Monday, 17 July 2017

13 Little Blue Envelopes [Book Review & Giveaway!]

Hello there!

Title: 13 Little Blue Envelopes
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published Date: 23rd August 2005
Rating: 3 Stars


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Synopsis: Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.

In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.

The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.

Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/ bloke–about–town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous–though utterly romantic–results. But will she ever see him again?

Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes was a book which had been in my TBR pile for quite some time. I was glad to finally be able to read it after I discovered Anissa @ TheBookworm Central wanted to reread it. We read it together and it was so nice to discuss this read with someone!

What I loved the most about the story would have to be the traveling side of things. Ginny’s trip takes her all across Europe to places like London, Denmark, Amsterdam and so many more places. As she is an American, she really gets culture shock and the author highlights elements of the cultures that I didn’t know, or hadn’t realised were so unique. As I am from Europe, I’d been to quite a few of these places, or lived in them, so it was nice to see them represented realistically and so beautifully depicted. It’s almost like an international road trip – who can’t appreciate that?


I liked reading these envelopes for ourselves, and discovering a little bit more about her Aunt in each one. It’s important to remember that everything happening is part of Ginny’s grieving process as well. I’m not sure whether I like her aunt or not still – she was wonderfully wacky, but scared to really be herself and settle down. And she hurt people because of that. But you have to admire her really independent and artistic nature at the same time.

I also liked Ginny’s character. She was extremely quiet and shy – even more so than me. I can be pretty shy sometimes but Ginny took it to a new level. I liked her weirdness and quirkiness. Although sometimes, I have to admit that I found that Ginny was the kind of person who let things happen to her, rather than took advantage of them herself. She was kind of innocent and oblivious to some things around her which bothered me at times. But not too much.


I think this novel showed the benefits and the cons to traveling solo as well. But then again, she didn’t have much guidance throughout the whole thing.

What I didn’t like about the novel had to be the ending. I was really getting invested, when all of a sudden the ending came. It did close some ends, but then it didn’t close some either. I didn’t agree with the choice that Ginny made in the end. It’s a personal thing, but I was also pretty disappointed.



You’re probably thinking it’s the only negative thing I mentioned in the review, so why does it only get three stars? Because although I did enjoy the novel, it wasn’t mind-blowingly amazing. The pace was slow and steady the whole way through, and it didn’t have enough suspense or build up for me to be fully immersed in the novel.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gif Summary:


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Giveaway! Enter to win a signed copy of Article Three and some swag! Open internationally :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Olivia’s Question: If you could write a letter that one deceased person would receive, who would you send it to?

Olivia-Savannah x

Sunday, 9 July 2017

June Wrap Up & Giveaway!

Hello everyone!

Before I get right into the wrap up, I wanted to start with the main point. You may be wondering where my posts have gone, or why I will not be active for a little while into the future. The truth of the matter is: Olivia's Catastrophe is going to be changing. The design will change, the layout and niches shall change a bit, and the biggest news of all - we're going to be moving to Wordpress!

I hope you'll bear with me through all the changes. And I shall definitely have the occasional post going live, so don't worry, I won't be gone completely! I also fully intend to shower you with giveaways in my absence to make up for it. Don't worry ;)




First of all, I posted an epic guest post with Rogue Cart about the top 10 books you HAVE to read in summer! If you're looking for more books, you should head over there. 

I had a very nice start to the summer. I went out to lunch with my Mum a couple of times, and my best friend had her 19th birthday party which was a nice celebration. We had a family over to dinner at our house and we made a Jamaican themed meal for them. I went out shopping quite a bit.


I also had my last day working at the nursery. It was so hard to say goodbye to all the lovely kids, and the brilliant teachers I had been working with. I was only there for a short period of time, but I really appreciated my stay. 


I went to see Wonder Woman with my little sister and another good friend, and it was FANTASTIC! I absolutely loved it, and that's coming from someone who hasn't been enjoying superhero movies lately. I also finally watched White Chicks like I had been meaning to for ages. It was hilarious :D

BUT NOW FOR THE MOST EXCITING NEWS. I am currently in Spain, where I am working as an Au Pair until August. I'm staying with a lovely family. The are a foster family, and have three kids. One of them is a premature newborn, and the other has Alcohol Syndrome, which means I had a lot to learn. But we are falling into a routine, and they are lovely. Although the family does eat sugar-free and are vegetarian, so I feel like I am still adapting to that. 


We've also been doing some touristy stuff. We go to the beach at least once a week, if not more, because the kids love it. I love it too, so that makes me happy. Every Tuesday we go hiking. I went hiking in my converse the first time, and it was incredibly steep. Since then I have bought proper hiking boots, and we climb every Tuesday. The peaks are at about 1,100 - 1,300 metres high. I'm also scared of heights. I'm so afraid of them that I feel like I have conquered the world once I reach the peak.

We celebrated the night of San Juan on the beach, making wishes, burning them in the fire and then humping over them. The next day we went into the city to watch the monuments burning. It was a beautiful experience. I've been to meet many families. One family made me paella because I had to try the Spanish dish, and I've been out partying with a bunch of university students I meant. In Spain, the party goes on till 7-8 am. I would've been completely okay if I hadn't had to go meet the host family's extended family at 10am the next day. Two hours sleep is NOT enough. :P


I'd never walked walked through a vineyard before, so that was nice. And we've been cycling around. Basically, very active. I'm loving it and I will let you know about more of my adventures around Alicante next month. I'm filming a lot and hopefully will be able to make a series of vlogs about the trip. But make sure to follow my snapchat if you want to keep up to date with all the cool things happening. 






Eight books. But I am counting that as a jolly good number because one of them was 913 pages long, and the other was 1015 pages. 

I have reviews posted of Internet Famous by Danika Stone and The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue already, so head over there for my thoughts on those!


I also read Insight and Oversight by Santino Hassell. I was so excited to get into this series because it's a spin off on the family mentioned in one of my favourite novels of his - Stygian. The new adult aspect is good, but the plot is mind blowing. Which is why I love the paranormal storyline. Although I liked Oversight less than Insight due to there being a new main character introduced who was a bit too stoic for me, I still really loved both books.

THEN I STARTED THIS SERIES. ASDFGHJKL

The Agency series by Santino Hassell and Ais is an unpublished series which you can get in ebook form, but not in physical. It's because it started as an online series and they didn't want to publish an unedited work, but haven't had the time to do so yet. However, there are edited versions of the first two books, Evenfall Part One and Evenfall Part Two availible. I read those and FELL IN LOVE with Boyd and especially Hsin Liu Vega, an assassin with a serious hatred of other people. Then there is also the mission plot line, their whole crazy new adult love story, and the writing is unbelievably good.

I was doubtful at first, but after finishing the first books I had to read the unedited versions of Afterimage and The Interludes too. The story gets all the more complex and intense and I was fangirling until the early hours of the morning. I flew through the 913 and 1015 pages. And I'm already reading the finale.


Nope. No TBR this month. I've been so busy here in Spain that I haven't been reading much. I'm just gonna read what I feel like reading, whenever I feel like it.




Giveaway! Enter to win a $25 Amazon Giftcard!


Video version of the wrap up, for those who find it easier to watch than read!


Olivia's Question: What did you get up to in the month of June? What was your favourite read?

Olivia-Savannah x