Monday, 27 March 2017

Little Black Cats [Nails Extravaganza]

Good morning!

Nails Extravaganza is a meme here on Olivia's Catastrophe where I share a bit about the nail art designs I have recently been working on. Without further ado, let's get on to the nails!

In my last post I mentioned the down period I had with painting my nails and doing nail art. I am still kind of recovering from that. Some days I want to do my nail designs, and some days I just want colour. Mostly, I've gotten into the habit of only painting my left hand, which is the easiest for me to do. I'm hoping to break out of that because well, if I never do my right hand, then it looks a little odd and I never get to practice it. I think in future nail art extravaganza posts, I'll be specifically including a picture of my right hand, and I'll let you be the judge of seeing how they compare. 

Anyway, this particular design was the second design I did after emerging from nail art slump. It is mostly just coloured lines, but the accent nail has the design of a cat on it. I have a friend who is crazy about her cat (well, three friends who all love their cats). Because of them, I've been receiving a lot of cat based snaps. So yes, cats were on my mind when I decided I was going to go for this design. 

I also managed to surprise myself, because I thought my skills would be a little bit rustier than this. But they managed to work out just fine, and I was really satisfied with the result in the end. It didn't even take me that long, so no need to be very patient as the design only involves two colours, and they don't really layer on top of each other. 

When layers come into play, that's when I need to really be blessed with patience. But this one wasn't so bad. 

Overall, one happy Olivia after painting her nails :D

Olivia's Question: Are you a dog lover or a cat lover? Or something else entirely?

Olivia-Savannah x

Saturday, 25 March 2017

The Ugly [Book Review]

Hello there!

Title: The Ugly
Author: Alexander Boldizar
Publisher: Brooklyn Arts Press
Published Date: 7th September 2016
Rating: 3 stars

*Thank you to the author for the review copy*


Synopsis: Muzhduk the Ugli the Fourth is a 300-pound boulder-throwing mountain man from Siberia whose tribal homeland is stolen by an American lawyer out to build a butterfly conservatory for wealthy tourists. In order to restore his people’s land and honor, Muzhduk must travel to Harvard Law School to learn how to throw words instead of boulders. His anarchic adventures span continents, from Siberia to Cambridge to Africa, as he fights fellow students, Tuareg rebels, professors of law, dark magic, bureaucrats, heatstroke, postmodernists, and eventually time and space. A wild existential comedic romp, The Ugly tells the tale of a flawed and unlikely hero struggling against the machine that shapes the people who govern our world.


Review: The Ugly by Alexander Boldizar is novel which I discovered through Shelf Awareness. The cover had me interested, but it had to be the synopsis which had me convinced that I wanted to read it. I feel like our capital and Westerner ways make up thinking we have the right to impose on other tribal and indigenous areas because we have our reasons. It does not matter that it doesn’t match up with theirs. As someone who strongly believes this, I wanted to read this novel and find out more about how it would be portrayed here.

And while this is the underlying predicament in the novel, we get a lot more than I bargained for! For starters, when following the issue of their tribe basically being kicked out, I really liked how the novel started off. I liked how we got to see a little bit of what the tribe was like, and what their values were. We get to see what the businessmen do when they first arrive. But I was a little disappointed by the ending. I didn’t quite understand the way in which they resolved the issue? Or if they actually had, in the long term? I felt like it was a very short term resolution, or maybe I was just not understanding something…

As Muzhduk travels to America and spends his time there, we are told about all of that as if it were in the past. The perspective also switches to the present day, where Muzhduk is in Africa for some reason. That reason is revealed to us as we read. The two different perspectives are both told from his point of view, but in America we have third person voice and in Africa first person voice. I believe the author did this so we wouldn’t become confused between the two times, and I was glad for it. I also liked the switch, and seeing how the past tied in with what Muzhduk had learned and how he acted in the present day. It also really helped in steadily understanding his reason for why he is in Africa and how he feels so determined to find who he went there to find.

Muzhduk was an interesting main character. He was very straightforward, but then also very intelligent, which intrigued me. I believe I quite grew to like him as we read more and more. When there is something in life he wants or is after, he goes and gets it. When he feels something, he will tell you. He struggles to grasp the Western ways of the world when he first gets to America, and it’s kinda adorable in a way. I also like how quickly he managed to adapt, and how shocked people were when a tribal member was intelligent. Yeah, he showed them! I believe that’s another misconception we have and his character showed that very well. Just because we don’t know about their ways, or about someone, doesn’t mean we have to assume we know more and therefore be condescending. This applies in more situations than just the one in this novel.

