Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Why Don't I Cry When Reading Books?


Hey! It's been a minute since I've done a Paperback's Pondering's, but I just knew I had to write this post. I wouldn't consider myself an emotional person in real life. I don't really like affection, anything sentimental just makes me cringe and I rarely ever cry. But gosh darn it, when something happens in a movie or tv show that tugs on my heartstrings, I will bawl. So, you'd think being an expert bookworm, I would equally be tearing up over books all the time. But the weird thing is, I don't think I've ever cried in a book.

When I was younger, and even in my old blog posts, I would legitimately lie all the time that a book made me cry. I just thought that it was the best thing to explain my feelings about the book. But in real life, I didn't cry at all. Something just so sad could happen, and I'd obviously be sad, but I just could not shed a tear. However, if I were to see that being played out on a movie screen, I would cry.

I honestly wish I was the type of person to cry in books. I feel like it's a powerful feeling for a book to just make you feel that emotion, and I have tried, but it just isn't the same than seeing an explicit visual in front of me.

I can easily imagine what a book scene is like in my head, but for some reason, it just doesn't have the same affect on me as watching a tv show would. And it's weird, because I can get so emotionally invested in the characters of a book, but if they die, I will not cry about it. I often think that I'm not like the average bookworm in that sense.

So I want to know, am I the only person who doesn't cry in books? What do you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Saints and Misfits by: S.K. Ali

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: June 13, 2017 by: Salaam Reads
Pages: 352
Rating: 4/5 stars



Janna, an Arab Indian-American hijabi, is trying to figure herself out. On one hand, she's a booknerd, photographer, and graphic artist, and wanting to date her longtime crush Jeremy. On the other, she is a modest, respectful Muslim girl, living in the shadow of her brother's so perfect, almost saint-like fiancee. Janna wants to be the ideal Muslim girl, but that is jeopardised when someone very close to her, someone who is also seen like a saint in the Muslim community, does something that Janna will never be able to forget. Does she risk calling him out, or does she stay quiet?

This was a very surprising book. First off, kudos to the author for putting a hijabi girl on the cover! That was so great to see and I know that the author is a hijabi herself, so this was a really diverse novel. However, it was a little misleading, and here's why:

I hadn't really read the description of this book properly before going in, and I kinda just went in based on the cover. I was expecting a light-hearted, summery novel about love and cuteness, which is what the book was being marketed as, but what I got was much darker. Not that that is a bad thing!! I'm just saying, that this book's main theme is rape and that people going into it should be cautious, because they could be expecting something much lighter. So I think I was just a tad surprised by the turn of events, but still, I quite enjoyed the book.

I loved the characters. Janna was so complex, very three-dimensional and everyone in her circle were very well-rounded as well. I enjoyed reading about each and every person in her community, and how they affected her.

This is the first contemporary book I have read with a Muslim main character, and I was really impressed. I learnt a lot, it was very informative and a great change from the typical white main characters I usually see. There was also an entire scene dedicated to the burkini, which was great, and I think the author handled it very well. This book had a good mix of humour and information.

So overall, this was a very good book, but you gotta know what it's about before you get into it. There are explicit themes of rape, which I had no idea about prior. It's always good to put trigger warnings :)

Have you read Saints and Misfits? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess



Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Month in Review: September


Hey! So I survived my first month of uni!! It's been a helluva month with a lot of changes, but I'm excited to share them all with you.

What I Read: 

The Lost Hero by: Rick Riordan: 4/5
The Son of Neptune by: Rick Riordan: 5/5
The Blood of Athena by: Rick Riordan: 5/5
The House of Hades by: Rick Riordan: 4/5
The Blood of Olympus by: Rick Riordan: 5/5
More Happy Than Not by: Adam Silvera: 4/5
Exit, Pursued by a Bear by: E.K. Johnston: 5/5 stars
Piecing Me Together by: Renee Watson: 4/5 stars
The Art of Being Normal by: Lisa Williamson: 3/5 stars
We are Okay by: Nina Lacour: 3/5 stars
Attachments by: Rainbow Rowell: 2/5 stars
The 100 by: Kass Morgan: 2/5 stars

Favourite Book: Look who got back into the swing of reading! You'd think I'd have less time due to school, but honestly I think I have only pushed myself to read more, and I have been reading a lot of short books to prevent myself from slumping. Besides the obvious Heroes of Olympus re-read I went on, my favourite book would have to be Exit, Pursued by a Bear! It was so empowering and feminist-oriented, I thought it was great.

What I Blogged: 

I'm keeping up with a semi-normal schedule lately. I haven't been posting twice a week anymore, but I have been posting once a week so I wouldn't say I'm in a slump. My favourite post would have to be my review on Love and Gelato. That was a fun rant to go on.

