Mini Book Banners for Year One by Nora Roberts

Been a while since I’ve done this. But here’s the book banner I made for Year One! I tried making a banner for the alternate cover but it didn’t work out. ūüė¶

year-one

Advertisements

BOOK REVIEW | Year One (Chronicles of The One #1) by Nora Roberts

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these things. It’s also been a while since I’ve finished a book. It’s nice to finally be out of my many-months-long reading slump… but now I’m not sure if I’ve jinxed myself. Heh. Anyway, let’s get straight into this review.

Summary
With one drop of blood, the old world is gone for ever. And in its place, something extraordinary begins…They call it The Doom – a deadly pandemic that starts on a cold New Year’s Eve in the Scottish countryside. There’s something mysterious about the virus and the way it spreads. As billions fall sick and die, some survivors find themselves invested with strange, unexpected abilities.
Lana, a New York chef, has the power to move things and people with her will. Fred can summon light in the darkness. Jonah, a paramedic, sees snatches of the future in those he touches. Katie gives birth to twins, and suspects that she has brought fresh magic into the world, along with new life. But The Doom affects people differently. Along with the light, a dark and terrifying magic will also rise.As the remaining authorities round up the immune and the ‘Uncannies’ for testing, Lana, Katie and others flee New York in search of a safe haven. The old world is over, and Year One has begun.

Image result for nora roberts

  • Writing style
    I gotta say, this is the first book by Nora Roberts, aka J. D. Robb, that I’ve ever read, and the first thing that really struck me about it was the writing style. I’m not sure if her style is the same in her other books, but it wasn’t something I was used to in general. I found that Roberts put in new details, like aspects of a character’s past, without mentioning it before, or really explaining it after the fact, and expected us to go with it. She has a really… fast(?) way of writing that really nagged at me. But I thought to myself, maybe it was because I was so used to reading in depth detail and explanation √† la high fantasy. As I continued to read through the book, however, I actually began to really appreciate it because, first and foremost, I felt that she didn’t underestimate the intelligence of the reader. Sometimes not all things need to be explained in thorough detail, and I liked that it engaged my imagination in that sense, allowing me to form an image on my own.
  • Immediacy of emotion, connection to characters
    I also think the writing style added a sense of immediacy, in many aspects, to the book. Immediacy in terms of action and pacing, but also in terms of emotion. The characters central to the story – and there were many – were likeable, and it didn’t take much for me to feel a connection to them. I actually underestimated this connection many times, until out of nowhere, Robert’s would drop a feels bomb, usually in the form of a little, almost insignificant character moment. And then I’d literally be like… “wtf? I wasn’t expecting to be hit like that.” Just ask my friends who I regularly snapchatted with my reading updates, about how many times I felt emotionally ambushed by this book. Hahaha.

extreme_weather_04_by_everlite-d6p509d

  • Setting and premise
    I have to say, I found the shift from the “old world” to the “new world” a little jarring. I think it was just a little shocking to my system that suddenly this world was filled with all these magickal things. And not just your typical “humans discovering abilities kind of deal”, but straight up elves and faeries. It was one of those things, like Roberts’ writing style, that I had to learn to ride and roll with. I do love me a post-apocalyptic word. (Just in fiction, though, not real life. :P)

Overall, it was a fun read. There’s certainly many trope-y aspects to this book, but you know what? My heart felt good after reading it. And I think that’s what matters most. It’s a similar feeling to the one I get when I read a book from The Others series by Anne Bishop (which I have yet to catch up with). There are a lot of ugly things, dark things, sad things, but beneath it all is that ever pervasive sense of hope, light and strength. I’m giving this book 4 stars!

4-stars

I read it first!

So there I was, a few months ago, casually browsing through YouTube, when this ad for a new movie coming out played before the video:

I literally watched the trailer again and again, in disbelief, because I thought to myself, in no way could this be for one of my favourite thriller novels of all time. But it was! And I sat there in both shock and extreme excitement.

Red-Sparrow

When I read this mid-2014, I remember being so impressed by the book. I’d just gotten into spy thrillers and read a bit of le Carr√© but it was only until I read Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews that I felt moved by a book of this genre. Let’s just say that my foray into spy thrillers was short-lived because I felt that I’d already read the best that the genre could offer, and I never picked up another of the same kind ever again. Haha.

