Friday, 18 August 2017

I've Moved!

Hi everyone!

This is a really quick post to let you know that you can go find the new Olivia's Catastrophe at oliviascatastrophe.com!

It's still in the progress and being built... I'm also trying to work on redirecting blogger posts to Wordpress. But mostly importantly, any comments you leave here will no longer be received... so please head over to share comments! I don't want to miss out on your lovely words!

It's all going to be fully functional and ready soon. I can't wait to get back to blogging because I have totally missed it and MISSED YOU ALL D:

Olivia-Savannah x

Friday, 11 August 2017

July Wrap Up 2017

Hi everyone!

It's been a little while, but I am really working hard at my new site and new channel, so I'll be back soon. Combined with traveling, I've had very little time to construct filler posts or visit many blogs. But I will be popping around to see you all soon. 

Life has been going full throttle. In July I was still in Spain in for the whole month. I got to a lot of different things. I continued with my hiking adventures and went hiking every week with the same gang as last month. However, this time we also went rock climbing. My fear of heights definitely kicked in, making it an exhilarating and terrifying experience at the same time. I could've kissed the flat ground when we finally got to the top. And I don't mean the controlled indoor rock climbing. I mean more like climbing up the face of the cliff part of the mountain! 

We continued our beach days, which were perfect as the weather ricocheted up to average about 35 degrees at the height of the day. We also went up into one of the castles that was nearby and had a lovely view of all of Alicante. I really love finding somewhere high and getting a nice view while on holiday! 

I finally got my exam results! I passed IB, which made me happy. But what was better? I made it into my top choice of university! It is now sure that I will be going on to study English Literature and Creative Writing at Warwick University in the UK. Which means I will be moving away from the Netherlands and back to my home country after all these years. That scares and excites me at the same time. I can't wait :) 

I finished editing my older sister's manuscript (which was amazing by the way! More on that later) and also on a creative writing novella booklet for my little sister. I feel like I've been doing a lot of editing because I've been editing my own novel. As well as that I wrote short stories and poetry a lot because suddenly I've been brimming with a lot of ideas. I'm quite satisfied with the amount of writing I've been doing lately. I've been sending out my work to literary magazines and hopefully something will come back positive. *Fingers crossed.*

We went to see the annual parade in Novelda, and I absolutely loved the costumes. We didn't stay for the whole event because that would be quite long, but it was really nice to see the beautiful clothing. I wonder how long it must have taken to make all of them, and in such detail too! 

I also ended up rewatching Inception (seriously one of my favourite movies of all time) and I finished season three of Baby Daddy. Still loving it :D

If you want to see more of my life updates, follow me on snapchat! But actually, I post more on my insta stories now, so make sure to follow me over there too ;)

I'm still not home, so I still haven't taken a full wrap up picture. But I read 3 physical books (I only had three more unread ones with me on holiday) and some other ebooks too. I'm counting nine books because I'm totally including my sister's manuscript.) 

Private Reserve by Diana Sobolewski was a nice new adult romance which was a good read. I liked the second half more than the first half, but it was still a fairly good read.

The Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova was a very strong sequel in a series I love. I can't wait for the finale. I might not have liked it as much as book one, but it was still so good!

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood was one I buddy read with Hannahreadstoomuch from Instagram. Although I wanted to love it, I couldn't for various reasons. But I loved it for other reasons at the same time. Mixed opinion... so a review to come soon? 

Fade by Santino Hassell and Ais was a 1214 page conclusion to a series I absolutely love and have devoted too much of my life to recently. THE ENDING WAS NOT OKAY. I didn't even manage to know if some of my favourite characters had survived or not... and a cliffhanger ending? I couldn't take it... 

So I had to read 1/27 by Santino Hassell and Ais. A short story collection which was for after the ending of the series. It settled my feels a little and ended the cliffhanger. But, it also promised a sequel series D: It was promised in 2010, and it still isn't around. But I will always help because I can't let go of these characters. A new favourite series! I still don't want to admit it has all ended. 

You Can't Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson was an autobiography about black culture and feminism. I liked it, and could relate to it a lot. But I also had a few problems with it too, which I will discuss further in an upcoming book review. 

Strong Signal by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell is the first book in a series I had some hang ups about. But I got over them quickly because this book was just SO CUTE. Like, if this book was a human I would have squished their cheeks in my fingers. I loved the romance, loved the online relationship aspect and especially the themes it dealt with. 

The Surfers Solution by Cathy Yardley was a quick, summer-y kind of romance which was also about being a workaholic. It had a lot of enjoyable, nice elements to it. I don't think I will ever be able to really dislike a book by her because she writes perfectly to what I need when I look for her books. 