I should also mention that this novel is quite explicit. Not in terms of it being very descriptive, but there are sexual scenes and the author simply describes what is happening. And because Muzhduk is someone who likes sex and it is also part of some traditions in his tribe, it’s kind of mentioned quite a bit.

However, when reading this novel I felt like I couldn’t enjoy it as much as someone who was a law student might’ve, because I simply didn’t understand it. I felt like I needed to be smarter to fully grasp everything I was reading, but I wasn’t. Which doesn’t have to do so much with the book, but maybe for those who want to read it. There is quite a lot of law discussion in this book, as Muzhduk is going to America to study law. There are also quite a lot of bridges between law, society, religion, human nature and so on. It was all over my head. I felt like I was reading philosophy at times, and I could tell some of the conclusions being reached were incredibly clever, but my mind just couldn’t keep up and be able to understand how and in what way. So while I did read this one and like it, some of it just went right over my head.

There is a love interest in the novel, but the love is less expressed in the usual pursuit of her, but showing how dedicated he is to her? I wouldn’t classify this book as a romance at all. But there is some love in it, but more so a gentle, steadfast love than the characters realising they love each other and going on dates or that kind of thing.

This was a nice read. A little confusing at times, but still enjoyable.


Gif Summary:


Links: Goodreads and Amazon!


New Video! My book fair book haul!


Olivia’s Question: Have you ever felt like you weren’t smart enough for a book? Which was it?

Olivia-Savannah x

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Under Pressure...

The day that I am drafting this blog post, is the 16th of August. (I like prescheduling). This also happens to be the day that I wrote my personal statement… and I had some very mixed thoughts while writing it.

Many people end up writing one, or something similar, if they’re intending to go to university. It’s like you’re trying to fit something along with your grades to make them more personalized – to make the numbers into something more humane. While writing it, I quickly took all the best aspects of myself, all my achievements, and buttered them best I could. I chucked them on the page, and that was that.

When I was done, I felt pretty strange…

I hadn’t even thought about what I was doing much, but in some sort of way I had just reviewed myself like I review my books. I’d looked for what I liked most and what I didn’t like. Instead of being honest though, I’d only put what I liked and what looked best in order to ‘sell’ myself to the university. Sort of how an author promotes their own books – they’re not really going to go around flaunting their negative reviews, right?

It made me think of the pressure I was putting on myself too. As soon as I go to university (you know, if I pass those exams, if I get accepted… if, if, if *bites nails anxiously*) then I would be feeling the pressure to live up to all the things I have put down on that piece of paper. I know there won’t be someone watching me like a hawk to see if I lived up to all the things I claimed I was and am, but there would be that mental note tucked into my mind of what I pledged whenever I am doing something.

Even now, before I have sent off the application I already am feeling that pressure. The worst thing about it is that I wrote it myself. Sure, I needed to write one, so you could say it wasn’t really done willingly…

Then again, maybe I am stressing and overthinking something as little as writing a personal statement way too much.

The main thing I am trying to get at is that we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Sometimes there are outer forces influencing that as well, and sometimes there really aren’t. But what you need to remember is that when you shouldn’t even promise yourself when it comes to goals. Aspire towards them, yes. Encourage yourself, yes. But don’t fret and stress about getting there, because that’s just unnecessary panic you don’t need in life.

You’re gonna be able to ace whatever life throws your way, and exceed all expectations.

Olivia’s Question: Do you pressurize yourself sometimes?

Olivia-Savannah x

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children [Movie Review]

Hey everyone!

Today I wanted to a do a movie discussion with you all because I watched Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The same day that I watched the movie was also the day I finished the book, because I only speed read the book because I wanted to have that knowledge before I saw the movie. That’s just me :D

So, the trailer was AHMAZING and I was really really excited to be seeing this movie. But to be honest, the trailer itself was better than the actual movie itself in many ways. I’m not saying that it was a bad movie – it was okay. But there were definitely points that didn’t make sense, and some that just were different than the book and shouldn’t have been, and then there were some good points too.

First of all, let’s start with what they did differently from the book which I either approved or didn’t approve of. For starters, they changed some of the characters. This both worked and didn’t work at the same time. One of the characters that were changed were Miss Peregrine herself. Instead of being someone who was all for manners and the such, instead they made her someone who was much more focused on time and really looking after her children. And I LOVED that change! It worked so well for the atmosphere of the movie, and the way in which she took control at all times, despite whatever was happening. The actress who played her pulled it off expertly. I was incredibly satisfied with her character.

They also switched Emma and Olive’s power. I wondered why they did that, but maybe it’s just because the peculiarity of air is cooler? They changed it from levitating to air – I see why; for the movie to work it had to be that way. I was fine with that. But I just didn’t like that the switched those powers up. Fire suited Emma’s personality so much! I do see why they did it though.

I also felt like Enoch’s character was interpreted pretty differently as well. He was jealous through and through in the movie, and that’s rather toned down in the book. Don’t get me wrong – I didn’t mind the jealousy at all! But they didn’t give him any personality outside of that, and that’s what bothered me quite a bit.

Another thing which was different were the addition of the twins. I loved the twins, even though they didn’t say much. I wish there was more of them in the movie! And their peculiarity was so cool, so it could have been even more epic if they were featured more.

Speaking of characters, let me just squeeze in that I loved Millard and Horace so much. They should’ve been included a bit more as well!

A small change they made which I didn’t understand the reasoning for which was why they changed the time of the loop from September 1940 to 1943. It made no difference at all on the movie in the slightest! So I was so confused as to why. It’s a number. Don’t change petty things that don’t need changing. #thebookwormrageisreal.

No let’s talk about the plot holes… and there were quite a few! At times, for instance – Emma is standing on the floor without a rope attached to her (she was holding it herself) and without her shoes on (they were in her hands with the rope in the scene I’m thinking of). That gives the impression that she can control the levitation herself. And if she doesn’t always levitate when she isn’t in her shoes or attached to a rope, then why does she even need them? It makes them pointless! She even conveniently levitated downwards when they needed to. That means she could do that at any point! If you want to make her be able to control her levitation, then fine. If you don’t, then fine. But don’t do half on half.

And then as well as that… the twins power itself. They use it once, as a last resort. But once I knew what it was, I couldn’t help thinking about why they hadn’t used it before? Half the issues in this movie could be solved if they unleashed the twins. But no… they don’t use their peculiarity when times call for it at all. So yeah, that was another thing that just didn’t make sense >.>

In fact, I felt like in general they really focused on four, maybe five characters and sort of downplayed all the rest of the peculiarities. They could’ve been used a lot more and I would’ve liked to see them in action. It’s hard in movies when there are powers for everyone to use them – I understand. But if Marvel can manage, so can they with this one :P

The costumes and the cinematography and all of that stuff were good. I liked all the effects, and I think it made it all look really pleasing to the eye. I didn’t really expect anything less from a Tim Burton movie though ;)

Another down was at the beginning, the acting was terrible. All the way up until he meets the kids, I felt like they were reading script lines… Which made me really worry about having to stay seated in that cinema for the next two something hours watching terrible acting. But the actors and actresses all warmed up to it, which made me happy. But yeah, it was a rough start.

I felt like the movie was slightly chaotic – they crammed a bit too much into one movie, and it kind of made the ending a bit rushed and way too fast paced.

ALL IN ALL THOUGH, this is not a bad movie. I’m complaining a lot and pointing everything out – but maybe I’m too critical. (Critical enough that my family doesn’t want to hear my comments and analyzing after a movie, so I write them all in a long review to you guys.) It was a decent watch and fairly enjoyable – I would give it three out of five stars. It just had a lot of issues with it too, which can easily be overlooked if you’re just sitting to watch a nice movie.

Olivia’s Question: Have you seen this movie? What did you think of it? And should I be a bit less critical while watching?

Olivia-Savannah x

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The Alchemist [Book Review]

Hello everyone!

Title: The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho
Translated by: Alan R. Clarke
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published Date: 1988
Rating: 5 Stars


Synopsis: Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.


Review: The Alchemist was a book I had wanted to read for a long time… It’s one of those novels you hear so much about, and can easily forget to read because the recommendations continuously pass you by. But when I was sick one day, wrapped up in bed, I started to read the novel. I loved it and read half of the book before I fell asleep. I don’t know why it took me a few weeks to get back to it again, but then I picked it up and consumed it until I finished it.

What I loved most about this book was the amount of wisdom every page held. I felt like whenever I turned the page, I was learning a different life lesson. There are so many quotes that I highlighted which will be carried with me for a long while in the future (I hope). If you want to read something which will help motivate you to achieve your goals, help yourself believe in who you are again and to remind you about the beauty of humanity and how we are all, in essence, just people. It made me think about how simple everything really is, and how humans overcomplicate things. It made me think about how some things are complicated, and that’s just the way it is. All in all, this was a very thought-provoking book.

The novels pace is slow and steady. It never lags to me and gets boring, but it isn’t a fast paced read and that’s because it leans more on the philosophical and deep side of things than anything else. I liked the steady pace and it matched all the lessons the main character is learning throughout the novel.

This is a very character driven read. There isn’t really much action because it just doesn’t fall under that genre. So be prepared for that if you’re going to be going into this one. When it comes to the main character, I did like him. I never felt a deep connection with the character himself. Mostly because the tale is told in third person and we don’t really get to know much of his interests and hobbies outside of the ‘quest’ or ‘journey’ he has been given to undertake. But as the novel goes on, you get to steadily connect to the journey he is going through. And in making a connection to that, you get to feel a bit for him within that context. So I never felt too close to the character, but more so everything that was happening to him.

I hope that makes sense.

I felt like this was a perfect translation of the novel. In fact, I don’t know why I assumed English was the first language that this novel was written in. It was only when writing this review and researching for the book details I include at the top of the review, did I notice that this was actually a translated work. So if translated works usually scare you off because of worrying about something being lost in translation, you don’t have to fear that here.

I loved the writing style. The imagery and the descriptions of everything was beautiful. I felt like I was in the desert right along with the main character. I liked the descriptions and depictions of all the various characters he came across.

When discussing this novel with a friend, I learned that where she came from this novel was looked down on as ‘cheap philosophy’. And even though I would strongly disagree, I can see where she is coming from. I guess from a different perspective, the wisdom and life lessons I felt like I was learning could be labeled so. However, I more so see it as an accessible, and understandable philosophy. Whenever I read philosophy, it always seems so over-complicated and I have to spend a lot of time thinking and decoding to find the true meaning. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s also nice to have something a bit easier to read and understand as well. While incurring the same kind of messages from the text.

All in all, I have to say I recommend this one a lot!


Gif Summary:


Quotes: “People need not fear the unknown if they are capable of achieving what they need and want.”

“When you want something with all your heart, that’s when you’re closest to the Soul of the World.”

“Everyone has his or her own ways of learning things.”

“Listen to your heart. It knows all things.”

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!


New Video: Book Review of Some Writer!


Olivia’s Question: What’s your favourite quote?

Olivia-Savannah x 

Sunday, 12 March 2017

February Wrap Up 2017

Happy Sunday!

Is it just me who can never seem to get her monthly wrap up posted on time? Nonetheless, here goes...

One of the first things I managed to achieve in February was finishing my 30 Days Abs Challenge! I have been working on that for a while, using a 30 day challenge app on my phone. I'm at no six pack yet, but my abs feel a lot more toned and strong, which is good. Core is nearly everything when it comes to yoga!

I also spent a lot of time baking. It was my turn to bake something for my English class, and then there was a bake sale for charity that I baked for. My mum also had a friend recovering from illness so I baked her a banana cake too. That summed up to one apple crumble and three banana cakes... and some late night baking :D

I got really ill with the flu. So ill, that I couldn't even read. I think I took a whole week off of school, which is far longer than I have ever taken for being sick. It was all shades of horrible. I am so glad that is behind me. 
I also handed in my last internal assessment for the IB. IB is the course I am doing at school, and there are multiple assignments and essays you have to hand in. Economics was my last one, which means i am completely done with all coursework! The only thing I have to go now is my mock exams in March and then my final exams *gulp* in May...

I went birthday shopping with my family, and went out to dinner. It was a very nice night. I managed to FINALLY get some proper basketball shoes. For the length of time I have been playing, you would think I owned some. But now I have a nice sleek black pair :D I also bought a cross necklace. I had one when I was younger, but it broke and the jewels fell out. It's nice to be wearing a cross around again. 

There was carnival celebrated here in the Netherlands. I didn't really celebrate it. There was the carnival holiday, which was a week long. But mock exams started the week after that, so I was basically studying throughout the holiday. As you can see below, a hardcore study session with my little sister was in process. 

When it comes to watching shows, I got back into it. I have a love hate relationship with watching series. I either watch ALL THE SERIES or none. I finished Season 3 of Sherlock, Season 1 of Baby Daddy and started Season 4 of Supernatural. Go me :D

To stay updated with what's happening in my month, make sure to follow me on snapchat!

