YEAR ONE (Chronicles of the One #1) Book Review

YEAR ONE (Chronicles of the One #1) Book Review

Title: Year One (Chronicles of the One #1)
Author: Nora Roberts
Published: Dec 5, 2017
# of Pages: 419
Rating: 4 stars

Blurb (From Goodreads):

It began on New Year’s Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed—and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river—or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.


MY REVIEW

I really did not know what to expect when I came across this book. I barely ever read any apocalyptic books and I was weary to read it because I didn’t know if I wanted to really read the same old plot of – big major global tragedy, some die, some live, struggle, struggle, struggle.  I mean this book is really no different in that aspect but when I started reading the description and it said that it involved some magic and mythical creatures and prophecies … hmm … it could be interesting.  I was worried that with the whole magic element, it would make things a little cheesy and too much “fantasy”, if you will but NO!  The author did a great job of incorporating it in and did not feel at all like too much “Lord of the Rings”.

It even brought a great element of added conflict, “Uncanny”(magical folk) versus Humans. This was a nice twist than to the usual human on human violence and struggle.  It was a nice added reflection of the real world today where bigotry and intolerance exists, creating relation to the characters and to that specific world.  It shows, no matter how the much things are in shambles, there are always assholes out there.

There are a lot of characters in this book and I like how the author brought them and stories all together.  You get to see how they view the new world in each pair of eyes and how they all adapt to it.  I grew affection for each character and found myself excited (or hurt) when something happens (of course I am not going to give any spoilers).

At parts, it seemed slow but I guess it’s because this is the first installment.  The author really wants the reader to know the origin of all the tragedy and set up the characters and storylines.  This is really the only reason I gave it 4 stars, not 5.  So having said that, I don’t know if this is really a fair rating on my part because I just expected it to be racing and exciting all the way through but I understand that there has to be some build up.

I did not know how this book was going to end but when it did I did not know how to feel about it.  It was mixed feelings because 1) a part of me didn’t want the book to end since I wanted to know more about how things would further progress and 2) it just left things hanging and it made me wanting more but I guess it’s a way to have some anticipation and continuation for the next book.

Overall, I really liked the story and premise of this book.  It was hard to stop reading and I just kept wanting to power through because the story and characters really pulled me in. I didn’t want to blink!  I am excited for the next book and  I believe the next installment will be coming December of 2018.

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays

So I have decided to take part in WWW Wednesday, a weekly segment hosted by Taken On A World of Words. Visit that link if you are interesting in joining as well!

I just have to answer these three questions for the week:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next

CURRENTLY READING:

Okay, I am currently reading a number of books.  To be honest, one is an audiobook because it helps me fulfill my reading fix during my daily long driving commutes to and from work.  As I have said before, with my toddler son taking up a lot of awake time, I only get to read sparingly so I try to squeeze whatever time I have on a few books.

34311452Year One (Chronicles of the One #1) by Nora Roberts is what is on automatic play in my car as soon as I get in.  The premise is what intrigued me when I was trying to find an interesting read in Goodreads.  For me, it’s not a typical apocalyptic story with blood and guts.  It’s actuallly so much more.  I’ve reallly been enjoying this book and I’m anticipating what is going to happen next.  I’m actually almost done this book too so I don’t want to say too much since I’m planning on giving a review for it.

One book I have been reading for a while is The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #1)  by Phillip Pullman. This is a book that’s been taking a while for me to finish because I’m always distracted and taken away from reading time.  For the most part, I do enjoy this book and actually do want to continue reading the rest of the series.

The Bear the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy #1) by Katherine Arden is my current project read since I borrowed it on Overdrive and I am trying to finish reading it in 21 days just in case I can’t renew it.  So far it’s not too bad.  I’m only about 12% in. I’m hoping to continue liking it because I love legends and fairly tale style stories.

CURRENTLY FINISHED READING:

Nothing actually.  I am almost finished a couple of books so maybe it’s something to report for next week?

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT:

UprootedThere’s so many to choose from!  I have had this one on my list for quite a while so I really want to read Uprooted by Naomi Novik.  I love fairy tales and dark legends so this really intrigued me.  It’s was always on the back burner for some reason and I think it’s finally time to open this story up as soon as I finish one of my current reads.

Regardless, I am just excited to finally have a book finished under my 2018 Reading Challenge.  And furthermore excited to add more to that list!

What’s on your WWW Wednesday?  I’d love for you to share!

How to Deal

How to Deal

So … I did it. I got myself a domain for the blog and hosting. I had been thinking about it for quite a while and I kept battling with myself on whether to do it or not. Finally, I just decided to just go for it and see how much I keep up in a year. To be honest, if the deal price of the domain and hosting wasn’t so cheap, I probably wouldn’t have done it. So I’m pretty happy. It’s nice to have Unscripted Design stand on it’s own in some way. It’s like having a child LOL.