And lastly, my sister's manuscript. I can't wait for this novel to hit the shelves. She writes so wonderfully, sisterly bias aside. It also has such relevant themes, about tensions between countries on an international level, the refugee crisis, family, friendships and humanity as a whole. It also relates to world war three... Eeee, just writing about it makes me so excited!

The new website will be here soon! I'm working on it with my dad to get it all set up. Hopefully it will be done by mid-August and the next post can be over there! Then I will back to posting more frequently. :) Thank you for your patience!

New Video! Wrap Up from my channel for those who would prefer to watch rather than read :)

Olivia's Question: How was July for you? What did you get up to? What was your favourite read?

Olivia-Savannah x

Monday, 31 July 2017

Top 10: YA Books by Black Authors on my TBR

Hello there everyone!

Recently, I was busy writing a guest post for another blog (which will be up soon.) It was going to be about black authors whose works I would recommend in the YA genre. But then I stopped and thought - what books could I recommend? And I literally could only think of two. TWO. I was so disappointed in myself, and I've decided I definitely need to correct that. So here's a list of some new books which are on my TBR, and all of them are by black authors. Time to show some appreciation for #blackculture!

Theo is better now.

She's eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor.

Donovan isn't talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn't do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she's been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse.

The rock in the water does not know the pain of the rock in the sun.

On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Ida Mae Jones dreams of flight. Her daddy was a pilot and being black didn't stop him from fulfilling his dreams. But her daddy's gone now, and being a woman, and being black, are two strikes against her.

When America enters the war with Germany and Japan, the Army creates the WASP, the Women Airforce Service Pilots - and Ida suddenly sees a way to fly as well as do something significant to help her brother stationed in the Pacific. But even the WASP won't accept her as a black woman, forcing Ida Mae to make a difficult choice of "passing," of pretending to be white to be accepted into the program. Hiding one's racial heritage, denying one's family, denying one's self is a heavy burden. And while Ida Mae chases her dream, she must also decide who it is she really wants to be.

When sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson dies from two gunshot wounds, his community is thrown into an uproar. Tariq was black. The shooter, Jack Franklin, is white.

In the aftermath of Tariq's death, everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events line up. Day by day, new twists further obscure the truth.
Tariq's friends, family, and community struggle to make sense of the tragedy, and to cope with the hole left behind when a life is cut short. In their own words, they grapple for a way to say with certainty: This is how it went down.

When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . . 

Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself. 

He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.

He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable. 

Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present. 

Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying. 

My name is “J” and I’m awkward—and black. Someone once told me those were the two worst things anyone could be. That someone was right. Where do I start?

Being an introvert in a world that glorifies cool isn’t easy. But when Issa Rae, the creator of the Shorty Award–winning hit series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” is that introvert—whether she’s navigating love, work, friendships, or “rapping”—it sure is entertaining. Now, in this debut collection of essays written in her witty and self-deprecating voice, Rae covers everything from cybersexing in the early days of the Internet to deflecting unsolicited comments on weight gain, from navigating the perils of eating out alone and public displays of affection to learning to accept yourself—natural hair and all.

A reflection on her own unique experiences as a cyber pioneer yet universally appealing, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girlis a book no one—awkward or cool, black, white, or other—will want to miss.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Stolen from her village, sold to the highest bidder,
fifteen-year-old Amari has only one thing left of her own: hope.

Amari's life was once perfect. Engaged to the handsomest man in her tribe, adored by her family, and living in a beautiful village, she could not have imagined everything could be taken away from her in an instant. But when slave traders invade her village and brutally murder her entire family, Amari finds herself dragged away to a slave ship headed to the Carolinas, where she is bought by a plantation owner and given to his son as a birthday present.
Survival seems all that Amari can hope for. But then an act of unimaginable cruelty provides her with an opportunity to escape, and with an indentured servant named Polly she flees to Fort Mose, Florida, in search of sanctuary at the Spanish colony. Can the elusive dream of freedom sustain Amari and Polly on their arduous journey, fraught with hardship and danger?

Zephyr Mourning has never been very good at being a Harpy. She’d rather watch reality TV than learn forty-seven ways to kill a man, and she pretty much sucks at wielding magic. Zephyr was ready for a future pretending to be a normal human instead of a half-god assassin. But all that changes when her sister is murdered—and she uses a forbidden dark power to save herself from the same fate.

