Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Review)

Hey there!

Interrupting my break! I know, it's only been a week but today is my FIRST DAY OFF SCHOOL and the summer has finally begun! I leave to go abroad tomorrow, so I am looking forward to that. Meanwhile, a book review for you all...

Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Author:  J.K. Rowling
Publisher:  Scholastic
Published Date: 26th June 1997
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis: Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard! The first book in the "Harry Potter" series makes the perfect introduction to the world of Hogwarts.

I have finally gotten round to reading something that has been on my TBR list for a long time. The Harry Potter series! Previous to this, I had never seen a single movie or read a single book. I decided that the fandom surrounding it and the love for it must be worth something, and decided I better read them.

The first thing that surprised me about this book was that it was written in third person. For some reason, I was completely expecting it to be a first person book :/ Oh well, that didn’t take anything away from the novel! It was easy to read, and I read through it quickly. There was only one thing I didn’t like about the style, and that was that it seemed kind of childish. I was worried when I started this that I wasn’t going to like it because most people grew up reading these. But I have been promised as the characters age, so does the style. Either way, I do believe this was something I would’ve enjoyed more as a child. It was definitely a more middle grade kind of feel. 

I think this book was dripping with creativity. J.K. Rowling manages to bring in ideas and new terms that most of authors would go a little over the top with so that we feel lost in this new world. But everything seemed so clear here, and I loved the ideas she brought to light. Honestly, the writing of this book was genius, and the author should be commended for that!

When I realised this was the book that everyone
FANGIRLED over like crazy.
I think my main problem with this book was that I was not connecting with any of the main characters. Harry, Hermoine and Ron were all pretty cool but I didn't really feel much for any of them. And the plot was slow in coming, which was a shame too. I just got the impression that for the first 75% of the book, nothing much was happening :/

The plot was good enough for me, coming steady and meaningfully. There was nothing that blew me away, but nothing I strongly disliked either. It was a light, quick, enjoyable read. But it wasn't anything too enticing I will keep reading this series! (And soon I can start watching the movies.)

Olivia's Question: What childhood books did you miss out on as a child and read later?

Olivia-Savannah x

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Oncoming Hiatus & Summer Reading List!

Hi guys!

First off I know you really want to go check out my guest post over @ Jingle Jangle Jungle here!

News: Today I have some news for you! This is going to be my last post until September. :( I am going to be taking a blogging break this summer holiday. My summer starts on the 14th and well, it ends the first week of September when I should be back. I am not going to do more posts this week because I have school camp and will be away anyway.

I am one of those people who take the idea of summer seriously. Even though I DO love blogging it is a lot of work, and sometimes it can be good to take a break from that too. So I shall love you and leave you for the next two months.

But I am going to have one or two random posts up somewhere in the summer because I know I am going to miss you guys too much, and I think there are two things I am intending to share for sure. I don't know how much I will be around to comment, because I will be traveling in the holiday as well without internet connection. But I'll still be commenting when I can. 

Summer Reading List: 

I am going to have so much time to read in the summer! I have 14 books on my summer TBR. I don't know if I will be able to get to them all, but I am going to try!


Olivia's Question: What's on your summer reading list?

Olivia-Savannah x

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Liebster Award Tag #3!

Hello there, readers!

Today I have the Liebster award tag for you! I’ve actually done this one already twice, here and here, but seeing as the questions are always different I will answer them regardless of not really being eligible for this prize anymore. I was nominated by the wonderful girls @ My Addiction: Books. I was nominated by some other people too (thank you!) but I have opted to go with these questions.

The Rules!

Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you
Answer the 11 questions asked
Nominate at least 3 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
Ask them 11 new questions

Here come the questions!

Have you ever read a book that changed your life or deeply affected you? Which book?

Hm, this is a difficult question. I think Out of My Mind by Sharon M Draper really made me understand some more physical disabilities and the difficulty of living with one. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini was another one I couldn’t stop thinking about days after I’d finished it, which rarely happens to me.

If you had to give up all your books except for one, which one would you pick?

This is a mean question! I would keep Fear by Michael Grant. It’s all lies. I would hide my stash and pretended that I only had one.

How long does it take you to write a review?

Twenty minutes at a max! I already have all the notes of things I need to mention, and I am a pretty fast typer, so once I start I finish pretty soon afterwards as well.

What is your least favorite book and why?

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I have no idea how some people can love this book. So many things were wrong with it!

*goes off into rant mode*

Firstly, why on earth tell a love story from the point of view of the maid? Did she just happen to know everything about their love life? Isn’t that weird? And also, why did the author reuse the names! I was so confused by the first Catherine, the second one and don’t get me started on the other names that were repeated… so confusing. Lastly, I felt like the romance issue wasn’t an issue but that she made it out to be one! Couldn’t she have simply been like, oh, we come from different backgrounds but I don’t care and then be done with it all? If she decided she didn’t want him, then it’s her problem and she should deal with it. That girl really wasn’t one to go against conformity…

In a perfect world, what mistake would authors avoid?

