Thursday, 2 February 2017

WRAPPING UP JANUARY 2017 WITH PICNIC READS



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The Books I Have Purchased:

None YET! I have a few gift cards, which I am sooooooooo excited to use but of course I can't decide what book to use them on?!!!! Please help, send me your recommendations, what books have you liked recently?

  POSSIBILITIES:

  • When The Moon Was Ours
  • Not Your Sidekick
  • The Female of the Species
  • A Gathering of Shadows
  • Vengeance Road

Which book should I choose?

Books I have received from the wonderful humans called publishers:

I held off requesting this month, because I don't want to over-request. So January= no requested books but also = four books that I still need to read and review. I need to hurry up I know. 

The Books I've Read This Month:
Caraval by Stephanie GarberHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingBone Gap by Laura RubyThis One Summer by Mariko TamakiWe Come Apart by Sarah CrossanBlack by Fleur FerrisThe Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola YoonUnder Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise GornallSister Heart by Sally MorganRadio Silence by Alice OsemanRisk by Fleur FerrisThe Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
Images: Goodreads

Caraval: ★.5
Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban: 
Bone Gap: ★
This One Summer: 
We Come Apart: 
Black: ★.5
The Sun Is Also A Star: 
Under Rose-Tainted Skies: 
Sister Heart: ★.5
Radio Silence: 
Risk: 
The Sleeper and The Spindle: 


Book(s) of the Month:
Caraval (Caraval, #1)

Caraval is a must read! It was absoloutley amazinggggggggg!!! I reviewed it this month, you can see that here. It also includes a QUIZ to see whether you would be a Performer, Player or Watcher in the game of Caraval! 

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Currently Reading:

I'm in a little bit of a slump at the moment. A kind of everything slump, blogging, reading, everything. Which is why a) I'm not currently reading much of anything and b) I might not be on this blog as much this month.
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What's happened this month:

+ I reviewed a lot of books this month, including Ida by Alison Evans, Caraval by Stephanie Garber & Ora's Gold by Charlotte Freeman.

+ I also revealed that I was chosen for the Tsar's Guard Spotlight Tour for which I created a character tag! 
+ I finally posted a Harry Potter themed post FINALLY and talked about all the things I've been enjoying in the first three books! (There is a lot of hippogriff discussion I suggest looking at it!)

What's On This Week (Posting Wise)?
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(See what I did there with Harry Potter & now Snape....)

ANYWAY I'm not sure. I'm in a kind of blogging SLUMP, I just don't even know. Bloggers help, blogging slumps? How to get out of them? I think I need a bit of a break. 

Let me know, was January a good reading month for you? Are you ahead or behind on your Goodreads Goal? 


Saturday, 28 January 2017

I-dan't have many complaints // Ida Review (Terrible pun but great book)


I really wish I could time travel back to the moment I got an email from Bonnier asking me if I'd be interested in reviewing IDA and take a picture because I was so excited.

This book didn't disappoint either!




Ida
Ida by Alison Evans
Published by Bonnier 
Published in January 2017
Aus RRP: $19.99
YA Science Fiction/Fantasy



How do people decide on a path, and find the drive to pursue what they want? 

Ida struggles more than other young people to work this out. She can shift between parallel universes, allowing her to follow alternative paths. 

One day Ida sees a shadowy, see-through doppelganger of herself on the train. She starts to wonder if she’s actually in control of her ability, and whether there are effects far beyond what she’s considered.

How can she know, anyway, whether one universe is ultimately better than another? And what if the continual shifting causes her to lose what is most important to her, just as she’s discovering what that is, and she can never find her way back?

Thankyou SO much to Bonnier for sending me this book for review! However, this does not effect my opinion of this novel.

THIS BOOK THIS BOOK THIS BOOK as per usual I have lost where to start with this sooo.... SETTING & CONCEPT

It's in Melbourne. Which I love! I had been to a heap of the places in this book and there's always a certain relatability when you read a book set in a place you know so well. Also when an author adds a whole new fantasy aspect.  This book features parallel universes. Which is one of my favourite concepts EVERRRR! Although towards the start of this book HOW the main character is able to time-travel & move into different universes can be confusing and baffling you begin to understand the unique way in which the main character moves through time. The author includes certain adjectives and a specific description that is always reverted back to when the main character travels! 
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The characters in this book are beautiful & wonderfully diverse. 

Ida is an amazing main character. She's bisexual and also biracial, her Father being German-Australian and her Mother, Vietnamese. Ida's personality shone through the author's writing and I loved her tea-addicted self. Ida's girlfriend, Daisy is gender-queer and the uses the pronouns they/them. I would have to say that I think Daisy was my favourite character in the book. They are adorable, I absoloutley loved how much they like art. They're such a supportive girlfriend. Argh Daisy was just amazing. 

