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November Wrap Up! || 12 BOOKS [CC]

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Hey guys! It’s Olivia here from Olivia’s Catastrophe and today I’m here to give you my November wrap up. In the
month of November I hit a major slump. I’ve also started my traveling
adventures for a month and a half so my reading hasn’t been quite up to par. However, I still did read 12 books so let’s get right down onto the books. So
for starters I’d like to talk about Call down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater which
is a book I’ve been anticipating all year. I’ve had a buying ban so I wasn’t
sure if I was gonna get to read it, but I borrowed it from the library and I
devoured it very quickly. I had a lot of fun discussing this one with Jade from
Jaded reader even though we didn’t quite buddy read it, it was still nice to go
over my thoughts with someone. So this one is the spin-off series to the Raven
Cycle and no, it is not the sequel series. It follows dreamers. It follows people
who want to harm dreamers and it does follow the Lynch bothers. But don’t go
expecting it to be a sequel to the Raven King because it is not that. I can’t
really tell you much more about it other than it’s about those three things:
dreamers, people who want to harm dreamers and the Lynch brothers. But I do
have to say that it was really really good. I absolutely loved getting to see
the Lynches. Especially more Declan Lynch who was one of my low-key favourites from
the previous series but as the series wasn’t about him I didn’t get to
discover him much. I didn’t expect to come out of this book with a new ship
and yet I did. I loved all the scenes with Adam in them. Admittedly, I wanted
more Adam but I did enjoy what Adam and Rowan we got to see. I do think that
this one wasn’t as good as the Raven Cycle and that’s for two reasons. The
first of all is that there were more characters I didn’t care about in this
one. For example, Hennessey wasn’t a character that vibed with me and I
didn’t really care about Farooq-Lane. However, there were some new characters
that I really did love. And I felt like the plot took a lot longer to come
together and for me to see where it goes and that’s because Maggie Stiefvater is
basically the queen of the overarching plot where the whole series has one huge
plot that comes together very well. Rather than each book individually
having a plot. More so, you follow the characters and kind of see where the
magic takes you. So in this one I found it a bit harder to see the plot
come together and I got they’re impatient so that’s why I knocked
down a star but all in all I really did love this one and I highly recommend it. Can’t wait to see that the series goes. I also read the Hound of the Baskervilles
by Arthur Conan Doyle and I buddy read this one with Opalescent and I’ll leave
a link to her channel down below. I really enjoyed buddy reading with her. I listened
to this one an audiobook and listened to Stephen Fry rea it. Hhe is a brilliant
narrator; definitely recommend the audiobook. So in the Hounds of the
Baskervilles it’s Sherlock and Watson the story where these hounds have been said to
haunt this area and kill these people who live there. There’s a murder mystery and it was really good. Other Sherlock Holmes books
I have read I haven’t enjoyed as much. I felt like they were either racist or
problematic or didn’t show the dynamic that I was hoping to see. However, in this
one you’ve got to really see the Holmes and Watson dynamic come through and I
love seeing their friendship and they had some funny moments and moments where
you can see they cared about each other. The mystery was good. It was
unpredictable and yeah, it was a very good Holmes and Watson story. I wish the
other stories are going to be like this rather than the ones I previously read. I
read Serpent and Dove by Shelby Malhurin. And this is a very popular book. It’s a
witchy read and we are in this world where there are Chasseursand witches
and they absolutely hate each other. They are two groups that do not mix
and for whatever reason this witch gets in a spot of trouble and to save herself
she needs to marry this witch hunter. And he also needs this marriage because it
looks like he has done something very unsavory to her and to protect his name
they need to get married. That is the main plot of this one. There’s also a
side plot where there’s a reason why this witch needs protection from other
witches. And that gets going in the story but all I have to say about this as
though it’s very popular I thought it was just okay. I can see why people love
it, I can see why people don’t love it. It is supposed to be a historical fiction
fantasy and I don’t think that fantasy elements are strong enough to call it a
fantasy. The magic could have been better explained and it just didn’t feel
magical enough. And yet I still wouldn’t call it a historical
fiction because to be honest, the setting was not set up whatsoever.
I actually didn’t notice the book was set in France until the end despite them
all having very French names. And then… yeah, there was no like historical
element set in it. There was a lot of discussion about female? femininity?
gender norms? But like, I don’t know? I feel like it wasn’t anything new to this
discussion. So we did get a lot of that in there, we did get his enemies to love
this trope which at some point I started to ship their romance. I was getting
behind that. I did like Reid as a character I feel like he was someone who
was problematic who had to grow to be come open-minded and I liked going on
that journey along with him. But I do think that this book wasn’t really
proving anything majorly new to the scene. The writing was just okay. The
representation… like, don’t go into this for the representation. The representation
is not there what so ever and yeah, it was just alright guys. Then I read Saga
volume 2 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples. This is a continuation from the graphic
novel series I started last month. And I really did enjoy this second volume a
lot as well. I am gonna just tell you what the first one is about. It’s about these
two aliens who fall in love but they’re from different sides of this war effort. And they decide that they’re gonna have their moments to start it being
forbidden and they have this child. The child is narrating the series and yeah,
it’s about both sides of their wars hunting them because they shouldn’t be
together. They’re defying the war effort and betraying them. And
there’s all these different people hunting them. This one, I really liked it.
It was a great continuation because we got to see the extended family come into
the picture a little bit more and that again brought more questions of kind of
an interracial style relationship happening. What are the parents going to
think? Are they going to be able to get over their prejudices so that they can
start to appreciate the family that they have? There are also some side characters
who have got their own things going on. We get introduced to this new character
who’s out there for revenge and tell you what, she is my new favourite. Move over
The Will! I don’t care about you! I need me Gwendoyln. This big, black, strong looking
woman. I need her in my life. And then, yeah! There’s just a lot of side plots going on that are very very interesting. The
world-building continues to build up. I do have to admit I do not care in the
slightest about the robot storyline but other than that nothing I don’t like in
this series. It’s also got a great sense of humour. I was really appreciating that. Then I read aA Dream so Dark by LL Mckinney. This is the sequel to A Blade so Black by LL Mckinney and i would love to tell you what happened in the
first book but I totally totally forgot. All I know is that I did not like it the
first book so much. So this isn’t asking me Alice in Wonderland retelling with
our main character who is a black Alice. And she kind of lives in the real world
but she can go into Wonderland. And she goes there to fight these nightmares. However, there are some problems going on in Wonderland. There is this queen who is
causing trouble… and I can’t remember what happens in the first book other than
that. Other than there’s trouble happening and they have to go on a quest
to find these two objects: the eye and the heart which can be helpful to them in
some way or form. Sorry if that was unclear. I’ll leave a Goodreads link
down below. I did read the sequel andI don’t have to tell you about it because there
might be spoilers and as I can’t remember what I shouldn’t be spoiling I
could accidentally do so. But I really did like the sequel a lot more than the
first book. I won’t say it’s the best book out there. Sometimes when I was
reading it dragged a little bit and there were some moments that were really
good.. I thought the world world building was done exceptionally well here and way
better than in the first book. And it also liked how this mother-daughter
relationship was coming in. I feel like in fantasy when it’s young adult often
the parents tend to be out of the picture or shoved out of the picture
quickly so that you can have a young adult who’s kind of independent and
doing her own thing. But that is not the case in this one. Alice has her mother
and although her mother doesn’t know about the Wonderland stuff she does
need to provide some excuses and work on this relationship with her mother so
that she can continue fighting the bad guys and doing what she needs to get
done. So I really did like those aspects. What I didn’t like was the
representation that they were kind of shoehorning in. I feel like the black
representation could just be expanded upon
and more included. And then there’s some lgbtq+ rep I feel like they were hinting
at it with some characters but it just kind of didn’t go anywhere? But then with
one character it’s really obvious that it’s lgbtq+ rep and I was just like, mh
okay. I don’t feel like it’s the best rep. I don’t feel like it’s the worst rep. It’s
just kind of there in the book. And the plot itself was decent. I just feel like
it was a decent read. Then I’ve actually got some physical books this time. So
next up I read The Island by MA Bennett and this is one that I was very very
anticipating and very very much let me down. It’s a Lord of the
Flies retelling. So in this one there’s the school called Osney. And it’s a
school that’s based on sports. And we follow Link and he is a nerd. He is not
doing well in the social status of school. He’s actually very very bullied
just because of who he is and he decides is going to quit school. Andhis parents say
yes, you’re allowed to. You just have to go on this one last trip which is a summer
trip to an island. And he goes with his classmates and the plane crashes and
they are stranded on the island. And all of a sudden it might not be the
sportiest people who end out on top, but instead it might be the nerds who are on the
rise. No no no no no no no! Okay, so I started this book in July and then I put
it down because I couldn’t stand it. And then I decided, you know what? I read
about 3/4 of the book I’m gonna push through and finish it this month. Which I
did. So congrats to me, I did it. I thought I was gonna relate to Link more. I
thought of something like Link more. Because he’s the victim in this but just
because you’re a victim it does not give you free rein to do all of the horrible
things that he does in this book. And I feel like he goes above and beyond, and I
don’t feel like he’s justified in any of the choices that he makes. Like yes, he
was bullied severely and I felt for him during those moments. But I don’t think…
like he took it way way way too far. Seriously too far. I also feel like
because I couldn’t even like Link there were no likable characters in this book. Didn’t really like any of them. I felt like they were all awful people and I felt no sympathy for them. I did not care about what was happening on the island. I
felt no like, thrill. Some things were predictable. I admit I was surprised in
some places but yeah, big no from me. I also don’t think
we can pass this off as good parenting as it tried to wrap up some certain
things that parents did and make it look like good parenting. No, honey no! That’s
not good parenting. I’m not a parent and I can tell you that’s not good parenting. And also I really want the trope to just die where people are severely homophobic
because they are themselves gay or part of the — or identify as any of the lgbtq+
community. Like no, we need to stop saying and promoting that it’s okay to be
homophobic if you’re trying to stay in the closet. Like no, that’s not how it
works and it’s just awful to read about. And I don’t enjoy it. So yeah, those are a
couple of the reasons why I didn’t like The Island but I could go on. We’re going
to contrast that with Odell’s Fall by Norman Bacal and this was a new
favourite for me. A five-star read. This is a retelling of Otello and it’s a mystery
thriller book it’s set in a law firm. So we’re following these lawyers and Odell
is freshly married to his wife Dee. He is working this really big case with his
assistant Jackson who he undoubtedly trusts. But everything goes awry when a murder
happens and nobody knows who has done it. This, this book, tis is the way you do a
retelling. It has got enough of the elements of the original Shakespeare
material for me to be able to recognize that it’s Othello. For me to be able to see
how some items are substituting for other items, to see how some plot lines
are playing out. But then something completely different happens which is so
far from the material, but still in line with the themes of the play and the themes
of the material that this became unpredictable. That I didn’t know where it was
going but I could see how it was reflecting the themes of the source
material. That to me is the perfect way to do a retelling, I will say that this
thriller is not for everyone. It gets down deep into the technicalities and
looking at all of the like, little details when it comes to solving the
crime and when the police are solving the crime. Or when it comes to just different
things. But for me like: describing the law system and the law jobs —
but for me that’s kind of what I love because I don’t know anything about law
and reading all the details helps me really feel informed. And running over
the source material makes me feel like I’m a detective and a policemen along
with the characters. So if you don’t like a lot of technicalities when you’re
reading thrillers and science fiction and things like that, you might not love
this one like I did. But it was almost as if it was written for me. It is a plot
driven book so it’s really focused to the plot. And while I think the characters
are very complex and their motives are always shown in everything. You’re not drawn to
the characters, you are drawn to the plot. There are some trigger warnings for this
one. There are some trigger warnings for The Island but as usual I have all my
trigger warnings in the box down below. As I said at the beginning of this video
I slumped hard for two weeks. When I was in November and during those two weeks
the only thing I could bring myself to read was poetry. So let’s talk about the
poetry collections I read. To start with I read Kindred by Kirli
Saunders and it shows up best over here I think. This is by an indigenous
Australian author. I’m trying to read more Australian poets and I wanted to
try something indigenous because why not? And I think if you like Rupi Kaur’s
poetry you’re going to like this one, because the poems are straightforward
and simple but they’re not short. So they’re kind of like a step up from
Rupi Kaur’s poetry or just a step away from Rupi Kaur’s poetry because you don’t
want to say like ‘Rupi Kaur’s poetry is not poetry and is bad’ even though I don’t enjoy it but
yeah. If you enjoy that you’ll probably like
this. And in this one there’s a lot of themes of indigenous struggles and of trauma
coming in. But there’s also a lot of themes of like appreciating nature, of
motherhood, of everyday life and things that I feel like indigenous culture will
celebrate. So it was really interesting to read. I really liked her poems because
even though they are short — even though they’re not short — even though they are
simple and straight forward you can tell that she’s really thought a lot about
rhythm and rhyme because her poems flow so well. And I really did enjoy this. And
I read The Only White Landscape by Derrick Motion and this poetry
collection is again an Aussie poet. And it was really really hard for me to read. Because how do I say this? The way he writes poetry, he throws a lot of
images at you and he doesn’t include any line breaks or any reliefs. So basically
you have to figure out where the pauses should be and it’s like short little
images being thrown at you and the writing style is kind of static like
that because you pause after every word as you don’t know when you should
naturally pause. And that made it just like–I had to use a hundred and ten
percent brain power to understand his poems and to get to where all
these images are supposed to be directing me towards. And once I did get
it I did enjoy it. But it was a lot of work and a bit too much work for me to
actually enjoy it. It was a lot about focusing on how the past the present and
the future kind of happen all at once. And that’s why all these images are
happening because you can’t live in one or the other. We live in all of them at
the same time and it was… it was an experience. I then continued on with
Your Scratch Entourage by Chris Hemensley? Hemensley. So if you can’t tell I do like
Cordite books publishing for Australian poets and that’s why so many of them
have the same kind of covers. Because I’m reading through their published works. Chris Hemensly is British Australian and you can definitely see that in his
poetry. But it’s so hard for me to pin down what his poetry is like because in
every single section he switches up his form, he switches up his style, and he
switches up his themes. So none of them are the same. Some of them are more
abstract than others. I struggled with the abstract poems. I also struggled with
the nonfiction poems. Where he was kind of talking about a poet that he really
liked or an experience that he had. I felt like it read more like prose and it was
just a bit too telling rather than showing for me to enjoy it. I struggle
with that in fiction so I definitely struggled with seeing that in poetry. But then
he did have some poems that I really really liked. He had a section which was
basically a twist on Midsummer Night’s Dream and those poems just, were such clever
twists and how he used images in those and the writing was absolutely beautiful. And in some other cases he just had sections which really spoke to me with
the images that he used. So I felt like this was like a short story collection
where it was a mixed bag, except it was poetry. Continuing on I read Here Be
Dragons by Dennis Green and I literally picked this one
up because the title was Here Be Dragons and that was all I needed. But Here Be
Dragons turned out to be not quite what I expected. He’s a very interesting poet
because he was I believe, born in Britain, grew up in Zimbabwe and now lives in
Australia. And his poems really reflect that kind of traveled and international
feel because he writes a lot about explorers and exploring new worlds and
colonization and things like that. And you can see that reflected in his poetry. His poems are very structured so if you feel like any direction when you’re
reading your poems you’re definitely going to get that from his work. And I
felt like I just enjoyed it overall. There was a poem in here which was based
on Ophelia in Hamlet and I really, I really liked that poem but of course, the
other ones of explorers and such I really enjoyed too. If you haven’t
figured it out this channel is literally just me stanning Shakespeare. I haven’t
been reading the plays lately so I’ve been trying to read his material and
plays in other forms. And then I read This is What Gives us time by Kevin
Brophy and this was quite a lengthy poetry collection and it went in quite a
few different places. But all of them focused around, I guess, time and what
time does to us and experiences that we’ve had or will have. And quite a lot of
them had to do with nature actually, and how nature evolves over time and how we’ve
affected it. I really liked his poems. I feel like his writing was very
structured. Sometimes he played with space on the page which I always enjoy. And he had some really good images that just rolled through the poems. It was
really slow and steady and it just was a deep connection, emotional connection
that I felt to his poetry. I find it so hard to review poetry but yeah, that’s
what I thought of all the poetry collections I read. And that is all the
books that I read in November. Olease give this video a thumbs up if you
enjoyed it. Let me know in the comment section down below what book you read in
November, what was your favourite, what was your least favourite. Hit the subscribe
button if you wanna see more and don’t you forget to the notification bell to be
updated every time I’ve a new video. And I’ll see you guys the next one. Goodbye!

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4 thoughts on “November Wrap Up! || 12 BOOKS [CC]”

  1. Oneness Komban Media says:

    Nice share

  2. Gaia Athena says:

    I'm glad you found a new favourite book in November! You read a lot of poetry! Great wrap-up!

  3. TheWordN3rd says:

    Obviously my favorite was Queen of Nothing 😂 Though the Truthwitch series gets a very close second place.

  4. HustleSZN says:

    Gwendolyn is fierceeeee 🙂 i'm gonna recommend odell's fall to the same friend who got me to read if we were villains after hearing it's also shakespeare inspired

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