Friday, 22 February 2019

Little Fires Everywhere by: Celeste Ng

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Published: September 12, 2017 by: Penguin Press
Pages: 338
Rating: 5/5 stars

Shaker Heights is a neighbourhood that plays by the rules. It's residents are successful and orderly, and everybody knows their place. So when Mia Warren enters town, an eccentric artist with her daughter Pearl, suspicions arise. Elena Richardson, one of Shaker Heights' most prominent residents, soon becomes weary of Mia when the adoption of a Chinese-American baby by Elena's friend puts Elena and Mia on opposing sides. Soon Elena will try to uncover the secrets of Mia's past out of spite, but it will have devastating costs for both her family, and Mia's.

This book BLEW MY MIND. It was so cleverly written, with well-rounded, developed characters and a kickass setting. It kinda had the feeling of Big Little Lies to me, but this book truly can stand on it's own of being an amazing read.

There are so many layers to this book. There are themes of motherhood, of adoption, and importantly, of culture. I think Shaker Heights as a whole was an amazing setting to place this story in because you really see how this perfect neighbourhood breaks down as the story goes on.

The characters were incredibly well-written. Elena, I loved to hate, I had such a respect for Mia as a mother, and even the Richardson children and Pearl were really developed characters. I think that Ng really succeeded in writing such complex characters that you can rally behind, but also scoff at their decisions. (But in a good way!)

Overall, the plot of this book was fascinating; the themes, really well-written, and I could not put it down. It was suspenseful, shocking, also funny at times, and I think Ng is a brilliant writer.

Have you read Little Fires Everywhere? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Saturday, 16 February 2019

My Favourite Books for People Who Hate Reading

I think we all know at least one person in our personal lives who hates to read. I know a couple, and I am even taking a literature class currently where a guy in it said that he "hated reading and would not read a single book in the course." I was as baffled as you are. Anyways, I am a firm believer that those who hate to read maybe just haven't found the right book yet, so today I am providing some novels that I think are perfect for people who hate to read.

1. The Outsiders by: S.E. Hinton

It's no secret that I love this book, but I can honestly say that I have witnessed so many people who aren't into reading, pick this up, and never put it down. My sister is included. It's short, gets the action going right away, and when you're finished it, you can reward yourself with the movie which is as good as the book!

2. The Hunger Games series by: Suzanne Collins

You might think it's stupid to recommend a whole series to people who may not even like picking up a standalone, but just trust me. I recently re-read the series and found a whole new appreciation for it. I think it is really easy to follow, as well as not too long and heavy for being a series. If you have tweens in your life who struggle to find books they like, I think this series is a great introduction to YA as well.

3. The Glass Castle by: Jeannette Walls

For people who may not be too keen on fiction, I think this memoir will totally work for you! It has a really beautiful descriptive quality without being boring, and I guarantee you will be completely immersed in Walls' story.

4. Little Fires Everywhere by: Celeste Ng

I think this book is perfect for people who get caught up in dramatic television shows and forget to read. This book has it all: drama, crime, dysfunctional families in wealthy neighbourhoods. If you love reality TV, you will love this book.

5. Maus by: Art Spiegelman

Yet another recommendation courtesy of my sister, someone who hates reading. This is a graphic novel, so it won't be too dialogue heavy and the illustrations are as harrowing as the words. It is incredibly emotional.

6. The Hate U Give by: Angie Thomas

Even if you're not a reader, you'd have to be living under a rock if you haven't heard of this book. This incredible YA is full of current social issues that everyone should be aware of, as well as a lot of pop-culture references sprinkled through. This book is really up on the current times and is so easy just to fly through.

7. The Great Gatsby by: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Classics can be daunting, especially if you're not a reader. I myself am not the biggest fan of them, though one that I truly loved is The Great Gatsby. It's very short, so you don't have to be worried about boring descriptions and heavy language. The characters are very intriguing that I think it's hard not to be captivated by the writing.

So those are my recommendations! What are your book recommendations for non-readers?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Saturday, 9 February 2019

New Moon by: Stephenie Meyer

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Fantasy
Published: September 6, 2006 by: Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 563
Rating: 5/5 stars

Bella is ready to start a the school year with her new boyfriend Edward Cullen. But just as she begins to grow closer to him and his family, the Cullens unexpectedly leave Forks for good, leaving Bella devastated for most of the year. In the spring however, she finds solace in Jacob Black, her kind friend who helps her to live again. But, Jacob also hides a paranormal secret, and Bella may be forced to choose between her friend, and her former love.

This is by far my favourite of the series. I thought Jacob really shone in this book and it's hard not to love him. Bella kind of conflicts me in this book. She shuts down after Edward leaves, which really annoyed me, because she makes it seem like she can only live when Edward is with her. She also engages in some self-destructive behaviour, which is quite problematic.

I loved how the werewolves really got the spotlight in this novel. I have always preferred them to the Cullen's, and their back stories. While I do think some of the indigenous representation in this novel could have done well with actual indigenous people approving it, I still love the entire wolf pack and everything they represent. A fun thing to note though, as my professor explained, the Blacks aren't actually werewolves, rather shape shifters. My mind was blown!

Edward and Bella really annoyed me in this novel. I thought their communication sucked, and the chemistry just wasn't really there. Bella finding the need to shut down after he leaves was just plain weird and wrong, and made me loose a little faith in her. The book definitely is redeemed when Jacob comes into her life.

Overall, this is the book that really made my Team Jacob come through. I don't think I paid it much attention when I first read this novel, but now, I think that what Bella really needed in this book was a friend, and she got that. Although, we all know that Jacob wants to be more, but more on that in the next novel.

Have you read New Moon? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 1 February 2019

Month in Review: January

It's a new year, new school term, and a lot has changed. I really took control of my overbearing schedule this month, and, after a rough few weeks, I finally feel like I have some time to myself now. But, I did read a lot! Despite most of it being for school.

What I Read:

New Moon by: Stephenie Meyer: 5/5 stars
Eclipse by: Stephenie Meyer: 4/5 stars
Growing Up Stupid Under the Union Jack by: Austin Clarke: 3/5 stars
Breaking Dawn by: Stephenie Meyer: 3/5 stars
Wide Sargasso Sea by: Jean Rhys: 4/5 stars
The Hunger Games by: Suzanne Collins: 5/5 stars
Catching Fire by: Suzanne Collins: 5/5 stars

My favourite book was New Moon. As all of you know I was on a Twilight kick due to a university course, and this was my favourite of the series. Now I'm getting into The Hunger Games for the same course and I'm sure I will fly through that as well!

What I Blogged:

I only put up one blog post besides this one in January, that is my Review and Discussion of Twilight. I really liked the discussion I had with some of you and I'm hoping for more later on!

Favourite Blog Posts:

Lais talks about Books that Should be Required Reading 

Veronika shares Her Favourite Book Dedications 

Jillian discusses Pursuing Art in a Third-World Country 

Life Stuff:

School and work really took over my life, but like I said in the beginning of this post, I have reduced the hours I am at work and now I feel like I can get back on track. I'm also starting therapy soon which I am oddly excited for!

I also got really into podcasts this month. I never really used to listen to them before, but a friend at work recommended some to me when she heard that I love Greek Mythology and I have been hooked ever since! My favourite one is Let's Talk about Myth's Baby on Spotify.

That was my January! How was yours?

Emily @ Paperback Princess