Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Marrying Christopher (Review & Giveaway!)

Hi there!

Title: Marrying Christopher (Heathfire Historical Romance #3)
Author:  Michele Paige Holmes
Publisher:  Mirror Press
Published Date: 30th July 2015
Rating: 4 stars
 
*Thank you to ebooks4review  for the review copy*

My reviews of book one - Saving Grace, and book two - Loving Helen

Synopsis: Having seen both his sisters Grace and Helen happily married, Christopher Thatcher is free to pursue his dream of life in America. With adventure in his heart and mind, he boards one of the first steamships set to cross the Atlantic in the record breaking time of only twenty-five days. Within the first two of those, his resolve—to avoid women and the complications they often bring to a man’s life—falters when he meets Marsali Abbott, a young woman with a past even more troubling than his own. Whether from years of habit protecting his sisters, or simply because he feels drawn to Marsali, Christopher chooses to help her and becomes her friend. As the truth about what awaits Marsali in America becomes evident, he is faced with a more difficult choice, one that will impact their lives far beyond four weeks together at sea.

Review: I was so eager to read this book because it was the third in a historical romance series I have been following by the wonderful Michele Paige Holmes. I have enjoyed each and every one of the previous books, but was even more excited for this one seeing as it was from Christopher’s point of view. We had yet to have a male voice as the center of the story and knowing Christopher’s reluctance to fall in love from previous books hooked me.

I loved that at the beginning of this novel we were able to see how the two women are doing with themselves after we have finished their novels. It was so lovely to see Helen from Loving Helen doing well and her confidence blossoming as well as seeing Grace from Saving Grace thriving in her own relationship.

This book is set during the historical time where inventions are taking flight. In fact, the majority of this novel is spent on one of the first steamboats which is attempting to cross from England to America. The is also mention of quite a few other inventions, especially the photo camera. I loved having those little details in the story.

And Christopher said it was impossible for him to
fall in love. :) 
I wanted to see the majority of this one in Christopher’s point of view, so we could truly see the male point of view. But I will say that this was mostly told from Marsali’s perspective – the love interest. I can’t begrudge the author from writing in the gender voice she is most comfortable with. Occasionally we do flicker to the point of view of Grace when convenient, but it doesn’t happen off. It was a shame about not seeing as much of Christopher as I wanted to, but the dual point of view was done well.

If I am honest I would say that I enjoyed the second half of the book more than the first. In the beginning we spend the majority of time on the ship with a limited cast of characters and things the characters can do. Even though that was fairly slow paced, the romance felt a bit rushed. Of course, it had to be for reasons the novel mention, but it went from playful banter to a full-fledged romance too fast for my liking.

BUT, when we got over the second half line, things blossomed! Michele Holmes managed to create more suspense in this romance than I have seen her do with the previous two. I didn’t see the plot twist coming in the slightest so it took me by complete surprise. The events that follow the plot twist made me feel so wonderfully frustrated. I wanted certain things to happen, and there were plenty of close saves that kept me glued to reading and wanting to know how things would end! Michele Holmes definitely tugs on your heart strings and feelings for this one.

In general the romance is one I wouldn’t say had the intensity of Grace’s, or the sweetness of Helen’s but is a more passionate one. I liked all the characters. I loved getting into the mind of Christopher, especially as he had been the mastermind behind the previous romances and yet found himself entangled in his own. I loved Marsali and her independence, even for a woman of that time. She was so strong-willed, till the very end. Captain Gower grew on me, as did Lydia as well. All the secondary characters had detailed backstories which were able to see into.

This was the perfect summary to this particular line of family’s romantic stories. I am looking forward to more novels from this author in the future!

Giveaway! Enter to win one of the 3 ebooks in the Heathfire Historical Romance series of your choice! Open internationally!


ENTER HERE!


Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

TBR Read-a-thon Wrap Up!
Unlike usual one-month-ahead-prescheduled me I am falling behind on blogging because of school work and have 0 posts scheduled for October so far. And I have some books I need to finish within the week as well. Oh great. 

Anywho! I have decided to add on my read-a-thon wrap up because this ended on Sunday for me! I made a lovely post saying which books I planned to read and ended up reading none of those. It's sort of the reason I never film/post TBR posts - because I never stick to them. Anyway, I did manage to finish some books, and these were them!



FINISHED Dangerous Lies - Becca Fitzpatrick: 200 pages (for review)
FINISHED Order of Dimensions - Irene Helenowski - Pages 93 - 262 (for review)
FINISHED This Ordinary Life - Jennifer Walkup: pages 0 -  240 (for review)
FINISHED Saidjah en Adinda (Dutch) - Max Harvaller pages 0 - 60 (for school)
FINISHED Dissonance - Erika O'Roruke: Pages 167 - 484 (for review)

I also had some books I was in the middle of reading or just started. These were: 




1984 - George Orwell: page 34 - 72 (for class)
Vanishing Acts - Jodi Picoult: Page 0 - 33 (in Dutch, for class)
The Art of Sylvia Plath - Charles Newman: Page 0 - 51 (for class)
Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare: Page 0 - 57 
All the Bright Places - Jennifer Niven: Page 0 - 35 (buddy read)
Revised Orders - Irene Helenowski: Page 0 - 61 (for review)
Dreamstrider - Lindsay Smith: Page 0 - 200 (for review)

In conclusion I finished 5 books and read a bit of seven different ones. The result? A good 1404 pages and a chunk out of my TBR pile. I'm happy :D

Olivia’s Question: Would you ever want to go on a cruise?

Olivia-Savannah x

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Nails Extravaganza ~ Girl Meets Boy

Morning!

Today I have a Nails Extravaganza post where I will be showing something related to nail art, a hobby of mine. 



Today's post will be a combination of a video tutorial and some pictures! I did a post about L.O.V.E nail art which I made up myself a while ago here. However, I did it again and this time filmed it! I think it turned out better this time as well, so here are some images. 


And here is the video to help you out if you want to try it!


Olivia's Question: What does love mean to you?

Olivia-Savannah x

Thursday, 24 September 2015

OOTD - Poolside Days & High Shorts

Hello there!

I know, I know, I don't usually do OOTD posts (Outfit of the Day). BUT last year summer (I know, so long ago!) I took a bunch of pictures for OOTD posts and well, never got around to using them. But I am going to use them now, and in the days I am feeling a bit lazy and in the mood for a short and quick post I will just share them.

This is one of those days, I'm afraid. So I will be sharing an outfit I love to wear in summer, especially by the poolside when the weather is perfectly warm and good for bearing shoulders. 

\

I also quickly wanted to share with you one of my newer loves - high waisted shorts! I love them so much, and can be easily matched with a plain tank top for a quickie but casual outfit as well. 



Olivia's Question: Do you have any favourite outfits?

Olivia-Savannah x

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Noble Conflict (Mini Review) & Lend Your Hand!

Hi there!

Title: Noble Conflict
Author:  Malorie Blackman
Publisher:  DoubleDay Childrens
Published Date:  6th June 2013
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis: Years after a violent war destroyed much of the world, Kaspar has grown up in a society based on peace and harmony. But beyond the city walls, a vicious band of rebels are plotting to tear this peace apart. It is up to the Guardians - an elite peacekeeping force - to protect the city, without ever resorting to the brutal methods of their enemy. When Kaspar joins the Guardians, he has a chance encounter with a rebel - a beautiful girl named Rhea. Haunted from that moment on by strange visions and memories - memories that could only belong to Rhea - he realises he hasn't been told the truth about what the rebels really want, and what he's really fighting for.

Review: I have been reading some dystopian fiction again! This time it’s a book called ‘Noble Conflict’ by a favourite author of mine, Malorie Blackman.

My favourite character in this book is probably Mac. Mac is a friend Kaspar makes in the library as he tries to find out more information on the Insurgents. Like me, Mac is quite the bookworm and spends a lot of time online ^.^ Also, although politics and war strategies aren’t something she can grasp easily, she still tries to have a go at it. I like that type of persistence, and how she was always will to help Kaspar with whatever research he wanted to do.

What I didn’t like so much was the writing style. I mean, it’s a good book and written really well, but in comparison to other Malorie Blackman books I didn’t find it much to her usual standard. Because the world this book takes place in works differently than ours, sometimes I feel like I was being fed a lot of information and backstory in one moment, especially when he was researching with Mac. To me, being fed too much information at once gets a bit boring and I tend to start scanning the words instead…

When I realised this was a 'typical' read and not a
Malorie Blackman special. D:
It was also a bit of a typical dystopian. What I did like about the Hunger Games and Divergent was that it put a bit of a different spin on things. But apart from the setting much things were the same, like Matched: a dark secret in the society, a rising rebellion and a big bang ending with multiple betrayals. Many dystopian novels tend to fall under this category.

I’d rate this book a three out of five, because it was an enjoyable read nonetheless. If you like dystopian, you’ll definitely like this! 

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Lend your hand! September 26th is Mesothelioma Awareness Day! I didn't know about this particular disease until I was approached by Heather who is celebrating her tenth anniversary of recovery from the condition. Most people subject to this disease are diagnosed and then predicted only tenth months to live! I wanted to share about this disease because it is important, and I didn't know anything before I was reached out to. Please help spread the awareness yourself!

You can go check out Heather's blog series to learn more about her own journey. Or head over the awareness page!

Facts! 

Approximately 2,000-3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year in the United States.

Mesothelioma is more common in men (80%) than it is in women (20%).

For every 12 pleural mesothelioma cases there is 1 peritoneal mesothelioma diagnosis.

Mesothelioma symptoms may not appear for 20-50 years after the initial asbestos exposure.

It is one of the rarest forms of cancer, afflicting approximately one person in every 166,000.
9 out of every 10 diagnoses affects someone over the age of 60.

Mesothelioma diagnoses have increased four times over since the 1980′s
.



Olivia's Question: Are you a strategic thinker?

Olivia-Savannah x

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Olivia's Catastrophe ~ Oh my Sequels!

Hello there everyone!

Olivia's Catastrophe is my personal meme for discussions. Today I have a discussion post about sequels. And this time it is not going to be about sequels of books, but sequels of movies instead! I bet you never saw that one coming ;)



I usually like the first movie of a certain series. I loved Kung Fu Panda, loved Madagascar, and loved Night at the Museum.

Excepting Kung Fu Panda, the sequels to the other movies were pretty bad. Especially Night at the Museum!

The first movie was original and funny.  I am not really a Ben Stiller fan. When it comes to his acting skills I dislike them for some reason, so I usually steer clear of his movies. But in this movie he did a great job, and even though this sort of had a Toy Story theme going on, I loved the concept of these creatures coming to life. The monkey that continuously slapped him had me laughing, and there was also a serious plot that made me interested in how the movie was going to end out! I loved Robin Williams role in this movie as well. The characters were well done and in the end of this movie I knew I was going to watch it again. And again.

So what was so wrong with the second movie?

It was recycled. I felt like there were scenes and certain things that they tried to put into this movie again to make it link up and seem just as good as before. There were scenes with the monkey and slapping involved, but it was boring this time around. I felt like they had just reused the same relationship and moment for the sake of being funny, and then suddenly it wasn’t anymore.

I felt like the woman in the second movie was supposed to fulfill the role Robin Williams had done before as well, which made it seem like another recycled plot line. I can’t remember everything that happened in the second movie simply because it wasn’t a memorable story. I felt like they were trying too hard with jokes and it turned out to fall flat for me.

What do they go and do instead? They go and make a Night at the Museum 3. I am not looking forward to watching that one at all (but knowing me, I probably will end up watching it).

There are some movies which seem to make a sequel just because they want to earn some more money, and that is why they are so similar to the first one. So that they can be equally as successful. When companies do that it bothers me a lot.

There are some amazing sequels, like Kung Fu Panda 2. They had a new villain, a completely unique plot line. There were the same relationships and characters but they were tested again, and there was something new Po had to discover about himself instead of the same storyline as before. Everything was different, but some themes were carried through to keep the connection between the two movies alive. That is what makes a good sequel.

Knowing me there will be another post about book sequels and trilogies soon, so make sure you look out for that one ;)

New Video! Book review of Order of the Dimensions by Irene Helenowski!


Olivia’s Question: What is the worst movie sequel you have ever seen?

Olivia-Savannah x

Thursday, 17 September 2015

We All Looked Up (Review)

Hi there!

Title: We All Looked Up
Author:  Tommy Wallach
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Published Date: 24th March 2015
Rating: 5 stars
 
*Thank you to the publisher for the review copy*

Synopsis: Four high school seniors put their hopes, hearts, and humanity on the line as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth in this contemporary novel.

They always say that high school is the best time of your life.

Peter, the star basketball player at his school, is worried “they” might actually be right. Meanwhile Eliza can’t wait to escape Seattle—and her reputation—and perfect-on-paper Anita wonders if admission to Princeton is worth the price of abandoning her real dreams. Andy, for his part, doesn’t understand all the fuss about college and career—the future can wait.

Or can it? Because it turns out the future is hurtling through space with the potential to wipe out life on Earth. As these four seniors—along with the rest of the planet—wait to see what damage an asteroid will cause, they must abandon all thoughts of the future and decide how they’re going to spend what remains of the present.

Review: Is it possible for a book to make you revise your outlook on life? Yes, yes it is. With this one it is. I hope you’re buckled up because you are in store for a long review, simply because I want to talk about this book a lot.

My original thoughts when starting this one is that it is sort of going to be like a dystopian set in the real world. And it sort of was – people did the things that people do at the end of the world. Riot, quit jobs, move back home and all that kind of stuff. But there was a whole lot more to this novel because it was about contemplating the meaning of life, and the meaning of who you are and why we are here as well. I liked reading about that philosophy ingrained in this novel.

There was a lot of drinking and drugs mentioned, as well as some sex although nothing was very explicit. I didn’t approve of a lot of it, but then I think the author was just trying to show us teenagers being teenagers. Well, a certain kind of teenagers.

We have a lot of characters and I am going to run through them all with my thoughts. Peter was my favourite character. He was the popular kid, but really he was a simplistic and thoughtful person. Before the news of the asteroid he was starting to think about the meaning of life already and if everything he was doing in life mattered. He was loyal, steadily so and very loving, even to his sister nicknamed Misery and is quite the troublemaker. But even if he was the goody-two-shoes of the story, so innocent but aware at the same time, he was still human. He could still let the anger get the better of him, get depressed sometimes, and would blindly enter into dangerous situations if it meant he would be helping someone else.
No words to describe how this made me feel...

Eliza is a girl who gets bullied at school. She’s a photography and has a reputation for sleeping around ever since she kissed someone who was dating someone else. The rumors have their own little bits of truth in them. But I felt pity for her. She was having her own family issues, and with her parents being divorced and her father dying of cancer. I didn’t like her, but I didn’t dislike her either.

Anita was the perfect student, set to go to a college with high credits and basically seen as perfect in everyone’s eyes. But she had a wish to be a singer, which is something her parents didn’t agree with. I don’t have much to say about her really. I liked her character, and she seems to be someone who developed a lot in the novel. She refined her ideals, got mixed in with a crowd she could never imagine herself being with, and found out that her judgment on a lot of people was wrong.

Andy was a live and let die type of person. He’s laid back and although he has the ‘I’m too good for this’ demeanor, he is a pretty smart person and has a bit of a cute childlike personality. Although he knows how to get drunk, I do think he is the sort of person who tends to see the best in people.

As for the asteroid heading to the earth or maybe not? In the end I kind of wanted it to (note the kind of). I don’t know why, but after all the characters had been put through everything they had, I felt like they deserved the end as they were expecting it. And that was for it to actually end. I am not going to tell you what happens, but in the end of the story, I was satisfied with what the author had done. Reading this made me think of what I would do if there were only a 33% chance that the world wouldn’t end. It was hard to picture.

I laughed at some points in this novel. I couldn’t stop reading, and I liked how the ending of the world seemed to bring people together who might not have been that way without it. I did think that it was interesting to see all the characters opinions on each other and how that compared to who they really were.

Romance became a pretty big thing by the end of the novel, and that bothered me a little bit. I mean, when you might die I guess you do think of love, but I still was a bit annoyed. I wanted more than all this love drama. There was action towards the end as well, even if it was a small amount. It was impressive because this was a more contemplative and also character driven novel – I wasn’t expecting anything like that in the plot.

The book backtracked a couple of times (with that I mean telling the same part of the story from another characters point of view) but it worked well enough. I always understood when it was happening. By the end of the book, I couldn’t help feel irrevocably sad. And not just because of things that had happened in the novel itself, but just generally. Because if the situation like that was really happening, I am pretty sure events would’ve unfolded the way they did in this novel, which is a sad point.

I never expected to love this novel as much as I did. Tommy Wallach, thank you for writing this.

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: What would you do if there was a 66% chance that the world would end?


Olivia-Savannah x

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

The Fast and Furious (Movie Review)

Hello there, everyone!

It took me a while to get around to writing this movie review and I don’t even know why. Today I am going to tell you about an old movie, made in 2001 which I’m sure you’ve heard of called ‘The Fast and the Furious.’ It stars two notably famous actors called Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. The movie follows Dominic Toretto [Vin Diesel] who owns the streets when it comes to road-racing with his gang. His rival and him are the boldest and baddest and of course, the best. But then a detective is set on their case to infiltrate and inspect the group about some criminal activity has been going on. What will he find out?

What I loved so much about this film was that before it I had no interest in cars AT ALL prior to watching this one. I still don’t know all the details about the way a car particularly works, but after seeing this film I am perfectly open to watching more racing films and I love the idea of someday sitting in a really REALLY fast car. I don’t want to drive it of course O.O (that’s just scary thinking…) but I wouldn’t mind sitting in it to experience the feeling myself. All the cutting and filming around the cars was just done expertly.

Also, I am someone who is really interested in gangs in general. I love knowing how they work, especially the type of gangs who turn out to be more like family than they are with their real family, or because they don’t have one themself. I felt like this film brought that element in really well, and showed us what it’s like to be in a family-ish-gang-combination :D

There is quite a bit of action in this one, but all of that revolves around the cars. Yet, I still found it to be pretty intriguing. Also, there is a lot of features of ‘girls’ in the typical way that happens in movies which are more so directed towards guys.  I’m never a huge fan of it, but I overlooked it in this movie and could also appreciate how they had two female characters who knew their way around cars and how to drive just as well as the men could.

My face when I think about cars now...
I strongly advise you watch it, even if cars aren’t necessarily your thing. The movie runs for about 102 minutes and was directed by Rob Cohen. It’s rated a 15 and I would definitely give it five stars.

Links: Find it on Amazon here!

New Video!

I have my book haul in video form for all those who prefer watching instead of reading about it ^.^


Olivia's Question: Are you into cars or is all that over your head?

Olivia-Savannah x

Saturday, 12 September 2015

My Hoarding Catastrophe - Anticipated Reads!

Good morning!

My Hoarding Catastrophe is my monthly book haul post! Please remember it is monthly (I SO did not get this many books in a week.)



I have really been throwing myself into reading lately. Yes, I have still been getting books but I am happy to see that it has been less this month and I have done more reading instead. I am going to work through that TBR, yes I am. I also got a lot of books I am really excited to be reading soon, or were on my unowned TBR so now those will be shifting over as well!

Paperbacks: The ones I am most anticipating here would have to be Ready Player One and All the Bright Places!


 Cure for Life - Bernard Palmer 
 World War Z - Max Brooks 
The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton 
The White Lie - Andrea Gillies
The Sky Is Everywhere - Jandy Nelson
Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell 
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline 
All the Bright Places - Jennifer Niven (Giveaway win @ Of Stacks and Cups
Broken Skies - Theresa Kay (Giveaway win @ Kookie Krysp
 The Wrath and The Dawn - Renee Ahdieh (Giveaway win @ It's a Book Life
Developing Minds - Jonathan LaPoma (For Review) 
Saucer - Stephen Coonts

Freebies! I have been continuing my pledge of cutting back on these and only have four :3




Embers - Karen Ann Hopkins
Wreathed - Curtis Edmonds
Forever Changed - Mona Ingram
Assassin - MZ Kelly

Review Copies: Quite a lot of graphic novels lately, because that is what I have been reading quite a bit of. 















Suffer Love - Ashley Herring Black
The Joker: Endgame - James Tyrion
Traffick - Ellen Hopkins
A Different Lie - Derek Haas
Sara Lost and Found - Virginia Castleman
Strange Girl - Christopher Pike
Eight - Rafael Albuqurque and Mike Johnson
Heart in a Box - Kelly Thompson
Avater: The Last Airbender - Gene Luan Yang
The Decent Proposal - Kemper Donovan
Convergence - Jeff King
The Flash Season Zero - Andrew Kreisberg
Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Neuvel
Broken Crowns - Lauren DeStefano
Into the Dim - Janet B. Taylor
Far From Fair - Elana K. Arnold
May Queen Murders- Sarah Jude
This Ordinary Life - Jennifer Walkup
Catalyst - Marc Johnson
The Most Famous Illegal Goose Creek Parade - Virginia Smith
Every Second Counts - Sophie McKenzie
Dreamstrider - Lindsay Smith
Shallow Graves - Kali Wallace
Reign of Shadows - Sophie Jordan
The Girl From Everywhere - Heidi Heilig
The Great Hunt - Wendy Higgins
The Ex - Alafair Burke
The Lifeboat Clique - Kathy Parks
A Study in Charlotte - Brittany Cavallaro
Burning Glass - Kathryn Pride
It's a Wonderful Life - Sarah J. Schmitt
Once Upon a Yugoslavia - Surya Green
The Invisible Guardian - Dolores Redondo
Assassin's Heart - Sarah Ahiers 
The Lightning Queen - Laura Resau

Olivia's Question: What new books have you acquired recently?

Olivia-Savannah x