There would be no such thing as insta love. Please. No more.

What book character can you most relate to and why?

I think it would be Summer from Summer’s Dream by Cathy Cassidy. Summer is a perfectionist, and really wants to be the best at everything she does. Which is why she sometimes puts herself under unnecessary amounts of pressure and says yes to doing everything. I can be like that a bit too :3

What are your favorite and least favorite genres?

Favourite genre would have to be YA and fantasy, seeing as it is what I read the most of. Least favourite would be non-fiction. Mostly I find it boring.

What is your favorite part of blogging?

I love everything about blogging! But my favourite would be putting my own posts out there because I really feel like this blog is my piece of internet and I can do whatever I want with it! What falls under that is going to see what other people call their pieces of internet and reading it too :)

Do you prefer a female or male POV?

I don’t mind really, as long as the story is written well!

What's your biggest book-related pet peeve?

I wouldn’t say it was my biggest, but one thing I have noticed is that I really don’t like it when the font is horrible. It’s really off putting and seems mean to my eyes!

That’s all! Here are my eleven questions (yes, I stole some)

1.      Do you prefer a male or female character POV?
2.      What is your favourite and least favourite thing about blogging?
3.      If there was one author you could meet, who would it be?
4.      How do you choose what you are going to read next?
5.      What is one thing you can’t stand in a romance?
6.      What’s your favourite song?
7.      Which blogger would you consider to be your closest friend?
8.      Why did you start blogging?
9.      What is your favourite social media site to use?
10.   Which country/fictional world would you visit if you could?
11.   Which book would you like to toss into the flames?

I nominate:

New Video! I know it is late, but here is the video version of my June Book Haul!

Olivia’s Question: Which book would you like to toss into the flames?

Olivia-Savannah x

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Outback Flames (Review)

Hi there!

Title: Outback Flames
Author:  Suzanne Brandyn
Publisher:  Sunburnt Enterprises
Published Date:  1st January 2015
Rating: 3 Stars

*Thank you to the author for the review copy*

Synopsis: At thirteen, Zoe Montgomery's life changed overnight, the night her family and their property, Montagreen, went up in flames. The incident and her previous memories are wiped from her mind. Whisked away moments later by an unknown aunt, Zoe learns to grow up fast and learns the value of hard work.

Fifteen years later, after overhearing her aunt's whispers about Montagreen, and a girl called Zoe Montgomery, the name on her bracelet, Zoe's suspicions increase. She flees the only life she has ever known, and escapes her aunt's harsh lies and abuse, to return home to find answers and rebuild.

However, returning opens not only the devastation she'd left behind, it reveals the torment her childhood sweetheart suffered which almost destroyed his life.

As Jordan works on the restoration of Montagreen, can they battle their way through a mountain of obstacles and take over where they left off, or is it too late?

Review: This wasn’t necessarily a bad read. However, it wasn’t a memorable or unique read at all. I am generally not a huge fan of the romance genre because I believe a lot of romances simply blend into one another – there needs to be something different to add to the mix. But this book didn’t have that ‘something different’ which I feel always needs to be there.

The writing style was decent enough and pretty easy to read. I think the author did try to go for a bit too realistic a kind of dialogue seeing as Zoe ended up saying things like ‘um’ a lot, and it irritated me. I could understand the want for realism, but it got repetitive quickly, and bothered me.

Zoe herself was a nice character. She had been through a lot as a child and was basically grown up like Cinderella. I loved how strong she was and eager to start her life again, even though she wasn’t completely sure how she was going to do it. She was all prepared to be independent, but I am grateful that she didn’t have to be because she was still going through a traumatic time and needed someone to support her. That ended up being Jordan who has known Zoe since they were young but is harbouring his own secrets. I liked him well enough, but there didn’t seem to be anything very special about him from what I could see. 

I did like the use of setting. As anyone can tell, I have a soft spot for stories that are set anywhere but the usual America or Britain combo. So having this set in sunny Australia? Bonus points from me.

I felt like they fell in love here a bit too fast. They’d only known each other for days, and they seem to be ready to go into a serious relationship. I couldn’t see that being very realistic. And by the end of the novel I believe they have known each other for approximately a month but they end up making a pretty big decision in their relationship. I found it all to be too soon and too much. Slow down! This is also a pretty clean romance (anything heading in the explicit direction has the scene cut and left open ended.)

I did find the ending to be a bit too easily resolved. It could’ve been a lot more suspenseful but I wasn’t getting that impression at all, and that left the book feeling a bit flat and bland. I couldn’t feel the sense of a climax.

All in all, a decent read but nothing special or unique about it excepting the setting.

Olivia’s Question: What’s the one thing you would save if your house was on fire?

Olivia-Savannah x