Friday, 24 April 2020

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology #1) by: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: January 29, 2019 by: Imprint
Pages: 527
Rating: 3/5 stars

Fresh off of Ravka's bloody civil war, Nikolai Lantsov is trying to get his country back together. The young king is riddled by growing enemies with a thirst for power. And, he has got a dark energy inside of him that grows stronger with each passing day. With the help of some former allies and new ones, Nikolai must rebuild Ravka's shattered state, and attempt to control himself and his magic at the same time.

I am not an expert when it comes to the Grisha universe. I read the Six of Crows duology a long time ago, and just recently started the Shadow and Bone trilogy. The kicker is, I have only read the first Shadow and Bone book so far, and I got really confused by the order of all of these series, so the entire Shadow and Bone series kinda got spoiled for me by reading this book. I thought that I could read this before finishing Shadow and Bone and everything would be ok. *shrugs.*

I'm not too bummed about getting the series spoiled for me, but I think that does reflect on my opinions on this book. Because I wasn't aware that this book takes place after Shadow and Bone, I was really confused about some of the things they were talking about. Again, this is my own bad, but it still did squander my interest in this book.

I was really happy to see Nina in this book. She is such a badass character from Six of Crows, and I was happy to see the crossover. I think Bardugo is doing something that Rick Riordan does so well: create a whole universe of stories that intertwine. I get really into crossovers, so I was happy to revisit a favourite old character of mine.

Bardugo's writing is beautiful, as always. I didn't like fantasy books for the longest time, but the Grishaverse is such a fascinating world that drew me right in. I think Nikolai is a very intriguing character, and I enjoyed learning more about him. That being said, I think I needed more background knowledge from the other books to help me along the way.

So overall, I think the reason I wasn't sold on this book is mostly my fault. I plan to finish Shadow and Bone, re-read Six of Crows, and the maybe revisit this series. That being said, I am happy to be a new fan of the Grishaverse!

Have you read King of Scars? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 17 April 2020

P.S. I Still Love You Movie Review

*this review contains spoilers for the book series To All the Boy's I've Loved Before

If you've been here a while, you know that I love the To All the Boy's I've Loved Before book series. I re-read it all the time, and I absolutely adored the first movie. Clearly, I was very excited for the second movie adaptation, P.S. I Still Love You to come out. Surprisingly, it took me a long time to actually get around to watching it though. The movie came out in February, and then the world almost ended so I only got around to watching it a couple of weeks ago. Again to my surprise, I didn't like the movie much at all. Here's why:

When the To All the Boy's movie came out, the world fell in love with Noah Centineo. Admittedly, I did too. I didn't know much about him, but he brought Peter Kavinsky to life and I just thought he did a fabulous job. But a couple of months later, the hype kinda wore off. He's said some problematic/douchey things, and honestly it's more like a meme now to dislike him. I'm not a fan of his anymore, but I still like how he portrays Kavinsky and didn't expect anything less for P.S. I Still Love You.

That being said, John Ambrose is my ultimate dream guy. I do overall prefer him to Peter, and I was SO EXCITED when Jordan Fisher was cast in the role. However, my excitement wavered when I watched the movie. Don't get me wrong, I thought Jordan did a fabulous job in the role. He's perfect. But, he was given NOTHING TO WORK WITH. John Ambrose was reduced to a kinda flat, one- dimensional character in this storyline. He was given little to no screen time compared to the huge role he has in the book. I wanted more of him. I NEEDED MORE OF HIM. I felt as if John was reduced to a wimpy secondary character. He was paid dust.

I thought the movie was rushed and disorganized. We don't get to see much of Lara Jean's and John Ambrose's blossoming relationship, and even Stormy was not fully developed at all. Instead we got a little bit of Peter being a dick, a little bit of a starlight ball being planned (Idk why they scrapped the USO party), and then Peter and Lara Jean get back together in a happily ever after. In my opinion, even Lara Jean and Peter's love story wasn't fully fleshed out. They had significantly less chemistry than in the previous movie.

I also thought the conflict was poorly handled in this movie. In the book, Peter messes up a lot and is really moody. However here, I thought that Lara Jean was blamed for most of the issues between her and Peter, and he barely apologizes for all the dumb stuff he pulled. Peter has to work hard in the book to gain back Lara Jean's trust, but here it seems like she takes him back like a lovesick puppy, and she is the one who ends up apologizing for everything. What is up with that?

Overall, I was not impressed. Was this a nice, sappy movie with some lovable characters? Yes. But, it did not capture the complexity of the relationships that the book has. The book is a big change since the first one, and I thought that the movie would reflect that. However, all I really saw was a John Ambrose who had so much potential but was given a weak storyline, and a potentially toxic, and too quick to forgive relationship from Peter and Lara Jean. I'm sad to say this, but this movie fell flat for me.

Have you seen P.S. I Still Love You? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 10 April 2020

OMG That Song! Book Tag

I have been in a huge book tag mood recently. They're fun, light-hearted, and a brilliant distraction. I noticed that Sabrina and Veronika over at Wordy and Whimsical did this song book tag, so I decided to join in on the fun!

1. My Jam: A song you'll listen to no matter how many times you've heard it, and a book you'll never get sick of: 

My answer for the song portion is 100% Seize the Day from the musical Newsies. It is my all-time favourite song from any musical. It's motivating, upbeat, and I want to learn that choreography so bad! I never fail to blast it when it comes on in the car. As for the books, that would have to be To All the Boy's I've Loved Before by: Jenny Han. It is my most re-read book for sure.

2. Throwback: A song that reminds you of the cringiest time of your life, and a book that you wouldn't like if you read now:

Literally any One Direction song. And this is NOT to say that One Direction is cringey. I love them with all my heart. However my main One Direction phase was during a very cringey time. We're talking turquoise coloured braces and side bangs. My favourite One Direction song from this time was Still the One. So that would be my pick.

My book choice is The Fault in Our Stars. I BAWLED when I first read it. Now I would be able to see right through the bullshit. I can't believe those were supposed to be teenagers.

3. Replay: A recent song you have on repeat and a recent favourite book: 

The song that is always on repeat for me now is Adore You by: Harry Styles. I told you I love One Direction with all my heart. A recent favourite book of mine is The Dreamers by: Karen Thompson Walker. It was such a unique concept.

4. Gets Me: A song that is literally me and a book that is me in book form: 

This was hard to think of. But I have settled on Waving Through a Window from the musical Dear Evan Hansen. It's a very powerful song about feeling shy and anxious. Can totally relate! As for a book, I would have to go with Fangirl by: Rainbow Rowell. I relate to Cath so much.

5. Wut: A weird song that you liked anyways and a unique book that stuck out to for some reason:

Apparently a lot of people hate Love Me by: the 1975, but it is honestly the only 1975 song I like and that I will listen to regularly.

I don't think I really "read outside the box," but I do find The Handmaid's Tale very unique, but also very unsettling.

6. Let's Go: Your best pump up song and a book that inspires you: 

Classic by: MKTO is my forever pump up song. I have loved it since 2014 and it just takes me back to that summer when I played it on a constant loop. It always puts me in a good mood and reminds me of simpler times.

A book that inspires me is Tuesdays with Morrie by: Mitch Albom. It read it a long time ago, but the message has always stuck with me.

7. Chill: Your best chill or relaxing song and a book you'd curl up with on a rainy day: 

Lover by: Taylor Swift is a very chill song for me. I remember listening to it on a rainy and slow day at work one day, and now it always relaxes me for some reason. My favourite chill book would be Twilight by: Stephenie Meyer. What else would you read on a rainy day? Also, I am well aware that I mention Twilight in every single one of these book tags. Sorry folks!

8. Addicting: A guilty pleasure song and a light, trashy read you can't help but love: 

I agree with Vera that no song is a guilty pleasure song. But, my sister absolutely hates the music from the musical Hadestown, so I have to listen to it by myself a lot. So I guess that's the only music that I can't shout from the rooftops that I love.

I'm also gonna piggy back on Vera and choose The Selection by: Kiera Cass. It's literally The Bachelor in book form.

9. Nostalgia: A throwback song you look upon fondly and a book you read and loved when you were young: 

My original throwback song would have to be Close to You by: The Carpenters. I say this because my mom used to sing this song to my sister and I before we went to sleep as babies. So it is pretty much the first song I was ever exposed to, and I can't help but smile when I hear it now.

I was obsessed with Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark when I was young. Kinda a weird pick for a child, but I have so many great memories reading these books.

That's the tag! Have you listened to any of these songs? Or read any of these books? What would be your picks?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 3 April 2020

Month in Review: March

How is everyone holding up? This month has been hard. But, I know from personal experience that it is hard to escape any news regarding COVID-19 nowadays. So I'm not going to repeat the same things that pretty much everyone is going through. Let's just focus on the books!

What I Read: 

The Dreamers by: Karen Thompson Walker: 5/5 stars
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano: Written by Himself: 3/5 stars
Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry by: Mildred D. Taylor: 3/5 stars
Rebent Sinner by: Ivan Coyote: 5/5 stars
Call Down the Hawk by: Maggie Stiefvater: 3/5 stars
Two Dark Reigns by: Kendare Blake: 4/5 stars

Favourite book: As you can see, I read a lot this month! My favourite book was The Dreamers, which one of my professors actually let me borrow. It revolves around a pandemic, so proceed with caution, but I found it to be a very hopeful novel.

What I Blogged: 

My favourite blog post this month was the Liebster Award. I did it for a second time, and it was nice to return to book tags. I used to do them a lot in the early days of the blog, and I forgot how fun they are. If you have any other tag recommendations for me to do, please share them!

Favourite Blog Posts: 

Jillian talks about her Continuous Search for More

Roberta asks if you are an Impulsive Book Buyer?

Nicole shares weird Google Searches that Lead to her Blog  

Life Stuff: 

Like I said before, this month has been anything but easy. But, with everything so doom and gloom, I am taking it upon myself to only share positive things that happened to me this month:

My family fired up our old Nintendo Wii! For those of you who had one, it certainly brings back a lot of nostalgia. I have been having a lot of fun playing Mario Kart with my sister, and pretending to work out on Wii Fit. I forgot how fun a Wii is!

I have started watching a new Youtube channel called Yes Theory, and have been really enjoying their videos. They love to travel and they do things that are out of their comfort zone. In fact, their motto is "seek discomfort." Overall I find their videos very heartwarming, and their videos give me a bit of a travel bug!

I made my first recipe from Bon Appetit! For those of you who don't know, Bon Appetit is a youtube cooking channel. The cast is so likable, and I have been watching them for quite a while now. But, I have never made one of their recipes before. Finally my sister and I made pasta with tomatoes and chickpeas. It was delicious! Maybe I have a cooking bug too?

So, that was my month. It was not perfect in any way. There were a lot of struggles. But, I am trying to focus more on the positive. We got this, folks.

What's one positive thing that happened in your month?

Emily @ Paperback Princess