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The perspectives jump between Ida & Damaris. Damaris is a character who can walk among all of the universes Ida creates. Damaris is also gender-fluid (but uses she/her) and was ageless, I'm pretty sure?? I really liked Damaris, but I would've liked more of an explanation in the book of what her job was!
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What I love aswell about Ida is that it's a #ownvoices novel. The author Alison Evans is genderqueer! They are so lovely aswell, the writing in this novel was also really great!

Bits & Bobs: 


  • This book is a really short, quick read! Perfect to take away on holidays if you are looking for a great, quick, fantasy which won't put you over your luggage weight and will be easy to fit in.



Have you read Ida? WHAT DID YOU THINK?! Also do you love novels based in Melbourne like me? ALSO ARE YOU A FAN OF A PARALLEL UNIVERSE?!

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

That's right, I'm FINALLY doing a post for the JuliaReadsHarryPotter tag + ALL THE HP GIFFFSSSS!

You know when I told you that for every Harry Potter book I read I would write a post under the tag JuliaReadsHarryPotter? I lied. I'm very sorry about it too! I expected that I would be reading one Harry Potter book a month so I could keep up to date with everything but since the first few books are a lot shorter than the last ones I read the first two in December and the third in early Jan and I couldn't keep up with posts. 

I know #Juliaisadisgraceofabookblogger2k17 (Minor spoiler: IT'S TRENDING here at Picnic Reads)

I am so sorry I took so long!

BUT to make up for it I've decided to do two things:

1. THIS POST! I've made a list of all the things I have loved so far in the three Harry Potter books I have read! So this will catch you all up to date with where I am! 

2. I'm not going to "review" the other books as I really want to keep my posts spoiler free especially as I'm trying to encourage people like myself who haven't yet read Harry Potter to read it. I know very well that's it's very hard to find spoiler-free reviews of these books! Instead I will be posting something like this for EACH of the next books I read! Which are much bigger so I they will be monthly reads.

SO, to catch you up to date the books I have read:

1. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone: Goodreads Rating
2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Goodreads Rating
3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Goodreads Rating


For updates WHILST I am reading these books, please feel free to friend me on Goodreads @ picnicreads


ALSO YAY for finally being able to use the JuliaReadsHarryPotterTag! 
By the way: this list is really random and has no particular order whatsoever! (You probably expected that anyway) 

1. Will I ever be able to go on a hippogriff-riding lesson? 

So if the description of these beautiful, mythical creatures wasn't enough THE IMAGES ONLINE are just *heart eyed emoji* Buckbeak (a hippogriff featured prominently in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) In the book Hippogriffs are described to be: 

"Half horse, half eagle creatures, immensely proud and extremely dangerous."

There is a whole wonder-filled page all about these darling hippogriffs which I found when researching for this post! There's even a gorgeous illustration from Hagrid's lesson with Harry's class when they first met hippogriffs (click here for that post)! I highly recommend you look at some illustrations of them because they are stunning

THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, and even though they're dangerous and I'd probably get kicked off I'd just love to see them (RIDING them would be even better though!)
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2. So where's Hogwarts? I want to enroll.

AND I KNOW I KNOW, Hogwarts sends a letter to you if you are to be accepted but just imagine if Hogwarts weren't just a school on the page. I seriously want to get in. Not only are the Hogwarts grounds AMAZING and the building itself INCREDIBLE but the classes and the teachers sound like SO MUCH FUN. Defence Against Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Potions?! What's not to like? I'd rather take those subjects than the ones I do now! 

All of the kids are complaining about having to go to a subject and I'm just like "I'LL DO TRANSFIGURATION IF YOU DO MY MATHS CLASS"

I'll admit I would be terrified of Snape in real life, but in the books he is absoloutley hilarious! All of the teachers are so great in Harry Potter! 
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3. What channel is the Quidditch on?

And because I can't explain it myself, Pottermore has an excellent post on what Quidditch is if you don't know but seriously, where can I watch these matches? More importantly where can I play (I would be terrible but there's always hope, right?) Wouldn't it just be amazing to watch Quidditch matches in a massive arena just looking up at everyone above you (I'd sit on the very very top tier!) Also they get really intense #nospoilers though.

Channel 7 get on to Quidditch. 

