Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Ms. Marvel: No Normal by: G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona

Genre: Comic book
Published: October 30, 2014 by: Marvel
Pages: 120
Rating: 3/5 stars

Kamala Khan longs to be normal. She wants her strict Pakistani parents to give her some freedom, and she wants to be like all of the other high school kids from Jersey city. But when she is given powerful gifts from her favourite superhero, that could either aide or destroy her, Kamala must discover what her identity truly is, and come to terms with what it really means to be "normal."

Guess who read a comic book?! This girl!! Ok, it wasn't by choice, but I was still pretty proud of me stepping into a genre I literally know nothing about and one that I've always thought would not be my cup of tea. While I won't be picking up any other comics any time soon, I do think that this one was enjoyable.

The main thing I liked about this comic was that it is relatable. It was nice to see Pakistani representation in the comic and a lot of the things Kamala references I understood. I found her funny and likeable, which made me read this more like a book than a comic.

This was easy to get through, although I can't seem to enjoy the tone that comes with comic books. The dialogue and illustrations have always seemed a bit cheesy for me and I would have liked the plot to be a bit more complex. I can't say that comics sweep me off my feet, but that's just my personal preference. If you like comics, you may really enjoy this.

Have you read Ms. Marvel? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 26 February 2018

Month in Review: February

Hello everyone! I can't believe February is already over. To me it flew by and now I have only one month left of my first year of university! Here's what happened in February:

What I Read: 

Pride and Prejudice by: Jane Austen: 4/5 stars
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by: Mackenzi Lee: 5/5 stars
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor by: Rick Riordan: 4/5 stars
Five Little Pigs by: Agatha Christie: 3/5 stars
One of Us is Lying by: Karen M. McManus: 5/5 stars

What I Blogged:

We got a little ranty this month! My favourite post I did was JK Rowling, You Need to Stop. It was good to get some things off my chest regarding the Harry Potter series in its current state.

Favourite Blog Posts: 

Claire says #Never Again 
Amy explains why Tamlin and Feyre is an Unhealthy and Abusive Relationship 

Life Stuff: 

Nothing really eventful happened in February! Like I said, it kinda came and went quickly. I had my reading week so it was nice to have a break and go home. But other than that, it was just school and writing. I did get to submit my writing portfolio for my program, and I'll know by mid-April whether I'm accepted. Finger's crossed!

How was your February?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Thursday, 22 February 2018

They Both Die at the End by: Adam Silvera

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: September 5, 2017 by: HarperTeen
Pages: 368
Rating: 5/5 stars

Death Cast is a system that calls people 24 hours before they are going to die. It gives them a chance to live life to the fullest, say goodbye to loved ones, or engage with other soon to be dead people through the app Last Friend, for a final chance at a friend before your impending doom. Mateo and Rufus are strangers, but they both have one thing in common, and that is they will die on the same day. They meet through Last Friend for one final adventure, and to keep each other company on what is meant to be a not so good day.

Adam Silvera has done it again, folks! He was once more managed to make me laugh, cry, and just be utterly shocked all in one amazing book. This man knows how to write, and truly embodies a very gifted person who is able to weave sci-fi elements into realistic fiction, all while keeping things incredibly diverse.

This book was so unique. I had to keep reading no matter what because I felt like Mateo or Rufus could die at any moment. It's kinda sad, but Silvera keeps things comical and humorous at times to break up the overall morbid theme. It was really cool.

I loved everything about this book. The cover, the concept, the characters, everything was perfect and I couldn't put this down.

Have you read They Both Die at the End? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The Dark Prophecy (Trials of Apollo #2) by: Rick Riordan

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Mythology
Published: May 2, 2017 by: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 414
Rating: 5/5 stars

On his second quest to gaining his immortality back, the god Apollo must track down his lost mentor Meg Mcaffrey, all with the help of son of Hephaestus Leo Valdez, his girlfriend Calypso, and a group of retired hunters of Artemis who will all try to protect themselves against the many enemies Apollo has made during his time as a god.

I will never, ever get tired of Rick Riordan's writing. I mean, this guy went from writing books that were not so diverse and quite predictable, to some of the most diverse middle-grade/YA books out there. He weaves mythology into the modern day world, and his witty humour and pop culture references never get old.

I think I may have enjoyed this book even more than the first. Probably because my boy Leo Valdez was a central character, and he is ultimately my favourite character Riordan has ever created. I loved reading about him again, as well as the introduction of new characters who were so lovable and funny.

I can fly through these books. They are hilarious, educational, and satisfy my love for mythology like no other. I hope Riordan never gets tired of writing in this world because it's perfect.

Have you read The Dark Prophecy? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Paperback's Pondering's: J.K. Rowling, You Need to Stop

I'm sure if you're around in the book community then you know the drama that's been surrounding J.K. Rowling recently. Basically, she has said that Dumbledore is canonically gay, and yet refuses to acknowledge that in any of her works or the million fantastic beasts movies that are coming out. Now this is harmful and useless in the grand scheme of diversity, and most definitely paints JKR as a person who is just trying to seem diverse without putting in the effort. But I'm not here to ridicule this topic, there's plenty of #ownvoices people who can steer you towards that, instead, I'm going to talk about how JKR has ruined a childhood series I once loved:

Now a lot of people after this drama and JKR's decision to keep Johnny Depp in the film said that they will be boycotting the new Fantastic Beasts movie set to come out. But the truth is, I was planning on boycotting this film before any of this drama even happened, and that is simply because I do not want to give my money to the HP franchise anymore, as they are exploiting what was once a good thing.

