Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Half Blood (Covenant #1) by: Jennifer Armentrout

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: October 18, 2011 by: Spencer Hill Press
Pages: 281
Rating: 1/5 stars

Descendants of Hematoi fall into two categories: pure bloods, carry god-like powers like their two parents, and half-bloods, born to fight in battle, but not as powerful as the pure. Relationships between pure and half-bloods are strictly forbidden. Alexandria is a half-blood training at The Covenant to become a Sentinel, and she has a huge crush on Aiden, a pure-blood. But their relationship could put them both in grave danger, and threaten Alexandria's future.

I was extremely misguided by this book. It fell under the category of Greek mythology, so I was so pumped to read another YA adaption on one of my hugest interests. However what I got here, was absolutely no Greek mythology whatsoever and such a boring  plot.

I wanted to like this, I really did. So many of my blog buddies have raved about this book, and I was ready for some mythology that I thought I would enjoy. However there was little to no Greek mythology, nothing was was really recognizable to me at least, and instead so many fantasy elements that I found quite boring and unoriginal. I just had no connection to this book whatsoever :(

The plot went way over my head. I could care less about any of the characters, and was more focused on getting it done than actually being invested. I should have dnf'ed this when I could, because it just wasted so much of my time and was such a huge disappointment.

Maybe if you like more traditional fantasy, you would like this. But for me, mythological stuff is what I'm looking for and I just did not get that. And it's really quite a shame :(

Have you read Half-Blood? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 10 July 2017

The Rainbow Player by: David Kerby- Kendall Blog Tour!

Genre: YA Fiction, Contemporary
Published: June 20, 2017 by: Whitely Publishing
Pages: 292

I'm happy to be partaking in the Blog Tour for The Rainbow Player by: David Kerby-Kendall! Here is the synopsis from goodreads:

England footballer, Sammy Hatchington, has never considered sexuality before. As a teenager, Sammy broke the mould of his youthful peers with his desire to open the door to life's endless possibilities. He escaped a deprived estate and, with the help of Old Thomas, his surrogate father, Davey, his soul-mate, and Gran, the connoisseur of footballer's bottoms, launched himself on a path toward his personal and professional goals. Now, several years later, he must make a decision that could destroy everything he has fought for, and create a furious media frenzy.........

David Kerby-Kendall's joyous and witty novel challenges preconceptions about professional sportsmen and love, and is also a delightful and moving story of a young man's journey to self-knowledge.

The Rainbow Player was a harrowing novel about something I hadn't read about before, and that is LGBT people in sport! The author decided to highlight this in the theme of English football, I sport that I am unfamiliar with, but seemed very familiar to him. This book seemed very British, and had a lot of terms and banter that I think my English blog buddies would love. 

Pick up The Rainbow Player if you are into learning more about the trials and tribulations of LGBT+ issues in sport. It is a theme I think that is not commonly highlighted in YA, but is all the more important. 

You can buy the book here: The Rainbow Player

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's #2) by: Ransom Riggs

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: February 24, 2015 by: Quirk Books
Pages: 428
Rating: 4/5 stars

Fresh from their escape off of Miss Peregrine's island, Jacob and his group of peculiars set sail for London. There, they meet even more peculiar people than ever before, and make new friends, new enemies, all while trying to figure out just how to turn Miss Peregrine back from bird, to human form. A new journey is on the way for Jacob and his band of misfits.

I just love how Ransom Riggs writes. (That was some consonance right there!) The tone that he takes in these novels, followed up by his series of mystical photographs, makes this such a unique fantasy read and sets it apart from others. This is pretty much the only fantasy series I can keep up with, to be honest.

I love, love, love how Riggs weaves a ton of fantasy elements into this series. There's some traditional fantasy, some folklore, some supernatural elements, and even magic realism! It makes this book take on an incredible atmosphere and helps you to be transported to another world. I have little to no patience for most fantasies, but this series has somehow stuck with me.

The characters came back better than ever. I fell in love with these children in the first book, their curiosities and different traits were so capivating, and Jacob is such a great leader. In this particuklar novel, he took on such a leadership role and he is such a sweetheart.

I think the only thing I didn't like about this book was that action-wise, the first book was better. This one was more about the journey and about picking up the pieces from the happenings of the first book, which made it slower and less of a page-flipper. However I'm looking forward to more action in the next book and I hope these poor kids get a break!

Have you read Hollow City? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 30 June 2017

Month in Review: June- Changes Are Coming!

If you're reading this, I graduate high school today! I'm so happy to be done with 4 years of stress and am ready to start 4 more years of stress! But in all reality, I am looking forward to a new start in university.

What I Read:

The Mousetrap by: Agatha Christie: 4/5 stars
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by: Jenny Han: 5/5 stars
When Dimple Met Rishi by: Sandhya Menon: 5/5 stars
Death of a Salesman by: Arthur Miller: 4/5 stars
The Book of Air by: Joe Treasure: 4/5 stars
The Handmaid's Tale by: Margret Atwood: 5/5 stars
Alex and Eliza by: Melissa De la Cruz: 4.5/5 stars

Favourite book: Always and Forever Lara Jean!!! I'm so upset that my favourite contemporary series is coming to a close and I know I will always turn back to it when I'm feeling down :((((

What I Blogged:

My favourite blog post this month was probably my review of The Virgin Suicides. I enjoyed ranting about the dangers of this book and I was happy to get out a lot of the disgusted feelings I had.

Favourite Blog Posts:

Ruzaika rants about How to Write a Problematic Book 
Charlotte talks about Compulsive Skin Picking 
Kate re-reads The Book Thief

Life Stuff:

Well, I had exams, and I survived four years of high school. It's kinda bittersweet because I don't typically enjoy change, but I do think I wasted away my high school years worrying too much about little things, and I really want to start fresh in university. How easy that'll be, I have no idea.

There are some changes coming to the blog for the next couple of months. All of July I'm going on vacation to Europe, so I will be limiting my posting to one post a week. My apologies if I'm kinda distant on commenting or on Twitter, or if I miss a week of posting, but I'll try to update when I can. I also won't be doing a July month in review, so August and July will probably be combined.

Speaking of August, I'm not sure how much I'll be posting then either. I have a lot of things going on that month as well, such as my driving exam that HOPEFULLY I will pass, as well as other things. If I miss a week of posting, again, please don't be alarmed.

I don't know what September will bring. Moving into university and my first semester of my first year could go very bad or very good, but I hope I can keep this blog up during my University years. I will try my best, and I'm sure I'll be able to pull through. This is gonna be a crazy journey :)

All this being said, how was your month? Are you guys done school?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

A Study in Charlotte by: Britney Cavallaro

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Mystery
Published: March 1, 2016 by: Katherine Tegan Books
Pages: 321
Rating: 2/5 stars

Jamie Watson does not want to be at the prestigious Sherrington prep school, and he most certainly does not want to associate himself with Charlotte Holmes, also known as Sherlock Holmes' great-great-great granddaughter. When a fellow student is killed and Watson and Holmes are framed, Watson must join forces with the cunning girl he clashed with so that she can clear their names, and protect them from any danger that may be lurking.

All I can say about this book is: meh? Sherlock has never really interested me, but I thought a YA retelling with a female Holmes would be a lot more to my taste. I can say that this book still left me underwhelmed, and quite unattached. It seemed like I was reading the words, but not comprehending the story whatsoever.

I will say that I liked the characters in this book. I thought Holmes was a great protagonist, cunning an intelligent, and Watson was witty and adorable. I enjoyed their banter and thought it was a great addition to the otherwise quite boring plot.

I guess I wanted more action from this book? There was some, obviously it is a mystery, but nothing really got the book going for me and made me want to keep flipping. In the simplest of terms, I was bored from beginning to end and honestly didn't feel like I grasped any of the story. If you asked me to recite the plot back to you, I don't think I could. I didn't retain much from this.

Overall, if you liked Sherlock Holmes maybe you'd enjoy this more than I did. I think it's more suited towards hardcore mystery lovers, and people who have read Holmes before. For me, it missed the mark.

Have you read A Study in Charlotte? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 23 June 2017

The Song of Achilles by: Madeline Miller

Genre: Mythological Fiction, Romance
Published: September 20, 2011 by: Bloomsbury
Pages: 352
Rating: 5/5 stars

Everyone knows the myth of the Trojan war, and the infamous story of Achilles, a remarkable hero tragically killed for having one weakness, and Patroclus, an exiled prince and his noble friend. But what if Achilles and Patroclus were more than friends? In this retelling, Achilles and Patroclus develop a relationship much deeper than friends, but their fates could prove that not everyone gets a happy ending.

CAN I JUST SAY THAT THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING I COULD EVER WANT IN A NOVEL?! Ya'll know how much of a Greek mythology nerd I am. and believe me, I have watched the Brad Pitt version of Troy, in which Patroclus is his cousin, more times than I can count. I have been waiting and waiting to get my hands on this book, and when I finally got it, I finished it in one sitting. That may have something to do with the fact that I was horribly ill and bed-ridden at the time, but in between violent coughs, I was trying not to cry tears of  joy while reading this.

Let me start off by saying that I think the Trojan War could have happened. I've read a lot of articles on it, and while there's no proof that Achilles was as godly as he was, if he actually existed, him and Patroclus were 100% lovers, I have no doubt about that. In Ancient Greece, homosexuality was actually quite common as it was said to improve "masculinity" in soldiers. I just love that Miller wrote this story as it confirms a lot of historian's suspicions and finally portrays Achilles as being more than a womanizing straight dude.

I love Patroclus with all my heart. He's such a cute little awkward guy but his heart is so huge and I just want to give him a hug. He deserved better :( I don't want to give too much of the ending away but if you're familiar with the Trojan War then you kinda know how the story goes. It wasn't much of a surprise, but I still love how Miller wrote it and her writing is out of this world, beautiful. It gave me inspiration for the Greek mythology retelling I keep telling myself I have to write.

Overall, if you're a mythology nerd, pick this up and please geek out with me! It was fabulous in every way possible :D

Have you read The Song of Achilles? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 19 June 2017

My Dream Reading Space!

Hey everyone! Today's post is going to be one that I've always wanted to do. I'm going to be highlighting my dream reading room, if I had all the possibilities to create a space however I'd like. Realistically I only have a small chair in the corner of my room, but it's fun to dream :) Here are all the things I'd want in my reading room!

I've included links of where I found all of these pieces. Most are from

First off, the walls would be painted an off-white, maybe a very light blue. I love the colour blue and my current bedroom is painted a very light blue, so I would definitely keep with that theme, and with lighter colours. I love this shade in "cloud."

Find it here

Next, a sofa! I love this grey one from Arhaus, because again, I'd like to keep the colour tones grey, blue and white.
Find it here

I'd want to have a chair as well, because sometimes you want to be all snuggled in as well! I love this one from Arhaus as well: 

Find it here

I love accent tables to put some little knick knacks on, and this one with a design is so pretty!! 

Find it here

I love a good chandelier, and this one is so unique and sooo gorgeous!!! 

Find it here

For my rug, I'd go with a grey one. This one really suits me!! 

Find it here

For my print, it would have to be The Outsiders themed, because I've always wanted a poster of them hung up on my wall!! And it fits the scheme :) 

Find it here

Finally, the main and most important attraction would be the book shelf! I love this oak one as it's simple and adds a bit of brown to the room :) 

Find it here 

That's my dream reading room! What would be your reading room essentials? 

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 16 June 2017

The Virgin Suicides by: Jeffrey Eugenides

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: 2002 by: Bloomsbury
Pages: 250
Rating: 0/5 stars

This is the story of the Lisbon sisters, five girls shielded away from society by their over-protective parents. When one of the sisters commits suicide, the girls are never the same, and soon take their own lives in a suicide pact that nobody in the town can explain. Told from the perspective of the neighbourhood boys that were intrigued by the sisters, The Virgin Suicides is a tale of a mysterious family and their rebellious children.

What. The. Fuck. What even was this book? How can I even explain it? Oh, I know! It was a toxic, creepy, stupid book which such poor representation of suicide that I would even consider it dangerous. I don't know what the author was thinking in coming up with this story, because it completely justifies suicide and makes it such a shitty plot point.

I heard such raving reviews of this book, and at first I couldn't understand why, but soon answered my own question. This entire book is one big aesthetic. It's the stuff you would see on an angsty teen's Tumblr profile, all mysterious and haunting, and I can already imagine how many people have posted artsy photos of this book. But the truth is, that this book is neither haunting, nor artsy, nor breathtaking. It uses suicide as an aesthetic, as this graceful thing that these girls do in flowey white dresses, their hair billowing in the wind. It never once shows the dangers and harms of suicide, it, dare I say, shows it as being something good. AND THAT IS SO DANGEROUS.

What really pissed me off about this book is that we never ever learn why the girls did what they did. There is never any signs of mental illness, bullying, and there is no message at the end condemning suicide and being upset over what happened. Instead, the deaths are used as graceful plot points, something that everyone looks at as being chilling, but then just shrug their shoulders and move on with their lives. This book is sick and twisted and I don't even want to talk about it anymore.

If you are depressed or suicidal, please STAY CLEAR OF THIS BOOK and seek help by calling this number: 1 800 668 6868 You're worth more than a fancy aesthetic.

Have you read The Virgin Suicides? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The Hate U Give by: Angie Thomas

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: February 28, 2017 by: Balzer and Bray
Pages: 444
Rating: 5/5 stars

Starr Carter lives in two worlds: her tight-knit black community in which she lives, and her fancy, predominately white prep school. When Starr is the sole witness to her best friend Khalil's murder by a police officer, her two worlds have a lot different reactions to the event. Khalil's story becomes a headline, and while her community rallies around protesting his murder, others outside question his role as a gang banger, a drug dealer. Only Starr holds the answers to what happened that devastating night, but revealing the truth, could change her world forever.

If you've been living under a rock and haven't heard about this book yet, just know that you have to read it. This book tells the story of Black Lives Matter. It reveals the harsh truth of racism, stereotyping, and sadly, the epidemic of unarmed black teens being murdered for reasons I still can't seem to comprehend. This book deserves ever ounce of attention its gotten, and I have seen people talk about it that have never talked about YA books before. So if you're going to read one YA novel in your lifetime, make sure it's this one.

Obviously the main theme in this book is police brutality and Black Lives Matter, but I also love this book because it shows the core of a community coming together in times of crisis. You will fall in love with Starr's family, her parents are superheros and the family themes are honestly stronger than any other relationship in the book. Each character was perfect in their own way, and I especially loved Seven.

I also loved how Thomas really made the book relevant to the times. Not only with the theme, but with her references to pop culture. She really captured the voice of a sixteen-year old girl in 2017, and that was really special. I really felt as if I was reading a story that actually happened, which is sickening in a way, but also I'm happy that Thomas made this so realistic. She is shedding light on an issue that everybody and their cousins has an opinion on, but who we should really be listening to, are the people affected first. The black men and women who have had loved ones, husbands, fathers, brothers, taken from them, because they were reaching into a glove compartment, getting chocolate from the store, trying to live their lives. Black Lives Matter. There's really nothing else to that.

Have you read The Hate U Give? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 9 June 2017

Homegoing by: Yaa Gyasi

Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: June 7, 201 by: Knopf Books
Pages: 305
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

It all started with Effia and Esi in eighteenth century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman, and her half-sister Esi is trapped under her very home in the dungeons, ready to be shipped off to America in the booming slave trade. Homegoing will follow these two sisters journeys, from Ghana, to America, and will trace their descendants right up until present day. The two sisters had no idea about each other, but their offspring will unknowingly cross paths more times that once. And will eventually, make it back home.

I buddy-read this book with Denise @ Riot Grrl Reads and boy were we both blown away! There were a lot of tears shed, a lot of gasps, and a lot of vicious page turning. This book was so expertly crafted and such a unique tale that it's hard not to fall in love.

This book follows the generations of two girls. Each chapter tells a different story of someone along the lineage of Esi or Effia. What's incredible is that this book literally covers every important era of Black history, from the slave trade, to the civil war, to the great migration, to the jazz clubs of the 20's, all until now. It's hard to grasp the concept of such history that all traces back to two women, and that's what makes this story so interesting to be told. You never know where you're gonna go next.

I think this book is such an important Black history novel. There are of course, some harsh topics to deal with, but Gyasi keeps this book so real, so true to what some actually had to face. What I love is how she shows the ups and downs, that sometimes, it didn't get easier. She exposes a raw reality that unfortunately, some try to forget.

I think the only problem I had with this novel is that, with so many storylines over so many years, sometimes it was hard to track which person was from Esi or Effia's side. There is a family tree at the beginning of the book, but I found myself having to flip back to it way too much. But other than that, read this! Please, you won't forget it.

Have you read Homegoing? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The Night Circus by: Erin Morgenstern

Genre: Fiction, Magic realism
Published: October 6, 2016 by: Vintage Children's Classics
Pages: 656
Rating: 4/5 stars

The Circus of Dreams arrives without warning. It opens at night, closes at dawn, and the public are free to come and experience its dazzling wonders inside, but only for one night. You never know what you may find, once you step through that curtain.

This book is something that you really just have to experience for yourself. You think my description is vague? The one on goodreads is even vaguer. This book is a fantastical thrill-ride that has dazzling imagery and characters that you will not help but be enthralled in. But be cautious, because its twists and twirls can be hard to keep up with.

This book makes me want to write like the author. I've always had such a great appreciation for magic realism, it's a genre that I long to write one day but one that I've never quite grasped the concept of myself. So whenever an author does it well, it gives me some inspiration for my own writing. And the fact that Morgenstern did this while weaving such an intricate storyline of a circus, makes it all the more magical.

The imagery in this book is so unbelievably stunning. You will be sucked into this book through its descriptions of delectable circus foods, to stunning costumes, to a magician's illusions. This book feels like one trippy ride at an amusement park that you just can't get off of, I guarantee, you will be transported to another world through this.

This book gives you everything you'd ever want in a circus book. It's enchanting, it's wondrous, but it could get confusing. Amidst all the glitz and glamour, is a lot of complicated storylines and a lot of interweaving conflicts, that put me off track. I got really lost in this book, which I think can be expected.

If you are an aspiring writer, specifically for fantasy or magic realism, you'll want to read this. It is such an amazing example of great writing, and something that you will drool over. Morgenstern, you are one talented lady.

Have you read The Night Circus? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 2 June 2017

The Unexpected Everything by: Morgan Matson

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: May 3, 2016 by: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 519
Rating: 1/5 stars

Andie was ready to get away for the summer. Away from her distant politician father and his troubling scandals, and away from her sleepy small town that would be far too boring. But when an unexpected turn of events happens, Andie finds herself stuck in her town for the summer, and stuck walking dogs as a job. This summer hasn't turned out how she had planned, but it definitely will be a time for new changes. New loves. New jobs. A new Andie.

This book was over 500 pages of pure shit. Like literally would take this book and stomp on it with my feet, it was worth absolutely nothing to me. Ok, maybe that last part is exaggerating a bit, but seriously, why was this book hyped? If contemporary authors continue to put out bratty, entitled, common-white girl characters in small towns with diners that serve milkshakes as if that's the only god-damn food they have, then count me out. This book got me fired up, and here's why:

First off, every single character in this book sucked. Lets start with Andie, our protagonist. She's a precious little rich girl, the daughter of a politician father who showers her with everything to get over the fact that he's never there for her. Literally, this girl has never been told "no" once in her life. Then her father has a scandal and it's all "woe is me," "daddy's reputation is ruined," "however will he pay for my iphone 12?" I HATE THIS GIRL.

Her friends were boring and flat as well. You had the stationary random Indian girl for diversity, and when I mean random, I mean it, because literally she's the only brown girl in the entire town. Andie's friends dote on her as if she's the only one with problems, and everything has to go back to her. GOD FORBID anyone have a problem worse than Andie, because it will not be touched on.

The plot was boring, unoriginal, and painfully long. You got your typical All-American town, very Riverdale-esque, with waitresses that call everybody "doll," and everybody miraculously knowing each other. Andie meets the cute boy-next door who's visiting with the summer, may I mention that he's a little nerdy, not at ALL like her type, but she will eventually get past the fact that he wants to be a "writer" and decide that he's cute. How thoughtful of you Andie, to put aside your shitty judgement of ones passion and see how hot he can be beneath those glasses.

I was dragged through this book. I wanted to finish it because I felt the need to, but really, I would have saved myself a lot of pain. Everything happened exactly how I knew it was gonna be, and everything was wrapped up nice in pretty in a bow for our protagonist in the end. There was no chemistry, no originality, and nothing prepared me for how long this was gonna be. Save your time, save your money, save your summer.

Have you read The Unexpected Everything? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Month in Review: May

If you're reading this, I survived May! I'm not exactly out of the woods yet because exams are still to come, but it seems crazy to think that by my next month in review, I'll be a high school graduate. Here's what happened in May:

What I Read:

Hollow City by: Ransom Riggs: 4/5 stars
Thirteen Reasons Why by: Jay Asher: 3/5 stars
Half-Blood by: Jennifer Armentrout: 1/5 stars
Hamlet by: William Shakespeare: 3/5 stars
Talking as Fast as I Can by: Lauren Graham: 5/5 stars
We Are Still Tornadoes by: Michael Kun and Susan Mullen

Favourite book: Obviously Talking as Fast as I Can seeing as it was my only 5 star review! But to be honest, there weren't any books this month that completely and utterly shattered my mind. I'm kinda in a "meh" stage of reading.

What I Blogged:

I'm actually quite proud of my blog posts this month! I really enjoyed writing my Gender Neutrality in Writing post and got a lot of great opinions!

Favourite Blog Posts of the Month:

Brooklyn shares her Winter Reads 
Sierra has made a Return to Blogging 
Cait shares YA Parents that Need Prequels 
Lais discusses Reading in Other Languages

Life Stuff of the Month:

Oh god, what didn't happen this month?! Prom happened, University acceptances happened, flooded basements happened, birthdays happened, tv shows being awesome happened, being sociable happened as well! It was a hell of a month and being finished is such a relief.

I am happy to be getting into June, and more than happy to be almost done high school. But enough about me, how was your month? Did you do anything fun?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 26 May 2017

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by: Iain Reading

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Mystery, Adventure
Published: November 30, 2012 by: Amazon Digital Services
Pages: 336
Rating: 3/5 stars

*Synopsis taken from Goodreads

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales, Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska's inside passage and Canada's Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Thank you very much to Book Publicity Services and the author for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest review. Kitty Hawk is a adventurous series of a teenage pilot and mysteries she needs to solve amongst her travels. This was my first Kitty Hawk book, and it was thrilling, that's for sure! If you love action and adventure novels, then I definitely think you would love this. 

I loved the setting of this book. It's set in Canada (some bias there), in the Yukon mountains. Reading did an amazing job at establishing a beautiful setting and inspiring me to put the Yukon on one of my travel lists. Just the atmosphere alone made me want to continue reading. It seemed breathtaking. 

I also really liked how this book features a strong female heroine. You don't read many books about teenager pilot, and Kitty gave me kind of Amelia Earhart vibes that I thought was very powerful. 

I wasn't too crazy about the plot of this book, however. I found that it jumped from thing to thing, and was quite confusing to follow. I think it just moved too fast and there were way too many plot lines that was hard to follow. I think there was too much going on for me to be fully invested. 

That being said, for a fast-paced adventure book, it definitely delivered that and if you love some action, you will get that. 

Have you read Kitty Hawk? What did you think? 

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by: Sherman Alexie

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Published: March 1, 2008 by: Thorndike Press
Pages: 301
Rating: 5/5 stars

Aspiring cartoonist Junior lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation, and is determined to succeed. He decides to leave his school on the rez and move to the all-white high school across town, and is immediately caught in a world of racism and ignorance. But Junior isn't here to get angry, instead, he expresses his feelings through humorous cartoons and witty dialogue, that puts a comical, and yet very real reality of Aboriginal rights, that we still can't seem to grasp today.

This book was real. However, it wasn't deep, dramatic, or emotional in any sense. The book is funny; it's supposed to be, which was such a unique way to tackle what we know about racism against First Nations peoples and what it means to fit in.

As Junior is a cartoonist, the book has a lot of cartoons by "Junior";as he draws the people in his life. These were the main sources of humour, as his drawings of both the white and Spokane people were extremely accurate as to what he was describing and also had the complete tone of a teenage boy. They were such a unique touch.

This book is not serious, and yet so serious at the same time. Alexie chose to talk about harsh issues on racism, reservations, and the troubles of Juniors family, and yet the dialogue is completely sarcastic, informal and even a bit risque at times. I think this is what really sold the book to me, because I knew I was learning a lot from it, and yet it didn't seem hard to handle. It was extremely easy to get through and I couldn't put it down.

I have read books that take place on reservations before, but this was my first fictional one and my first one that doesn't portray it in such a serious sense. Now I don't know what actual Spokane people think of this book, as I think the way Junior talked about some things could be seen as insensitive to some, but I think the dark humour in this book really hits you deep and makes you think hard about the conditions that these people are put in. It helps to put your own life into perspective. I definitely think that the North American governments need to think long and hard about what they've actually been doing to "help" these people, besides taking over their land. I think this book is important, and I was happy to read it.

Have you read The Absolutely True Diary? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 19 May 2017

Lullabies for Little Criminals by: Heather O' Neill

Genre: Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: October 17, 2006 by: Harper Perennial
Pages: 330
Rating: 4/5 stars

At just thirteen years old, Baby has had to grow up too fast. With a single father with a serious heroin habit, and living in the red light district of Montreal, Baby has seen things that most children grow up years not knowing much about. Throughout her years, she makes friends. Some good, and some bad, but it is her growing relationship with a local pimp that finally makes her dad look up and get involved. Baby has been put into some dangerous situations, but will she be able to get out?

Wow. This book was just: wow. It was incredibly disturbing, and sad, and uncomfortable. And yet, I somehow couldn't put it down. I was shocked at how everything seemed so real, and so poignant. It almost read like a memoir, and although I'm pretty sure it wasn't, it was incredibly compelling to read.

First things off, these characters were unlike any I've read before. The thing with Baby is, that her norm is so different to any other 13-year old. Because of this, she talks about things that she believes in that we would never dream believe was right. For example, she think it's normal for a 40 year old pimp to be with her, she thinks that it's normal that her father sometimes overdoses and is in the hospital from time to time. It's so interesting to see the mindset of someone who has been immersed in such hardship all her life, that it just seems normal. She is a product of her own environment.

