direction in delivering it that was so unique and a lot easier to read for me.

Have you read The Female of the Species? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Station Eleven by: Emily St. John Mandel: Why You Need to Read this Book in Your Lifetime

Genre: Literary Fiction, Science Fiction
Published: September 9, 2014 by: Knopf
Pages: 336
Rating: All the stars in the universe

One winter night, esteemed actor Arthur Leander dies of a heart attack while on stage performing King Lear. A few hours later, the world as we know it begins to crumble as a deadly flu swipes over North America, killing everyone who comes into contact. 20 years later, The Travelling Symphony are a group of surviving actors and musicians who enter towns rebuilt after the apocalypse and perform Shakespeare plays. Kirsten Raymonde is one of those actors, and she longs to remember any ounce of her past life, including finding information about a famous actor who died moments before the flu started coming. Told in alternating storylines and time periods, Station Eleven weaves past and present in a extravagant story about love, fame, and isolation.

I am going to cry while writing this review. It seems like I always get a bit teary-eyed when talking about this book. This book was unlike anything, ANYTHING that I had read before. I'm not the hugest fan of literary fiction, but this didn't feel like that to me. It felt like a spellbinding story that was so expertly crafted that every page adds a new twist to the story. And the overall meaning of this book tore me to shreds.

St. John Mandel is such an expert writer. The way she ordered the events, connected characters to each other, and allowed for so much metaphor that was so easy to understand, is something that I aspire to be like. Every single time I read a chapter I just kept thinking about how badly I want to write like her someday. She's just so clever!!

I loved every single character in this book. Even the antagonist was so amazingly written and so well developed that you will at least connect completely with one character. There is absolutely no way for you to not feel for someone. St. John Mandel was able to capture every single character's backstories and all in under 350 pages.

There's pretty much nothing else I can really say about this book other than the fact that you have to experience it for yourself. It's science fiction without being too sciency, it's literary without being boring in the slightest, and guaranteed you will find something to love and respect about this novel. It's truly a work of art, and I'm so happy to have discovered it and experience it.

P.S. My sister, who hates reading more than anything, loved this book so if that isn't a reason to read it, idk what is.

Have you read Station Eleven? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 17 March 2017

The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase #1) by: Rick Riordan

Genre: Fantasy, Mythology, Middle-Grade/YA
Published: October 6, 2015 by: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 499
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Ever since Magnus Chase's mother's mysterious death, Magnus has been homeless, a troubled kid who has no family. But when a complete stranger warns Magnus that he is in great danger, Magnus uncovers the truth about his family: he is the son of a Norse God. Now Magnus is swept into the magical world of the myths he never thought were true, and along his journey to find his father, he must embark on a quest. A quest to save his life, and the lives of the innocent people that fire giants long to destroy.

It's been a while since I've picked up a good old Riordan mythology series! I was very weary going into this book, since I've only known to love his Greek/Roman myths and never cared for the Kane Chronicles. And I think that was the main problem with this book. I'm not completely into other mythology, but I did enjoy the familiar wit of these novels and how easy to get through they are.

This book as the similar tone of all of Rick's books. They are funny and sarcastic, a lot of references to pop culture and the modern world, but with an mythological twist. I once more appreciated this writing because of how easy it makes the reading, and how it doesn't feel heavy at all. I got through this book quickly.

Again, I loved the diversity once more brought to the table and how committed Riordan is at showcasing a variety of people in his novels. It is so healthy for children to read these types of books so that they can know just how diverse the world actually is.

But, the main downfall for this book was that I'm not all that into Norse mythology. Like I said, I'm only into the Greek and Roman stuff and so this book left me a bit bored and a lot less keen on learning about the mythology. I find Norse mythology just to be unfamiliar and not something I'm interested in, and for that, I lost interest in the book.

So overall, I liked this book. It was charming and funny, just not my cup of tea when it comes to mythology.

Have you read The Sword of Summer? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Paperback's Pondering's: In Defense of the Contemporary Novel

If you didn't know this about me already, I love contemporary. I love everything about a good dramatic, realistic novel, romance or no-romance, fluff or no fluff, I love it all. However I have begun to notice, not so much in the book community, but in my real life and especially in the books we are required to read in school, that nobody seems to like contemporary! And to me, it's such an important genre!!

I love contemporary novels because they are the most relatable. They bring me back to the real issues, issues of mental illness, relationships, teen stress, and more! They hit you right in the feels and allow you to connect with your problems. Even the fluffiest of romance novels can strike a feeling. I get most of my reading from contemporary novels, because they are easy to get through, rarely boring, and give you connections to your personal life. But it seems like I'm the only one in my school life who actually likes those novels.

Every single book we've had to read for English class has been a science-fiction, fantasy or historical fiction novel. One of my teachers even explicitly said one time that we would never read a contemporary novel. Whenever I've had to pick a book to read on a reading list, there has never been a contemporary novel. And for what reason?! Does everyone else think they're boring? Do they not find them a meaningful as I do?

You are hard pressed to find an English teacher who has made their students study a contemporary novel. To me, I find them the most important genre for young adults to read because we can relate to them!!! I'm not saying that we wouldn't find common ground in a sci-fi or fantasy, but it could be a lot more prevalent in a contemporary novel and they're not even giving us a chance :(

There is sort of a judgement that comes with being a contemporary fan as well. Students and teachers alike have said that people who read contemporaries are boring, and that fantasies and sci-fi's are the only option to keep people engaged. But I just don't think that way. I find contemporaries to keep me more intrigued than sci-fi's or fantasies, and I think it's unfair that my interests are never showcased.

I want to know what you think of contemporary novels. If you were in school, would you prefer to read a contemporary or something else? I do not want to be the only one here that genuinely reaches for contemporaries over anything else. Where are my people at?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 3 March 2017

Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: February 10, 2015 by: Orion
Pages: 383
Rating: 5/5 stars

In Mare's world, people are dominated by their blood: red or silver. The Red's, are the commoners, living often in poverty and forever in the shadows of The Silver's, the elite and brutal group that can be violent towards Red's. When Mare finds herself working in Silver Palace, she discovers that she has a deadly power, a power that poses a threat to The Silver's. The Silver's disguise her as one of her own, but as Mare starts growing feelings for a Silver prince, and starts to help a Red militant resistance group, it threatens everyone's world: red or silver.

THIS BOOK WAS UNREAL!!!! It's been a while since I have used all-caps and multiple exclamation points in a review, so you know that this is the real deal. I am a lover of a good plot that contains palaces and princes, so this book delivered on that and kept me entertained. AND THAT PLOT TWIST!!!!

I went into this thinking it would be too heavy. However once I realized that she would be going into a palace, I knew I would be hooked! I am such a sucker for fantasies that have kingdoms, good or bad. Because of this, the plot kept me intrigued, swooning over the princes and wanting to read more.

I loved all the characters in this book. Mare was so badass and exciting, she wasn't an annoying protagonist at all and I really loved her developments. The villains in this book were also so expertly crafted and so cunning, they roped me in and made me LOVE to hate them. That's always a good thing.

I also loved the concept of this book. Being separated from blood was so unique and also I think put a fantasy spin on the divide that we see within people even today. I definitely think that the rift between the two blood's was a metaphor for something that we could relate to, which was awesome.

Overall, an amazingly enthralling fantasy with kings, commoners and war. What else could you need?

Have you read Red Queen? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Month in Review: February

February has come and gone, and with it, the dread of a new semester!! Realistically, I'm pretty miserable and I'll explain that later. For now, let's get into books!

What I Read:

Carve the Mark by: Veronica Roth: 4/5 stars
Crooked Kingdom by: Leigh Bardugo: 5/5 stars
Wucaii by: Pembroke Sinclair: 2/5 stars
Holding Up the Universe by: Jennifer Niven: 4/5 stars
Station Eleven by: Emily St. John Mandel: 6/5 stars (yes, I know I put 6)
The Sun is Also a Star by: Nicola Yoon: 3/5 stars
The Outsiders by: S.E. Hinton: Do I even have to rate this one anymore?
Hidden Figures by: Margot Lee. Shetterly: 3/5 stars

Favourite book: Now I'll explain why I put the 6 for Station Eleven. Never, in my 12 years of going to school have I ever read a required reading book that I completely enjoyed. Then came Station Eleven. I read the whole thing within the weekend that the first chapter was assigned to us and I am standing by the decision that it will be my favourite book of the year. I'll talk more about it in my review of it, so stay tuned.

What I Blogged:

To be honest, it was kind of a slow blogging month. Just the same ol', but I did put up one post that I was very proud of: Swearing in my Posts. It was a good discussion and good to get things off my chest.

Favourite Blog Posts of the Month: 

I discovered a whole lot of new blogs this month and I have been loving it!!

Kirsty talks about her Anxiety 

Uma shares The Blog Squad's thoughts.

Lyha says hello to the blogisphere in her Welcome post.

Brooklyn reveals her Bookish Boyfriends 

Life Stuff: 

So like I said in the beginning, this month has been pretty rough in terms of my semester. I haven't enjoyed the change because my teachers are so much worse now, the people in my classes are the most irritating people ever, and to top it off, I have a new lunch without any of my friends, so basically I have nobody to eat lunch with. It's been pretty annoying and frustrating, but hey, only 4 more months of this bullshit!!!

On the bright side though, this month, my mom and dad surprised my sister and I by telling us that we're going to New York in March! I could not be more excited because this has been a dream of our's for such a long time, and I can now officially enter the Hamilton lottery! I doubt I'll win, but of course, I'm so looking forward to everything else there is to see. I literally cannot wait.

 I hope your February's went well! What did you get up to?

Emily @ Paperback Princess