Seeing the trailer for the movie reminded me of the bandwagon thing that comes with books.

For me, it always comes with a bag of mixed emotions:

  • There always a part of me that can’t help but feel salty, for lack of better description, because hellooo, I’ve been raving about this since (x) but no-one listened to me. Why does it have to take mainstream media for people to be interested in something?
  • I read it first! It’s mine! When I discover a good read such as this, the other part of me wants to keep it to myself. Like my own bit of happiness that only I can have.
  • It’s a good thing! The sad truth is not all good things can rely on the power of their goodness alone for the rest of the world to see it (this applies to a lot of things, not just books). Sometimes you need that extra push for the rest of the world to appreciate it for what it is. The more people that know about it, the better! And hey, who am I to want to keep it away from everyone? ūüėõ

I think I’ll have to read the book before I watch the film to refresh my memory. I’m unsure about the casting of Jennifer Lawrence, but for now I’ll reserve my judgements and wait for the movie to hit the theatres here.


Have you ever read a book and loved it, and raved about it, only for it to fall on deaf or uninterested ears? And then to have that book be in the mainstream spotlight years down the road, with people suddenly becoming really interested in it?

It’s been a while… again

I think it’s time to accept the fact that I have serious commitment issues when it comes to blogging as it has been seven months since my last post hahaha. I’m not even going to promise to post regularly because let’s face it, that’s not going to happen. ūüėõ It’s nice to come back here every now and then though, like returning to my own little quiet corner of the internet.

Anyway, I went to the library today and borrowed the following books:

22012017 Library Haul
(My bookshelf is currently overflowing with books so I’ll have to settle for taking pictures on my bed for now. Heh.)
  1. Mind Games, Teri Terry
  2. Afterworld, Lynnette Lounsbury
  3. Children of Earth and Sky, Guy Gavriel Kay
  4. The Dragon’s Path,¬†Daniel Abraham

I’ll be writing reviews for all these books so stay tuned in the next few weeks.

Also …. HAPPY NEW YEAR, FRIENDS! I was actually overseas for a month and barely had internet connection so I couldn’t send you my greetings. Here’s to another amazing year of books and happiness!

Supa(fun)nova

I went to Supanova for the first time yesterday, and guess what?!

image

image
(my face was doing a weird excited thing)

I MET ANNE BISHOP. NO BIG DEAL. JUST ANOTHER ORDINARY DAY IN THE LIFE OF MOI.

Ermergerd. I got my copy of Marked In Flesh signed and asked her what inspired her to start the series. She said she started to think about what kind of world it’d be if animals turned into humans and not the other way around, and it evolved from there. I told her that I only just recently discovered her work and am obsessed. With a smile, she said I’ll be happy to know that she brought in the last book in the series, Etched In Bone, earlier this year in March so it should be coming soon! AHHHHH. I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE IT!

Tamora Pierce was also there but guysssss, the line was so long and I had to get home. ūüė¶ I was honestly so bummed out because TAMORA PIERCE!!!!¬† but it couldn’t be helped. I felt a little better when I got home. I’m hoping I’ll get another opportunity to meet her and tell her how much the Lioness Quartet changed my life.

The other authors in attendance were:

ian-Irvine-Profile-BAlison-Goodman-Profile-Version-AKeri-Arthur-Profile-BJustin-Wooley-Profile-Version-DMaria-Lewis-Profile-Version-A(images from Supanova)

I haven’t read any of these author’s books, save for¬†Ian Irvine’s¬†Vengeance which I never got around to finishing, so I didn’t visit them.


Kudos to my little brother, the real MVP, who came along with me. My friends were busy so we went together. He’s the reason why I actually have pictures to post and look at because I’m not a photo-taking person in general, lol. And he was very patient waiting in the lines with me, even if, in Tamora’s case, we waited an hour only to leave without seeing her. He also didn’t get anything even though I insisted (big sister always pays. Aren’t I just the best? ūüėĚ) but he’s more into gaming than books/movies/tv shows. I just really appreciated his company yesterday. Gonna make it up to him by taking him to the EB Games Expo in September. We’re gonna fun so much fun! Overwatch goodies, anyone?