I will say that everything in this book is hard to deal with. There is no comic relief, just a lot of children being put into a lot of disturbing situations. This book deals with drugs, prostitution, childhood rape, suicide, and even the living conditions of these people may be hard to deal with. Now I can usually be unaffected by books that skim the surface of these topics, but this book got so deep so fast, that I felt like I couldn't possibly give it 5 stars, because I didn't necessarily enjoy reading some of the content.

I can't say that reading about a child prostitute was "amazing," because truth be told, it wasn't, but that isn't to say that these stories shouldn't be told. I think it is vital to our society, especially people who live in big cities, to be aware of what goes on in some of the areas. So I applaud this author for getting real, and I think from a psychological standpoint, this book was quite interesting, but if you are sensitive to any of the above topics, I would give this a pass. This book was rough.

Have you read Lullabies for Little Criminals? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

I Have a Favor to Ask...

Hey guys! Today's post is just a quick one where I've got a favour to ask you:

For my final assignment in English, we had to read a book, and then create a blog as one of the characters. We had to base the theme of the blog on what the character would write about. I chose Hidden Figures by: Margot Lee Shetterly, and I took the role of Mary Jackson, one of the women of the West Computers.

Part of the assignment requires at least 4 comments on each post, in which you engage in discussion with others. My teacher said you could create your own comments, but I thought it would be better to get actual people's thoughts.

So, I am asking a little something. If you guys could please, try to go over to that site and comment on one or more of the posts, I would greatly appreciate it. If you could pretend the writer was actually Mary Jackson, that would be preferred. I really want to know what people think of these posts and I figured I would reach out to the book community. The comment section is set up with Disqus, as that is a comment type that a lot of bloggers seem to have. If you comment, I would sooo appreciate it!

The link to the site is:

Thank you all in advance :)

Friday, 12 May 2017

The Kingdom of Oceana by: Mitchell Charles

Genre: Young Adult/Middle-Grade Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology
Published: November 27, 2015 by: Butterhose Media
Pages: 222
Rating: 3/5 stars

*synopsis from Goodreads

When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise. As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt-just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki's spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? ONLY ONE CAN RULE.

This was the first book I have read about Hawaiian mythology and I was absolutely intrigued! I think the author did an amazing job capturing atmosphere and teaching me about a new culture. While I had issues with the pacing and overall plot of the book, I think that this book gave me new insight into a culture I don't know much about. 

The author said that he got his inspiration for this book from a love for the ocean all his life, and his time living in Hawaii. He really made me feel as if I was right there with the prince, the atmosphere he created was incredibly beautiful and Hawaii remains a place I long to visit. You could tell that Charles was drawing from his own experiences living in Hawaii, as I thought his sights and sounds were so vivid and detailed. That was a huge plus. 

I did have issues with some of the pacing in this book. I felt as if the book jumped right into action, I didn't really have a chance to fully get introduced to the characters. Because of this, I was left kind of confused and out of the loop with the entire novel, and everything just moved a bit too fast for me. 

I think the pacing left me a bit uninterested with the plot. I enjoyed reading the settings of course, but I couldn't really connect with what was actually going on. So if everything moved a bit slower, I think it would have flowed better. 

Overall, I think Charles got the setting down-pact. He made me really appreciate Hawaiian culture, I just wish I was more into the story. 

Have you read The Kingdom of Oceana? What did you think? 

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Paperback's Pondering's: Gender Neutrality in Writing

Today's post is not really book related, rather writing related, and something that I really wanted to discuss and get other people's opinion on.

So the other day in my religion class, my teacher handed back a writing assignment that we had done. When my friend got hers back, she noticed that she had gotten a mark off next to a word in her assignment: mankind. When she asked our teacher, the teacher told her that she had taken the mark off because she should have stayed gender neutral in her assignment, thus using "humankind" instead of "mankind," because it implies that she is only talking about men. We were all kind of baffled about this because we had never been told this in any other classes before, mankind is just something you put without even thinking about it. I've never taken offence with someone using "mankind." That's when I knew I had to make a blog post on this and get some other opinions.

This teacher in particular is very big on gender neutrality. Even in another assignment that I had done, which was about the legalization of prostitution, I referenced women as being the prostitutes I would focus on, as they are typically the gender that goes into forced prostitution, and typically are more likely to be abused. But she insisted that I change "women" to "people."

This whole debate sparked her to do an entire lesson on remaining gender neutral and insisting that this notion should have been taught to us years before. But the truth was, it hadn't. Literally none of my other teachers in my entire life have even given a second glance at the word: mankind. And I haven't either. It's just one of those words that you obviously know isn't just referencing a man, but just uses man because unfortunately when the English language came to be, it was a male-dominated society.

I can't help but think that there are worse problems in the world. It sounds harsh, but to be honest, all of the females in the room agreed that we were not and probably never will be offended by the word: mankind. It's just something that we're used to. But then I began thinking about the topic further, and thought about what a non-binary, genderqueer or genderfluid person might think about using mankind? Some people do not identify with being just male or just female, so would they prefer using humankind to be inclusive of all gender types? So should we all make the switch?

The point I'm trying to maker here is, that the teenagers of today, or at least all of the ones I talked to about the subject, are not really affected by the use of masculine words in writing. We simply just don't care either way. But that doesn't mean that it's not a problem and really I think you could argue either way.

So please, share your opinions with me because I'm dying to know what other people think about this. And especially if you identify under a different gender umbrella, I'd love for you to educate me.

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 5 May 2017

The Sun is Also a Star by: Nicola Yoon

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: November 1, 2016 by: Delacorte
Pages: 348
Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Natasha is an aspiring scientist whose family is about to be deported back to Jamaica. Desperately trying to get out of the situation, she spends her last day in America circling around an immigration lawyer, and waiting for his call back. It is during that day that she meets Daniel, an aspiring poet that wishes for his parents to recognize his true passions. During this one day, the universe will bring Natasha and Daniel together more than once, but what else does it have in store for them?

This book was one of those books I was really looking forward to reading and then kind of went like: meh? It's safe to say I had high expectations of this because I do like Yoon's style of writing and her diverse characters, but to be honest, the characters are what annoyed me the most about this.

First it's worth mentioning that I really like the cover of the book. Yoon puts so much life and colour into her covers that really draws you in. It's definitely a selling point.

I also kinda enjoyed the plot? I mean, it was cute and I think was a good representation of the struggles of undocumented immigrants, and definitely gave me new information on immigration and deportation. The topic of immigration always interests me in YA and I was happy to read about it again.

I liked how diverse the characters were, Natasha was obviously Jamaican and even rocked her natural hair, and Daniel was Korean. However this was pretty much the only thing I liked about them. Natasha was extremely judgemental of people who pursue art careers, and didn't really develop to realize that this was wrong. I found her to be really uptight to the fact that she was smart and she really seemed to look down on everyone else. Plus, she was way too much of a realist and questioned everything, which got on my nerves. Daniel on the other hand, was way too much of a dreamer and was incredibly obsessive to the point of being creepy. Like dude, you just met her, calm down.

