Monday, June 6, 2016

Paper Crowns Book Review

Ginger has lived in seclusion, with only her aunt Malgarel and her blue cat, Halcyon, to keep her company. Her sheltered, idyllic life is turned upside-down when her home is attacked by messengers from the world of fae.

Accompanied by Halcyon (who may or may not be more than just a cat), an irascible wysling named Azrael, and a loyal fire elemental named Salazar, Ginger ventures into the world of fae to bring a ruthless Queen to justice.

Amazon | GoodReads | Author's Blog


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I’m part of an amazing writing group of Mirriam Neal’s and had the honor of reading Paper Crowns back in its earlier stages before publication. I only dreamed of it being released to the world, because everyone needed to read it. When Mirriam announced it was going to be published, well, squealing and flailing may have ensued. Receiving an actual, physical copy of this story I had so fallen in love with was a dream come true. I immediately devoured it two days after receiving it, and it was just as enchanting as I remembered, perhaps even more so.

This book is so photogenic! DAT COVER. <3

What I love about Mirriam’s writing is her ability to seamlessly change her style to suit whatever book she’s creating at the time. Normally her stories are on the darker, grittier side, but occasionally she’ll take a break to write something lighter. Thus Paper Crowns was born.

This is not a deep book. It’s only 191 pages and very simplistic, but that’s the charm of it. This is a fairytale through and through, with an enchanting world, magical beings, humorous mishaps, and beautifully simple but fluent writing that sweeps you away right into the whimsy of it all. Then there’s Mirriam’s trademark loveable characters who warms your heart like a winter’s fire.

We’ve got. . .

Hal: The sarcastic, shapeshifting blue cat. Do I even need to say more?

Ginny: Our heroine who can make origami come alive. Is this not the coolest ability EVER??

Salazar: A fire elemental who talks in ALL CAPS. I think that explains his character well enough. He’s a riot. XD

Azrael: Just. . .Azrael. If nothing else, read this book for Azrael. He’s a “wysling”, similar to what we would call a wizard, who is always reluctant to help. But you know, deep down, he cares. Maybe.

Asterope: Another wysling who’s much more willing to help than Azrael and nice and fun and precious.


What really strikes me in this story is the. . .wistfulness of it all. Though most of it takes place in a wintry land of faerie, the first bits are in our world, but a more enchanting version of our world. Mirriam knows how to make life seem so beautiful, to make you see the delight in small things. The entire beginning is filled with coffee and origami and the smell of leather journals and double-decker buses and a cottage in the woods. This tale makes me feel so refreshed. Like all the bad and ugly in our world has been erased, leaving only the simple beauty of life. It makes me appreciate the little things and find joy in it all.

Once we leave our world behind and enter the land of the faerie, the story only gets more beautiful. Full of snow and magic and curious people. It’s a beautiful story all around. But it’s also funny. I adore Mirriam’s humor. The character interactions are so snappy and hilarious, and the ridiculous mishaps had me grinning all the way through.

This story is practically perfect. Really the only complaint I have is some typos, but I think that’s currently being fixed, so I suspect it’s only the early printings of the book that will have those.

The other thing is I wish there was more. Like I said, it’s a very short, simple book. But, really, that’s the charm in it. As much as I’d like a 500 page monster of this world and characters because I love them that much, it wouldn’t be the same. This is the type of book meant to be read in the sun on a spring day or curled up next to the fireplace. I think it’s very purpose is merely a breath of fresh air. It’s not deep or long or complicated. It’s a simple fairytale—enchanting and beautiful. And that’s just right.

But, not to fear, there are more books on the way! I’ve actually read the sequel, Paper Hearts, and love it even more than Paper Crowns. Which is saying something, let me tell you. I so very, very hope Paper Hearts will be out to the public in the near future!

Nothing really. Like I said, this is a light read. The violence is to a minimum and the content perfectly clean. There is magic though. People called wyslings are much like wizards, as I said. It didn’t bother me, it’s so light and fairytale-like, but I know a lot of people don’t do magic so I wanted to let everyone know.

