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 Arhaus.com

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