There's also instalove in this book, which I don't particularly enjoy. Sometimes it's not the end of the world, but in this case it seemed so out of place and odd. How can two complete strangers know by the end of the day that they need to be together, forever? It's super unrealistic.

At the end of the day, I am happy I tried this book because I did like the plot, but I wanted more from pretty much everything else. And that was disappointing.

Have you read The Sun is Also a Star? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Hidden Figures by: Margot Lee Shetterly

Genre: Non-Fiction, History, Science
Published: December 6, 2016 by: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 359
Rating: 3/5 stars

Ever wondered who the black woman who got John Glenn to the moon was? Before the US was close to the Space Race, Langley Research Center recruited hundreds of brilliant women, known as "human computers" to complete calculations to help get man into space. Amongst these women were an exceptional group of African-Americans, known as "the west computers." Dorothy Vaughan, Katherine Johnson, and Mary Jackson all made significant advancements in such a vital part of history, and yet many did not know they existed. Until now.

I don't reach much non-fiction. However when I do, it's because I am super interested in a topic and have researched it and thought about it before. In Hidden Figures' case, I had watched the movie during awards season and absolutely loved it. So when I had the opportunity to study this book for my English final assignment, I took the chance. Now I have to be honest, the movie was a lot more interesting to me than the book, but I still think that this is an important read.

Props to Margot Lee Shetterly for recognizing that these stories had to be told. Stories of African-American women overcoming racism, sexism, and being knocked down, all to work for one of the most prestigious organizations in the world: NASA. I knew of John Glenn, I knew of Neil Armstrong, but I had no idea who Katherine Johnson was before Hidden Figures. And even a lot of Americans didn't know either. I think this is a book that all history/science bluffs should read.

The book had some witty contexts, some powerful dialogues, and a ton of information, but I think the info-dump is what made this a bit, and I use this word lightly, boring. Now don't get me wrong, the whole story of the figures wasn't boring, but there was a ton of science information in this that just went right over my head. The movie focused more on the personal lives of the figures and work life, but the book focused more on what they did on the job. And this could be very interesting to a science nerd, but for me, I couldn't understand any of it.

For me to really love a non-fiction book, it needs to write about stuff I'm thoroughly interested in, and science unfortunately is not one of them. I thought it would be a lot more historical and more focused on the racism going on at the time, and it did to an extent, but I couldn't follow all the way through. But I still think that this was an extremely important read and one I was happy to pick up.

Have you read Hidden Figures? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 28 April 2017

Month in Review: April

We are now in the 2nd last month of the school year and I could not be more stressed! I'm going to be put in a lot of social situations this month which I am not used to, so if we could just fast forward to June, I would really appreciate it.

What I Read: 

The Shining by: Stephen King: 2/5 stars
The Hate U Give by: Angie Thomas: 5/5 stars
The Virgin Suicides by: Jeffrey Eugenides: 1/5 stars
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by: Iain Reading: 3/5 stars
The Song of Achilles by: Madeline Miller: 5/5 stars
A Study in Charlotte by: Brittany Cavallaro: 2/5 stars
The Kingdom of Oceana by: Mitchell Charles: 3/5 stars

What I Blogged: 

9 blog posts went up this month! I think my favourite post was Don't Judge a Book by Its Publisher. It was kind of interesting to talk about and something that I've been thinking about for a while.

Favourite Book: Without a doubt, The Song of Achilles. It combined two of my favourite things: Greek Mythology, and a good romance, and I know I will be re-reading this one for a long time.

Favourite Blog Posts of the Month: 

Cee explains that Millennials are not Lazy 
Lais discusses Trigger Warnings
Amy review Six of Crows
Uma explains how she Develops Fantasy Worlds

Life Stuff of the Month: 

Nothing really significant happened this month. A lot of worrying for the upcoming months, especially May, but other than that I haven't got anything new to really report. I just really hope that I will be able to calm myself down for this month. Hopefully when I'm writing my Month in Review for May, I will be saying some positive things!

How was your April?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Holding up the Universe by: Jennifer Niven

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: October 4, 2016 by: Knopf Books
Pages: 400
Rating: 3/5 stars

Libby Strout was once known as "America's Fattest Teen." Since losing weight and dealing with her mother's heartbreaking death, Libby is ready to step back into high school, and deal with the pressures of being a teenager. It is at her new school that she meets Jack, a charismatic popular guy, but with a rare disorder that he keeps secret. Jack cannot recognize faces, even of his close family members. As Libby and Jack get to know each other, they realize that their struggles make them who they are. And while navigating the cruel world of high school, they will depend on each other even more.

This book was kinda a hit and a miss at the same time. While I really enjoyed Niven's previous book, All The Bright Places, this book gave me the familiar beautiful writing and lovable characters that she does so well, but seemed a bit tropey in my opinion. And I'll explain why.

So first things first with the positives, I love how Niven writes a love story. She gives her characters amazing chemistry and utter adorableness that you just can't help but fall in love yourself. Her characters are so well-written and are given such witty attributes, that makes them so lovable. Jack and Libby were no exception.

The plot of this book wasn't boring, but wasn't exactly spectacular. The characters really made the book for me, because the plot didn't seem like it had anything special going on. It was just kinda average and predictable, but at the same time, didn't bore me as some other contemporaries do.

What really annoyed me about this book were some of the "fat girl tropes." Now I can't really accurately comment on these issues because I've never been overweight, but to me they seemed pretty recognizable. For me, I would love to read a book about a fat girl who didn't find the need to lose weight and THEN present herself to society. I want a book in which the girl owns her confidence and her weight is not the overarching problem throughout the entire book. Now this book could be very inspiring and body-positive, there's no doubt about that, but it's nothing that I haven't seen before. I would have liked it a lot more if it had taken more of a Dumplin' by: Julie Murphy approach.

So really, I'm in two heads about this book. Have you read Holding Up the Universe? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 21 April 2017

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: September 20, 2016 by: Henry Holt and Company
Pages: 546
Rating: 5/5 stars

*highlight white text to reveal spoilers*- there are some major ones in here so be cautious!

Fresh off of pulling off their deadly heist, Kaz Brekker and co. have a new task on their hands: battling new enemies and unlocking the secrets to a deadly drug that is circling through the Grisha world. A war is looming on the horizon, and Kaz and his crew must fight even harder to keep the people they love alive, or surrender to the people out to get them.

I mean, what else can I say about this series other than the fact that you have to read it? It is seriously one of the best series I have read. With diverse characters, a fast-paced plot, and killer relationships, this book is wickedly good. Read it and weep.

First off, Bardugo has written some of the strongest characters I've ever seen. period. Each character has their own strengths, weaknesses, and you will fall in love with each of them. Not to mention that she keeps her characters incredibly diverse, so I guarantee you will connect with someone in this book. Even the villains are expertly crafted!

The plot of this book was magical and incredible in every sort of way. There are a lot of parallels with the first book of course, and everything came full circle in the end. Although I will say, you will cry at times. Bardugo tugs on your emotions like its her job and she will kill off the people you love the most!! *sniff* Matthias *sniff*. I understand why she had to do it, it added to the plot, but still :((((

I'm happy with how the duology ended. I think I got the closure I needed, and as devastating as some parts were, I know why they had to happen. Bardugo carries major themes in her novels that just hit you with such strength. It's hard not to become emotionally attached to her books.

You gotta read this series. It has the most magical world-building, the twistiest of plot-twists, and the most lovable of characters. It is an incredible fantasy with an incredible message.

Have you read Crooked Kingdom? Can we cry together?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Paperback's Pondering's: Don't Judge a Book by Its Publisher?

I was thinking the other day on how much I actually judge books by their publishers. I feel like I create the judgemental notion that, if a book comes from a popular publisher such as HarperCollins or Penguin, then it will be better than a book from a publisher I haven't heard of. I judge books by their publishers so much that I knew I had to do a post on it, and I'm going to be focusing on a number of factors.

I'm just gonna come out and say it: I usually only ever read books from mainstream publishers. And I fully admit that this makes me look like a crappy person, because I'm thinking that a book only gets better when it's picked up by a mainstream publisher. When in reality, there are a ton of diamond in the ruff's out there, especially from indie authors, that need more attention. I myself am an aspiring writer and know that it takes a lot to be picked up by one of the big guys. I don't understand why I'm not exposing myself to those books more?

One might also judge a book by their publishers because the publisher might be a bit sketchy. Take Simon and Schuster for example. Simon was recently going to publish a racist book by Milo I don't care that much about him to put his last name. Because of this, a lot of people started to boycott Simon and refuse to buy books from that publisher. I seem to not read a ton of Simon books, but I'm definitely more aware than I used to about the company.

So the question is, is it ok, for whatever reason, to judge a book by their publisher? Whether that would be from stereotypes, from the publisher being sketchy, or by something else? Do all books published by a publisher fit into that publisher's worldview? It's an interesting thing to think about where we normally gravitate towards.

For me, I typically read Penguin and Harper novels. But Harper has had a history of publishing some problematic books in the past as well, so should I distance myself from Harper novels? I think that the views of the author do not necessarily reflect the views of the company. However it makes you wonder, if Simon and Schuster considered themselves not racist, why would they pick up the deal for a racist book? I think it is important to be cautious where you're putting your money into.

So I kinda talked about two sides to judging a book by a publisher. On one hand, I have this stereotype that they will be better, and on the other hand, it seems more moral to not support publishers who publish racist books. But where do you draw the line?

I want to know what you think. Do you judge books by their publishers, and if so, for what reason?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 14 April 2017

Carve the Mark by: Veronica Roth

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science- Fiction
Published: January 17, 2017 by: Katherine Tegan Books
Pages: 468
Rating: 4/5 stars

Cyra is a Shotet, a brutal group of people on a mysterious planet that are in constant war with the Thuvhe. In Cyra's world, people have current gifts that stay with them all their life. For Cyra, that means a constant pain that she can put unto others, and that her ruthless brother has been willing to exploit. Akos is a Thuvhe, captured by Shotet soldiers and tortured by Cyra's brother. But when Cyra and Akos start forming a connection, they put both of their lives in danger, as well as the fate of their galaxy.

DISCLAIMER: This book has been called out for being problematic, including being racist towards members of the indigenous community and to people of North African heritage. It has also been said to be abelist to people who experience chronic pain. Since I do not belong to any of these groups, I cannot comment on these issues, I can only comment on my honest opinions on the book. If you are a member of any of these communities, please be mindful when reading this book and be sure to read reviews from people who belong to these groups.

I was really surprised by this book! I went into it kind of dubious because I'm not the hugest fan of science fiction, but I was really surprised by how much I actually enjoyed it. I thought it was fast-paced and exciting, and left me wondering what would happen next.

I really liked the plot of this book. It had a lot of plot twists and turns, and I was thoroughly engaged through it all! I did not get bored one bit, which really shocked me because I usually find sci-fi quite boring. But Roth provided a lot of elements in the book that kept the plot super intriguing.

I thought the characters fell a bit flat in this book. I wanted to know a bit more about them, especially the antagonist, Cyra's brother. I didn't mind Akos and Cyra, but I really wanted a glimpse into the villain's mind to see his inner motifs and what drove him to where he was. I don't think this book's characters really struck me, despite me being fully taken by plot.

So overall, I loved the plot, but wanted a bit more on characters. But I think that this book was really enjoyable, you just need to make sure that you take its controversies into consideration. Never, ever read something that you're not comfortable with or that may offend you.

Have you read Carve the Mark? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) by: Alwyn Hamilton

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: March 7, 2017 by: Viking Books
Pages: 513
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Cunning gunslinger Amani al' Hiza now as a new mission: take down the vicious sultan and his regime before it's too late. To do this, Amani finds herself caught up in the sultan's harem, trying to gain access to his trust, all while desperately wondering where Jin, her partner has disappeared to, just when she started expressing feelings for him. Will Amani be able to take down the tyranny, or will she get caught just as she begins to get close?

I was so happy when Netgalley approved me for this book! I really liked Rebel of the Sands, and I definitely think that this book got even better in terms of plot. There were still some minor kinks that I would have liked to be worked out, but overall this was the sequel that I needed!

I really liked how plot-driven this novel was. There were many twists and turns that made me desperately wanting to keep flipping through. I got through this book so quickly because it was really high-action and so interesting! I definitely found the plot of this to be a huge improvement from Rebel of the Sands.

I also really loved Amani in this book. She was so fierce, as per usual, and she really took the reigns of her mission in this novel and put me in for a thrill. She was incredibly courageous, loyal and kind, and a terrific heroine that I always enjoy reading. Hamilton writes this character extremely well.

I enjoyed getting to know a bit more of the secondary characters in this book, although I did have some issues with Jin. I found him to be a bit flat in this book, which is a shame because I found him a lot more interesting in Rebel of the Sands. I feel like he was a lot more serious than charming and witty, and I wanted more from him.

But other than that, I think I enjoyed this book more than the first! It gave me a great continuation, and I am dying to know what happens next in the series! I need more Amani in my life!

Have you read Rebel of the Sands? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 7 April 2017

Girl Mans Up by: M.E. Girard

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: September 6, 2016 by: HarperCollins
Pages: 384
Rating: 5/5 stars

Pen is caught in a battle between what she wants to do and what her parents want her to do. She would rather wear "boy" clothes, things that make her feel comfortable. Her traditional Portuguese parents would rather her wear "girl" clothes, and be the respectful young lady she was meant to be. Get those issues, mixed in with a defiant brother, an authoritative friend, and a new crush that her parents would also disapprove of, Pen is on the journey of expressing her true self. And it's going to take a lot of scrutiny from others for her to get there.

This book was actually one of the most diverse books I have every read, literally everything you could want in representation. You've got a non-binary MC, F/F romances, Portuguese rep, Asian rep, sex positivity and abortion without there being shaming for it! I think the author hit the nail on the head with this book and taught me something new about the LGBTQIAP+ spectrum. To top it all off, the book is #ownvoices so spend time supporting this author!

I feel like I was made less ignorant by reading this. I like to think I am a pretty educated person when it comes to LGBTQIAP+ issues, but there are actually so many things I still need to learn, and this book in particular put me in the shoes of someone who is non-binary. To be honest, when I first read the synopsis I just assumed Pen was gonna be transgender, but news flash to me, there's more than just cis-gender and transgender rep out there! This book can teach a lot of people about the gender issues and roles we have.

I loved the culture representation in this book as well. Pen is Portuguese, and her parents are very traditional, and there was a lot of traditions and customs put into this book as well as language. It was great for the author to actually shed light on the MC's background, as opposed to her just being presumed white. Pen's friend group were also a mix of a lot of ethnicity's and backgrounds, which truly showed that friend groups do not fit into one category.

I also would just like to show some Canadian pride for this book! This book is by a Canadian author and is actually set in Canada, as opposed to every other popular YA book which is set in the US! This is honestly such a big step for the Canadian YA community because I don't feel like our books are represented enough in mainstream YA. I just love how this author got to show our country!

I feel like I've talked a lot about this book! Basically, it was so knowledgeable and important to the conversation that I think you should all read it.

Have you read Girl Mans Up? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

My Trip to New York!

Bit of a different post going up today! I said in my monthly recap that I was going to do a post highlighting my recent trip to New York, so here it is! I hope it might be helpful to any of you who may want to visit someday. Now I'm still a novice New York tourist, there's still so much of the city I have yet to explore, but there were a lot of things I found useful that I thought I might share:

Also, I've just started writing and I'm realizing that this will be the epitome of long posts, so apologies in advance:

Night 1: 

The night we arrived as absolute chaos. Getting into the city is one thing, getting into the city during rush hour is another. If you're driving, don't expect to get into the city for at least an hour, no joke. Traffic is insane, and driving will be LONG. Also, people love to jaywalk, honk their horns, and everyone believes they have the right of way, so just BE CAREFUL.

But once you get into your hotel, park your car and hope to not have to use it again until you leave, the fun can actually begin. The first night, we ate at this AMAZING restaurant called Don Antonio. It's near Radio City Music Hall. It had the most delicious authentic Italian pizza, and there was even a famous Food Network chef eating beside us, so you know its good!

The first night, we didn't do much except walk around and take in some views. It was late, so we saw Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center. Both I would highly recommend seeing at night because they're so pretty lit up!

Day One: 

Our first full day was PRODUCTIVE. We started by going to the Met, which I enjoyed, but nobody else in my family did. It's a lot of history, so you need to be mindful of the people you're going with and see if that will interest them.

                             I always remember this painting from the "Olivia" children's books :)

 One important thing I will say about the museums of New York, is that the fee to get in is SUGGESTED. Meaning, that you actually just have to give a donation of your choice to get in. They give a suggested fee of adults, seniors and children, and then in a little fine print they say that it is suggested. I guess this is a tourist tactic but it's important to know!!!

I will also give advice to eat in the museum you are in. When we left the Met, will still hadn't eaten lunch, thinking that there would be something around there to eat. There wasn't, and we ended up having to walk a lot, so eat when you can!

We then went to a number of place, The Brooklyn Bridge, The 9/11 Memorial, and Chelsea Market. The 9/11 Memorial is very poignant and very emotional, highly recommend, and The Brooklyn Bridge is a trek that is easily worth it! It takes a hefty amount of time to cross, but the view is indescribable! Plus you can see The Statue of Liberty without having to take the ferry.

Chelsea Market is my recommendation for the foodies. We went there for a snack and for dinner, an it's basically a ton of different food stands offering everything from pastas, to sandwiches, to crepes. It's delicious, but not really necessary if you don't really care that much for food.

We ended the night off by seeing a show. This was by far, my favourite part of the trip. We saw Aladdin, my favourite Disney movie, and it was breathtaking! The costumes, the singing, the dancing, everything was perfect! That would be my show recommendation.

Day Two: 

Our second day wasn't as planned. It was St. Patrick's Day and the city was CRAZY, and we got caught up in the huge parade. It was very, very long. On this day, we went to Wall Street, we saw the girl standing up to the bull, an amazing sight, and we went to Trinity Church to visit Alexander Hamilton's grave. Again, kind of unnecessary, but if you're a Hamilton fan, it was actually pretty emotional to see, Eliza is buried right next to him as well.

                                                 I was so happy to be able to see this little girl.

We ended up going to Grand Central Station for lunch, which was delicious! That place is insane! We then went to Magnolia Bakery for snacks, which was a delicious treat. Then before dinner, we went to the Empire State Building.

This building was incredible. I would so recommend seeing it at sunset like we did, as the view is something out of this world. You have a choice to go to the 86th floor or the 112th, but I would just say to do the 86th as you have to pay a lot more for the 112th, for the exact same view. But please go up nonetheless! You will not be disappointed.

We rounded out the night by eating at Eataly, a huge Italian supermarket with restaurants inside. We ate at Le Verdure, the vegetarian restaurant, and it was incredible! Finally, we went to Times Square to shop.

We didn't do much shopping in New York. The exchange rate is insane so it doesn't really benefit Canadians, but we still went to Forever 21 and H & M in Times Square. Those are really the only hotspots I wanted to go to, and I was fine with that.

At the end of the night, we went to The Richard Rodgers Theatre to go cry at the Hamilton signs. We had entered the lottery, but with expected no luck, but I still wanted to see the theatre. The show had just let out and everyone was crowded around the stage door, but we couldn't really see who was coming out. That being said, just to be able to see it in the flesh was amazing.

And THAT was my Trip. I'm sorry for rambling, its just New York is a big place with a lot of stuff. We got around everywhere by subway, which is not as confusing at it seems to be, and we never got lost. My only tip is to make sure your metro pass does not run out of money! You don't want to be stranded, so keep an eye on it.

New York is unlike any city. I feel like it's on a lot of people's bucket lists, mine included, and it is definitely something worth visiting. Whether you like history, food, sights, entertainment, its got it all. And I definitely want to visit again someday.

Have you ever been or want to go to New York? Tell me about it! I hope this was helpful :D

Emily @ Paperback Princess