I’d recommend this book to the young and old. I could easily see 10-year-olds very much enjoying it, but the heroine is 18 herself, so it’s got a slight YA feel as well.


Ahem. Okay, okay. It may not be everyone’s type of story. But if you enjoy light, whimsical fairytales, this one is absolutely for you! Deep, complicated books are my favorite, but I think we all sometimes need those little breaths of sunshine. Paper Crowns is just that.

So what are you waiting for? Go get yourself a copy and read it. Yes, right now. Shoo. I’m not kidding. Why are you still here? Go, go, go!

Without a doubt this one gets a. . .

5 out of 5 stars

SO. Are you going to read this now? (Obviously.) Do you think
we could all use a lighter read from time to time? What do you
think of whimsical fairytales? (I ADORE them to my very core.)


  1. I didn't know about this book so thank you for your review it sounds really interesting. And the cover is soooo beautiful! :O

    1. I'm glad I can spread the word! People need to know. It's so good!
      Isn't that cover the most gorgeous thing on the planet? I keep staring and staaaring at it. I can't stop. TOO MUCH PRETTY.

  2. Yes! I am going to read this soon. :)

    And lighter reads are very nice, especially after something gritty and deep. Maybe I'll read this book after I read something like that.

    It... really depends for me with the whimsical fairytales. So I will just have to try this one out! But I'm sure I'll like it. :)

    1. YAY. It's so fun!

      I agree. Usually I want the deep, epic stories, but sometimes we need something light and happy. This book is perfect for those times.

      I hope you'll like it! ^_^

  3. *looks at the calendar* Pssh, what's two months? The internet needed a break from my insanely long comments anyway. ;)

    Um. SO APPARENTLY I HAVEN'T COMMENTED ON YOUR BLOG IN LIKE TWO MONTHS. *diiiiies* SERIOUSLY, LAURI, I FEEL TERRIBLE. D: D: D: What an awful friend I am sometimes. *burrows under the blankets and hides for all eternity* LIFE, WHY DO YOU LAUGH IN MY FACE AS YOU THROW THINGS AT ME?? Honestly, Life has such a nerve to make me do Things other than blogging and commenting. *glares at it*

    ANYWHO. I was feeling a little depressed (yes, sunshiny Mary sometimes feels depressed) so I decided to comment on this little piece of happiness.

    WHAT EVEN. THIS BOOK LOOKS AMAZINGGGG. *drools over cover* *stares at your beautiful photos* *drools some more* OHMYGOODNESS, THOSE CHARACTERS. I FEEL LIKE SALAZAR NOW BECAUSE I CAN'T SEEM TO TAKE THE CAPS LOCK OFF. SOMEONE HELP ME. But really, those charries look like delicious pieces of cake (um...that sounded better in my head XD). Shapeshifting cats, characters that make origami come to life, SNOW, double-decker buses, wizards...GIMME THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW. I love whimsical stories soooo much, which obviously means this book is right up my alley. *nods* Just...just...asdgjlsdjgdk.

    Apparently I missed the blog tour and giveaway (*cries*), but at least I can satisfy myself by staring longingly at the cover. (You know, before I decide that my life is worthless until I have it and end up spending 30 dollars on books because #bookwormproblems.)

    I loved this post, dearie! You write such beautimous book reviews! <3 (They're waaay more informative than mine. *cough*) Only problem is, now I NEED this book. ;D SO GLAD TO BE BACK AND COMMENTING.

