Thursday, 28 July 2016

Picnic Reads Turns One /// BLOGVERSARY + Giveaway (With a side of cheese)

So my blog turned one!
My blog turned one.....

That's right people my blog is now a year old. YAY Picnic Reads has been in YOUR, YES YOUR lives and on your computer screens for 1 YEAR! (whether this is good or bad is still in question)

Can I just say that I have been in the most supportive environment! Picnic Reads has introduced me to some a) amazing books b) amazing authors and of course c) amazing people! This community ROCKS! 

So on my first year of blogging I have been so overwhelmed with all of the support from the community! My stats:

Views: 6,300
Posts: 80+

Which is so good for a new blog! Thanks so much you guys!

Social Media Development??: Where I plug myself (mini blogversary plug. This is allowed right?)

I am fairly new to all of the social media, but the other day I got instagram/bookstagram! So many people have been lovely about my new feed! I've kind of been working out whether to do nature/indoors anyway I decided on outdoors! 

This year I got to make my blog so much more easily accessible to my wonderful readers! 

Getting off all the stats. Can I talk about what I've learnt in 5 dot-points? Yes, yes I can.

1. The blog is me, and I am my blog. (Modern-day bloggers inner Shakespeare at work)

I learnt that my blog is my own, and I am my own blogger. I don't need to be like anyone else. I needed to learn to be my own person. Picnic Reads is for my opinions and mine only!  

2. That doing weird things is appreciated..(You guys are weird)

So I have had heaps of people tell me that my weird interview questions are great to read and that they like them A LOT. I don't know. Anyway THANKYOU and yeah basically, you don't have to be BORING, add a few little things unique to you and your blog.

3. That humans that are publicists rule

I am telling you, NEVER take publicists for granted! These people are honestly the most beautiful people ever. Everyone that has ever contacted me, is honestly so lovely and I seriously want to thank my publicists for being so patient throughout all of my requests/fangirling!

4. You don't need to be FORMAL. I know (: pheww

If you look back to my first few posts, I was so formal! I wrote book reports not book reviews!!! Oh my gosh it makes me crack up! I mean look at me now #noformalities and I love it!

5. Not everyone will always agree with you and your opinions but that's ok. Don't be afraid to speak an unpopular opinion you have!

There's always going to be people who disagree with you and your opinion on books but don't worry about them! If someone disagrees with my opinion, that's ok, but I shouldn't be afraid to publish a review because I'm scared I will get hate because I did/didn't like it. Also REALLY APPRECIATE people who support people's opinions if the person didn't like the book but they did! 

Now to the people who have supported me and I couldn't have the blog I have without them! (I know. I did say that there was cheese on the side)

Kelly / Has been such a big support for Picnic Reads. Not only did she design my blog graphics and header, but she supported me in getting my blog out there and accepted me in to Aus YA Bloggers.

Mollie / Mollie is so lovely. She helped me get started with instagram and heard out all of my wails and when I freaked out a few times! She also passed on some important contacts to me to help get me through to some publishers.

Diem / My first follower and always there to talk with me. Always liking everything I post and just overall huge support.

Also to the #AusYABloggers especially Jeann & Kristy who have always helped me out whenever I need it and always had my back with blogging and such.

Emily & Cait / for supporting my beta-reading expeditions and letting me read some of their amazing writing! (And also being there when I have some questions in need of answers as soon as possible!) 

Just generally to everyone who has been awesome to me! I've met some great new people from my blog who are AWESOME! You know who you are (: 

Also thankyou so super dooper much to the publishers that have always been so lovely and supportive of Picnic Reads (& also read and replied to all of my annoying little emails): Bloomsbury, Allen and Unwin, Harper Collins, Harper Voyager, Walker Books & Pan Macmillan. 

To my publicists: How do you put up with me? THANKYOU! A BILLION TRILLON TIMES THANKYOU!

I found it difficult to recap my whole year so you get dot points of what I enjoyed:

1. Interviewing awesome authors and people!

2. Meeting authors at YA Squad and meeting Chami!
3. Writing posts and getting COMMENTS! Aaahhh so lovely!
4. Doing numerous blog tours and seeing my blog on the posters!
5. Getting chosen to do some tags (My latest being the Pokemon Tag thanks to my friend Aentee)

Messages from Picnic Reads Readers:
From my new bookish friend Stephanie
From my friend Kristy!

Thankyou so much for sending in these in! It means a lot to get little messages like these! These both brightened my day! 