I miss the good old days. When there were seven books, eight movies, the conclusion wrapped up into a tiny little bow and we all moved on. That was fine for me. But this constant "eighth book," "prequel dealing with Newt Schamander," "Grindelwald finally revealed," does not interest me in the slightest!! MY series, the original, seven-book series, to me are the only books pertaining to Harry Potter's world and I could so do without this other shit.

I'm calling it like it is, these new forms of media are not here because JKR wants to expand the story and give new insights; she, and others, have realized how much money they can make when they slap "Harry Potter world" onto something and are just trying to milk this franchise to no end. And the truth is, these new additions have ruined the series for me, because so much focus now is being put on them and not on the original story I truly love.

So J.K. Rowling, you need to stop. You need to stop exploiting your series, you need to stop queer-baiting people, and you need to stop ruining what was once a good thing. I know a lot of people buy into the hype surrounding these new features, but for me, count me out.

What do you think about all this business?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 12 February 2018

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: August 28, 2017 by: Random House Children's Books
Pages: 364
Rating: 3/5 stars

Princess Diana longs to prove herself worthy to her warrior sisters. But when she risks everything by rescuing a mortal, she is soon sent into a quest with the mysterious Alia, a direct descendant of Helen of Troy who is being hunted down, as she holds the power to unleash a world war. Together, the two girls with endure supernatural enemies and coming to terms with their own strengths, in order to save both of their very different worlds.

I'm kind of up in arms about this book. On one hand, it was unique, what could have been a thrilling tale about a beloved superhero from a much beloved author. On the other, it was a book that I may have forced myself to like, because of said beloved author and my willingness to attempt to get myself into superheroes.

The one geeky thing I can't seem to get myself into are superheroes. Comics are ok, but not my favourite, and the superhero movies just don't interest me all that much. But dammit, if Leigh Bardugo writes a book, you read the book. I didn't hate this book, it just wasn't my cup of tea, although I do enjoy the concept of wonder woman and the mythological undertones.

Overall, this book just wasn't for me. I enjoyed the action and learning about a superhero I don't know much about, but I don't think I'll be picking up any other YA superhero retellings from now on. I just find them boring and dull. But hey, if you like Wonder Woman, you may love this book.

Have you read Wonder Woman: Warbringer? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Top Ten by: Katie Cotugno

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: October 3, 2017 by: Balzer and Bray
Pages: 320
Rating: 5/5 stars

Gabby is an introverted girl with social anxiety that forbids her from ever wanting to attend a party. Ryan is a popular hockey boy who is a social butterfly. Against all odds, they not only become the best of friends, but they also become each others person, willing to pick each other up when they get down and keep each other in check. Now in the midst of high school graduation, Gabby and Ryan are counting down the top ten moments of their friendship, and reflect on all the good times, and all the bad.

This was such a light, fluffy book! I have never read anything from Katie Cotugno before and was really afraid the plot would be unoriginal and bland, but instead I flew through this book and really enjoyed the representation.

This book not only touches on anxiety, but it also goes into the issue of concussions in hockey, and how toxic masculinity perpetuates hockey players to not seek medical help. It was interesting and really well written!

I also loved the characters. Gabby is literally me in every way, and Ryan was also quite sweet but also flawed. I liked how Gabby kept Ryan in check and how important he was to her, even if it wasn't a romantic relationship.

Overall, I thought this book had some great concepts in it. A boy and a girl not romantically linked and from two very different backgrounds are the best of friends, and that's not something you typically see in YA contemporary.

Have you read Top Ten? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 5 February 2018

When Breath Becomes Air by: Paul Kalanithi

Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir
Published: January 19, 2016 by: Random House
Pages: 208
Rating: 4/5 stars

At the age of 36, Paul Kalanithi is at the top of his game. He has just completed decades worth of training and is now an accomplished neurosurgeon. That is, until he's not. Paul is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, and now, with perhaps just a year to live, he and his wife's lives are turned upside down. In this moving memoir, Paul reflects on what it's like to carry on with such a devastating diagnosis, and, while he died before the memoir was finished, his wife finishes the story and tells of her husband's triumphs in the face of death.

This memoir was sad. It kinda reminded me of Tuesday's With Morrie in the sense the we hear a dying man's perspective of life and loss, and this was a refreshing take on it. It was really interesting to hear the perspective of a neurosurgeon, of someone whose life depended on science, and now he is faced with philosophical questions that rattle his mind. It was a very moving memoir.

This memoir was short and very captivating in just 200 pages. It was easy to follow and didn't rattle my brain with hard-hitting stuff. It was sad, but it didn't leave me feeling just completely down on myself.

That being said, I'm not the biggest non-fiction reader, so I don't think I enjoyed this book quite as much as I would a fiction novel. Still, it was really good if you're looking for a short, heartfelt read.

Have you read When Breath Becomes Air? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess