Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Clink Street Publishing's Spring Reads Blog Tour: Discoucia book #1 by: Nicholas Lovelock

This year, I'm taking part in Clink Street Publishing's Spring Reading Week blog tour! So to go with the event, here is my review of Discoucia by: Nicholas Lovelock:

Genre: Fantasy
Published: June 29, 2017 by: Clink Street Publishing
Pages: 345
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Sir Arthur Pageon is protector of the realm of Avalonia, a magical land full of monstrous creatures, and the Discoucian Monarchy. Returning home from one of his quests, he discovers that he is being followed by The Purple Guard, a rebellion group led by his sister, Queen Lily Pageon. Lily longs to take over the Discoucian monarchy. However, the heir to the throne, Princess Josephine, knows of her plot, and her and Arthur will embark on a journey all across Avalonia to try and stop Lily from taking over the kingdom.

This book is about as fantasy as you can get! It had fantastic world building, incredible descriptions of setting, and will fully engross you in the world. The tone was humorous and witty, which brought a unique charm, and I think all fantasy lovers would love this. While I had some issues with it because of the fact that I do have a love/hate relationship with worlds as complex as this, I think that it will capture the hearts of all fantasy die-hards.

This book was very different from other fantasies I've read. The tone was very informal and witty, which actually made this more enjoyable from other heavy fantasies. There were a lot of funny elements to it and it didn't seem as serious as other fantasies.

The characters were also really well written. You have some typical characters of magical kingdoms, such as the Knight, the Queen, the Princess, but they were really different and their personalities were quite interesting. I especially liked the whole aspect of Lily being a tyrannical dictator, and the fact that she was related to Arthur. I thought that brought a cool dynamic.

I think the main problem why I couldn't be fully into this book was because the plot was too complex for me. I didn't feel really connected to it as there were a lot of different settings, characters, and organizations and I had trouble following. I found myself having to go back and re-read sections to understand what was going on, which I didn't really like. That being said, if you take things slow with this one, or if you're used to reading fantasy all the time, you may really like this.

About the author: Based in a small village in Oxfordshire Nicholas Lovelock is the author of the Alavonia series. As well as a passion for history, Nick holds a keen interest in Numismatics —the study and collection of coins, banknotes and medals— counting a 200 year-old 1826 half-crown and coinage of monarchs like Queen Anne, Elizabeth the First and Henry the Eighth as part of his collection.
Thanks to Clink Street for including me in their blog tour! Be sure to check out all the other posts going up this week with the #SpringReads

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 26 March 2018

Fables: Legends in Exile by: Bill Willingham

Genre: Comic Book, Fantasy
Published: December 31, 2000 by: Vertigo
Pages: 128
Rating: 4/5 stars

The characters from all your favourite fairy tales and fables have been exiled to a magical building right in the heart of New York City! Snow White is the mayor of Fabletown, a massive skyscraper that houses all of the magical creatures from fairy tales. When her sister, Rose Red goes missing and is presumed dead, it is up to Snow White and Fabletown's police sheriff, The Big Bad Wolf, to uncover if the killer is Rose Red's husband Bluebeard, or her past lover, the troubled Jack (from the bean stock).

I was not expecting to be as big of fan of this comic book as I was! I've had kinda a love-hate with comic books before, but this one had a thrilling plot, some amazing characters, and of course I couldn't help but find it so cool that they were all from beloved fairy tales!

All of the characters were so badass. You would not expect Snow White to be this hard hitting, feminist mayor, but Willingham gave her such a great storyline! Not to mention that Cinderella is also a fencer who kicks some ass, and who divorced Prince Charming. This book brought harder themes onto characters who were once considered to be damsels in distress, and I thought that was awesome.

The plot was really cool too. I was weary that this comic would just be a cheesy representation of fairy tale characters, but the fact that there was a literal murder mystery in it was amazing! This book is definitely not for children, but it was nice for the adults to get an age appropriate fairy tale retelling that was more complex. While I'm still not sold that the comic book format is for me, this was definitely the best I've read.

Have you read Fables: Legends in Exile? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

One of Us is Lying by: Karen M. McManus

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Mystery
Published: May 30, 2017 by: Delacorte Press
Pages: 361
Rating: 5/5 stars

Five students went into detention at Bayview High, only four walked out. Bronwyn is the brain, destined for greater things. Cooper is the jock, a southern sweetheart who is just trying to make it in baseball. Then there's Addy, the beauty queen, and Nate, the criminal. Finally, Simon, the outcast who runs a gossip website solely used to embarrass the students at Bayview. When Simon is dead by the end of detention, all fingers point to somebody who was in the room with him. All four of these students have secrets, and the question is, how much are they willing to reveal?

