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, 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

Friday, 1 September 2017

Month in Review: August

As I type this, I am becoming a nervous wreck at the thought of going to University :( In less than a week, I will be all moved in, and navigating a task I have never had good luck with in the past: making friends. Please send happy thoughts my way.

What I Read: 

In August, I really got back on track with my reading!!

Saints and Misfits by: S.K. Ali: 4/5 stars
Geekerella by: Ashley Poston: 2/5 stars
The Star-Touched Queen by: Roshani Chokshi: 3/5 stars
We Are the Ants by: Shaun David Hutchinson: 4/5 stars
When We Collided by: Emery Lord: 5/5 stars
The Lost Hero by: Rick Riordan: 4/5 stars

Favourite Book: The clear winner was When We Collided!! It had such good mental health rep and really was a harrowing story.

What I Blogged: 

I really enjoyed getting back into writing blog posts this month! I loved my review of When Dimple Met Rishi, and it seemed to generate a lot of comments as well, which was very much appreciated.

Favourite Blog Posts of the Month: 

Cee shares some views on Education 

Ruzaika explains why we should totally read The Upside of Unrequited 

Geraldine does the Around the World Book Tag

Life Stuff: 

This month was the month of moving. My entire room was taken down and packed into a big truck for university. I feel very out of place and I'm not really enjoying the changes at all, but luckily I did have some other things this month to keep my mind off of it.

For starters, my mom's cousins celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary with a huge party! A lot of my cousins from England came and it was like a huge family reunion. The main thing that I was excited about was getting to get all dolled up in Pakistani and Indian wear. My family rarely ever wears lehengas, saris, or even henna tattoos, and I feel like that night we really embraced the culture and I felt really beautiful :) Here are some photos:

The second thing that really lifted my mood was seeing Coldplay in concert. They are one of my favourite bands and I can honestly say that was one of the best shows I've ever been to. The colours, the lighting, the confetti, everything was just so beautiful.

Now pretty much the only thing I have left to look forward to is Fan Expo on the 2nd. Then literally the next day, I am being whisked off to the next chapter of my life. And I could not be more terrified.

How was your August?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The Around the World Book Tag!

Thank you so much to Geraldine @ Corralling Books for tagging me! I love to travel, so I knew I had to give this tag a go :)

1. Sailing Across the Seas- A Book about Travelling (bonus points if it's across a sea!)

My experience: I don't think I've ever sailed across the sea before, but I have taken a short ferry boat across the Mediterranean before, and the islands surrounding it were beautiful!

My book: The Blood of Olympus by: Rick Riordan has a large chunk on a boat, so that's my choice!

2. Fine Dining- A book with amazing descriptions of food

My experience: The best meal I ever had while travelling was tempura-fried tofu in Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario! Now this isn't exactly a journey to get to, but it was part of my vacation so I'm counting it ;)

My book: Obviously The Wrath and the Dawn by: Renee Adhieh! That book's descriptions of food are mouthwatering.

3. From Motels to Hotels: A Book with an Unexpected Surprise

My experience: My family and I once stayed in a hotel in Rome that was off the charts gorgeous! It had beautiful columns, a huge courtyard and gardens, and literally looked like a Roman temple. It was incredible!

My book: The Host by: Stephenie Meyer. I did not have high hopes for this book at all because of my distaste for the Twilight books, but the plot was so complex and the characters were out of this world amazing!!

4. Miscommunication: A Book that's Hard to Understand

My experience: German was a really hard language to grasp when we were away. Luckily my mom's cousin lives in Germany and really helped us with the translations, but on our own, we really relied on hand signals to get our message across.

My book: The Love that Split the World by: Emily Henry. I can't really explain this book. I was so lost and honestly there's nothing else to it.

5. Sightseeing: A Book you picked up because it's really popular

My experience: When we went to see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, we could hardly even move without hitting someone else. It is probably the most famous piece of artwork ever, so it was a literal must-see.

My book: Geekerella by: Ashley Poston was everywhere around the blogosphere!! I have to say though, I was disappointed.

6. Dealing with the Desert: A book that was so addicting that you could have gone days without water just to finish it

My experience: I've never been to the desert, but I have been to Sicily which is basically the same thing. It is so hot and dry there that everything looks tan and brown. Kinda unbearable.

My book: An Ember in the Ashes by: Sabaa Tahir!! I honestly finished this book in one sitting.

