Monday, 30 November 2015

NOVEMBER 2015 HAUL!

Hey Bookish People,

Welcome to the Picnic! Today I am doing my November 2015 Haul! I'm really sorry that I haven't done many reviews! I am planning on doing a few more reviews in December! Also I have been super busy lately so I won't be writing any descriptions of these books!

Anyway, if you are interested in the books I've bought & received this November carry on reading this post!

Books Bought: This month I have been on the straight and narrow with book buying because I know that Christmas is a great time of year for sales!! So in saying that I have only bought two books!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: I purchased this book when I saw the collectors edition on sale in Target! It was super cheap (around $11) and I have heard rave reviews of this book. I will talk more in my November Wrap Up as I finished it and will be reviewing soon!

Girl Online On Tour: I pre-ordered this book back around June/July as I was desperate for a hardcover signed by Zoe! I fortunately got a beautiful hardcover signed by her and I loved this book so much! If you haven't seen my review click this link: Double Review!

Books Received: This month I received heaps of books from Publishers. Thank you Pan Macmillan Australia, Clean Teen Publishing & Allen & Unwin for sending me books for review!! 

From Pan Macillan I received:
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Tonight the Streets are Ours by Leila Sales
A Step Towards Falling by Cammie McGovern

Thanks Pan Macmillan for these excellent books.

From Allen & Unwin: 
Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman
The Snow Sister by Emma Carroll
Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (I still have to read books 1 & 2 in this series)

Thanks Allen & Unwin for these lovelies!

Clean Teen Publishing: 
E-Pub ARC of Nora & Kettle by Lauren Taylor!

Thanks for this ARC & also huge thanks for donating the prize for my Christmas giveaway! 

If you haven't seen that, link to the post is here and all info including link to the actual giveaway is there!

Thanks heaps! See you on Friday for another post of some variety!

Julia x

Friday, 27 November 2015

GIVEAWAY!!!!

Hi Bookish People!

Welcome to the Picnic! Today I finally have a Giveaway for you Picknickers! I was planning a giveaway before this to say thanks to all of the Picknickers who read and comment on this blog! And, now thanks to the beautiful people at Clean Teen Publishing, they have given me the opportunity to give one lucky Picknicker a free digital copy of a book of their choice from their selection!

I am posting this giveaway now because A) I have a really busy day off and B) You can have a head start!!!

The prize for this giveaway has been donated by Clean Teen Publishing! Thank you so much to Rebecca & The Team at this publishing company!  This is my first ever giveaway on the blog! I am going to be giving away a digital file of any book of your choice from Clean Teen Publishing's Published Book Range, which includes 100+ Books!!!!

Here are the terms and conditions!
1. Must follow me on Goodreads!
2. Must be 18 years and older or have parental permission.
3. The Book Must be Choosen from The Clean Teen Publishing's PUBLISHED Books section:  this includes 100+ of their  Titles on http://www.cleanteenpublishing.com/)
4. The Winner will be contacted by email and their name will be shown on my blog & Goodreads Page! Winner will be asked what book they would like out of the selection. If you cannot respond to the email within 24 hours I will have to give the re-draw and give the prize to someone else.
4. Your email will be shown to Julia & Clean Teen Publishing so  that we can transfer the book of your choice via email!

If you're saying yes please free book, then click this link to enter the giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/01da83251/?

The Give-away runs from the 27/11/2015 until the 11/12/15! Winner's will be emailed on the 11th or 12th!Hope you guys enter! The Winner will be drawn randomly and I will email the winner! Keep in mind your choice of book from the selection! 

Once you are following my Goodreads, it will open up more options e.g. Following me on Pinterest or Tweeting the Link for more entries into the competition!

Thanks & Happy Book-Giveaway-entering! See you on Monday for my new segment Monthly Ramblings!

Julia

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Contact Me

Email me, I don't bite!



Publishers/Authors:
If you are a publisher or author interested in getting your book reviewed, please email me here and include,  your name and the title and synopsis of the book you want me to review and why you think I would want to read/review it!

Beta Reading Services:
Interested in my free beta reading services? Chuck me an email including a synopsis of the story, a title, genre and a bit about yourself! I will try and get back to you as soon as possible! 

I can't accept every request that is sent my way so please keep this in mind when you send me an email!

Readers:
I am always open to getting suggestions from readers for posts so email them through if you have any ideas. If you are interested in being in a discussion post send me an email aswell!

Any other requests can also be sent to this email for consideration! Thankyou for your time!

At this time I am currently not taking any review requests. 

Thanks, Julia

Monday, 23 November 2015

NON-SPOILER REVIEW of Never Always Sometimes

Hi Bookish People!

Welcome to the Picnic! Today I am reviewing Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid! As always I will give you guys the details of the book and then jump into my thoughts!

Title: Never Always Sometimes
Author: Adi Alsaid
Genres: Contemporary
Published: August 4th 2015
Australian Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Page Count: 320
Format: Finished Copy
Purchased from: Target
Buy it: Here! or Here! or Compare Prices and Formats: Here!
Goodreads: here! 
Adi links are here!

My Age Recommendation: 13 & Up
Gift? Yes!
I rated this book a 4 out of 5 Stars on Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/picnicreads

Never Always Sometimes

Synopsis: 
Never date your best friend.

Always be original.

Sometimes rules are meant to be broken.


Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliché high school kids—the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they’d never, ever do in high school.

Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never dye your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he’s broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It’s either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.

Julia is beautiful, wild and impetuous. So when she suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they’ve actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.

Into my thoughts:

Referring to my rating, I found this book an incredibly slow starter! I enjoyed the fast paced ending and throughout the middle of the book I found this book really great!

I found the plot really great towards the ending of the book! The start was really slow and made me tempted to put the book down. Towards the middle of the story it felt like the story had finally started after filling in all of the characters past. I loved the premise of this story how they were trying to do the cliches and it was interesting from my point of view reading about American schools. I felt like all of the scenery was set up well and I especially enjoyed how the book swaps from Dave's perspective to Julia's halfway through the book. I loved hearing each of their perspectives.

As for characters, I found Dave to be slightly annoying. Dave was uptight and uneasy which made him hard to read. Julia on the other hand was a really diverse and bubbly character. She was adventurous and willing to take on any challenge. I liked listening to her thoughts and how she thinks things through! Together Dave and Julia were polar opposites which I understand is the main part of this story!

Adi's writing style was enjoyable and really cool. I loved how easy going and mellow his style was!

I read this book in around a week and although it wasn't my favourite novel, I would recommend picking it up for a relaxing summers read with an amazing cover!

Thanks guys & I will see you for another post this Friday!

Julia

Friday, 20 November 2015

Friday -DOUBLE-Review?! GIRL ONLINE & GIRL ONLINE ON TOUR

Hi Bookish People!

Welcome to the Picnic! This is my first NON-SPOILER review on a Friday! I really felt like getting this post up today escpecially since we had a Q&A with the wonderful Sara Raasch instead of a review! Click me if you want to see that post! Generally Monday posts will be interviews or reviews and Fridays will be tags and hauls but every now and then I like to surprise you guys!! Anyway here we go with a review of Girl Online & Girl Online On Tour by Zoe Sugg. (PLEASE NOTE: I have been changing my formatting for these reviews. Sorry for any confusion!)







Titles: Girl Online & Girl Online On Tour
Author: Zoe Sugg
Genres: Contemporary
Published:  Girl Online: November 25th 2015/ Girl Online On Tour: October 22nd 2015
Australian Publisher: Penguin Teen
Page Count: Both books are 352
Format: Finished Copy
Purchased from: Gifts
Buy it: Here! or Here! or Compare Prices and Formats: Here!
Goodreads: here! or here for the sequel!
Zoes links are here!

My Age Recommendation: 12 & Up
Gift? Yes!
 No blurbs will be included today due to the size this review will be as it involves 2 books!
I rated this book a 5 out of 5 Stars on Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/picnicreads

As you can probably tell via my rating I loved these books. I found the series really fun and just an easy read.

I feel like I enjoyed this series plots as it had a strong base and then escalated! I loved how the first book is based around Christmas time. The plot has a warm feeling and was kept very simple. The issues that Penny had to deal with were structured well, and I enjoyed how Penny didn't simply have to click her fingers to overcome the issue. She had to work together with her friends and actually struggled (which is realistic) to resolve this and forgive!

This book is contemporary and realistic. Being a teenager myself I can relate to many things the Penny says . The concept of the second novel may seem cheesy and unrealistic but I strongly enjoyed the themes within the book and found them humours and again I loved the everyday references. The books also involve great advice for teens of any gender.

I found Penny a really relatable character. She wasn't worried about how she looked which I found refreshing. In my opinion Penny was a genuine character and was a great person, friend and family member to go to for advice. She was a unique character that nobody has done before. She also suffers from anxiety attacks which adds depth to Penny. She deals with the attacks well during the novel and Zoe depicts anxiety in her own way as she herself suffers from it. I felt like the anxiety wasn't over done and Zoe did a wonderful job!

As for Zoe's writing style, I adored it! It was such a feel-good style and I loved it!  The writing was consistent and never felt slow or like it wasn't moving.

I read this book in a day. I really enjoyed it and I recommend that you pick the series it up from any of the links above or elsewhere.

Thanks guys! I return here for a review of Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid on Monday! 