Now it's giveaway time! 

Thanks to Bloomsbury Australia, I am giving away an e-copy of Caramel Hearts by E.R Murray as well as the exclusive recipe-only edition of the book!


YES! That's two books!!! I've read Caramel Hearts and I loved it, and the recipe only book (which feautures the recipes in the book + more) looks delicious! Delicious enough to eat the pages!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
-This giveaway starts on the 28th of July and Ends on the 31st of August!

-Winner will be contacted by email and has two days to reply otherwise the books will be given to a new winner!
-I will be checking all entries to make sure that if you win, you have won fairly (e.g. followed me etc) 
-Since the books are both e-books (both PDF) I will be able to email you the copies. But please do not re-distribute these books.

Thankyou so much again to everyone who has supported my blog! Make sure to enter in to the competition! 

Thanks for coming to celebrate with me! *hands around vienetta* *free books galore* *confetti*

Julia x

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

A Chef and A Potter's Romance in When We Collided

Hi Picknickers,

Welcome to the Picnic. Today I am reviewing When We Collided by Emery Lord. All non-spoiler.

When We CollidedWhen We Collided by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury Australia
Imprint is Bloomsbury Childrens 
Published in April 2016
Aus RRP: $17.99
YA Contemporary  

Seventeen year old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, his whole life, and only one thing has ever changed: his father used to be alive, and now he's not. Now Jonah must numbly take care of his family as they reel from their tragedy. Cue next change: Vivi Alexander, new girl in town. 

Vivi is in love with life. A gorgeous and unfiltered hurricane of thoughts and feelings. She seems like she's from another planet as she transforms Jonah's family and changes his life. But there are always consequences when worlds collide … 

Thankyou SO much to Bloomsbury for sending me an ARC for review!


So this book was confusing. Let me tell you something. Contemporary is my favourite genre. I love it. So when I see the blurb of this book, I'm excited because this sounds AWESOME. Let alone that amazing cover! But after reading this book, it left me unhappy.

For one thing, I strongly disliked the romance in this book. But before I get to that I need to tell you a few things. I loved the family aspect of this book. Jonah's family was so beautiful. How they accepted Vivi and looked after one another when their parents couldn't was truly beautiful. I did of course like the contrast between Vivi and Jonah's family and also the similarities (in the aspect of parenting)

I also liked the diversity of the jobs/hobbies of these two characters. For one thing, Jonah is a chef, when is awesome! I'll tell you why I'm all for a male chef in YA...BECAUSE most male characters in YA are always complaining about cooking. So yeah, I liked this about Jonah and how his passion brought smiles to everyone. I liked how Vivi worked in a pottery shop, THAT WAS SO FUN and unique!!! LIKE NOT A I DON'T KNOW BORING JOB A POTTER!!!! Also, she rides a vespa which is pretty cool (let alone that her vespa is blue so yahhh)

Ok so I'll get a bit in to the characters soon but the romance in this book was a no for me. Vivi and Jonah would be best as just friends. Sure, at the start of the book, I could see it, #Vonah but towards the middle of the book it was just NO! There couldn't be two people worse for each other. I mean WHAT, they were just opposites. I think Jonah only liked Vivi for how she treated his family because I mean otherwise...I don't know what else to say without spoilers. It was just a big nope for me.

Vivi was a good character. She was a big softie for Jonah's family and loved the kids. I just kind of wanted to know a bit more about her mental illness. Vivi does things that are influenced by her mental illness, and I personally thought that Vivi was going insane!!! I didn't know why she was doing what she was doing, and I think that's what kind of let me down, because you don't really fully figure out what is happening with Vivi until the end of the book. Vivi also has to face a lot of family struggles throughout the book, so we do see her develop in to a more mature character towards the end of the book. I really liked how Vivi was an only child and Jonah was one of many because it showed the struggles of both sides and that neither is perfect.

Jonah was a character that had to grow up way to fast. Being one of the eldest he needs to look after his siblings because his Mum suffers a mental illness and can't get out of bed. We could definitely see Jonah's protectiveness with his family come in to play with Vivi a bit (which is not what a girl like Vivi wants.) He was a very caring character and we can tell how much he cares about his friends as well. Because of his protectiveness though, it also weighted down the story, because he refused to take certain risks. This again contrasted Vivi, a girl who would always take a risk.

Bits & Bobs:

  • Loved the cover! The paint splatters were absoloutley gorgeous! And glossy!
  • Jonah's food sounded delicious by the way. (Tortilla Soup sounds scrumptious)

Overall, When We Collided was a story with lots of potential, but it didn't quite hit the mark for me.