I literally finished this book in less than 12 hours. It is so thrilling to find something so incredibly fast-paced that hooks you in straight away!! I could not put this down and I thought that the breakfast club theme made it even better.

I fell in love with all of the characters. Nate was by far my favourite and I really felt so bad for him but loved how sweet he was inside. He was your perfect example of a bad boy who is just so damn lovable. I also loved Cooper and enjoyed his storyline the most as well. I think there was so much depth to each of the characters.

The plot was off the charts amazing! Every chapter had a twist and I did not see the ending coming. I thought that everything came full circle in the end and it was overall a really well-thought out novel.

Have you read One of Us is Lying? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 19 March 2018

What it Means to Me to be a Writer

It seems like throughout every writing course I have ever taken, I've been given the same advice, and that is: to never stop writing. I saw a tweet the other day where someone stated that the main advice they had been given all their writing career was that "when you stop writing, you stop being a writer." This lines up exactly what I had been taught. I was always told to write at least 1000 words a night, to never take breaks, and to push myself beyond what I thought I could do. And, like the woman in her tweet said, I am now trying to push that rule out of my head.

Writing fiction is harder than people think. It is not as simple as stream of consciousness writing, in which you know exactly what you want to say and it all flows out. Actual thought has to go into each sentence, and it takes a long time. Bottom line, it is tiring, and I don't always have time to do it everyday. So, when people tell me than in order to be a successful writer, I have to be taking down chunks of a manuscript every evening, that discourages me.

One of my pet peeves is when people say, "you aren't a writer unless you've written a book!" Technically speaking, the definition of a writer is not a job, it is someone who uses written words to communicate their ideas. Hell, even writing essays for school makes you a writer!! I feel like there are some pretty pretentious people out there that think they are above everybody else because they have been published. This group is a few, but they are such a downer on the people who are just getting started.

Writing for me is something that I do when I want to. I am not hunched over a desk at 2:00 am rushing to meet deadlines because someone told me "when I stop writing, I stop being a writer." I am a writer simply by writing this post, by writing an essay, heck, when writing a coherent tweet! And I refuse to be pressured into forcing myself to write a story every night that isn't there. I think I will turn out better that way.

What does writing mean to you?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

The Hammer of Thor: Magnus Chase and The God's of Asgard #2 by: Rick Riordan

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Mythology
Published: October 4, 2016 by: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 471
Rating: 4/5 stars

Thor's hammer has made its way into enemy hands, and it's up to Magnus Chase and his demi-god friends to get it back before the Nine Worlds come crashing down. Along the way, they will find that they must gain the trust of Loki, aka the most hated to the god's, as only he has the power to negotiate for the hammer back, and prevent Ragnarok from beginning. And he'll do it, only for a price...

I did not think that I would enjoy this series as much as I am. I've usually only been a Greek mythology person, but this series keeps me entertained and of course has those little Percy Jackson easter eggs in there that I absolutely love. This is one of Riordan's most diverse series and it is so well written.

This book gave us a gender-fluid character in Alex, the return of the badass that is Samirah, and of course, Magnus, who is so charming and funny. I think I enjoyed this storyline even more than from the previous book as it basically gives me the only Norse God that I am familiar with, lol.

All this being said, I don't think I will ever enjoy this series just as much as I enjoy the Greek myths, but that's personal preference. I know a lot of people out there love Norse mythology, and if you do, you will love this series.

Have you read The Hammer of Thor? What did you think?

Monday, 12 March 2018

Five Little Pigs by: Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery
Published: December 15, 1985 by: Berkley
Pages: 224
Rating: 3/5 stars

Everyone knew that Caroline Crale had poisoned and killed her husband, a brilliant painter named Amyas. Now sixteen years after she was convicted and died in prison, Caroline's daughter seeks Hercule Poirot to reopen the case, after a letter from her mother before she died insists that she was innocent. Poirot interviews the group of people who were last around the Crale's before the incident, and with his knowledge of human psychology, Poirot finds himself caught into a web of truth and lie.

This was only the second Christie book I have read and I was extremely excited for it. I find her books clever, easy to get through, and they always leave me feeling shocked. While this one did not live up to the hype I had built up in my head, it definitely was cleverly thought out.

I wasn't as impressed as I had hoped to be while reading this. I found the case really confusing and too complicated for my liking, and I lost track a lot while reading. I don't think that this book captured my attention as well as The Mousetrap did, and I found myself with just a lot of questions after I finished.

I get Christie's intentions, and I definitely think that this case was extremely complex and well planned, but it just didn't click enough for me. That being said, I am definitely looking to read more of her novels as the endings always surprise me.