So many things are going right now in the background. It exhausts me mentally and physically. Let’s just say that stress is relentless. Once you sigh a breath of relief after one thing off your list, three more pop up on that list and now you can’t breathe. At least for me, it feels that way. Basically, it sucks “adulting” as my co-worker likes to say.

How do I manage? How do I get through a day despite all the mental jackhammering? I don’t really know. I just get through it somehow.

I read.
I draw.
I watch A LOT of movies (honestly … Thank goodness for Netflix)
Sometimes all it takes is one good ugly sob cry.
A cup of coffee and curling up in my favourite blanket.
Some mars bars and hershey’s cookies and cream chocolate bars.
A nice bear hug from my husband as he tries to make me laugh. He’ll make me watch him play video games sometimes just because he likes the attention from me. And because he’s always doing hilarious stuff and he likes me to witness them. HAHA.
The best thing … A nice long cuddle with my baby boy as he gives me kisses on the cheek and keeps his arm around me. That usually works too.

I guess I just try to keep myself busy. By no means does this solve anything that’s going on but it’s at least a way to numb myself down a bit temporarily. A reset. Recharge before you start another day and hope things gets better tomorrow. Because there is always tomorrow. Life is shit sometimes but as long as you have something to keep your focus and drive, that’s all that matters. I have my family to live for everyday. That’s what keeps me going.

On a side note, I should start exercising again. That would be a great way to keep myself busy and to relieve stress. Hmm … something to think about.

How do you guys relieve stress?

Put Some Ink on that Page

Put Some Ink on that Page

“Drawing is exercise for the restless imagination”
– Tim Burton

I believe I have found some inspiration to get back into my art.  I have been longing to draw again but I didn’t have the motivation.  Finally, I found something to bring back my spark to hold that pencil once again.

Something was telling me to login into my old art account and so I did. I looked at my old artwork and it was really making me miss drawing.  I was browsing around and came by this artist, Kerby Rosanes and WOW … I just fell in love with his work.  This particular piece was what really took my breath away.  I noticed that it was drawn on both pages of a moleskin journal and this really inspired me to do the same!  I have been out of the drawing world for so long so why not start on a small scale and draw on a small sketchbook so that I can bring it around with me and sketch whenever I feel like it?

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My own little pocket sketchbook

So I found this little gem in Walmart actually and it is so cute and small that I thought it was perfect!  For me, this would be a great way to ease myself back into art.  I wouldn’t feel that incredible pressure of drawing something on such a large canvas.  I never draw well on high pressure.  I just end up getting frustrated and leave my work to the side to not be seen again for months, even years.  I have so many unfinished pieces sitting in my closet and I always feel intimidated to continue them.  This, however, is perfect.  It’s small and like I said before, I can bring it around with me in my purse.  I freaking love it.

I’ve started on a couple of little sketches already here and there.  Let me tell you, it feel great to feel that pencil in my hand again.  I feel like I can finally let myself in again through it.  I needed a outlet of some sort and I am glad that I found something to have my emotions flow through.  I hope to fill out that book and have my own little personal gallery to bring around with me.

So I hope I can finally start posting more on that instagram account again with some of my artwork.  I warn you, they might not be good at first just because it has been so long since I’ve drawn anything.  That’s what’s great about documenting your work though.  You get to see the progress in yourself and see how you evolve and how you find your style.

No Avocados Please

No Avocados Please

So I have recently learned that I really did not like avocados but for a purely accidental biological reason. I’m allergic.  I never had a good experience with them but it never occurred to me before that there was a link to each even I ate anything with avocados.

I never really liked avocados to begin with.  I always avoided them and if they were in the food I was eating, I would just push them to the side and not touch them.  However, for the times where I did consume them, I always felt gross after.  For example, one time during an office luncheon, I ate California sushi rolls which I normally don’t like anyway but I wanted to finish what was on my plate so I did.  There were about 5 pieces with some avocado in each piece and I didn’t think much of it because the amount is so small and the taste is masked by everything else in there anyways.  Cut to 3 or 4 hours later, my stomach felt like a perfect storm in there.  My head was burning up. I was so incredibly nauseous that I was running back and forth to the bathroom 5 times in a span of half an hour throwing up until it felt like my stomach couldn’t take anymore because it was so empty.  I was sweating profusely but I was still feeling so cold.  It was a feeling that I never ever wanted to feel ever again.  I ended up going home early that day because I just could not take anymore of it and it was rendering me useless at work.