Zephyr is on the run from a punishment worse than death when an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend (a surprisingly HOT friend) changes everything. Because it seems like Zephyr might just be the Nyx, a dark goddess made flesh that is prophesied to change the power balance. For hundreds of years the half-gods have lived in fear, and Zephyr is supposed to change that.

But how is she supposed to save everyone when she can’t even save herself?

Olivia's Question: Who is your favourite black YA author? Have you read any of these?

Olivia-Savannah x

Monday, 24 July 2017

Wonder Woman [Movie Review & Giveaway!]

Happy Monday!

I was very excited to see Wonder Woman. When my sister kept going on and on about her as a superhero, I wasn’t enthralled. But the glimpse we saw of her in Batman vs. Superman had me completely convinced that I was going to love the movie. I’m a huge fan of:

a)      Her sense of style. She RULES in that outfit.
b)      What she stands for. Feminism to the max.
c)      SHE’S JUST BEAUTIFUL. That’s not a reason to love her but it’s semi why I did :P

There’s also Chris Pine in this movie. I liked him as an actor due to his performance in This Means War, a movie I shamelessly rewatch over and over again. Also, he is some serious eye candy.

Now let’s get to the review before I start sounding too shallow…

The movie itself did turn out to be pretty great. It has a strong and steady plot that builds from the beginning and follows through all the way until the very end. I wouldn’t say that the suspense is very high, but it is a quest-like journey with enough pitfalls and problems thrown into it to make it an exciting watch. I also really liked that before it all got started we got to see a bit of her history, and where she came from. It brought a closeness to her character and provided all the necessary backstory that we needed.

I also liked how her mindset about what to do contrasted with everyone around her, but she still stuck true to what she believed. I especially appreciated it because this is a movie set in a historical period, and because she came from an island of only females, she didn’t understand the concept of women being ‘put in their place’ or needing to be ‘protected.’ Yup, this movie had feminism written all over it, and I loved it.

While we are on the topic of the feminism aspect, I actually really appreciated this novel being set during world war one. I get the generally feeling that world war two is more usually depicted in books and movies because it was the most recent world war, and there are those still living who have stories and memories about it to share. (Excuse me if I am mistaken.) So I really appreciated this war being chosen, and from what I could tell it was mostly historically accurate. Although this movie did leave me thinking: what on earth was she doing during World War Two? Hmm… maybe another movie in the future?

Ah, the costume and fighting scenes were pretty epic in this movie. I liked all the graphics too. Nothing was overdone, which is a feeling I have been getting quite a bit from the Marvel superhero movies lately, and from Batman vs. Superman. Here the balance seemed to have been handled perfectly. I have to admit there were times when I got a bit annoyed at the random slow motion moments in the battles – sometimes they slowed down at irrelevant moments in the fight? But that aside, it was all done really well.

The messages about love, about learning (the song by Sia and Labrinth gives me life and perfectly relates to the movie) were epic. Also, about sacrifice and staying true to oneself. During the movie, there were little bits of wisdom imparted that kind of shocked me by how insightful they were. One moment was when Wonder Woman was asking about a watch, and he responded by saying it was for telling the time. And her response was, “You let your life be controlled by that thing?” Or something along the lines of that. And it gave me pause and made me think – how much do you let time control you? Is that necessarily a good thing? Can we possibly rise above it?

I love when a film makes me think, even if it’s just a phrase that brings me to that point.

The only downside to this movie was its predictability. I would say there were three plot twists, or elements to the storyline that we weren’t supposed to be see coming. Out of the three, two were easily predictable and I guessed them pretty much from the opening of the movie. I don’t doubt that many others did too. However, it didn’t make it any less of an enjoyable movie. It wasn’t so much the plot twists that were the cause for excitement here. It was the development of her character, the movement along the storyline, and the significant moments within it all that built up the movie.

All in all, this was a really good movie which I greatly enjoyed watching. It wasn’t the most mind-shattering movie ever, but it was so much fun, and quite deep at the same time. The themes and the messages came across nicely but never distracted from the movie. The main character and the love interest look good together. The soundtrack is epic. What more could I ask for?

Oh, and it was only later on that it was brought to my awareness that this was the first superhero movie where the main character and main superhero is a female. I can’t believe we have gone this long without one, and that I didn’t even notice. It’s all the more reason to make sure you go and see the film!

Other than more Wonder Woman movies in the future, pretty please ^.^

Giveaway! True to my word, due to my partial absence, the giveaways continue. Enter to win an e-copy of Walking Barefoot by Grace Coleman. Open internationally!

Olivia’s Question: Who is your favourite superhero? (I have like, three favourites, so you can say more than one!)

Olivia-Savannah x

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.


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