Have you read Five Little Pigs? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Reacting to My First Blog Post

* never gotten a chance to use this Ben Platt gif...until now

I see this trend a lot on Youtube where people reacting to their first video, and thought I would try it with my first blog post! I cringe everytime I look back on my own blog posts, so I thought it would be fun to paste my first book review here, and then reflect on it. So here is the first review ever on Paperback Princess, Eleanor and Park, published July, 2014:

At the beginning of summer, I was allowed to buy three books; one of them being : Eleanor & Park. No, this isn't a book about an intersection, (as my dad thought it was.) This is a book about two star crossed lovers, who didn't care what anyone thought of them. This may sound like a cheesy love story, but it is definitely much more than that.

What first drew me to this book, is that John Green had written a review on it, on the front page. (If John Green liked it, it must be good.) When I read the front flap, I saw that music played a role in the story. I love listening to music, so I thought I'd give it a try.

The first few chapters involve Eleanor and Park just meeting. At first, I didn't like the character of Park. I found him rude to Eleanor. After a while, I grew to love his character.

Although the book was told in third-person, the chapters involve alternating scenarios between Eleanor and Park. I liked that, because I could feel their thoughts and emotions. The pro of this book is the climax. (Emotionally-charged moment) I don't want to give too much away, but the climax had a lot of action, I was constantly turning the page to find out more.

Overall, Eleanor and Park was a good book if you like a cute love story that ends in a cliffhanger. I am not one for cliffhanger stories, so I found the ending a let down. I feel like their love story ended without me knowing what's next. Do they live happily ever after? Do they break up? Those questions were not answered, and I felt disappointed. I love a happy ending to a story, and I'm not sure that I got it in this novel.

Rainbow Rowell did a great job of capturing the feeling of a first love. (Although I've never felt that feeling yet.) However, I would have liked to read more of an ending.

If I were to rate Eleanor and Park, I would rate it a 4 out of 5 stars, for it's thrilling climax, but cliffhanger ending. If you have read, this book, let me know what you thought of it in the comments!

My Review: 

Ok so let's start off with the first paragraph, in which I thought use of a semi-colon would make me sound professional and an oddly placed joke about an intersection (that wasn't even true) would be funny. Smh. 

Then we go on to the John Green mention. I was still very much in my TFIOS stage at this point so all I can say is: ugh. 

"I love listening to music, so I thought I'd give it a try." Very interesting fact, Emily!! 

What the hell is that third paragraph? It's three sentences long and sounds like an 7 year old wrote it. 

I love how I had to clarify what a climax was to seem smart!! I'm pretty sure my mom edited this for me and told me to explain that just in case people didn't know, now I'm pretty sure anyone who has ever read a book knows what a climax is. 

I used to hate cliffhanger stories lol. Now I'm pretty much like: I'll take any kind of ending as long as the lead up to it is good. 

Awww look at little pre-teen me saying that I have never experienced the feeling of a first love. Spoiler alert, I still haven't, but I don't give a damn now lol. 

Fair rating, but I don't think today I would take away a whole point just because the ending was a cliffhanger. I do enjoy a cliffhanger nowadays! 

The last sentence has an unnecessary comma in there and I'm half-tempted to fix it even though this post has already been up for four years haha! 

And that folks, was my first review! Simple, straight to the point, and only goes into detail about the climax and the ending! I clearly had a lot of work to do, but I like to think that I've progressed. 

I'd like to see other people try this as well! Have you ever looked back on an old blog post and cringed? 

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 5 March 2018

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by: Mackenzi Lee

Genre: YA fiction, Historical Fiction
Published: June 27, 2017 by: Katherine Tegan Books
Pages: 513
Rating: 5/5 stars

Henry Montague could never conform to his wealthy English family's expectations for him. He embraced the wild side of life, with lavish parties, multiple hookups with both men and women, and has concealed a secret crush on his best friend Percy from his strict father. When Monty must embark on a grand tour of Europe to complete his education, he brings Percy, and his spunky sister Felicity along for the journey. But Monty's recklessness will cost the gang greatly, and will have them running across Europe for their lives.

I absolutely adored this book! It brought together two of my favourite things; historical fiction, and diverse reads. This book was funny, charming, and gave me serious travel nostalgia. I could not put this down.

The bisexual rep was golden in this book! Monty was such a hilarious, lovable character and Percy was such a sweetheart. They both deserved each other and I rooted for their relationship. I also loved Felicity, who was sassy and cool and not your stereotypical Victorian woman.

Mackenzi Lee kept things real in this book. The historical elements were extremely factual and she definitely brought up a lot of things that would have been issues during the time period. You could tell that genuine research had been done in the subject. This book had a great atmosphere and proved that any genre can be made diverse.

Have you read The Gentleman's Guide? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess