Saturday, 26 November 2016

Time Traveling 2.0

Happy weekend everyone!

Well... I hope you're getting used to these time traveling wrap ups because I'm still so behind even though I've been getting better at blogging more regularly. Hopefully now this one can be the last flashback post, because then November's can come in time and we can all be nicely caught up!



October had it's ups and downs. I was sick with the flu at the beginning of the month, and all I wanted to do with sleep. I was having some hard times with friends, and just with getting on with people in general. There was Theory of Knowledge retreat which was a school trip. It was all about deep thinking and questioning knowledge and all that. In essence, it was pretty interesting and fun, but I did have a bit of a problem with friends then, and I guess that was the beginning of where things started to change... 

That aside, I also went to England for an open day at Leceister university. As I am busy with applications right now, it was great to go to an actual university and see it for myself. I LOVED it. I fell in love with the campus, and the atmosphere and I've now decided I am more than ready to go to university and study English Literature and Creative Writing for the next three or four years. The taster lecture was just that good. And it was great because I was there with my older sister, and we had a lot of fun together. 


Other things... I finished watching Supernatural Season 3. Went out to a Mexican restaurant for diner with some friends. Went shopping with another friend and impulse bought a mini blender which I LOVE and have been making smoothies from almost every other day. My clean eating game is still going strong, but it's been hard to be consist with yoga and workouts. Managing it. I'm also enjoyed my favourite season.


I made things like dried apple crisps (recipe to come!). On an evening out with my family we went to a restaraunt and then followed things up with going to see the movie Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (please note I woke up at 5am and spent the whole day binge reading so I could have the first book finished before we went to the cinema.) Yes, I can be like that >.>


My hair is now no longer black and red, but black and a deep purple colour. Most seem to think it is still black and red though, or black and deep pink, so I'm not sure how successful I really was :P


I got conditionally accepted into two universities, York and Newcastle. Three more to hear back from! Basketball has been happening. Games almost every weekend. No wins yet, but definite progress is visible.

There was also a one week holiday in which I took the time to shoot a bunch of videos, preschedule in blog posts (which is why I have been back on the blogging game) and take a bunch of yoga and book photos for my instagram accounts. 

On the 31st of October, it had been a year since my grandfather died. RIP...

If you want to see more of my life updates as they happen, make sure to add me on snapchat!




Seeing as I had quite a few lows in October, alongside the highs, it meant only good things for my reading! Because all I want to do when I'm not feeling that great? Read :P So I read 12 books... double my usual number.

The ones I reviewed are The Dragon of the Month Club by Iain Reading, The Dead Man by Nora Gold, Iron Cast by Destiny Soria and Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh.

I read The Outsider by Albert Camus for class and even though it took me a while to warm up to it, I think it has such a deep meaning behind it about humanity and conformity, that I warmed up to it. 

One by Sarah Crossan was one I meant to read for a while, so I'm glad I finally did. I quite liked it. It wasn't amazing, but it was still good. 

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander was pretty different. I liked that it was another novel in verse and about basketball as well. But it really said something about family too, which made me like it even more. 

Some Writer by Melissa Sweet was a quirky, little, biography about E.B. White. I read 50% of it before realising who the author was and what novels he had written. Once I did, I became personally invested and the book is just so BEAUTIFUL. Those illustrations, you guys ^.^

The Sky and the Dea by Kevin J. Johnson was a book of poetry and short stories. It was a complete flop for me, but I will be reviewing that, so more on it later. 

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn... another flop for me. Worse though, because I couldn't get into it at all. I would've ditched the book if it hadn't been something I had to read for class. I feel bad though, because it's a novel of strife based on the author's true story in Stalinist Russia. 

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculair Children by Ransom Riggs was brilliant. I loved the writing style, the story, the characters. I just wish the pace was a bit faster at the beginning, and there seems to be one glaring plot hole? More on that one later too. 

And last but not least, Like Water on Stone by Dana Walrath. Of the three novels in verse I tried, this was by far the most moving and emotional. Based on a true, historical story to do with escaping the Armenian genocide, this touched my heart in every way. And it was written beautifully too. 



That's it for the month of October!

Olivia's Question: How was October for you? Any plans for this weekend or how you'll be spending the rest of November?

Olivia-Savannah x

Sunday, 20 November 2016

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry [Book Review]

Hello there!

Title: My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry
Author: Fredrik Brackman (Translated by Henning Koch)
Publisher: Atria Books
Published Date: 4th September 2013
Rating: 5 Stars

*Thank you to Booktube Tours for the review copy*


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Synopsis: From the author of the internationally bestselling A Man Called Ove, a novel about a young girl whose grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters, sending her on a journey that brings to life the world of her grandmother's fairy tales.

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa's best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother's stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa's grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa's greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother's letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.


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Review: My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry was a book I fell in love with as soon as I read the title. And when it only took me two days to consume the book in its entirety, I knew I hadn’t made a bad choice. This book was wonderful, meaningful and also a really good character driven read. With beautiful descriptions to make a bookworm swoon, I was impressed that I could enjoy this book. I’m someone who doesn’t usually get along with translated books. But this book didn’t even read like one at all. In fact, I didn’t notice it was one until I actually started writing this review. So kudos to the translator who I mentioned up next to the author’s name. It was a brilliant translation.


This book expertly deals with the ideals of when you think you know everything about your role model or best friend when it turns out you don’t. That’s simply because there is never enough time to tell them everything, or you don’t want them to get a bad impression of them. No matter what people say about your best friend never judging you, you have to admit that is something you worry about a little bit. Elsa realises, as she apologises to all these people on a treasure hunt, that her grandmother was not the person she believed her to be. Her role model was imperfect. But at the same times as not being who she said, she was exactly who she said she was as well. If it seems like what I’m saying doesn’t make any sense, then you should definitely try this novel to learn about what I mean!

The novel also crosses a lot of themes. Elsa’s parents are divorced, and you can see her trying to handle that, as well as the fact that she is going to be having another sibling with her mother and step dad. She also has a bit of a distance with her father as he is very formal, so she tries to overcome this as well. At the same time, this novel is really about love and acceptance. Elsa’s bullied at school, so we really get to see how this has shaped who she is and affected her confidence. And lastly, I have to mention the most important theme – death. She’s doing this for her grandmother because she’s passed away. Which is so, so heartbreaking. It makes Elsa sad. It makes Elsa angry. She thinks it’s not fair, and then hates her grandmother for leaving her. It touches her emotions in so many ways that was real to me when I was a ten year old (okay, a bit older than her seven years) and my grandfather also passed away from cancer. Because it spoke to me so much and represented those twisted emotions so well, it was hard to do anything but love this book.


Elsa was a brilliant character and I just loved her so much. She was a genius kid, but she was still a kid, and that was executed so well. She would spin out the most clever and intelligent things, but she doesn’t have the filter that most adults have, so it got her into trouble that way. And while she knows all these facts and common sense, she still leans heavily on her imagination and getting captured into non-existent worlds. She praises Harry Potter and superhero comics, and thinks you’re incredibly dumb if you haven’t read ‘great literature’ such as those. She’s still a child. But a genius too.

The secondary characters were so amazing, and so detailed that I could write a full paragraph or maybe even essay on each of them as well. The important thing about the characters is their own stories and how this ties into who her grandmother was. As she apologises to each one, they come into the story and we learn more about them! And the best part…


Is that all of their stories tie together. Even though they all seem distant, it really explains why the characters are the way they are. It all came together so clearly and perfectly by the end of the novel, that I was actually surprised. It’s like a gentle plot twist for more character driven readers.

It made me laugh. It made me sad. It made me smile. This book is definitely worth your time.

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Gif Summary: 


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Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: Do you have any pets? If you don’t but you had to get one, what would you want as a pet?

Olivia-Savannah x

Friday, 18 November 2016

Happy Socks Make Me Happy [Appreciation Post]

Hi guys! Hope you're all having a great day :3

Today I wanted to tell you about something I've never talked about here on the blog before - my favourite brand of socks. :D And to do this... I am going to tell you a story. 

Once upon a time there was a young girl called Olivia. She had to wear socks when she went to school inside of her trainers and Converse. She also loved wearing dresses and she just hated wearing tights as well. But her mother insisted. So she wore them. Even though she detested it. 

Finally, she became a teenager who was old enough to choose her own clothes when she went to school and out and about. Do you think she chose to wore socks? No! She wouldn't, but then she realised how quickly her shoes started to smell, and then she knew she would have to. She tried to wear flats and ballet shoes whenever she could, even though her feet went cold. But her mother started to threaten that she wouldn't get to choose her clothes anymore. 



So she relented. She would wear socks, as long as they were plain ankle socks and nothing else. Even in winter, she dutifully stuck to her ankle socks. Better to be cold and uncomfortable that way then with itchy socks and um... still uncomfortable?

Eventually, she discovered Happy Socks as she bought a good friend her birthday present. This friend loved socks, and even though she didn't understand it, she got her these lovely socks which reminded Olivia of sunsets. In fact, Olivia even loved the design of the socks and wanted some herself. But she thought those are going to be too uncomfortable. No way I should bother buying them if I won't wear them. 

Then she discovered this hashtag that happened on bookstagram every Sunday. It goes like this: #socksunday. And all the bookstagrammers post pictures of their books with socks. Olivia wanted to do the same, but she had nothing but those ankle socks to wear... and they weren't aesthetically pleasing enough for her to include in her photos. So she decided to go ahead and indulge herself in a pair of socks she wouldn't wear for anything except the photos. 



Olivia bought the sunset socks. She was incredibly happy. At home, she slipped them on for a picture and then realised...

THEY WERE SO COMFORTABLE. 

Now, when it's cold outside, Olivia slips on her Happy Socks and she is happy and warm and she feels completely comfortable. They're nothing like any of other socks she wears. They're even more comfortable than her plain old ankle socks. 



Olivia sees more Happy Socks in her future ^.^


THE END

Thanks so much for reading this little story! Maybe there will be more in the future. I haven't decided about that yet, but let me know if you would like more posts in this story telling kind of form!

Olivia's Question: What do you think of socks? Do you have a favourite pair/brand/type of socks?

Olivia-Savannah x

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Aftermath [Book Review & Giveaway!]

Hello there!

Title: Aftermath
Author: Clara Kensie
Publisher: Merit Press
Published Date: 1st November 2016
Rating: 5 Stars

*Thank you to publisher for the review copy*


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Synopsis: Charlotte survived four long years as a prisoner in the attic of her kidnapper, sustained only by dreams of her loving family. The chance to escape suddenly arrives, and Charlotte fights her way to freedom. But an answered prayer turns into heartbreak. Losing her has torn her family apart. Her parents have divorced: Dad's a glutton for fame, Mom drinks too much, and Charlotte's twin is a zoned-out druggie. Her father wants Charlotte write a book and go on a lecture tour, and her mom wants to keep her safe, a virtual prisoner in her own home. But Charlotte is obsessed with the other girl who was kidnapped, who never got a second chance at life--the girl who nobody but Charlotte believes really existed. Until she can get justice for that girl, even if she has to do it on her own, whatever the danger, Charlotte will never be free.

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Review: Please. Please don’t let that happy, almost fantasy looking cover fool you like it fooled me. I completely understand why that cover was used for this book, and even though I read the synopsis, for some reason I thought this book was going to be a happy story. In a way, you can say it is. But in the same way, you can also say it isn’t at all…

This is a serious story about a girl who was kidnapped, held for four years and then escapes by a twist of fate. But when she gets home she realises a lot has changed in four years… and she won’t ever be able to have the life she had back then.


What really surprised me, and maybe impressed me too, was how clean this novel was. It must have been hard to write this novel in such a way, to be handling what could’ve easily become a very sexual topic and keeping it clean. Because in those four years, Charlotte (the main character) was raped and abused day in and day out. Yet, Kensie manages to write about this in a clean manner and really make the reader feel for what has happened to her. I think what most stood out to me about her recovery when it comes to the abuse is the way that Charlotte describes people looking at her. She either says that they manage to see her, or they have the look of pity, or they don’t see her at all. Instead, the see all the nasty things the man who kidnapped her did to her. It’s scary how she can tell when people are truly paying attention to her or seeing something else when they look at her. But it was incredibly clever for the author to be able to transmit the emotions Charlotte or someone who was abused could feel in a clean, but so meaningful, manner.


My heart went out to each and every character in this novel. I felt for Charlotte’s mother, who must have been devastated to lose her daughter and forgot how to function as a mother for the rest of her family because of it. I felt for her father who did everything possible to find her. I felt for her stepmother who was trying to be there for Charlotte when she was someone entirely new to her, who she didn’t know or want to understand at first. I felt for Alexa, Charlotte’s twin sister who lost both parents (in some way) when she lost her sister, and makes sure any kids she sees on the street is being supervised because she is worried they are going to be snatched as well. And of course, Charlotte. They’re all hurting, in their own ways, and the author managed to convey that in the tiny details of their actions, rather than what they said.

This novel was so heartbreaking, but it was also hopeful. I cried several times towards the end because I saw how twisted the story really became. Although this is a character driven story and mostly straightforward, don’t think there can’t be any plot twists. That’s what made me the most impressed with the author. Because there were two plot twists at the end of the novel, and seeing as I wasn’t expecting any, I was completely surprised. But of course, when you read them, it seems like it makes complete sense because the author has left clues throughout the novel. It’s just impossible to put them together until it’s too late and the plot twists have been revealed.


I found it incredibly hard to write this review because for once, I didn’t really know how to relate what I’d felt while reading this book in words. I’ve tried my best. But the best thing that you could do is go and read this novel for yourself. Because it’s not just about those people who have been kidnapped and returned home. It’s about all those children and people who haven’t been found ever again. It’s about all those who have ever been abused or sexually assaulted and are moving on or trying to push through. It’s about so much. This is a novel worth your time.

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Gif Summary: 


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Giveaway: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Links: Goodreads & Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: If you went away for a long time and only one thing could remain the same as it was for when you returned, what would you want it to be?

Olivia-Savannah x

Friday, 11 November 2016

Dean [Inspire Fandom Appreciation Post]

Good morning!

Today I have another Inspire Fandom appreciation post for you! Inspire Fandom make wonderful bookish products which you should really check out. You can head over to their website here!

The item I wanted to talk about today a necklace version of Dean's Lucky Charm Amulet. Believe me when I say this is actually my favourite necklace that I own now. Most of the necklaces I have in my possession just happen to have silver or gold chains, and as I wear a lot of black (I like black :D) it's nice to have one which has a black chain and a golden amulet on it. So fashion wise, I am very satisfied with how this necklace is different. 


You can click here to buy this necklace!

One of the best things about it is that its also discreetly fangirl. I mean, if you know Supernatural and watch the show, you'll be familiar with the symbol and recognise me as a like-minded Supernatural fan. In the series, when they mentioned that Dean had been wearing this necklace all the way through the entire programme (I think the first time they mention it is somewhere in either season 2 or 3?) I was shocked. No way could he have been wearing something through every episode and I hadn't noticed! But alas, I watched episodes in season 1, and there it was. It's amazing what the human mind can overlook, right?


Anyway, back to my point - if someone else is a Supernatural fangirl they can appreciate you. But I've had compliments on this necklace from people who have never seen Supernatural at all. Which means if you want to wear this just as another necklace, it can be done as well and also recognised as being beautiful. A win-win scenario. 


Can you spot the necklace?

Now let's talk about Dean :D I've only watched three seasons of Supernatural so far, but I really like his character. Not only is he funny and a charmer, he is also someone who is always trying to overlook his own feelings and come across as the tough guy. But if we've learned anything about him by this point, it's that we know he isn't always that guy. 

Maybe he does mindlessly follow whatever his father's orders are. But we also get to know him as someone who really looks out for and loves his little brother, and treasures the idea of having a family, or having his family all together in peace. He's someone who has a hard time in believing what he can't see himself, and yet he is a demon hunter. I find that pretty ironic. 


Last chance! You know you want it :3 If you do, here's the place to find it!

All in all, he's pretty much my favourite character in the series ^.^


Olivia's Question: Do you watch Supernatural? Who's your favourite character? Do you like your fandom items to be obvious or more discreet?

Olivia-Savannah x

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Soul Finder [Book Review & Giveaway!]

 Hello there!

Title: Soul Finder (The Immortal Gene Trilogy #2)
Author:  Jacinta Maree
Publisher: Inked Rabbit Publishing
Published Date: 16th September 2016
Rating: 3 stars


*Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for the review copy*


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Synopsis:  Since being discovered as Soulless, Nadia has become a target for both terrorist groups and government corporations. Now, her only hope for survival rests in the hands of the man sent out to kill her: Diesel, the Mad Dog terrorist.

Diesel is determined to free himself of the never ending curse of reincarnation and the haunting memories that plague his mind. But when his search leads him to Nadia, a greater desire stills him from taking her life.

Unable to see into Diesel's cracking mind, Nadia instead puts her faith into his strength, fueled by eleven generations of unmatched rage and insanity. Their tight-rope relationship balances the two between life and death, love and rage, trust and betrayal.
Tension pulls at the hems of their dangerous companionship, and as time runs out all madmen must eventually make their choice.

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Review: Soulfinder by Jacinta Maree is a sequel to a novel I’ve already read, which was why I was so eager to read it! I didn’t remember as much of the first novel’s storyline as I wanted to by the time I got around to read this, but when I started reading it gradually all came back to me again. I also remembered the first novel being incredibly fast paced with an insane plot and this crazily toxic back and forth romance… I wondered how this novel would pan out after that one.

The beginning of the novel was really confusing to me. The first book ended on a cliffhanger, and instead of having a bit of a recap before getting back to the cliffhanger point, this one starts off right where the cliffhanger ended. Because I couldn’t quite remember the characters, and what was happening at that exact moment after the gap between me picking up these books, for the first two chapters I was really confused. Confused about what was happening and who each character was, but as I have already mentioned, in time it all came drifting back and I was able to slide my way back into the story.