7. Journey through the Jungle: A book that was hard to navigate through

My experience: Never been to the jungle! But I am an animal lover so I would love to visit one day.

My book: I really could not get through Me Earl and the Dying Girl by: Jesse Andrews. It was just, meh.

8. Holiday House in the Hamptons: A book you can always revisit

My experience: My family has a house in Niagara-on-the-lake that we always visit in the summer!

My book: The Outsiders. And I have talked about this book way too much in the past to give an explanation.

9. Souvenirs: A book you would give as a gift to a friend

My experience: Whenever a friend of mine travels to a place with a volcano, she brings me back a lava rock! I just think that's so cool.

My book: A Monster Calls by: Patrick Ness. I would give this book to anyone and everyone.

10. There's No Place Like Home: A book that always makes you feel at home

My experience: No matter where life takes me, Toronto will always be my home. It's a little sad since I've moved away for university, but I have so much love for that city.

My book: The Percy Jackson series!! This was the first series I took with me to University, and I will always love it.

That's it!! I'm tagging anyone interested :)

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

When Dimple Met Rishi by: Sandhya Menon

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: May 30, 2017 by: Simon Pulse
Pages: 380
Rating: 4/5 stars

Dimple Shah is ready to have the perfect summer: travelling to a highly-coveted convention for aspiring web-developers,the change to meet her absolute idol at said convention, and most importantly, away from her nagging mother who is insistent on finding her "the ideal Indian husband." But all this takes an unexpected turn when she meets Rishi Patel at the same convention, and he claims to be her arranged husband. While Dimple is upset with her parents for arranging their meeting, Rishi is excited at the chance to know Rishi, and believes that holding onto tradition is important. While their opinions clash, love will still manage to find its way in.

I was so happy to get my hands on this book! Everyone in the book community had been talking about it, and I thought it would be really cool to read such a diverse love story, rich in Indian culture and also with themes such as arranged marriages weaved in.

I like to think that I know a decent bit of Indian culture. My family is from Pakistan, and a lot of the traditions are quite similar, including that of arranged marriages. I feel like the perception of arranged marriages is always perceived to be quite negative in Western culture, which is why I think that this book did great in bringing both sides of the issue to the table. Dimple is strong-willed and independent, and Rishi is a traditionalist, and they find a way to make it both work. I really appreciated that.

I loved how this book had humor, romance, and also strong women doing great things in the world of tech. Dimple Shah could be a real girl hoping to do something good in the world with her talents, and I thought that was so bad ass.

The one issue I had with this book is that I thought it was a bit too long. For the storyline and how everything was going, things seemed to drag on longer than they should have and so I sometimes lost interest. It just needed to be shorter, that's all.

Overall, if you like Bollywood references, strong females, and a great love story, you will love this book.

Have you read When Dimple Met Rishi? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 18 August 2017

The Handmaid's Tale by: Margaret Atwood

Genre: Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Published: March 16, 1998 by: Anchor Books
Pages: 311
Rating: 5/5 stars

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. Her sole duty is to bear children for her Commander and his infertile wife. She is not allowed to leave the house unless instructed, she is not allowed to read, and most importantly, she is not allowed to to poison herself with birth control and abortion, methods that are what led the world to have to be cleansed by the Gilead in the first place. Offred had a life beforehand, but that doesn't matter now. She is sworn to serve her Commander for the rest of her fertile life, or she might risk being sent to The Colonies.

I knew I had to pick up this book after being completely engrossed in the tv show. I don't know what possessed me to start watching, but I was so into it that reading the book after the season ended seemed inevitable, Now I have had problems with Atwood in the past, but this book surely redeemed herself for me and gave me a message so powerful and so scarily relevant to today.

Offred's life sucks. Her and all the other Handmaids are bound by the radical Christian group, the Gilead, who took over the formerly known United States and made it impossible for women to have any rights. Seem familiar? It's really telling that this book was sort of resurrected during this day and age, because women are going through such similar issues in the US right now when it comes to rights for birth control and reproductive health. Now obviously the US is not nearly as harsh as the Gilead, but what I find amazing is that the handmaid has become sort of a symbol now to women of feminism.

I loved this story. I thought it was shocking, twisted, and disturbing, but I could not put it down as I just needed to know what happened next. I do think Atwood wrote this as a cautionary tale, and rightfully so. I think this is a book that every woman should read if they need some inspiration to go out there and stand up to the patriarchy.

Have you read The Handmaid's Tale? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess