Friday, 27 May 2016

Wrapping Up May 2016 with Picnic Reads

Hi Bookish People!

Welcome to the Picnic! Yes, I am finally back from my two week hiatus! I've come to apologise! Sorry that I haven't been posting as much as usual but I have been so busy, which shouldn't be an excuse but yeah school! Due to all of the business I will not be sticking to my Monday and Friday posting schedule! I will be posting on whatever day I can most likely once a week but maybe twice!

To make sure you get to see all of my posts when they go up subscribe to my mail! It's completely free! Picnic Reads Newsletter!

 This will work a lot better with me and you will see some better content this way! With that out of the way, let's get in to my reading this month!

The books I have Purchased: 
0 (Book buying ban is working)

Books I have Received from wonderful humans called publishers:
(Thankyou to Allen & Unwin, Bloomsbury and Harper Collins for these gorgeous books)



The Books I have Read this month:
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. MaasCity of Bones by Cassandra ClareMARTians by Blythe WoolstonAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie PerkinsA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. MaasTo All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
City of Bones- 
The MARTians- ★ (Review soon)
Anna and The French Kiss- 
A Court of Thorns and Roses- 
To All The Boys I've Loved Before- 
A Court of Mist and Fury- 
Book of the Month:
Currently Reading:
What's happened this month?
+ My blogging post schedule has changed to once a week, with no specific day! 

+I have a newsletter! Picnic Reads Newsletter & Bloglovin'

+ I made some new bookish friends! We have been talking on the internet and it's been heaps of fun and I felt like I should give them a bit of a shoutout so here we go.. 

Giulia from Giuliatalkstoomuch, Mollie C from molliethereader, Diem, Kaysia from bookskay, Grace from G-Swizzel, cw, Emily from thelooneytuney, Cait from PaperFury, Aentee from ReadatMidnight, Jeann from Happy Indulgence, Chami from ReadLikeWildfire, Danielle from TheChroniclesofDanielle & Alex from AZombieBooktuber!

+ I did a guest post on Meleika's blog about character descriptions!

Booktuber of the month: 
ëmmmåçârśtāįrš


Absoloutley love Emma's channel! She is a very passionate booktuber who always keeps it real. Her love of books is infinite and I love to watch her videos! Her love of everything written by Cassandra Clare inspired me to pick up Cassie's books and now, well, I cannot put down The Shadowhunters books! Thanks for putting a smile on my face Emma! You are someone I'd love to be friends with!

What's on this week (in terms of posts):
I'll pump out some reviews!

Julia x

Friday, 6 May 2016

A review fit for a ballerina (Turning Pointes Review)

Hi Bookish People!

Welcome to the Picnic! Today I am reviewing Turning Pointes. In we go with my NON-SPOILERY opinions.

Turning Pointes by Emma Freedman
Published by Harper Collins Australia
YA Contemporary

 April Franklin is 13 years of age and has just started high school. April has also been dancing half her life and while she loves ballet, she's not sure if classical is right for her, particularly since she doesn't have the perfect ballet body - and of course all of the mean girls at her ballet school do ... There are, however, many ways to dance, and when April has the opportunity to explore them she leaps at the chance, even though she is very aware that her mother has high hopes for her as a classical dancer. New school, mean girls, stage mothers, big dreams ... sometimes finding your feet can be hard.

Thankyou SO much to Harper Collins for sending me an ARC for review!

PLEASE NOTE: THIS BOOK WAS SENT TO ME AS AN ARC BY HARPER COLLINS AUSTRALIA THIS DOES NOT EFFECT MY OPINION ON THIS BOOK!

****2.5 out of 5 Stars****

Plot:
  • I liked the simplicity of the plot. Especially the message of finding yourself and your own style. The main reason I marked this book so low was mainly because it was a book for younger year levels and I didn't really connect with the characters. The plot was good, but may dramatised which could also get annoying.
  • The problems were exaggerated to an extreme degree where it became annoying to read about and unrealistic/relatable.
  • I enjoyed the conflict between the Mother and Daughter, it added a good degree to the plot and story and I did enjoy this aspect of the book.
Characters:
  • So the main character is REALLY annoying. She is really dramatic and irritating and makes really annoying choices. She goes behind peoples backs etc all of which she then assumes she will be forgiven for without punishment. She gives kids the kind of message to 'Follow your dreams....by going behind people's backs because you will be forgiven afterwards.
I enjoyed the dancers personalities who were free spirited and lively!


+I liked the dancing rituals! 

+I loved the representation of friendship and how everyone has each others backs.

+Disliked the whole obsession with boys (whats the rush?) and how some YR 7 boys get drunk? (When does this happen in real life)

+ I would say the portrayal of YR 7 life is unrealistic

Rating: ★★

Hope you enjoyed!

Julia x


Monday, 2 May 2016

All the bits & bobs of The Things I Didn't Say with G-Swizzel

Hi Bookish People,

Welcome to the Picnic! Today I am going to be discussing all of the bits and bobs of The Things I Didn't Say! This discussion is SPOILERY & HAS MANY TYPOS (Which Grace and I were happy to show because it displays our EXCITEMENT!) so please don't read this if you HAVEN'T read the book or if you HATE typos! If you want to read my spoiler free review click here. This discussion is with my friend G-Swizzel from Booktube! We were both lucky enough to attend YA Squad and get our books signed by the author!

Thanks so much for coming to Picnic Reads G-Swizzel! I hope you guys enjoy this, I had a great time talking about it with G-Swizzel! 

Let's Discuss!

G-Swizzel:
So I wasn't really expecting too much with this book until I attended YA Squad 2016. To hear that such a topic of mental illness was discussed with this book really got me a bit more expected
Selective mutism is a condition that I had never heard about, now that I have finished the book, I want to do even more research on it!

Julia:
I love contemporary novels so I was all in! As you said, the topic of mental illness drew me in and got me excited! Selective mutism is something that needs to be addressed and this book absoloutley nailed it! I have never heard of the disorder before this book but after reading this story I want to learn more!

G-Swizzel:
Whereas with me, I am a fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian lover. The only other book to do with the topic of mental illness I had given 5/5 stars was Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella which deals with Social Anxiety, and having experienced SA myself, I could identify. I personally think that the pacing of this book was on point. The romance between West and Piper was perfectly woven into the story and I love the fact that it wasn't just necessary West that healed her from her mental illness. It wasn't a typical guys saves girl story! It was it's own thing!

Julia:
 It was really beautiful! It was amazing how Kylie wrote West! At the start it was almost like he was untrustworthy (because of Pi's past experiences) but then we see what a lovely guy he actually is! One of my favourite scenes is where Piper and West plan to go on a road trip and plan to go to all of the little food places on the way!

G-Swizzel:
I loved that scene! West is one of my new fictional BFs
Kylie mentioned at the YA Squad event that The Things I Didn't Say was inspired by stories like TFIOS by John Green and Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, as much as I loved those two books, I thought he was going to be a typical male love interest with lots of YA male tropes, but he was different, patient, kind, and in some cases flawed. He isn't perfect and not even patient, (example the time he messaged Piper and asked why he couldn't talk to her and kind of demanded an on-the-spot answer), and there are times does not understand and there are miscommunications between him and Piper, but was a good sign that he was more of a realistic character than what you think at the very beginning of the book when he is introduced

Julia:
Yes (we are going to have to share him though)! I loved seeing when he would say 'I love you' and then expected an answer, but Piper couldn't say it! What did you think about Cassie & all of that?

G-Swizzel:
I wasn't a fan of Cassie and Liam at all, and the fact that they even got together went against everything that Piper told Cassie because she cared for her, but then again from Cassie's perspective she couldn't told if Piper was betraying her either. Again - miscommunication. I wasn't a fan of Cassie at first, but I started to understand what happened from her perspective. Liam's the real jerk for sure! I also thought about her Liam may have made Piper feel, she was diagnosed with SM at 12, so at the time, she would have not been able to communicate probably either, and for her to think that some noticed her and wanted to make out with her may have made her feel super special and even noticed for a reason other than SM, interesting thought :)

Julia:
 Definitely! I have to admit that I was kind of upset with Cassie! I mean, Piper trusted her and could talk to her so doesn't that show you how dedicated Piper was to being her friend! You have to also consider who initiated the kiss, which by the looks of it was Liam! I couldn't believe that Cassie thought that Piper was lying when she said that Liam made a bet! Although, I am happy now to forgive Cassie. Even though she strutted past Piper ignoring her at the shopping centre, I can see that it was more of a stubborn thing!