Rating: ★

Julia x

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Glitz and Glam with a twist in Unrivaled

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to the Picnic. Today I'm reviewing Unrivaled by Alyson Noël. All non-spoiler.

Unrivaled by Alyson Noël
Published by Harper Collins Australia
Imprint is Harper Collins- US 
Published in May 2016
Aus RRP: $19.99
YA Contemporary  

Everyone wants to be someone. Layla Harrison wants to leave her beach-bum days for digs behind a reporter's desk. Aster Amirpour wants to scream at the next casting director who tells her “we need ethnic but not your kind of ethnic.” Tommy Phillips dreams of buying a twelve-string guitar and using it to shred his way back into his famous absentee dad's life. But Madison Brooks took destiny and made it her bitch a long time ago. She's Hollywood's hottest starlet, and the things she did to become the name on everyone's lips are merely a stain on the pavement, ground beneath her Louboutin heel. That is, until Layla, Aster, and Tommy find themselves with a VIP invite to the glamorous and gritty world of Los Angeles's nightlife and lured into a high-stakes competition where Madison Brooks is the target. Just as their hopes begin to gleam like stars through the California smog, Madison Brooks goes missing. . . . And all of their hopes are blacked out in the haze of their lies.

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


The plot of this book was so unique towards the start of the book, which got me excited. There's not very many books based around Hollywood and Los Angeles that aren't all "fake" if you know what I mean. The book starts off with the points of view of all four of the characters. We get to know them all, and what their reasons are for wanting join the Hollywood Nightlife. We have an aspiring journalist, model, musician and off course a celebrity, who is related to the story, because she was once a girl wanting to become famous. The characters are drawn in to a game or competition. They are each given a dedicated nightclub of which they have to promote and lure people in to. The more people that come, the more money they make. The person with the least people at the end of the week, is sent home. This continues until we have a winner. 

I must admit this plot was very interesting for me. Throughout the start of the plot it was very exciting to read, the game and promotion and how the characters were going about getting people was all fabulous to read about. 

But, just when I thought that the book wasn't the cliche story of Hollywood dramas, unfortunately it became just that, and not really with the big twist (which I actually really enjoyed and makes me want to pick up the second book) but with little things, say for example, breakups etc. NO! I'm not talking about a little break up, because yes, I accept that breakups are a part of life and all, but to the dramatic extent they went to in this book was just way too much. AND all of the cheating, it was just too corny and too cliche for me. I get that Los Angeles is gritty and dark, but I don't know, I don't think it was the right kind of book for me.  

My favourite P.O.V was definitely, Layla (the aspiring journalist) because she was so brutally honest. I really enjoyed the plot from her P.O.V. She was a  blogger and had her own blog about celebrity gossip, and that made her all the more intriguing. I liked hearing about journalism, and especially how twisted celebrity gossip can be. Layla kind of told it how it is. It was also interesting to see Layla, publish very highly controversial posts, even if it meant throwing her friends in to an abyss, just so that she could get views and money. She was cut throaght and raw and imperfect and I liked that Alyson didn't make her a well-rounded character who would never spread a lie, because that just isn't reality.

Aster was an annoying character. She was whiny and would do anything, AND I'M SAYING ANYTHING to win this competition. She wielded her good looks like a weapon and that was practically her only tactic. Ok so she was very power-hungry. I just didn't really like her. ALSO she complained about basically everything. 

Tommy was a just OK character. If you get me? Like just, he wanted to play music and he was just THERE. And he was kind of in the middle of this love triangle and the thing was that he didn't care. I really wanted him to choose. He said he liked one of the girls, and then the other one would cry and he would RUSH TO HER LIKE SHE IS THE ONLY GIRL IN HIS WORLD! JUST NOOOOOO! That was my pet hate with him. That was my pet hate with Tommy. But, otherwise he was pretty bland. BUT I did like how he was a very forgiving character. That was good.

Now Madison, she reminded me of a teenage celebrity. Why you might ask? BECAUSE SHE WAS. Wow, congrats Julia. She was the typical story celebrity though. A celebrity hiding her real identity and who bossed everyone around, ungrateful etc etc. I did like the little twist with her boyfriend though, that was very good. I also liked how her publicity team tried to publicise her that was good to read (again because it's REAL)

Bits & Bobs:

  • I really liked the minimalist cover. I mean I'm always up for gold dripped strawberries. 
  • The writing could've been developed a bit more, but I think as the books go on the writing will definitely get better.
Overall, this book had a great plot that had me excited, but the majority of the characters and sudden descent in to cliches disappointed me.

