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