Julia x

Monday, 16 November 2015

Q & A with Sara Raasch

Hi Bookies!

Welcome to another Monday post! Today I have an Author Q & A for you with the wonderful Sara Raasch. I am so grateful for Sara's time as she is currently really busy with working on the edits of her novels and going to Teen Book Festivals in America. So thanks again Sara for your time.


Learn about Sara:

Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, came out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray, and the sequel, ICE LIKE FIRE, comes out October 13, 2015. Neither features her hand-drawn pictures.

Snow Like Ashes Summary: 
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now the Winterians' only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter's magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter's defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians' general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend and future king, Mather—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore their magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she's scaling towers and fighting enemy soldiers just as she's always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn't go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics—and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

Sara Raasch's debut fantasy is a lightning-fast tale of loyalty, love, and finding one's destiny.

Ice Like Fire Summary:
It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats? 

As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.

     All links to purchasing this book & Sara's accounts are below!    

1. If you could allocate your main characters a cupcake flavour & icing flavour what would it be, for who & why? (e.g. Jane-Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting/ Lucas: Vanilla with buttercream Frosting)

Meira: An ice cream cupcake from Coldstone: http://www.coldstonecreamery.com/cakes/icecreamcupcakes/

Mather: Extra dark chocolate cupcake with dark chocolate frosting. He's dangerous.

Theron: Strawberries and cream cupcake with a melted chocolate center. Sweet on the outside, but dangerous on the inside.

Sir: Sir would just be one of those little plastic knives they stick in cheese cubes. 

2. You invite the leaders of each Kingdom to your house for dinner, what do you make them?

The Rhythms would expect an opulent feast, which would bankrupt me, so I'd never invite them over. The Seasons, though, would be a much more fun group, and would be more like a potluck style -- they'd all bring their own. 

3. Meira, Mather & Theron run a shop, what do they name it and what does it sell?

I feel like it'd be a repair shop -- weapons, books, armor, basically anything. They're good at fixing things.

4. If you could surprise Meira for her birthday, what would you do?

Give her a vacation. After everything I put her through, she deserves one!

5.  What character would be most likely to have a Youtube Account and what would their videos be about?

Theron would be all over BookTube!


Buy SNOW LIKE ASHES and Pre-order ICE LIKE FIRE through this link:


YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/sararaasch

Thanks,

Julia

Friday, 13 November 2015

Wrap-Up of November Reading!

Hi Bookish People!

Welcome to the Picnic! Today is just a shortish post where we will be discussing what I have read so far in Novemeber and what I am planning to be reading for the rest of November. If you have read my TBR for this month, you would know that I have been a bit unsure about what books I will be reading due to when ARC's are being sent by publishers. So here my TBR is & what I've read so far!

Read in November SO FAR:
Girl Online On Tour: Zoe Sugg
5/5 Stars on Goodreads! Loved! Review up soonish! First Double Review! Girl Online & Girl Online On Tour!

Never Always Sometimes: Adi Alsaid
4/5 Stars! Enjoyed but the slow start affected my rating!

Finding Audrey: Sophie Kinsella
3/5 Stars! Good book, but I had a few issues with the plot & characters.

Want to find out my star ratings and brief thoughts before reviews? Follow me or Friend me on Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/picnicreads

Currently Reading:

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff! (Thanks for sending me a review copy of this book Allen & Unwin) I am really enjoying the style! Once again all status updates and thoughts before reviews on my Goodreads!

To Read:

Still fairly unsure! I am hoping to get Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell from my local library to read and other than that I am hoping to re-read, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr!

Thanks & I hope you guys enjoyed that post! Look out for my Monday Review of.... GIRL ONLINE & GIRL ONLINE ON TOUR BY ZOE SUGG!

Julia x


Monday, 9 November 2015

NON-SPOILER Review of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Hi Bookish People!


Welcome to the Picnic!!! Today I am writing a  book review for you! Today I will be reviewing, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard! This book is a fantasy YA Book and it was a good book! So I have decided to go back to my old format as I have been having some issues with my other format but don't worry, you will still get all of the usual information! In we go!


Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Genres: Fantasy
Published: Feburary 10th 2015
Publisher: Orion
Page Count: 528
Format: Finished Copy
Purchased from: Target
Buy it: Here! or Here! or Compare Prices and Formats: Here!
Goodreads: here!
Victoria's links are here!

My Age Recommendation: 12 & Up
Gift? Yes!

I rated this book a 3 out of 5 Stars on Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/picnicreads


This book was a good read but definitely not one of my favourites. I found that the slow start had a major impact on my review. Please note these are my opinions and if you love this book please don't be offended by this!

The plot was fairly simple but enjoyable and I enjoyed the world. I liked the separation between silver and red, and my favourite part of the novel was the suspenseful ending! The descriptions were either brief or dragged on for too long for me personally.

