Monday, 19 February 2018

The Dark Prophecy (Trials of Apollo #2) by: Rick Riordan

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Mythology
Published: May 2, 2017 by: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 414
Rating: 5/5 stars

On his second quest to gaining his immortality back, the god Apollo must track down his lost mentor Meg Mcaffrey, all with the help of son of Hephaestus Leo Valdez, his girlfriend Calypso, and a group of retired hunters of Artemis who will all try to protect themselves against the many enemies Apollo has made during his time as a god.

I will never, ever get tired of Rick Riordan's writing. I mean, this guy went from writing books that were not so diverse and quite predictable, to some of the most diverse middle-grade/YA books out there. He weaves mythology into the modern day world, and his witty humour and pop culture references never get old.

I think I may have enjoyed this book even more than the first. Probably because my boy Leo Valdez was a central character, and he is ultimately my favourite character Riordan has ever created. I loved reading about him again, as well as the introduction of new characters who were so lovable and funny.

I can fly through these books. They are hilarious, educational, and satisfy my love for mythology like no other. I hope Riordan never gets tired of writing in this world because it's perfect.

Have you read The Dark Prophecy? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Paperback's Pondering's: J.K. Rowling, You Need to Stop

I'm sure if you're around in the book community then you know the drama that's been surrounding J.K. Rowling recently. Basically, she has said that Dumbledore is canonically gay, and yet refuses to acknowledge that in any of her works or the million fantastic beasts movies that are coming out. Now this is harmful and useless in the grand scheme of diversity, and most definitely paints JKR as a person who is just trying to seem diverse without putting in the effort. But I'm not here to ridicule this topic, there's plenty of #ownvoices people who can steer you towards that, instead, I'm going to talk about how JKR has ruined a childhood series I once loved:

Now a lot of people after this drama and JKR's decision to keep Johnny Depp in the film said that they will be boycotting the new Fantastic Beasts movie set to come out. But the truth is, I was planning on boycotting this film before any of this drama even happened, and that is simply because I do not want to give my money to the HP franchise anymore, as they are exploiting what was once a good thing.

I miss the good old days. When there were seven books, eight movies, the conclusion wrapped up into a tiny little bow and we all moved on. That was fine for me. But this constant "eighth book," "prequel dealing with Newt Schamander," "Grindelwald finally revealed," does not interest me in the slightest!! MY series, the original, seven-book series, to me are the only books pertaining to Harry Potter's world and I could so do without this other shit.

I'm calling it like it is, these new forms of media are not here because JKR wants to expand the story and give new insights; she, and others, have realized how much money they can make when they slap "Harry Potter world" onto something and are just trying to milk this franchise to no end. And the truth is, these new additions have ruined the series for me, because so much focus now is being put on them and not on the original story I truly love.

So J.K. Rowling, you need to stop. You need to stop exploiting your series, you need to stop queer-baiting people, and you need to stop ruining what was once a good thing. I know a lot of people buy into the hype surrounding these new features, but for me, count me out.

What do you think about all this business?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 12 February 2018

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: August 28, 2017 by: Random House Children's Books
Pages: 364
Rating: 3/5 stars

Princess Diana longs to prove herself worthy to her warrior sisters. But when she risks everything by rescuing a mortal, she is soon sent into a quest with the mysterious Alia, a direct descendant of Helen of Troy who is being hunted down, as she holds the power to unleash a world war. Together, the two girls with endure supernatural enemies and coming to terms with their own strengths, in order to save both of their very different worlds.

I'm kind of up in arms about this book. On one hand, it was unique, what could have been a thrilling tale about a beloved superhero from a much beloved author. On the other, it was a book that I may have forced myself to like, because of said beloved author and my willingness to attempt to get myself into superheroes.

The one geeky thing I can't seem to get myself into are superheroes. Comics are ok, but not my favourite, and the superhero movies just don't interest me all that much. But dammit, if Leigh Bardugo writes a book, you read the book. I didn't hate this book, it just wasn't my cup of tea, although I do enjoy the concept of wonder woman and the mythological undertones.

Overall, this book just wasn't for me. I enjoyed the action and learning about a superhero I don't know much about, but I don't think I'll be picking up any other YA superhero retellings from now on. I just find them boring and dull. But hey, if you like Wonder Woman, you may love this book.

Have you read Wonder Woman: Warbringer? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Top Ten by: Katie Cotugno

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: October 3, 2017 by: Balzer and Bray
Pages: 320
Rating: 5/5 stars

Gabby is an introverted girl with social anxiety that forbids her from ever wanting to attend a party. Ryan is a popular hockey boy who is a social butterfly. Against all odds, they not only become the best of friends, but they also become each others person, willing to pick each other up when they get down and keep each other in check. Now in the midst of high school graduation, Gabby and Ryan are counting down the top ten moments of their friendship, and reflect on all the good times, and all the bad.

This was such a light, fluffy book! I have never read anything from Katie Cotugno before and was really afraid the plot would be unoriginal and bland, but instead I flew through this book and really enjoyed the representation.