Rating: ★★★.5

Julia x

Friday, 22 July 2016

Pokemon Go Book Tag

Hi. So just assuming you all know what Pokemon Go is because...if you don't....ARE YOU LIVING UNDER A ROCK? (no judging though) 

I was tagged by Aentee 
Read at Midnight (The Creater of this tag) to do the Pokemon Go Book Tag! Thanks so much for the tag Aentee! 

Also all graphics were made and belong to Aentee, I take no credit haha!

I was always more of a writer than a reader when I was younger. But some of my favourite books when I was a child were probably books by Roald Dahl. I also loved The Magic Faraway Tree Series by Enid Blyton and Lassie Come Home by Eric Knight.

Towards my tweeny years when I was growing more in to reading the books I enjoyed reading where Does My Head Look Big in This?Crow Country & and books by Deborah Ellis!

As for the book that started me reading YA as a teen, most definitely was Cinder by Marissa Meyer!

That went a bit off topic but did you get some good recs from that?

Will always love Ballet Shoes for Anna by Noel Streatfeild! Unlike Pikachu, this book isn't awfully well known, but I will always love it because it was one of my favourites to read as a child.
I must admit that I haven't picked up the Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas a) Because the hype is crazy b) because there's so much drama around this series! It's really a shame because I loved ACOTAR and ACOMAF! Should I pick this up soon? Is it worth the drama/hype?
Ok so ACOTAR and ACOMAF have some tropes in them (e.g. the love triangle) but Maas writes it so well that I just fell in love with the series. RECOMMEND x100000000000000000000000

Don't kill me but....Harry Potter Series. By the time I heard about them (when I was a young writer and non-reader) it was to late. I wasn't interested! Now, when I am a reader...the series looks so long........(I did take the Pottermore quiz and I am a #ProudHufflepuff)

I also just started The Mortal Instruments Series so I am catching up on some series guys calm down.
Whisper to Me is all I need to say....apart from 500+ pages, finished in one night. AH-MA-ZING. Kept me up at night because a) characters b) suspense c) formattingggggg. Check out my review where is paw over every single word in a non-spoilery way.

I have many bookish OTP's but I mean Rhysand/Feyre is pretty damn awesome. I have to say though Cress/Thorne & Cinder/Kai are up there aswell! Anna/Etienne I mean c'mon. Seriously though I have so many more that I can't put a finger on right now!!!
I would have to choose The Crowns Game for this one! I loved this book and it was so fast-paced! I read it really quickly, and it kept me wanting to read more and more (plus Russian sweets)
Will never get tired of seeing spin-offs / fanfic of The Lunar Chronicles. Great characters, great plots, lovely intertwining or series! A must read series for YA lovers.
The Dorothy Must Die Series caught me by surprise, because as much as I love retellings I was really nervous that these books would follow the exact same plot as the original fairytale except with Dorothy being evil etc. To my surprise, I really enjoyed this series. I wasn't a real fan of the first book but book 2 & 3 were really good!
An Ember in the Ashes and Six of Crows! Both of these books are super hyped but I am still keeping positive about them! Some love them and some hate them, but I'm excited to read them and find out what I think about them! I've only read the first book in the Grisha Trilogy and it was alright...but I hear the series gets better as it moves along....


The collectors edition of The Book Thief! Isn't it beautiful! The simplicity, the whitenessnessssss! Ahh it's gorgeous and I really want to own it! Also really want to own a copy of Nevernight with black/red edges! Gorgeous!
  Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1)
I'm so excited for Caraval! I know I'm a copy cat but what can I say Aentee and I have a similar taste? The author is so lovely and the concept sounds aaaaamaaaazing!
Some of my auto-buy authors include Marissa Meyer, Jay Kristoff & Randa Abdel-Fattah! Those are probably my most common auto-buy authors!
HeartlessStealing Snow and Gemina can't come quick enough! Hurry up! I was so lucky to be able to grab a Nevernight ARC so didn't have to wait too long for that one (which I loved review soon) 


Do you a agree with any of these opinions? Let me know!

Monday, 18 July 2016

A Whimsical Setting + A Tough Subject + Romance = Whisper To Me Review

Hi Picknickers!

So, I LOVED WHISPER TO ME. It was whimsical perfect! No spoilers, alrighty? Also, kind of mixing it up with my formatting, so let's see how it goes ok?

Whisper to Me

Whisper To Me by Nick Lake
Published by Bloomsbury 
Imprint is Bloomsbury Childrens 
Published in June 2016
Aus RRP: $17.99
YA Contemporary 

'I love you. I'm sorry for what I did to you. I'm going to write it all down, explain everything that happened, why I broke your heart, and then I'm going to email it to you. I will be waiting for you at 5 p.m. Friday by the windmill hole at the crazy golf at the Pier where we played once. If you still want me then, when you're done reading this, come and get me. OK? Consider this the most screwed up love letter ever.'

Thankyou SO much to Bloomsbury  for sending me an ARC for review!


Please consider this. I started this book at night time with every intention to go to sleep after 100 pages. I finished it at 3am in the morning, crying. 

So the plot was really great. Towards the start of the novel I was kind of confused with the setting, but that soon cleared up. The author explained the town in layers, and even though it was a bit of an info hit at the start, it soon made more and more sense as the novel continued. I absoloutley loved the whole beach-fair kind of background and it added a lighthearted touch that was necessary in the characters dark physiological state. I really enjoyed the romance, it was done really well. I will say though, that I did find one of the ending scenes of the novel kind of confusing. It was hard to read because reality  was mixed with some hallucinations and it was hard as a reader to tell which was which. I did eventually get my head around it, and it was one scene out of a whole book, so I forgave and forgot. Well not really forgot BUT OH WELL OK!!!

Perfectly imperfect characters. Aaahhh ya gotta love 'em!

Cassie was just perfectly imperfect. She was a sweet main character who had to deal with so much. I admired how strong she was, and I also recognized where she felt like she was worthless. The mental illness that she had in this book was done so well. Intricate and detailed and conveyed to the reader exactly what was happening in her mind, which I loved. It really brought to light how bad mental illnesses are and like most books can't, bring to life the thoughts, or in this case the voice in Cassie's brain.

I am just going to call the love interest in this book 'You' because his name isn't mentioned because the book is an email to the boy. You was another cute main character. As most people outside of immediate family don't, You didn't know about Cassie's mental health. He was always there for her though. He loved Cass so much, and also he has the SICKEST JOB EVER (aka delivering toys to vendors at the fair)

I'm also just gonna but it out there that I love Paris. She is one of the most perfect sidekicks known to man. KICK ASS.

Bits & Bobs

  •  I love how the book is written as an email!
  • I like the little quirky bits that go in with the story for example Cassie might be explaining the setting of something and how beautiful it was and then she remembers that You was there and goes 'OH YEAH. But you would know that cause you were there' 
  • The cover is so cute! Here's a picture I took of it!!! I love the ombre pastel!
  • Also the author's writing fitted 'Teen Girl' so well!
This book is a must read for everyone who wants wonderfully imperfect characters, a beachy-fair setting, all mixed together with a incredibly represented mental illness. What's not to like?

Rating: ★★★★★

Julia x

Friday, 15 July 2016

A Unique Story of Politics and Romance (When Michael Met Mina Review)

Hi Everyone,

Today I am posting a review of When Michael Met Mina. This review is part of a blog tour hosted by Pan Macmillan, so thankyou so so much to Pan Macmillan for including me in this tour! I really enjoyed this book, and I am a big fan of Randa's so let's get in to it.
When Michael Met Mina - Randa Abdel-Fattah
When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Published by Pan Macmillan
Imprint is Pan Australia 
Published in June 2016
Aus RRP: $18.99
YA Contemorary 

A boy. A girl. Two families. One great divide.
When Michael meets Mina, they are at a rally for refugees - standing on opposite sides.
Mina fled Afghanistan with her mother via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre.
Michael's parents have founded a new political party called Aussie Values.
They want to stop the boats.
Mina wants to stop the hate.
When Mina wins a scholarship to Michael's private school, their lives crash together blindingly.
A novel for anyone who wants to fight for love, and against injustice.

The Plot was great. I really liked the idea of these two opposing sides and how they clash. A boy who's parents are anti-asylum seeker and a girl who is a refugee. The storyline was great. I really enjoyed hearing from both sides. The plot was well paced and very interesting. I got to learn a lot more about the political parties who are against welcoming refugees in to Australia, which I could never get my head around. It was so interesting to see a behind the scenes into the lives of these families because just I CAN'T UNDERSTAND?! The romance in this book was pretty damn good aswell. The plot flowed well and the storyline was great.
Sassy & Intelligent characters made for a great read.