The  concept of this novel was what intrigued me to read this book. Although the world was set up well and described, I found this book had a lack of action and this probably let me down the most. 

As for characters, I found the protagonist Mare a strong influence. Although, annoying to begin with she was kind and had a strong soul and she was a good character. It was good to hear her thoughts and I enjoyed seeing and reading about how she reacted to dramatic and impromptu events. 

Towards the middle of the book I found myself craving action and the end of the book's betrayal was what I would've loved throughout the book!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed that 3 star review, I definitely didn't love this book but I did like it and will be trying Glass Sword the 2nd novel next year! Again, I didn't mean to offend anyone, these are my own opinions!


Thanks guys! I hope you enjoyed the review and my new format change for the 2nd time!!! Look out for a new post this Friday!

Julia x

Friday, 6 November 2015

October Wrap-Up!

Hey Bookish People,

Welcome to the Picnic! Today we will be discussing what I have read in the month of October and also what books I have bought/received in this month! So in the month of October I have read 4 books. Here they are!

-Cress by Marissa Meyer
Review should be up soon! I really enjoyed this book & I might do a final review of the series when I read Fairest & Winter!

-Magnus Chase & The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
5 Star Review! Read my NON-SPOILERY ramblings here- CLICK ME!

-Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
Another 5 Star Review! More non-spoilery ramblings- CLICK HERE!

-Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Review will be up next Monday! 3 Star Review on my Goodreads- CLICK ME!

Currently reading: Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid!

Those are all of the books I have read this month, now onto the books that I purchased or received this month!

Girl Online: On Tour- I pre-ordered a signed copy of this book off Waterstones! I received it in October and love the cover! So far so good!

Magnus Chase & The Sword of Summer- One of my favourite releases this year! Ramblings here: READ MY RAMBLES!

As you can see I restrained myself this month as in book buying! I am expecting myself to do a little splurge this November so watch out!

Want to know what I am planning on reading in November: Click here! Please note I plan to read more than this as I am receiving some ARC's from Bloomsbury, Allen & Unwin, Hatchette & Pan Macmillan Soon!

Also, in my last TBR I planned on reading Echoes by Laura Tisdall, but I have decided to leave this book until I can find a paperback copy as it is very hard for me to read on my laptop!

Thanks & I hope you enjoyed! See you on Monday for a non-spoiler review of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard!

Julia x


Monday, 2 November 2015

NON-SPOILER Review of DUMPLIN' by Julie Murphy!

Hi Bookish People!


Welcome to the Picnic!!! Today I come bearing a book review! Today I will be reviewing, Dumplin' by Julie Murphy! This is a gorgeous contemporary read & I loved this book!  

I read this book in a week. On busses, in the car, at school, in ad breaks and also when I went to bed. To say I enjoyed this book would be an understatement!


Anyway here is the blurb and details!






Title: Dumplin'
Author: Julie Murphy
Genres: Contemporary 
Published: September 15th 2015
Publisher: Blazer & Bray
Page Count: 528
Format: Finished Copy
Purchased from: Target
Buy it: Here! or Here! or Compare Prices and Formats: Here!
Goodreads: Here!
Julie's links are here!

My Age Recommendation: 13& Up
Gift? Yes!

I rated this book a 5 out of 5 Stars on Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/picnicreads



-The Plot didn't have too many components which did let the story down slightly, but the plot that it did have was very interesting and kept me wanting to continue reading the book. Sometimes I think the best stories are the simplest! It was definitely diverse and I loved uncovering Willodean's past throughout this story! Definite re-read! Homemade! I have never read a story based around this premise especially not in YA.


Willowdean : Creamy Cupcake with Jam Icing and Cinnamon. Willowdean is a strong protagonist. It was great to be inside her head and go through her thought processes. She was very interesting and I would love to have a friend like her. She was was a deep character who thought through situations well and was definitely someone people can learn from!  A million sprinkles on top, she was cheeky and self-confident (towards the end) I loved watching her grow!


Bo:  Dark Chocolate with White Chocolate Icing. Bo was dark and intriguing. Definitely an interesting character. Although he may come off as though he has the wrong intentions, Bo is a genuine character, who was diverse and interesting to learn about his past and relationships with his parents and family. 



  • The Relatable Story Line
  • Strong Protagonists 
  • Great to be in characters heads and learn though processes
  • Loved Julie's writing style!
  • Adored the ending!

  • Only Improvement: I would've loved the chapters to be named but that is about it!


A beautiful contemporary! Inspirational and a great feel good novel. Pick it up!!!


Thanks guys! I hope you enjoyed the review and my new format for the 2nd time!!! Look out for My October Wrap Up this Friday!

Julia x