I know what you're thinking. Five books is one under my usual count of six books. (Okay, maybe you weren't thinking that at all.) But until May is over and done with, I will probably be reading a whole lot less than I usually do. Mostly because I have so much to study for my final exams, that reading time is going to be quite limited. I consider this a very good month in comparison to how March is going at the moment >.> 

I have posted my reviews for He Will Be My Ruin, Dream Mire and Bluff. 

The Ugly was a very interesting book... but I will leave it at that because I have a book review for that one upcoming. 

The Marvels was a nice read, and the illustrations were gorgeous! It was a blind date book actually, so I didn't realise how much of a middle grade read it was going to be until I was done with the book. Which made it quite cheesy and not really what I would've chosen to read myself? But yeah, it was still fun I guess.

Yes, I did just say I won't have much time for reading. And yet my TBR is five books long. Nope, I don't understand what I was thinking either. Alas, here are the books (three of which are carried over because I didn't get to them before.)

Dangerous Pilgrims by Lawrence Swaim 
The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson 
Article Three by Anna Jakobsson Lund 
The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis 
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

My goal has been to post almost every two days in 2017. I managed it in January and I'm pretty proud to say I managed it in February as well. This is why I love prescheduling. 

  Popsugar Challenge: 16/52

That's it! 

Olivia's Question: How was your February? What was your favourite read of the month?

Olivia-Savannah x 

Friday, 10 March 2017

The Fifth Wave [Book Review]

Hello there!

Title: The 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Published Date: 7th May 2013
Rating: 3 stars

*Thank you to Jennifer Windram on Instagram for buddy reading this one with me, and for Agirlreads on Instagram for giving me the book*


Synopsis:  After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.


Review: I feel incredibly harsh rating this one only 3 stars. If only I did .5 stars still L There were so many things about this book I liked, all at the beginning. But unfortunately the ending of the book kind of ruined things for me, and the middle. I was highly anticipating this one, despite having read a lot of mixed views about it. And it seems like the muddled feelings are the ones I connect to. I’m going to try and explain best I can.

The beginning of this book was brilliant. Immediately I was captivated by Cassie’s perspective. I loved the idea of the alien invasion and the ‘waves’ the aliens left behind. Slowly, it is revealed to the reader what these waves consisted of and I thought it was incredibly creative of the author to think up all of these things! I loved it. I also loved the guessing game about who were the humans and the aliens. Because in this world? The aliens look exactly the same as the humans. It’s impossible to tell which is which.

The suspense build up was brilliant and I was really connecting to Cassie. Not only is she busy contemplating what makes someone human (a pretty deep discussion to include in the book, if I think about it), we’re also seeing her trying to survive and keep strong despite the grief of losing her family. Despite the cloud of loneliness she is currently living in. I really felt the love she felt for her little brother, and I’m sure that is how I would feel about my little sister if I was in the same situation she was in.

Then we start to see some more points of view… and that was the beginning of where things started to go downhill for me. We are sort of bombarded with point of view after point of view, and each time we delve into a new one it’s a guessing game to work out who it is. Although Zombie and Cassie’s point of views are the ones we end up reading from the most, sometimes the author throws a random one in there.

I didn’t like the romance at all. It was so disappointing and very suddenly thrown in there. In my opinion, I feel like the author probably just included the romance because he partly wanted to extend the ‘what makes us human’ debate, but also because of the illusion that every YA novel needs a romance. Not every novel does need romance, and this one was short, too fast for me, and basically didn’t make me feel anything. So yes, I probably would have enjoyed this novel a whole lot more without the romance thrown in there. I guess that is one of the key things that ruined it for me.

I also never really understood the idea of the ‘eye’. I’m not surprised that the movie misses that whole concept out because it was so unclear to me in the book. I wasn’t sure what it could do, or why it did that and just… ugh. It was kind of sad to not be understanding what I was reading and yeah. That took some of the enjoyment from me.

The ending had me going “what?” in some places, and in other ways, it was also satisfying. So I feel pretty mixed there.

In my review I’ve mostly focused on the Cassie storyline, but that is simply because I never really cared for Zombie’s storyline and his gang much. It was interesting, but maybe I’ll care about his storyline more in the sequel? I’m not sure…

I’ll be reading the sequel at some point, for sure.

 Gif Summary: 


Quote: “Late at night, I think I can hear the stars scraping against the sky.”

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: What do you think makes humans human?

Olivia-Savannah x