Saturday, 20 August 2016

Does Social Media Immortalise Us? [Discussion Guest Post]

Good morning everyone :)

Hope you're all having a good weekend! Today I'm featuring an author on my blog, called Dane Cobain. His post is going to be about social media, and how it relates to his novel. I think the topic sounds so cool, especially as us bloggers are always using social media to get more out there. Without further ado, here's his post!


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


How Social Networking Sites Are Making Everyone Immortal

Hi, folks! My name’s Dane Cobain, and I’m a British author and poet. Olivia was kind enough to invite me to write a guest post, and so here I am!

Today, I’m going to talk about social networking sites, and how they’re making all of us immortal without us without us even noticing. I work in social media marketing during the day, and so I make it my business to learn as much as I can about them.

One of the interesting things about the way that we use social networking sites is how we react when someone passes away. From celebrity deaths – which there have been far too many of this year – to the deaths of family and friends.

Some social networking sites – such as Facebook – allow a profile to be memorialised. That locks the profile, so it can no longer post future updates, whilst still allowing people to post messages on the wall. But either way, I believe that social networking sites are opening immortality up to the masses by ensuring that all of the updates that we post when we’re alive are still online and searchable after our deaths.

This is a relatively new phenomenon, and so we’re yet to see how it plays out. But I find it fascinating to think that in the future, people who are looking into their family history will be able to find out all sorts of information. Instead of just being able to find out who their great-great-great grandfather was, they’ll be able to find out what he used to post on Instagram, and the kinds of pages that he liked.

It’s a concept that I explore, to some extent, in my most recent novel – a literary fiction novel called Former.ly: The Rise and Fall of a Social Network. It follows the story of what happens behind the scenes at a social networking company, but Forner.ly is a site with a difference. When people use Former.ly, they post updates that are only visible to themselves, but there’s a catch; when they die, their updates go live to the public.

I guess it’s pretty easy to see where I got the concept from. I find it fascinating to see how social networking sites change the way that we communicate with people, and this particular aspect of social networking is a game-changer – it makes us all immortal, whether we want to be or not.

Only time will tell how that works for us a society, and we’re the first generation in history to have access to this sort of technology. Not all of us will live long enough to see the effects first hand, but it’s exciting to be a part of something that’s going to change the way that we develop as a species. What a time to be alive.

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

Isn't that such a funny thing to think about? I don't mind discussing and thinking about death, but it would be strange to picture my descendants reading my fangirling thoughts on this blog, seeing my life updates and so on. And it's true! You should definitely check out Dane's novel and links... I've left all the information below. 







Former.ly: The Rise and Fall of a Social Network
(literary fiction) 
When Dan Roberts starts his new job at Former.ly, he has no idea what he's getting into. The site deals in death - its users share their innermost thoughts, which are stored privately until they die. Then, their posts are shared with the world, often with unexpected consequences. 
But something strange is going on, and the site's two erratic founders share a dark secret. A secret that people are willing to kill for. 









Eyes Like Lighthouses When the Boats Come Home
(poetry) 
Eyes Like Lighthouses is Dane Cobain’s first book of poetry, distilled from the sweat of a thousand memorised performances in this reality and others. It’s not for the faint-hearted. 
“I’ve never seen anyone do a stream of consciousness piece as talented as that. Very impressed.” – Mark Allard-Will, author of Saskatch-A-Man and co-founder of Cuckoo’s Nest Press 




No Rest for the Wicked
(supernatural thriller)
When the Angels attack, there’s NO REST FOR THE WICKED.
Father Montgomery, an elderly priest with a secret past, begins to investigate after his parishioners come under attack, and with the help of Jones, a young businessman with an estranged child, Montgomery begins to track down the origin of the Angels.
When Jones himself is attacked, Father Montgomery knows he has to act fast. He speaks to the Angels and organises a final showdown where he’s asked to make the ultimate sacrifice. 





Olivia's Question: Do you think social media immortalises people? How do you feel about that? Do you find it unethical or not?

Olivia-Savannah x

Thursday, 18 August 2016

There Once Were Stars [Review, Giveaway & Tour!]

Hello there!

Title: There Once Were Stars
Author: Melanie McFarlane
Publisher: Month9Books
Published Date: 26th April 2016
Rating: 3 stars

*Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for the review copy*


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

Synopsis: Peace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of her dome. Now Nat wants answers. What else might her government be hiding from the good and loyal people of Dome 1618?

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

Review: There Once Were Stars was a novel that intrigued me as soon as I read the title. I wanted to know more about the book, and coupled with the gorgeous cover it had, it was too hard to resist. On top of that, I was already familiar with the author because I follow Melanie McFarlane’s gorgeous Instagram account. As soon as I saw there was a review tour I rushed to sign up.

I turned out to really enjoy this book. It has a dystopian kind of sci-fi young adult feel but doesn’t really take over the story with the world building. For those readers who want to try some YA sci-fi but don’t want to get too lost in a world completely different from our own, this is the kind of book I would recommend to you. McFarlane did a good job of introducing just enough into the story to know it’s a different time, world and situation without it becoming overwhelming.

In this novel, the main character – Nat – is an orphan. Her parents are deceased and passed away before they could share an important message with her. Nat is turning 18, which is a tricky age for anyone as they suddenly feel thrust into the world. So naturally, she turns to trying to follow in her parent’s footsteps to learn a bit more about them. I think the author handled the theme of loss extremely well. I wouldn’t say that Nat is feeling grief anymore because the time for that has passed seeing as her parents died when she was nine. But she is curious, inquiring and feeling that gap of not having her parents there alongside her when she feels she needs them. I love how well those emotions were translated to me, as a reader.


But sometimes, Natalie seemed to be a bit of naïve main character. She would do a lot of things and make a lot of choices which would hurt those around her, without really thinking about the consequences. And when people got angry, which was only a natural response to the way she was treated, she would be completely surprised by their actions. That kind of felt a bit juvenile to me in some ways, coupled alongside with her habit to kind of throw herself between two boys. That aside, Natalie was a main character easy to like.

The secondary characters in this novel were done pretty well. They supported her, but also had their own role in the plot and managed to follow that through as well. We get to know some of their backstory and why the situation they are facing matters to themselves as well. I liked how we got to see each characters motives and I felt like they were each unique and part of the plot for their own reasons. I really liked that.


The writing style was okay. At times I wished the story was going a little slower and was a little longer. Occasionally, I felt like the sentences were a little choppy. But when it most mattered, the novel was a smooth read and well written.

The best part of the novel for me was the ending. A lot reached the climax it had been bubbling towards. The main characters had a plan that they wanted to follow through with, but it fell apart. And I don’t mean like when one part of the plan goes wrong, they fix it, and then everything’s fine again. It fell to absolute pieces. That hiked up the action and had me racing through :D


A very good read and I’m looking forward to seeing what this author brings to the mix next.

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

Gif Summary: 

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


Giveaway: Enter to win one of five ebook copies! Open internationally :3



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

Author Bio: Melanie McFarlane is a passionate writer of other-wordly adventures, a little excitable, and a little quirky. Whether it’s uncovering the corruption of the future, or traveling to other worlds to save the universe, she jumps in with both hands on her keyboard. Though she can be found obsessing over zombies and orcs from time to time, Melanie focuses her powers on writing young adult stories to keep the rest of the world up reading all night.

She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Land of Living Skies

Links: Buy the book on Amazon, B&N, Kobo or iBooks! Or check it out on Goodreads :D
Or find Melanie on her website, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Wattpad and Instagram!


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

New Video!




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

Olivia’s Question: Have you ever been stargazing before?

Olivia-Savannah x

Monday, 15 August 2016

Captivate Me & Fight for Me [Reviews, Tour & Giveaway!]

 Hello there!

Title: Captivate Me (Captivated #1)
Author: S.J. Pierce
Publisher: Self-published
Published Date: 9th January 2014
Rating: 3 stars

Title: Fight for Me (Captivated #2)
Author: S.J. Pierce
Publisher: Self-published
Published Date: 14th February 2016
Rating: 3 stars

*Thank you to Xpresso book tours for the review copies*


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

Synopsis for Captivate Me: Seventeen-year-old Kat Walsh is a Gifted - a human with paranormal abilities. With her mom a former Angel and her dad a dream prophet, it's always been in her genetic make-up to be extraordinary. Unfortunately for her, the world can't handle the strange or unusual. So when she slips up and uses her powers at her high school in Ireland, the entire student body treats her like a freak - even the ones she thought were her closest friends.

Broken, but hopeful for a fresh start, she allows her parents to enroll her in a boarding school buried deep within the forests of a small Colorado town. At Midland Pines, School for the Gifted, she feels as though she can finally be herself; she makes new friends and even has the attention of the most popular guy in school - Levi. Everything feels normal again... or does it?

Not long after her arrival, weird dreams of an alluring boy whom she's never met surface during the night, and the eerie, shadowy trees encircling their school seem to call to her. As these disturbing, yet enticing developments intensify, other bizarre occurrences happen - students and staff turn up missing, and mystery visitors leave gifts while she sleeps. With all of these other things vying for her attention, a desperate Levi has to fight even harder to keep her interest. But with the dreams of the attractive boy slowly captivating her heart, Kat has to make a choice - will she settle for 'great' Levi, or will she search for her elusive dream visitor, possibly stumbling across 'amazing?'

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

Synopsis for Fight for Me: A fresh start – something Kat and Gabriel thought they would find when they left their pasts behind at Midland Pines High and moved to a compound for hybrids. Or at least safety from a witch seeking revenge. But now… that’s all changed. Now, thanks to a flirty hybrid hell-bent on winning Gabriel’s attention, the terrifying visions of another prophetic Gifted, and the strange and worrisome behavior of one of their closest friends, Kat finds herself fighting for things that had once come so easily, including her relationship with her soulmate. And now she’s afraid.

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

Mini Review for Captivate Me: When I started Captivate Me, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought there was going to be a lot of romance from the cover. And even though there is a whole lot of romance in this one, it didn’t really take over the novel for me. There was a plot aside from that, and it was pretty good.

I really liked the school setting and how it is full of gifted students. I’ve always been someone who likes the idea and having a Sky High-esque kind of school with mind readers, elementals and that sort of thing? Yes please! Every time a new character was introduced I wanted to know what their gift was – it was a like a present you just want to unwrap. I also really loved Kat, the main characters power, which was telekinesis. I want this power for myself.

Kat was a nice main character. She had ideas in her mind about true love and I don’t know how I felt about that. But she was loyal to her best friends and would do anything for them. She’s an artist who loves painting, truly cares for her family and also is adventurous and daring. I did find her to be a little naïve and gullible sometimes though. She goes to the woods and meets these strange people there. They tell her things and she pretty much believes them immediately. There wasn’t any doubt in her mind about them being untrustworthy or anything, and I couldn’t help thinking – really? But aside for that, she was a really nice main character.


I liked her friends who made up the secondary characters. There were two sets of secondary characters, because there were two groups of friends that Kat was involved in. But both of them were present and well included in the novel. Maybe not too deep, but good enough for me to enjoy the novel.

I felt like the beginning of the novel was a little slow and introductory, but that’s like any beginning to a trilogy or series, so I didn’t mind too much. In the end, the action picked up and I flew through it. That’s the part I enjoyed most!

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

Review for Fight for Me: Fight for Me was the second book in the series and I started it almost as soon as I finished the first book. I don’t usually read a series one directly after the other so I worried that it would become too same-y but that wasn’t the case at all.

I found this one to be even better in book one. In this one, Kat has made some really important choices which would limit her access to family, but keep her friends and self safe. It wasn’t an easy choice to make or path to accept, so I can certainly admire her changing her whole life the way she does for the safety of herself and friends.


Throughout the novel we are introduced to this new ‘area’ where the majority of the novel takes place. With it comes some more characters. Like in the first book, those secondary characters are well done but not too deep. I feel mostly for Kat and the situations she is going through. Gabe is very present in this novel too, which made the romance interesting. Kat has a lot of conflicts with some of the secondary characters and I liked seeing her try to handle those emotions and what she did to deal with it.

The pattern in terms of pacing was much like the first book – a little slow in the beginning, but the closer we get to the end, the more it picks up pace. The ending was definitely the best thing about this novel, especially as it ended on a cliffhanger! I can’t wait to have book three to myself now, because I want to see how everything ends. The ‘villain’ in this novel is different from in the first, and Kat’s supporters and the force behind her are stronger. But the villain is stronger too, so I want to know how this is all going to come down to a boil.


Sometimes though, there were things that didn’t make that much sense? Sarah was accusing Kat of something, but Kat firmly stated she wasn’t guilty of what she was being accused of. Sarah’s a mindreader… so it would make sense for her to just read her mind and resolve the issue. We also know Sarah has been in situations where she has doubted the truth before and attempted to read the others mind to get an understanding of things, so it’s not a moral or ethical issue in terms of doing so. So why didn’t she just do that to resolve the issue?

That all aside, I’ve really enjoyed these two reads. I raced through them and want to know what the conclusion to the trilogy will be like!

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

Gif Summary: 


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

Giveaway! Enter to win an ebook copy of Captivate Me and Fight for Me, open internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
         -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Captivate Me: Goodreads and Amazon links!
Fight for Me: Goodreads and Amazon links!

Olivia’s Question: Do you read books in a series back to back or take breaks with different books in between?

Olivia-Savannah x

Sunday, 14 August 2016

July Wrap Up ~ I'm Back!

Hey everyone!

After three weeks of holidaying, I'm finally back. I wanted to do a quick wrap up for July even though it's mid-August because I didn't want to leave the month hanging. I know it's really late but oh well, here goes!



Quite a lot happening in July! To start with, there was the Fantasy Favourites Read-a-thon which was a lot of fun. There was a lot of action on twitter which made discussions all the more fun. I had two of my wisdom teeth removed, and that was the first teeth I have ever had removed. They've been cleaned and are currently sitting on my bookshelf because I am creepy like that and want to keep them. You know, as a reminder for when they drilled into my mouth and yanked out two of my teeth. Happy memories, that sort of thing. Thankfully though, I was eating solids the next day and didn't really experience much pain? No swelling, no hassle except needing to take extra care brushing my teeth... 
Which was a good thing because the next day I went to a BEYONCE CONCERT! If you know me, you know I love Beyonce like crazy and have listened to her music since I was a child. I went with my oldest sister and it was one of the best times ever. I would love to show you photos but... We came home at two in the morning or something like that, and in my exhausted daze I LEFT MY PHONE ON THE TRAIN. To this day, I haven't heard any news about that phone and it is gone... I was so upset because I lost all of my photos on that phone because I didn't have an icloud or whatever it is people said I should have had >.>  But I did buy a new phone which is an iphone6. It's an upgrade from what I had, and I love it. I've named it Chiyoko after a character in the first Endgame novel by James Frey. It's not black like my old phone so hopefully I won't lose it, and the cover isn't black as well so it should be harder to forget or leave behind. 

Then I went to England where I had two days with my best friend since birth. Then me and her went to Diverbo, which is a Spanish camp experience in Spain. It was a week there with a lot of Spanish teens and international teens who I had never met. It was a blast and one of the best experiences I've ever had. But when I write a full going post about it, I'll let you know all the details. (Like how I learned and preformed things like the cup song, a dance called the bacheta and the Hoedown Throwdown from The Hannah Montana Movie.
The rest of my travels overlapped in August, so that's for another wrap up ;)


P.S. My best friend in England convinced me to download Pokemon Go. I haven't spent any 3G or whatever playing it because I don't think it's right to spend money on games like that (I'm a cheapskate, I know, but oh well ^.^) but I have managed to catch 40 Pokemon...



I read 6 books in July...


The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis that I am so glad I finally managed to read! It only added to my unfinished childhood inside of me and it was actually incredibly good. I read the whole thing in a single day. 

Dracula by Bram Stoker was one I buddy read with @savi.reads on instagram (well, it's a joint account but I only read it with one of them). It was a pretty interesting classic, if not slow paced at some moments. I love Twilight so I was curious to see the origins of all these vampire stories. The ending was a little underwhelming, but I liked the way the story built up. 

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen was a buddy read with @booksmaenjelle on instagram. I had previously read two Dessen books and detested them both. But this one... it reached out to me so much. I related to it on so many levels. And somehow, I ended up in tears. It wasn't even that sad and I cried at three parts of this book. This is coming from someone who doesn't cry when they read pretty much ever >.>

Sticks and Stones by Abby Cooper was also a really good middle grade novel. A review for that one is going to be coming up soon, but all I can say is that it might be one for you if you enjoyed reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio, although it is still quite different as well.  

Secrets, Lies and Scandals by Amanda K. Morgan and The V Girl by Mya Robarts which have both been reviewed if you want to see my thoughts on them.



Nope, nothing for this month. It feels a little late to do one, seeing as I've already read 5 books for August and it would be cheating just to put those ones >.>



  • Currently on Holiday! [Hiatus]
  • I was in quite a bit of a blogging slump... but I'll do better in August, promise ;)




    Popsugar 2016 Challenge:28/40
    2016 #BustleReads Challenge: 10/20

    Olivia's Question: How was July for you? How did you spend your summer?

    Olivia-Savannah x

    Thursday, 21 July 2016

    Currently on Holiday! [Hiatus]

    Hi guys! 

    I just wanted to post something quick as an explanation for this sudden hiatus. In the next week and a bit I'll be in Spain with my best friend on holiday, so I won't be around the blogsphere or posting here at all! I was going to be organise and preschedule some things but well... it didn't quite work out - especially as I haven't really been on top of my blogging game lately. 

    After that I'm going to be gone for another week in England. There I will have internet access but I might be enjoying the time too much to blog. We'll see...

    Either way, I'll be back on the 7th of August and I'll see you all then for sure! Until then, toodles :3


    (I'll delete this post later once I return!)

    Olivia-Savannah x

    Sunday, 17 July 2016

    The V Girl [Review, Tour & Giveaway!]

    Hi there! 

    Title: The V Girl
    Author: Mya Robarts
    Publisher: Self-published
    Publishing Date: 20th June 2014
    Rating: 4 Stars

    *Thank you to Xpress BookTours for the review copy*


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

    Synopsis: In post-apocalyptic North America, rape and sexual slavery are legal. Lila Velez, desperately wants to lose her virginity before the troops visit her town and can take it away by force. She makes plans to seduce her only friend, Rey, the most attractive man in her town. Lila does not love him but he is the only man who has shown her true affection, an affection she is willing to take as a substitute of love.

    Lila’s coping mechanism to her mother’s rape and kidnapping is her secret. A secret that will bring her closer to Aleksey, a foreign, broody man. Lila does not trust him because his links to the troops and his rough, yet irresistible appearance. Aleksey offers Lila an alternative to her plans, a possibility that terrifies her…and tempts her in spite of herself. 

    All the while Lila will have to find a way to live in the constant company of death, slavery, starvation, sexual abuse and the danger of losing the people she loves the most.

    Due to mature content, this book is intended for +18 readers.

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

    Review: The V Girl by Mya Robarts was a book that took me completely by surprise. I’d read reviews of the book before. I knew what it was going to be about. But I wasn’t quite prepared for the avalanche of emotions and strong opinions that were going to hit me. And by strong opinions, I don’t mean the right or wrong opinion of the author. But the author explores the ideas of sex and rape in positive and negative ways alike.

    You can tell that this book is set in the future, but it shares some relations to the world we know as well. This combination makes it possible for us to really understand the situation, but the author also includes some ideas that are entirely foreign to us as well. All of it is well described so that it was easy to understand without it becoming info-dumpy in the process.


    I really liked the main character, Lila. I might not have agreed with everything she was doing, but I could see things from her point of view and understood her reasoning. Which was all that mattered, really. Lila is a character who is strong, independent and sassy sometimes. She wants to find love, but at the same time she wants to be safe and doesn’t want to compromise one for the other. Besides her goals in life, it’s also evident that she truly values her family. She is always watching out for her cynical younger sister, Azzy, and her younger brother Olmo who has fibrosis. On top of all that, her father is disabled as his legs have been crushed through abuse. She really takes on the role as the head of the family.

    The book is incredibly graphic when it comes to descriptions of torture, rape and also any violence people have to experience in this book. The author writes in the synopsis that this is one for eighteen year old readers and above, and I have to agree. It clearly shows the true horrors behind the violation of rape and the abuse that some people experience just for being born the way they were. Other themes such as racism, friendship and also religious viewpoints are discussed in this book.


    Despite this one being so heavily focused on the idea of civil war and rape, there is also making love in a positive matter mentioned too. That’s the kind of thing Lila is looking for in this novel, with the right person. She has two main options open for her – so yes, there is a little bit of a love triangle in this one. Both men are stark opposites of the spectrum and because it isn’t Lila trying to lead them on – she clearly states what she wants from both and gives them the chance to give it to her – I didn’t mind it too much. A little bit at the end I did, but otherwise I was fine with the love triangle.

    And let me just say – when making love was mentioned or described in a positive manner, the tension between the couple was palpable. It was incredibly steamy >.> That’s all I am going to say about that :D

    There was a little bit of banter between Alesky and her (one of the love interests) and this novel – despite covering all those themes – is really about coming of age. Virginity can be related to that, but this novel also really relates it to her personal growth as a person, as she realises when she cares about and what she is willing to risk her life for.


    The novel is also centered on the human touch. In a world where rape is legal and everyone is poverty stricken, is there such a thing as human love and kindness anymore? The author cleverly poses this question and we see the theme develop and unfold throughout the novel.

    I really enjoyed reading this. It was a bit much to center an entire novel on, but I raced through it in the matter of a few days. I appreciated the way the author slowly revealed the main themes of this novel and more and more about the situations in the story as well. Well written!


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

    Gif Summary: 

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


    New Video!



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

    Giveaway! 2x Amazon $25 Giftcards


    Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

    Olivia’s Question: Do you think it is possible to overcome hate in order to reach love?

    Olivia-Savannah x