G-Swizzel:
 Yeah, for sure! What did you think about Piper's family and their response to Piper's SM?
I personally really liked their contribution to the story considering in a lot of YA fiction, parents aren't always present. I liked her they considered Piper but not feel too sorry for her as if she is ill.

Julia:
 I agree. I enjoyed that her family was there. I think that an important thing to was how badly they wanted to get her help (e.g. support group, physiologist, new ways to get over SM etc) I also liked how her SM wasn't caused by an event but it was just there! I feel like everyone thinks a big event has to happen in your life for you get a mental illness but in reality it doesn't. I enjoyed the family's support and one of the cutest scenes ever when Evie goes to ballet and won't talk because she wants to be like her big sister warms my heart!

G-Swizzel:
 Naww!! Evie was the cutest! I really enjoyed their sisterly relationship. I love that West isn't the only close relationship that matters in this book, Evie's and her relationship was in the mix as well. I also thought in this book, we were going to find that specific event, but that never happened, which was surprising to me but at the same time made me happy because it doesn't always have to be a one time a event that leaves you traumatised. 
Also, I find that whole "I survived another substitute teacher" aspect of the story so relatable! I love how the miscommunication between the teachers that had no clue was involved in this story, it was cringe-worthy but real

Julia:
I know I agree so much! Another favourite aspect of the book was the sticky notes! What a great idea by Piper for the end of the year to give everyone a sticky note (let alone Kylie's idea to put a sticky note in our books) I love the seen where even Indiana and Taylor come and help put up the sticky notes!!!

G-Swizzel:
YASSSS!! I loved how that aspect that was first used for bullying overs and then turned into something encouraging! I cried when I saw my sticky, it added so much to the story, it was especially a great idea for Piper to communicate and encourage others! It was so heart warming!
 I'm also happy that West didn't die! OMG THAT WAS CLOSE!

Julia
If West had died I think I would've balled! He was such an important character and if he never heard Piper speak I would've been devastated!

G-Swizzel:
 I figured out what the title "The Things I Didn't Say" truly referred to, and then I cried, I literally thought he was going to die before she had a chance to talk to him

Julia:
 I KNOW! I was literally like 'PLEASE DON'T DO THIS KYLIE!' I would've liked Piper to say I love you to West at the end!

G-Swizzel:
 ^EXACTLY! But, I'm quite satisfied with the fact she even spoke! She didn't even need him to drive it out of her, I loved that she spent that time while he was in a coma working on the things she wanted to say, she overcame! I love that!

Julia:
 Yes! I was so happy that she just said something! I LOVE the tree emails I think it makes the book really unique! ALSO I love that Piper braves her fear and talks to the lady at the truffle farm with Cassie so that she can get West a truffle. I really like that West wants to be a chef and not a football/sport person because the sport dream is such a cliche in YA with boys!

G-Swizzel:
 Yeah, the tree aspect of it was very unique! It was something very simple from a geography class give the book a good turn! It just shows Kylie's creativity when creates something beautiful out of little (just like the post-it notes). I even found it funny that he came from a family of lawyers and he didn't involve himself in Law whatsoever (he literally had a easy way into that field when people that don't would literally kill for that) His passion for cooking and even the kitchen was so cute, and I agree. That typical trope was not present and I loved that West was himself. Not a duplicate, just purely West!

Julia:
Yes! Oh my gosh!

G-Swizzel:
I also loved that SM was not a big deal to West when Piper thought it would be, and he brings up that he has insomnia ;) It's great to have this discussion!

Julia
 Yeah! I love that aswell! I really like the part where he talks about Piper in his award speech! ALSO I love it when Cassie tells Piper to stop thinking that she is hurting people by not saying anything cause she isn't hurting anyone!

G-Swizzel:
 One thing that I really find relatable is the fact that Piper tends to over think. Because she cannot say too much, she has gotten familiar with the voice in her head, and that kind of explains why she would think she is hurting others. I love how Cassie reminds her of that, it's beautiful! <3

Julia:
 The whole book is so beautiful (: Everyone needs to pick it up ASAP!!!

Hope you guys enjoyed that! Let me know if you liked this discussion! Thanks to G-Swizzel for discussing the book with me check her out here: www.youtube.com/gswizzelbooks!

Julia x