    1. Aaaand I'm commenting again because I forgot to check the little "notify me" box before I commented. We wants to know when you reply, precious, yes we do. ;D

    2. IT'S MY MARY. *GLOMPLES* Don't you even think about feeling terrible! Life just does that sometimes. I've found it difficult to comment on a lot of blog posts myself lately. It just happens. Life is rude in that it demands we do things other than internet things. *gasp* Horrid! SO DON'T FEEL BAD. And that's an order. *nods firmly*

      Awwww! I'm so sorry my sunshiny Mary is depressed. That breaks my heart. *HUGS* Ugh. Life is so rude sometimes. I'll be praying for you, sweet girl. <333

      IT IS AMAZING. I just loveth this book so much! *huggles it* I'm laughing so hard at your feeling like Salazar. Too funny! XD I adore whimsical books too. So if you like them you'll LOVE this story. :D

      You just summed up the entire struggle of being a bookworm. XD Too true.

      D'awww, thanks! Oh, girl, sometimes I feel like my reviews are /too/ informative. Less is more a lot of the time. I can get overly thorough. XD BUT THANK YOU. I'M SO HAPPY YOU LIKED IT. But yes, you totally need it!

      And I'M so happy to have you commenting! Your comments never cease to make me smile. <333

  4. *gapes* Ooo, the pwetty books pictures! I loveth them so much! Great review, Christine! You succeeded in making me want to read this book more even more! (oh, this is totally off topic, but guess what book is waiting for me at the library right this minute. It may or may not be abbreviated to HMC ...)

    1. D'awww, THANKS! ^_^ I have done my job then!


    2. *sees Savannah's comment* *shrieks* AAHH I HOPE YOU LIKE IT TOOOO! ^_^

    3. YES I LIKED IT!! It was SO good, I'm very much happy that you two told me I absolutely MUST read it! (I posted my thoughts about HMC on my blog, so you may check it out if you like *nods*)


      *GASP* Your blog! I totally forget that blogger doesn't show new posts from private blogs on my dashboard, so I forget to go look at those blogs. I get so spoiled to all new posts appearing on my blogger dashboard. And I can't seem to figure out how to get back to your blog. D: Can you email me the link again?? BECAUSE I NEEDS IT.


    Okay, so I positively ADORE this review and I agree to all the things and it's a marvelous review and I love it. AND OH MY GOODNESS THE PICTURESSSSS. Allow me to drool over them for 10394709 thousand years BECAUSE THEY'RE SO GORGEOUS AAAAHHHH. I mean, the cover is already beautiful, and the physical book is even more so, but these photos are PERFECT and make it look even MORE gorgeous and I love the angles and the lighting and the FLOWERS which are so perfect and just alskdjfldsjflkjsd LOVE. <3

    Though even though I agree that it's a light, whimsical read, I'd also say that I DO think it's also deep and exciting and epic... that's part of what I love about it, that it has a little of EVERYTHING. ^_^

    ANYWAYS I LOVE THIS BOOK TO BITS AND YOUR REVIEW WAS AWESOME AND AAAHHH ALL THE HAPPY! <3 *stares at the pics for far longer than I'm willing to admit*

    1. *BEAMS* THIS MAKES ME HAPPEH. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! This book is so gorgeous I couldn't stop taking pics! It's the PERFECT photo book. I LOVETH IT SO MUCH.

      That's true, it does have a dash of everything. It's more that the plot is somewhat simplistic, is what I'm saying. The characters and world and just, I don't know, IMAGERY of it all is super epic and AH-MAY-ZING. But it's also short and more simple, so that's what I meant. BUT IT'S ALSO PERFECT AND WONDERFUL AND JUST SDKLJLKDSJFL.


  6. This book is everything I have every wanted in a story, love Miri's books.

    1. I KNOW, RIGHT? It's such a precious, perfect book. *huggles it*

  7. This is on my TBR pile, and your review only increased my excitement to read it!! I'm currently slogging through a 1500 page unabridged edition of Les Miserables, but once that is done this will be one of the very first books I pick up next.

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    1. YAAAAY!!! I'm doing my job, then. :D Hope you like it!

      Oh wow! You are way braver and more patient than me. I don't think I could EVER get through Les Mis or have the motivation to even try. Go, Ellie! Reading Paper Crowns after that sounds like a nice plan. You'll need a light, easy read. ;)


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