Events in this novel happen just as fast as they did in book one. We go from one thing being the center point, to that being ripped away and replaced with something else from chapter to chapter. I don’t think there is a better way for me to explain it than that. It leaves the reader lost and discombobulated sometimes, but then again, I loved the fast pace at the same time? It meant I was never bored, never knew what to expect, and that something was happening. At times I did feel like a fish swimming in deep waters – totally submerged and unaware of my surroundings – but I enjoyed being that fish. I hope that’s not too confusing ;)

The romance in this novel is just as toxic, back and forth and hot as ever. This is not a clean read, but it is a much cleaner one than I remember the first book being. Diesel is a really chaotic character because of his personality, but we get to see more of Nadia’s human and vulnerable side in this novel. Nadia does want to be loved – properly. And Diesel doesn’t always know how to, but he does want to love Nadia. I found it so sweet… and there was a time in this novel where we really got to look into Diesel’s past and his past lives. At that point, we really learned something new about the romance too. So I definitely liked the romance in this novel.


This novel is just as gruesome and graphic as the first one. The world building is perfect, and really demonstrates how horrible earth has become. The way people treat each other is disgusting. And Diesel has done some equally horrific things in his past lives. We really get to see that in this novel. The previous novel didn’t make the world sound peachy either, but this is the novel where it affected me more than I expected it too. I feel like the author has really upped her game…

There were a few typos in the novel. Not too many to be really bothersome when reading, but enough for me to feel the need to mention it here. The ending was incredibly suspenseful, and then BANG! It was another cliffhanger -.- So this means I have to wait for book three! I will definitely be biting my nails anxiously as I’m waiting for the finale in the series.


I spent a long time debating between giving this book four or three stars. In the end, I settled for three. But if the third book will be anything like this one, or even better, I think it will be enough to tip it into four!


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Gif Summary:

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Giveaway: Enter to win 5 ebook copies of Soulless!


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Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: Are you a fan of cliffhangers? Why/why not?

Olivia-Savannah x

Sunday, 6 November 2016

My Travels ~ Spain

Good morning :3

I've decided that I want to talk about my travels a lot more on the blog! I travel quite a bit and even though it's mostly to England, it's always nice to share here with you all. 


I went to Spain this summer. I spent two days in Madrid and then I spent a week at Diverbo camp. Diverbo is a camp where English speakers are invited to go and spend time with Spanish students in order to expose them to English. It's all about speaking English and basically furthering their English but while also having a really good time. Best thing about it, is that it doesn't cost a thing. You pay for your flights, and the stay in Madrid, but hotel and food are all covered by Diverbo itself. As well as everything needed for the fun you're going to be having :D


I really did enjoy my days in Madrid. Although we didn't really go to see any of the major sites, it was nice to have a walk around and a drive through the city, seeing the buildings and hearing the language all around you. I also made some new friends as I went with only me and my best friend. I was coerced into playing Pokemon Go for the first time there as well ;)



One of the best things about Spain itself was the fact that it was always blue skies. It was always hot. If you know me, I'm someone who craves the warm weather and loves it whole heartedly. So waking up every morning to blue skies and the good food made me one incredibly happy girl. 



This is where Diverbo paid for us to stay. We each had a villa at a hotel in La Alberca. When I say 'each' I don't mean each person. There were about 8 people in each one, and there were two in a room (they had four rooms each, and then a living room area to chill in as well.) Each English speaking volunteer was paired up with a Spanish student so when in your room, you'll be speaking English as well. Oh, and my roomie was called Gloria and she is epic. We're still in contact and she loves writing and books just as much as I do! Enjoy the panorama shot ^.^



The other thing I really liked about our site was that it had a massive pool. It was definitely needed when heats hit up to 37 degrees C. It was cool and big and there was room for everyone!


 I'd want to tell you more or show you more pictures, but lots of them are mostly group photos because it was a camp and I don't want to share photos of other people who didn't approve them being shared here. The only downside of being on a camp was the fact that there wasn't really the chance to get to see many sites. We mostly remained on the camp and didn't get a chance to really experience Spain. As that wasn't the point of the trip, I do understand. But I definitely want to return one day to experience that side of things!

Want to see what I get up to, and follow my travels as they happen? Make sure to add me on snapchat!


Olivia's Question: Have you ever been to Spain? Do you want to go?

Olivia-Savannah x