That incident was what got me investigating because I did not think it was anything to do with avocados at that time.  I just thought that I had a bad batch of California rolls and got some kind of food poisoning.  My coworkers had no such adverse reactions to their rolls so it really got me thinking what the hell else it could be.  Then I started to think about all the other times I consumed some avocado and it clicked.  I had similar (but less painful) reactions when I ate guacamole, a breakfast sandwich but a slice of avocado, a bite of avocado egg salad that I made for my husband when I was taste testing and the list goes on a bit.  I now remember feeling off on each of those days and it never dawned on me why.

So I did some research and apparently it actually is a thing.  Some people do have these kinds of reactions to avocado!  Definitely made me feel better about disliking avocado in the first place since people were always surprised when I told them I hated avocados.  Now I have a legit reason to not like them.

What are your allergies?

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead

Just like that, Christmas has already come and gone.  All those days of frantically shopping and fighting elbows to buy gifts seem like such a blur and kind of feel like it didn’t even happen.  How quickly things happen and you don’t even realize it.

Now the year is almost at an end and a new year is about to start.  I don’t know what the new year is going to hold.  This 2017 year in particular has been a strange and difficult one for me and now I try not to think too much about what the future holds.  I know it is ultimately up to me on how to mold my future but still there’s always that anxiety and mental stress that comes along with it.  It’s inevitable. I do have a couple plans here and there but we’ll see how things are when the year starts.

I do have a couple of typical goals (as I feel there should be at least some goals so that one has SOMETHING to look forward to and strive for) that I would like to try.  They are only goals at that as I know that sometimes things don’t follow through as planned.  That’s why I don’t call them “resolutions” anymore.  I feel like there’s so much pressure in using that word and the rep it has does cause failure in actually achieving them, at least it does for me.

  • Start doing some yoga

    This is not just for exercise and trying to be fit and all that.  It goes much more deeper than that for me. I like that idea of learning to breathe and put yourself in a calmer state and be “zen”.

    I think this might help my anxiety a little and help myself separate from the harshness of the outside world even if it’s just for 10 minutes (kind of like how people read books to escape).  That idea coupled with being able to make my body stretch and do crazy things that I otherwise never thought I could ever do EVER would be a nice feat.

  • Possibly go back to school

    This is pure ambition really.  I was thinking of taking one of those part-time certificate programs to be a MOA (Medical office Assistant).  I enjoy working in offices and doing admin work and I’ve always wanted to work in a doctor’s office.  Since most certificate programs are about a year or less, I’m thinking it might work out that I can do a part-time program so I can still take care of my son and not too have pressure on study time.  Might work too if I can have a part-time job as well.  We’ll see.

  • Get back to my hobbies

    I used to have a great passion in art and photography.  It’s been too long since I’ve had quality time with my sketchbook and just draw our my heart’s desires.  It’s also been a while since I’ve held my DLSR in my hands and take beautiful photos.  A part of me has always wanted to be freelance photographer in portrait photography because I love taking pictures of people in memorable parts of their lives.  I am in no way at all at a professional level but I would love to have the chance to work my way towards it.  If even I can just practice and do a few sessions here and there with friends, I would absolutely LOVE IT.  I actually want to practice with my son by taking him out somewhere and just take pictures of him all day and spend some time editing the photos.  I used to spend HOURS and HOURS on my photoshop just doing that before and I really do miss it.  I would love to build up a portfolio of some sort and hopefully have my own website and maybe have some clients in the future.  Just need some practice first and get my bearings back.  I feel like I can’t remember how to do all the settings anymore.  I’ll see if I can get back to it in the spring when all the pretty flowers and sunshine start to show again.

  • Have another baby?

    This is a possibility.  It’s not necessarily a goal but it is something that my husband and I do want sometime in the future.  We just want one more child to feel “complete” when it comes to our family.  My husband also really wants a baby girl.  So do I.  I’ve always wanted to have a son AND a daughter.  Plus, I feel like my son would really really enjoy having a sibling.  He loves playing with other kids and I think it would be great for him to have someone to play with and have a close sibling bond with because he is the most sweetest and loving child ever. He would be an incredible big brother.  So this could happen next year or maybe even the year after.  Who knows.

So there’s my wish list for next year.  I know most people do a “year in review” but I felt like doing the opposite and just state my hopes for the new year.  It’s like that whole thing about not looking back on the past and just keep moving forward.  “Onwards and upwards!” the CEO of my company always says.  It’s a great motto and I wonder why I haven’t appreciated that phrase until now.

So I hope that everyone has a great new year and I hope that whatever goals/resolutions you guys may have for the future will be achieved and blossom into something greater than you can ever imagine.