I remember when I was in Primary School one lesson we played a version of Quidditch. Of course at the time I was a muggle so I didn't really get that it was from a book until our teacher explained it. I can't remember what we used, but we had broomsticks....ahhh if only I had read Harry Potter then because I would love that now. 
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4. I need directions to Diagon Alley, please

Diagon Alley is basically the centre of the wizard world in London. It is hidden from the muggle (or human) world. Harry & his friends all go there to collect school supplies. Although Diagon Alley features in all three of the books I have read, it is most prominent in Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone, when Harry first goes there. I honestly want to get there so bad & BUY EVERYTHING! They sell, wands, school books, robes basically everything you will ever need. PLUS: ALL THE SHOPS HAVE REALLY GREAT NAMES LIKE, Flourish & Blotts and The Leaky Cauldron

Here is an image of my favourite illustration of Diagon Alley: 
Image credit: Harry Potter Wikia

THIS is what I imagine Diagon Alley to look like ^

When looking for the above image GUESS WHAT CAME UP?! 
AND EVEN THOUGH IT WASN'T A RECREATION OF THE HARRY POTTER ALLEY there is an alley named Diagon Alley in Melbourne and I need to go there asap.

5. I WANT TO HAVE MAGIC & CAST SPELLS....I think I'm a muggle born wizard.

I LOVVVVEEEEEE all of the spells, potions & magic and how it all works. It's so great to be able to actually read about spells and what they do and how they work and then you here people refer to them online and I can finally say 'I UNDERSTAND THAT IT MEANS TO *insert spell's purpose here*' Also all of the concoctions they have to make up in potions, all of the INGREDIENTS! It amazes me how well thought out all of the magic in this world is. 

AS CONFUSING AS THE SPELLS NAMES ARE, I WOULDN'T CHANGE THEM because when you say them THEY SOUND AWESOME!!


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Plus, I can say them all to my muggle family and they look at me like I'm crazy kind of like what Harry does to the Vernons.
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6. What it would be like to meet Harry's best friends: Ron & Hermoine.

WHAT WOULD I SAY?! These three are the ultimate squad and they work so well together. They are basically unstoppable! I would be reduced to a babbling mess if I ever met Hermoine, I just know it. All of them are so brave and loyal and JUST I love them. I don't know what to say about them without mentioning SPECIFIC SPOILERY details so let me just say that these three are absoloutley brilliant.
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I mean look at this ^ The synchronisation, they're the dream team.


7. My interpretation of the phrase 'long term friendship' was taken to whole new levels with Dumbledore & Hagrid
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Ok so I love these two separately as well. Hagrid is absoloutley hilarious and such a KIND SOUL for such a big man. I love his love of magic creatures HE HAS SUCH A NURTURING NATURE! He is a geniune friend to Harry, Hermoine and Ron. He even sends Harry birthday presents!! How cute's that? And he loves Dragons tooo...... Dumbledore is just amazing aswell. I love how he stands up for what is right, he's understanding & always supports Harry and Hagrid and his pupils. He is an excellent Headmaster and definitely a favourite character of mine! He's kind of mischievous too, supports all of Harry's little endeavours (MOST CERTAINLY in book three) Their friendship together though... I love how long they've been friends and how Dumbledore always supports Hagrid when he get's in to trouble, even when Dumbledore could get in to danger because of it!
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Look at those two gifs. Both so friendly and polite clapping!

8. When will we be able to make magical candy? 

YES YES THERE IS A MAGICAL CANDY SHOP (in book three) I'll leave all the treats in there for you to find out yourself, all I can say is that I AM HUNGRY and need magical candy right now. Of course there is also the famous butterbeer which I really want to taste. BUT ACTUAL MAGICAL FOOD....can you imagine (#hamiltonreference) when will we be able to make Harry Potter level candy?? Also I feel very un-Australian right now saying 'candy' it doesn't feel right. LOLLIES. LOLLIES.LOLLIES.
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9. Can someone please direct me to Platform 9 3/4 I'm lost?
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10. Oh yeah and then there's this kid called Harry...I mean he's alright but.....

JOKING, I love Harry. He's a fearless main character and he's a very supportive best friend to Hermoine and Ron. He's a hard one to talk about in non spoilery terms, but he's a really great main character. I can't wait for the later books when he is older, at the moment, I still feel as though Harry is pretty young! I think when he's older things will get even more interesting than they already are. Also, it will be great to have Harry around an older teen age as it will be really interesting to see how he changes from a child to a young adult. I feel like I've just started to get to know Harry. I barely know him at all. But I'm excited to continue on his adventures in the next books!


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Let me know, when did you read Harry Potter? Do you want to ride a hippogriff with me because it's cheaper to ride in a group? Also thoughts on whether the first few books or the end books are the best?