Favourite Blog Posts of the Month:

Veronika shares Classics she will Conquer this Fall 
Cee discusses Book Censorship

Life Stuff: 

Ok, so where do I begin? September 2nd brought FanExpo, aka the happiest day of my life. I was surrounded by geek-central, and I was so amazed by the cosplayers, the merch, and of course, meeting my favourite celebrities. I met Gaten Matarazzo from Stranger Things and Bob Morley from The 100. Both of them were so nice and I swear Bob is the sweetest person ever. He has genuine conversations with each person he met and he gave everyone a hug. I am still giddy about it.



I also went to the Stranger Things panel, and I swear, those boys are so funny!!! They had the entire room cracking up and they have so much energy, it's contagious. They were great.



I bought a GoT Lannister notebook from the event, which I have already put to good use. There were so many amazing things to choose from that I literally wanted to buy one of everything!! Overall, I was pretty nervous for FanExpo and extremely bummed that the main guy I wanted to go see, James Marsters, cancelled 2 days before the con, but I had the best time and am definitely going to go next year. It was worth every penny.

So that day was great, and then literally the next day, I was shipped off to uni! I spent the entire day in a shriveled up mess, because I had to be really sociable that night for Frosh week kickoff. I met some people who I spent the night with, but honestly, we had little in common and they were a lot more extroverted then I am. I was pretty uncomfortable the entire night.

Now for a partially sad storytime...

So by day 3 of uni I had realized that I hadn't really made any new friends, so I decided to bite the bullet and text the girls I had hung out with on the first night if they wanted to hang out. They said sure, and that they would great ready and would meet me at a place. Well I waited at that place for 3 HOURS and they didn't show. I waited for so long because I was quite honestly afraid to text them telling them to hurry up. So I finally did, and they responded saying that they had forgotten about me and had already gone out somewhere else, but that I could tag along if I wanted. So, I replied with a polite no thank-you, because sometimes I am just too nice, and facetimed my cousin and sister in tears for the rest of the night. Fun day!!!

The days after that I buried myself in work and just focused on my readings. I realized that first and foremost, I am here for an education and that I should put my energy into that instead of in people not worth my time. And so that brings us to today.

Currently, I'm feeling happy. I am on top of my work and enjoying my courses. They are hard, and I spend 5 hours everyday doing work, but I know that if I slack off, it will just get worse. I have talked and started warming up to a few other English majors in my classes, and so maybe a friendship will spring out of that, but honestly, I don't mind if I just make a lot of acquaintances. I've joined the creative writing club and have talked to some like-minded people there as well, and I've been having a lot of fun at meetings. I've got friends outside of school, and really, I'm just going to that place to get my degree. I could care less about parties, or homecoming, or being part of "the uni experience." And I think that's ok.

*deep breath* How was your September?




Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Love and Gelato by: Jenna Evans Welch

Genre: YA Fiction, Contemporary
Published: May 3rd, 2016 by: Simon Pulse
Pages: 389
Rating: 1/5 stars



Lina's mother's dying wish was for her daughter to travel to Tuscany and finally meet her father, a man who was only mysteriously recorded in her notebook all her life. Now Lina is being whisked away for the summer, to live with a man who should have been there when he wasn't. But when Lina is given the notebook her mother kept, she begins unravelling secrets she never knew, and discovering a part of Tuscany out of a fairytale. And when the charming Ren comes into her life, Lina steps into her own fairytale as well.

Say it with me, folks: garlic bread and meatballs are not Italian. If my Nona had gotten a hold of this book, it would annoy her and my dad's entire family at the stuff in this book that was supposed to portray Italian culture. I don't know what Tuscany this author went to, but it was not what anyone I know experienced.

I think the main thing that pissed me off in this book was just the lack of research that went into Italian culture. If you wanna write a book set in another country, at least make it authentic and not an American portrayal of what Italian is. Seriously, everytime these people had dinner it looked like a scene out of East Side Mario's. The red and white checkered tablecloth, the garlic bread, the spaghetti and meatballs, this is not how Italians eat!! It may be how Italian-Americans eat, but in Tuscany, it's a whole other story.

I also felt like the main character was extremely naive. I would imagine that her mother would at least tell her some things about Italian culture, but this girl goes in not even knowing what gelato or a pizza Margarita is. It was just the typical trope of a girl going into a new country acting like it's a completely different planet, when in reality, it's just common knowledge. Also, why did Lorenzo go by "Ren?" They couldn't even keep his Italian name in there.

It may seem like I'm being overly critical of this book, but it just annoys me when people don't get the culture right. There should be more research done into the traditions and customs of countries in YA books, because otherwise, you end up wasting your time like me. For more info, Cee made a great post on a similar issue in The Raven Cycle series, in regards to Welsh culture. I encourage you to read that post, because she obviously spoke a lot more eloquently than me: Why I'm Hesitant to Read the Raven Cycle

Have you read Love and Gelato? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

What I Would Do to Prepare Myself for a Book Convention


It has always been on my bucket list to attend a book convention. I've been to FanExpo, which was a great geeky convention, but I have yet to be in a room with strictly just every bookworm you could imagine. Every year when BEA and Bookcon comes around, I have to convince myself that booking a trip to NYC would be a waste of money and that I'll just have to wait for one closer to me. But, I have always planned my dream preparations for a book convention, and so this post will be highlighting that today.

I'm going to compile my list as if I were going to Love N. Vegas. Love N. Vegas is a, you guessed it, Vegas-based book convention happening this October 27-29 at Planet Hollywood! Tons of authors will be there such as Anna Todd, Adriana Locke, and BB Easton, and there will be signings, events, and so much more!! Now University has completely taken over my life and so I won't be leaving the country any time soon, but if you're interested, there are so many great hotel and flight deals on Vegas.com, so I would totally check it out. Las Vegas knows how to throw a party :D

So now, let's get into what I would bring:

1. A big purse. This is essential for any convention. I have a big leather backpack that I take anywhere were I'll be carrying a lot of stuff, because let's be honest, there's gonna be a ton of books to lug around.

2. WATER!! It's important to stay hydrated!! I have been to enough concerts to know that water can get expensive, so I refillable water bottle is always a great choice.

3. Lots and Lots of book merch. Seriously, if I went to a book convention, I would probably be decked out in every book-themed thing I own. My Harry Potter t-shirt, my wand, my fake Harry Potter glasses, anything.

4. Comfy shoes. I would definitely wear comfy shoes, and again, this goes for any long event. Unless something is extremely fancy, I go less for style and more for comfort with some running shoes.

5. Last but not least, this isn't a physical thing, but I would definitely prepare what I'm going to say when I meet my favourite author. The one time I went to a book signing, I just could not fathom what to say and sounded like a blubbering idiot. So, if you're easily star-struck like me, make sure to practice what you wanna say.

That's it! I really hope I'll get to go to a book convention soon, and if you have or intend to, let me know your tips and tricks!

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Mousetrap by: Agatha Christie

Genre: Play, Mystery
Published: 1952
Pages: 70
Rating: 5/5 stars



In Christie's classic story that has turned into the world's longest running play, a group of strangers are snowed in a historical mansion while a detective investigates which one of them is connected to a mysterious murder that happened earlier in the day.

I had to read this play for my horror and mystery lit class, and I was really into it! It was the first Christie play I had ever read, so I was incredibly impressed by her plot twists, her characters, and the way she really plays up the suspense.

I love the idea that the ending to this book is a sworn secret. When people see the play, they are told not to reveal who the killer is to the public, so everyone gets to experience it for themselves. I kept guessing and guessing as the story went on, but I never knew until the very end, and I was really shocked when I found out! Christie has such talent in making everything come full circle in the end.

Christie also creates amazing characters. Each one has such detailed, specific traits that could make any one of them the suspect, which makes the guessing game even harder. Every character was well-rounded and three-dimensional, and I loved every one of them.

I don't think this will be my last Agatha Christie play I read. I don't get into mystery all that often, so when I do, I am often left so amazed by the author's ability to deter you from the actual suspect. Christie is a classic author of mystery and she definitely is the best at it, so I think I will be steering my direction into her books in the future.

Have you read The Mousetrap? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boy's #3) by: Jenny Han

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: May 2, 2017 by: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 325
Rating: 5/5 stars



It's senior year for Lara Jean, and life couldn't be more perfect. Her and Peter's relationship is flourishing, and fueled by class trips to NYC, glamorous prom, and her optimism when it comes to college applications. Her father and Ms. Rothschild are also getting married, throwing Lara Jean into wedding planning mode. Love is in the air, until Lara Jean receives news that throws her entire life off balance. Suddenly, she must resort to plan B, and it could change her and Peter's relationship forever.

I am so sad to be letting go of this series :((( This book series was my feel-good, my pick-me-up, my ultimate fluffy books. I could always guarantee that I would enjoy picking up Lara Jean's story, which is why it was really upsetting to me for it to end. Still though, I guess I have the movie to look forward to, and although I'm kinda underwhelmed with the cast, I'm sure I'll get a lot of re-reads out of the books to keep me going.

This book was the perfect conclusion. As usual with this series, I can kinda predict all that was gonna happen, but I never really care with books as sweet and fluffy as these. I was really scared for Lara Jean and Peter to go through some drastic changes in this book, but I could not be happier with how everything turned out and where everyone ended up in their lives. All my ships took flight, and that was good enough for me.

I saw a more mature side to Lara Jean, which I loved. She was confident in her decisions and she knew what she wanted. She wasn't fawning over every little thing now, she was so cool and collected, and very driven. Her character reached its peak.

Jenny Han never fails with me. I wanna thank her so much for creating such lovable characters and a really great story, because sometimes these books were all I needed after a bad day.

Have you read Always and Forever,  Lara Jean? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess