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Hey guys, it's Olivia here from Olivia's Catastrophe. Today I'm here to give you

my March wrap-up. In the month of March I read 11 books and I had quite a few new

favourites so I can't wait to talk about those books with you. But to get started

I just want to shout out to Cara from Wilde Book Garden for getting me this

shirt for my birthday which says 'The trees speak Latin.' I absolutely love it!

It's a reference to the Raven Cycle which is one of my all-time favourite

series. And you better be ready because I have never taken this shirt off. Just

kidding! But I am bulk filming today so you're gonna be seeing it quite a lot. So

let's get down to the books. The first book that I want to talk about you already

saw in my 24 hours of reading straight vlog, but I'm just gonna wrap it up here.

And that is Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas. This is the third book in the Throne of

Glass series. And I'll just tell you briefly what the first one is about. We

follow Celaena Sardothien who is an assassin. And she has been hired to

become the Kings champion. It's a competition between all these other

assassins but while she's at the palace for this competition where she could

earn her freedom if she wins, because she's actually currently enslaved in a

prison. Some of the competitors are slowly being killed off. By this book

this series has definitely come a long way from where it started. And I just

have to say that this book was a mediocre read for me because it was such

a training montage. The whole thing was just a training montage. You're getting

quite a few different characters so we're not just following Celaena, but

every single character apart from Chaol seems to be having some type of training

situation. Which is just not the most fun to read about if you're reading a series.

I did like Rowan, who's a new character who was introduced. And I did stop shipping

team Chaol. RIP Team Chaol. But he had a lot

of emotions to work through and his storyline was still my favourite in this

story because he's definitely got a lot of things to work through and figure out.

So I just... I didn't find this book exciting. The content of it was boring

but the characters are getting pretty good. We'll just see where this world

goes. I'm gonna be continuing this series so stay tuned for more thoughts. Then I'd

like to talk about my first 5 star of the month which is a new favourite. And

that is Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi. Again, if you watched

that vlog you can see that I read this one in a single morning, in one sitting.

It was fantastic. So Children of Blood and Bone follows our main character. And

she lives in a world where a king is a ruler. And he is terrible. He's like, a

tyrant. Before Orisha magic used to exist in this world and they lived in tandem

and everybody was happy. But then the king decided because not everyone has

magic he wants no one to have magic. He oppressed them. Magic was gone from the

world. But now there's been a chance my magic can come back. So lots of people

had problems with this one but I just shamelessly loved it. And while I think

the pacing was a little bit off, and I think some of the characters went in

directions that seemed a bit out of character for them (aka Amari) and there

was a character who came back in this series who I just feel like they

shouldn't have done that... Let the dead stay dead! But anyway in other ways this

book was really good. I liked how it's a fantasy book but still had time to focus

on cultural appropriation. It really did a good job of showing the grief that

some of these characters are feeling. And I just felt like the plot still had lots

of twists and turns even if the pacing was a bit off. So I was still shocked and

outraged by every plot twist and turn. And every time I thought this is the

grand one, there was another one. And that just kept me intrigued all the way

through. I really liked how our main character kind of develops in this one.

How she feels her anger, she feels her sadness. And how that does direct her

decisions because hey, emotions do get to people. I just thought it was

fantastic. The world building and magic system in this is so so so good. The next

book I have to talk about is The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and again,

this was just a middle-of-the-road book for me. I'm trying out thrillers but this

was not a good place for me to start. So we follow our main character who is an

alcoholic. And she takes the same train to work every morning and she just looks

out the window and sees the same couple in the same house which is alongside the

tracks. And she kind of has made up this whole life for them. But one time when

she's passing by on the train she sees something that's quite disturbing and

then she gets involved in their lives, and involved in the crime and everything

like that. So I hated the writing style in this one. It felt like I was reading

from a robot's perspective. It just felt very stiff and unemotional and I

couldn't connect to the characters. And I liked how the character focuses were on

the female characters even though the writing still didn't

work for me. There is one thing that I'll say for this book and that is that it's

very very addicting. I still kept turning pages. I still needed to know how

everything would work ou.t I have heard people say it was predictable. It wasn't

entirely predictable for me but some elements of it were. And the reason why

this was just a middle-of-the-road book for me was despite the writing style, I

was enjoying it to some extent. But then the end happened and it's just every

character in this book is insane! Like, far far far too insane for it to be

realistic. Not everybody is that crazy and it just blew my mind. And it

just wasn't quite for me. The next book I have to talk about is The Mercies by

Kiran Millwood Hargrave. And this is a witchy book that is set in history.