Mina was a good character. She was bubbly and bright and very and I MEAN VERY INTELLIGENT. Which was refreshing and really fun to read. Mina could be whiny at times, which I can understand ESPECIALLY after everything she's been through, but sometimes it just went too far. I did though love her sassiness and fiery attitude. She was also very easily angry and can hold a grudge, which made her all the more real and all the less fictional. 
Michael and his family were so so so very interesting to read. I loved learning as I said about the behind the scenes of these political groups (and it was just as awful as I imagined.) Michael was a great example of a child, whose hasn't had room to figure out his own beliefs and has been forced to conform to his families. I loved watching him grow as a person and learn more and more. His Father and Mother were very manipulative people, and people would attention-seek especially in the media. I genuinely loved Michael even maybe more than Mina. He was such an intriguing character especially when he begun to question his family and their ethics. Smart, and compassionate, Michael was the perfect example of a character who has good intentions but who's beliefs have been shaped by his parents manipulative faiths.
Bits and Bobs

  • The cover is very eyeopening if you read the white scrawl. It shows quotes of what is said to refugees, and honestly it's appalling. It also shows snippets of what's inside.
  • Loved having the two character P.O.V 
  • Randa's writing is superb. She is a great storyteller and has a unique voice.
  • Thanks again to Pan Macmillan for having me on this blog tour. Make sure to check out everyone else's posts!

Rating: ★★★★.5
Julia x

Friday, 8 July 2016

Nix's Guide to Hawaii (Aka The Girl From Everywhere Review)

Hi Picknickers!

So, I enjoyed The Girl From Everywhere. It wasn't my favourite, but I still liked reading it.

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Helig
Published by Allen and Unwin 
Imprint is Hotkey 
Published in May 2016
Aus RRP: $19.99
YA Fantasy 

Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.

Thankyou SO much to Allen and Unwin for sending me an ARC for review!


****3.5 out of 5 Stars****


The plot was very promising. Action packed and I am always up for a great time travel novel. Probably the highest point of the book for me was the setting or more likely settings. You could tell that the author has lived in Hawaii, because she knew the place very well. I myself have never been, and I could clearly visualise the tropical paradise. The setting was truly whimsical and it was the perfect home base for the characters. I also REALLY enjoyed the aspects of cartography. I was entranced with world of maps and parchment paper. I especially liked how the plot was based around finding a specific map, and how each map is unique to the person who made it. SO that aspect was incredible. Although, the downside to this book is that I was always a bit confused with what was happening. Throughout the novel, Nix has to travel to certain places to retrieve a specific map. On some occasions she goes to do certain quests, but it isn't stated WHY she has to. This was just a bit annoying and hard to read because I didn't really understand what was happening.


Nix was a very interesting character. I enjoyed her devotion to time travel and her love of maps. I liked how she wanted to travel on her own, to Cartherage and kept that map to herself so one day she could go live in a place, and time she relished instead of always being under her Father's orders. Nix had the potential to be such an intriguing leader if not for her Father whom pretty much controls her. I can't wait to see her in the second book as she will develop as a strong woman. 

I was kind of confused about the whole crew though. I mean, one of them was a cow (as in literally)? And there was a ghost that everyone could see and talk to that died? I don't know I just didn't understand it?? I understand that it was kind of meant to be based around fairies and everything, but it wasn't really explained well enough for me to understand why and how these characters came to be on Nix's ship.

Also, I really loathed the Captain. YES I GET IT LOVE CAN MAKE YOU DO CRAZY THINGS but, Is it really worth the RISK (of which I can't name) and ALSO why do you make Nix find all of your maps and then when it comes to all of debating and bargaining LEAVE HER OUT OF IT?! WHY!!!! 

Bits and Bobs:

+ As mentioned before the cartography and maps were great! The aesthetics mentioned in the novel were some of the best!

+The cover is a tropical wonderland

+Heidi's writing style is amaazingggg and she is very talented!

+Although the plot and characters didn't really amaze me I will definitley be picking up book number 2!

+ ALSO, I didn't really like how some bits were action packed and others were just kind of slow and boring where nothing happened. I think the action scenes could've been stretched out a bit more to prevent this. ALTHOUGH, the TOURISTY scenes were awesome!!!! AND I loved, seeing Hawaii and all of it's shops and the CREEPY APOTHECARY through Nix!!!!!

Rating: ★★★.5
Julia x