This book not only touches on anxiety, but it also goes into the issue of concussions in hockey, and how toxic masculinity perpetuates hockey players to not seek medical help. It was interesting and really well written!

I also loved the characters. Gabby is literally me in every way, and Ryan was also quite sweet but also flawed. I liked how Gabby kept Ryan in check and how important he was to her, even if it wasn't a romantic relationship.

Overall, I thought this book had some great concepts in it. A boy and a girl not romantically linked and from two very different backgrounds are the best of friends, and that's not something you typically see in YA contemporary.

Have you read Top Ten? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 5 February 2018

When Breath Becomes Air by: Paul Kalanithi

Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir
Published: January 19, 2016 by: Random House
Pages: 208
Rating: 4/5 stars

At the age of 36, Paul Kalanithi is at the top of his game. He has just completed decades worth of training and is now an accomplished neurosurgeon. That is, until he's not. Paul is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, and now, with perhaps just a year to live, he and his wife's lives are turned upside down. In this moving memoir, Paul reflects on what it's like to carry on with such a devastating diagnosis, and, while he died before the memoir was finished, his wife finishes the story and tells of her husband's triumphs in the face of death.

This memoir was sad. It kinda reminded me of Tuesday's With Morrie in the sense the we hear a dying man's perspective of life and loss, and this was a refreshing take on it. It was really interesting to hear the perspective of a neurosurgeon, of someone whose life depended on science, and now he is faced with philosophical questions that rattle his mind. It was a very moving memoir.

This memoir was short and very captivating in just 200 pages. It was easy to follow and didn't rattle my brain with hard-hitting stuff. It was sad, but it didn't leave me feeling just completely down on myself.

That being said, I'm not the biggest non-fiction reader, so I don't think I enjoyed this book quite as much as I would a fiction novel. Still, it was really good if you're looking for a short, heartfelt read.

Have you read When Breath Becomes Air? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Turtles All the Way Down by: John Green

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: October 10, 2017 by: Dutton Books
Pages: 304
Rating: 3/5 stars

Aza and her friend Daisy are eager to investigate the mysterious death of billionaire Russell Picket, all for a cash reward worth thousands. But when Aza starts growing close to Picket's teenaged son Davis, she begins to wonder if her budding into his dead father's life is really worth it. Mix that with her severe diagnosed OCD and a controlling mother, Aza struggles to be the perfect version of herself, and a perfect detective.

This was unlike any other John Green book I have ever read. You all know John Green. His books are cheesy, his teens do not talk like teens, and 12-year olds love them. But this book was by far his most mature read. The characters were relatable and raw, however this book was not without its faults. Mainly the problem was for me, it was too damn triggering.

I'll start with the positives. Like I said before, this book was extremely relatable and incredibly diverse. I admire Green for taking an issue such as OCD and having his character deal with it, but it not being the central plot. It made it all the more real.

The plot was ok. It was a little boring in parts and to be honest, I didn't find it as easy to get through as his other novels. This is probably just because it was a lot heavier.

But now to the main issue I had with this book. The OCD images were so visceral that I found this book too triggering and disturbing for me. I do not have diagnosed OCD but I most certainly have some OCD ticks, and this book took me down a dark spiral and made me really uncomfortable. It got to the point where I skipped some parts because I just didn't want to read about that stuff.

If you're willing to give this book a go, give it a go. I think out of all of Green's books, it's the least predictable, but just be cautious especially if you have OCD.

Have you read Turtles All the Way Down? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Monday, 29 January 2018

Month in Review: January

Look who's back on track! Not only have I gotten back into a regular blogging routine but I've also been reading a lot and writing a lot too! Here's what I got up to in January:

What I Read: 

They Both Die at the End by: Adam Silvera: 5/5 stars
The Dark Prophecy by: Rick Riordan: 4/5 stars
Ms. Marvel: No Normal by: G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona: 3/5 stars
Lines, Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey by: William Wordsworth: 1/5 stars
The Amazing Spiderman Vol. 1 by: Stan Lee: 3/5 stars
Pride and Prejudice by: Jane Austen: 4/5 stars

So as you can see, there were some hits and some misses, and also comic books?? My favourite book was obviously They Both Die at the End. It was so unique and beautiful and sad and ugh so perfect.

What I Blogged: 

I changed up my schedule a bit. I now blog on Monday and Wednesday, and I'm enjoying blogging again. My favourite post was What's in my Writing Portfolio? It was fun for me to finally share my writing with you guys and I felt good doing it.

Favourite Blog Posts of the Month: 

Cee @ Diary of a Reading Addict: Cut Yourself Some Slack 

Amy @ A Magical World of Words: Romanticised Abuse: Bad Boys 

Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales: I Struggle to Find My Place in the Changing Dynamics of the Book Community

Life Stuff: 

I have started semester two of uni and I finally have started by creative writing course! I'm really liking the prof so far but the course is definitely not what I expected. I'm now working on my portfolio to get into my creative writing program next year and I'm really nervous. But hopefully, all will be well!

How was your January?

Emily @ Paperback Princess