Historical fiction during the witch trial times. I can't remember exactly but

I believe it's either set in Norway or Finland which they call Finnmark back

then. And we follow these two women. One of them has become the wife of this

religious figure so he is being sent to a faraway small town to kind of hunt out

the witches. And then the other one is following a girl who lives in that town.

And yeah, their worlds collide and the Witchcraft Trials and hunts are on. So

there's a lot of girl on girl hate but that just comes with the witch trials. It

was the time in history where that was a very prominent. But at the same time as

it's showing a lot of girl on girl hate I did like it's showing of girl friendships

and also some lgbtq+ themes even though it's historical fiction. Always

appreciate seeing that in historical fiction. So I did like this book. It's a

very slow atmospheric book . Think The Familiars - think The Familiars by

Stacey Hall. It's that kind of slow, atmospheric, captivating, very thick on

its landscape being involved in the book. And it reads really nicely. However, I

just felt like it was a bit too slow for me and everything accumulates and

happens very very quickly at the end. And I would have loved if we had some more

of that exciting drama that kind of happened

a bit more earlier in the novel. I felt like everything was just too much rushed

and there was just too much exposition and buildup in the beginning. I found

that it was one of the most prominent books that showed the true horror

of the witch burnings for me. And I will leave some triggers down below because

it has quite a few of them. For my big book of the month I read The Other Bennet

Sister by Janice Harlow. And this boy is a big book at 658 pages. So this is kind

of like a Jane Austen fanfic. And it's brilliant. So in this one we follow Mary

Bennet who is the last sister who stays at home. And it happens after Pride and

Prejudice. And it's basically about Mary story and her romantic journey. That's

what you really need to know. I kind of liked checking in with the other Bennet

sisters and seeing where they had got to in life. And I also really liked

Mary. She's such a relatable character. She's very bookish, she's very quiet and

shy, but she also just doesn't have much faith in herself and her appearance. She

always puts herself down and I love seeing how much she developed throughout

this book and built up herself and where she ended up going. The romance got a bit

frustrating at some point because there is a miscommunication problem but that

was only one moment and I really liked seeing her, you know, find her own way. I

will say that this book did not have to be 658 pages long. A lot of it could

have been cut down and just cut out. But it was still a very good read. And thank

you to thechronicbookworm on Instagram for buddy reading this one

with me. I had a lot of fun. Then I have to mention The Murder of Rodger Ackroyd

by Agatha Christie which I read for Sherlockathon. I kind of failed at

Sherlockathon because a lot of things happened like me needing to emergency

fly back home and move. But I do want to mention which prompts I completed down

below. And I had a lot of fun doing Sherlockathon. So The Murder of Rodger

Ackroyd is just a typical Agatha Christie mystery. A murder has happened,

he was the only one in the room, completely locked doors, and Poirot is

back on the case. I really don't want to give you more than that because I don't want

to spoil anything. But I just want to say this was fantastic. This has definitely

become one of my new favourites and actually one of my ultimate three

favourites of Agatha Christie. It was just so so so good. Unpredictable. I didn't see

it coming but she left enough clues for us so I can't wait to reread it and know

all the clues and pick up on them. It was just so good and I love Poirot. He was

just as dramatic and over-the-top as ever while still solving the case. And

I loved his insights to character and people and how he looked at them. I just --

Agatha Christie really does it for me. Then I listened to the Memoirs of Sherlock

Holmes. And this is by Arthur Conan Doyle. Stephen Fry reads the audiobook and this

was a collection of short stories that leads up until a main event. I guess most

people don't know it unless they've read Sherlock Holmes. I won't spoil it but the

end short story in that collection in particular is very very important for

the Sherlock Holmes fan base storyline. And I really really did enjoy this

collection. However, there is one short story in this collection that is

incredibly racist. So racist I was shocked when I was listening to that

mystery. So for that I did have to penalise the book because I don't do

it with racism. That's just -- we don't -- we don't like racism around here. We don't

like discrimination. So I did not like that short story at all. But then the end

short story was just so good and it showed the friendship between Sherlock

and Watson so much. And it just accumulated in this short story

collection. We finally get to meet Sherlock's brother Mycroft and we

finally get to meet Sherlock's enemy Moriarty. So there was a

lot going on to make me love it. But alas, there was also something in it to make

me hate it too.A nd for class I read Paradise Lost by John Milton however,

despite me reading this one for class I have been meaning to read it for years.

So I kind of was very happy to finally get to reading it. So this one is gothic

kind of story which follows the story of Adam and Eve. And it's just basically

retelling the story of Adam and Eve but including Satan's perspective on the

matter as well as the angels and Adams and Eve's. And it was just, it's really

interesting. It's kind of a Christian epic so think of that kind of long-form

poetic novel type of situation. That's what this one is. And the writing just --

it's the kind of writing that I love. And I loved all the references to the

biblical story. As a Christian I did recognise a lot of the Christian

Orthodox beliefs kind of being translated into this one, being questioned, being

dived into, being discussed. And it was so interesting to hear from

Satan and what happened. I don't think I'm articulating quite how much I

loved this book very well, but it was just it was so good. It was everything I

wanted from a book I've been meaning to read for a long time.

I'm very happy. Joe Cinque's Consolation by Helen Garner. This is

Australian literature and I read it for my Australian literature class. It is

also true crime because it follows this horrendous murder case where this

girlfriend murders her fiance boyfriend. Before she does so she hosts a dinner

party and tells all of the guests that she is going to kill herself

and also kill her other half. However, she kills him and fails to kill herself but

also is very dodge about the whole situation. And it follows the court case

and everything that follows thereafter. And I don't think I'm cut out for the

true crime genre. Not because this book was awful but because every true crime

book I've read so far... I just end up so frustrated at the law and angry. And that

anger doesn't go away because I feel like injustice has been done. And yet

this book -- while it does follow the events and it does follow what happens

afterwards -- the author took a lot of time to talk to

everyone involved. Including the judge who makes decisions, including people who

chose to go to the dinner party, and you get to see everyone's motivations and

you start to emphasize for everyone. And I didn't even enjoy that because I was

angry at the same time. I feel like it did a good job of discussing the grief

that the family who have been affected by the death of their son feels towards

the end, but my main problem was the narrator and how it was chosen to be

written. Because it felt so dry. For a case that has so much depth to it, that

has so much complexity, it was an incredibly dry and boring book. And that

shocked me a lot because that takes effort. And also Helen Garner tries to be

an ambivalent narrator and not choose a side, but it just felt like she wasn't

really present and you need a strong narration voice if you're gonna be

telling a story like this. Towards the end she decides: you know what I give up!

I can't be ambivalent, I have emotions, I have feelings about this. And that's when

the book got good but it was just too little too late. This wasn't quite one

for me but it was definitely an interesting case. I also read The Lost

Arabs by Omar Sakr. And this is a poetry collection.

Australian literature and Omar Sakr is an Arab Australian poet. And this was

another favourite for me. If you've watched my favourite reads of 2019 video

you'll notice that his debut poetry collection was on that list. And I was

just so excited to read more from him. This one is about -- mm how do I say this --

it's about his culture and his history. It focuses a lot on his mother, and his

grandmother and their relationship to where he's from as opposed to him living

in Australia. And how he can or can't reconcile those two worlds and those two

cultures within himself. It's also about some of the suffering that a lot of

Arabs go through, a lot of wars that have been waged in their countries that they

have nothing to do with. About the fact that once they escape these war ridden

countries they have to build themselves up from the ground up from

nothing. And they don't get some of the respect that other people do get. And it

just it delves into all of that. And I think I said this in my best books of

2019 video, but his wording is just absolutely surreal. He puts words in

place in poems in ways that I just would never have thought of before. And he just

makes me look at things in a different light. And that is the sign of a very

true and very good poet to me. So I just absolutely love this. Definitely

recommend and I'm ready to read whatever he publishes next because he only has two

books out so far. And last but not least I reread Doctor Faustus by Christopher

Marlowe. This was another read for class and I

felt the exact same way about it which was meh. That's all I have to say. It's

about Doctor Faustus and he decides that he wants to know everything. He wants all

the knowledge that he can possibly get. It's a play and he decides that he's

going to make a deal with the devil and sell his soul in order to be able to do

that. It talks about redemption, forgiveness, evil, that kind of thing. And it's just an

okay play to me. And there you have it. Those were the eleven books that I read

in the month of March. Please let me know what was your favourite book in the month

of March. Tell me in the comment section down below and I'll be seeing you guys

in the next one. Give this video a thumbs up if you enjoyed it, hit the subscribe

button to see more and don't forget to hit that notification bell

to be updated every time I have a new video. And you know they say: onwards and

upwards. Excelsior! because before Orisha magic --

that's. That's the note.

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