Anyway, here are the three things I bought from Supanova:

wp-1466310444546.jpeg
Pop! Vinyls of Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion
img_20160619_143114.jpg
Hogwarts Scarf
img_20160619_132718.jpg
Deathly Hallows bracelet

The first two are from Popcultcha and the bracelet is from Nine Lives Handmade Gifts.


img_20160619_132834.jpg
View outside my window

It’s a rainy, gloomy winter day here in Sydney, so I’m gonna head off and hide in my bed!

 

 

So this happened…

After literally¬†half a year¬†of debating with myself, I finally bought a Kindle Paperwhite! I’ve put it off for so long that I had to take a friend with me to my local Officeworks¬†so I wouldn’t back out. If I had gone on my own, I would’ve found reasons not to buy it. Having a friend with me meant that I felt obliged to buy it so that I wasn’t wasting her time by dragging her around with me. ūüėõ

It’s my first ever e-reader and I’m pretty darn excited about it. I was actually about to get the Voyage (the new Oasis wasn’t even an option) but I figured there wasn’t much of a difference between it and the Paperwhite to justify the extra cost, plus I’m definitely still going to use physical books more often. It’s just nice to know I can keep hundreds of books in a small device for when I travel. I also want to get more into netgalley and my experience with reading e-books on my phone wasn’t that great.

On the Kindle, I’m currently reading The Girl in the Box series by Robert J. Crane which is a free set. Still need to recover from the purchase. Heh.


Do you own an e-reader? Do you prefer physical copies or e-books?

 

The Liebster Award

I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award by Green Onion’s blog.I was honestly not expecting it, but am extremely honoured and humbled all the same.¬†Head on over to his blog for both comic book and novel reviews!

THE RULES:
1)  Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2)  Answer the eleven questions provided by your nominator.
3)  Nominate up to eleven other bloggers yourself.  Remembering that the point is to promote new bloggers, so aim for those with 200 followers or less.
4)  Let those other bloggers know that you’ve nominated them.
5)  Provide those bloggers with eleven questions of your own for them to answer.
6)  Lastly, it’s considered good form to post an image of the award.


1. What prompted you to start your blog?

There were two reasons, which are both connected. University had kind of sucked my soul dry so after receiving news that I’d passed my degree and was about to graduate, I spent the next few months pretty much doing nothing. Eventually, the dread of not having a job and wasting my life away began to bubble in the pit of my stomach and it made me start thinking of better days when I didn’t have to worry about ~adult~ things. It also reminded me of how much I used to get excited over books and reading. I had only read a handful of books each year during university, as opposed to the near hundreds every year during high school, so I thought it’d be a good idea to start a book blog in order to spark that enthusiasm again. It’s not like I had anything better to do. ūüėõ


2. What inspired you to write your blog on the topics you have chosen?

Books played a huge part in my life as a child and has shaped/continues to shape the person I am today. If you took away all of my book-related experiences, I would become a shell of a person. I moved to a foreign country when I was young and books became¬†both my education and refuge. I genuinely think that if I had stayed in my home country, I would never¬†have discovered the joy of reading, which is a thought that scares me ūüėź If there’s something I can write about, it’s books.


3. Do you hold yourself to a schedule as a writer?  How often do you write your blog?

This question hurts me because I wish I was dedicated enough to have a schedule lol. My novel has been in the works for three years and I’m no where near the end. I’m trying though, but I’m starting to suspect I have a fear of the blank page! As for my blog, I do most of my writing on the weekends because of work.


4. What are some issues or causes that are important to you, and why?

I’ve been a volunteer for the St. Vincent de Paul Society¬† ¬†for a¬†couple of years and love what they do and stand for, whether it be providing funds and services for the homeless and impoverished of the community, or even just being a companion to lean on. This link will bring you to the Australian Vinnies homepage¬†(Australians love to shorten words like this). I strongly believe¬†that if we want the world to be a better place, we have to start in our own backyards.¬†I’ve met so many amazing people from all walks of life and if anything, it’s a great grounding experience.¬†I think¬†volunteering in your local community is something everyone should try at least once in their life.


5. Name one fictional protagonist that is important to you and why.

Alanna from the Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce.  I read these books when I was 8/9 and Alanna became everything I wanted to be. She made me feel more confident, stronger, and like I could achieve anything I dreamed of, no matter what the rest of the world might think.


6. Who is your favorite fictional antagonist, and why?

I honestly don’t have one. Maybe I just haven’t read enough books yet? No antagonist really stands out to me.


7. Name one story you believe everyone should read, and why.

As if it isn’t obvious enough that I’m in love with this book (see: header) and haven’t been raving about it to everyone and their mum, but I believe everyone should read¬†The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson because HELL YES for a book that moves you on a visceral level.


8. Have you encountered any challenges with your blog since you began writing for an online audience?

Absolutely. No one told me it would take so much work! Ha. Everyone else makes it look so easy. I literally didn’t write a single thing for five months and am only now trying to get back into it with the goal of putting up a post every three days (which I still find challenging. This post is a day late, too.). I don’t know how everyone else manages to do it? It kind of makes me regret not thinking of making a blog when I was in high school. I read¬†so¬† much that I would’ve had plenty of content to post, especially since I had more time and energy. Work can get so tiring.


9. What has been most rewarding about your blogging experience?

Just the fact that I can make things and share my thoughts with people all over the world is rewarding enough. I feel a sort of personal statisfaction, like: yes. I can do things! And people like what I do! hahaha


10. Is there a principle or philosophy that guides your writing?  If so, what is it?

I write like no one’s ever gonna read it. This makes my writing honest but it also serves to get rid of my perfectionist habits. I’m usually never satisfied with what I write so it’s nice to sometimes approach things with a “screw it” attitude. Better to have complete shit than no shit at all, I say.


11. What has been your favorite blog as a reader, and why?  And can you share?

I honestly love going through Louise’s blog @geniereads because not only does she have plenty of great content, but there’s something about her blog that’s just so aesthetically pleasing¬†haha.


The very deserving people (aka people whose blogs I lurk through on a daily basis) I’ve nominated are:

Shruti @ thisislitblog, Liam @ Hey Ashers!, May @ Sunsets and Bookfests and Maggie from In A Reading World

You guys don’t have to do this, but know that I appreciate your blogs and the content you post up. ūüôā

My questions are:

  1. What’s the story behind the name of your blog?
  2. Where is your favourite place to read?
  3. Do you prefer to buy paperbacks or hardcovers?
  4. If you could choose one book or series to be perfectly adapted as a TV show/movie, which would it be?
  5. Which is your favourite cliché young adult book trope?
  6. Favourite opening line? If you don’t have one, what is your favourite book quote?
  7. If you could publish one piece of non-fiction work, what would it be and why? What would the title be?
  8. What are you currently reading?
  9. Are there books on your shelves that you haven’t read?
  10. What’s your favourite bookstore?
  11. If you had to choose a topic other than books to dedicate your blog to, what would it be?

Shruti¬†@¬†thisislitblog¬†also nominated me for this award, so I’d like to extend my thanks to her too. She posts great reviews and bookish content regularly, so check out her blog! I’ll be posting my answers to her set of questions some time soon.

The book peek

The other day a man sat near me in the break room holding a book. Naturally, as inconspicuously as I could, I tried to look over at what he was reading. Not inconspicuously enough, because a co-worker sitting in front of me asked me what I was doing. Apparently my eyes looked like they were going to disappear into the side of my head. ūüėā

I can’t be the only one, right? Whenever I spot someone in my vicinity with a book in their hands, I try to take a peek at what they’re reading. Name a method — I’ve probably done it. The three that I’ve used commonly are:

THE TRAFFIC CONGESTOR

I’m that person who’s impeding the flow of pedestrian traffic because I’ve slowed down trying to take a peek at a passers-by’s book. More often than not, this happens when I’m taking public transport which is the best place to catch another book-lover other than the book store, library, or park. During peak hour, it’ll be the thing that prevents me from getting a seat because I was too focused on my mission lol. The people around me are also probably thinking along these lines:

school college waiting slow finals


THE ASSIST

reactiongifs spy spying binoculars

I have terrible eyesight even with my glasses, but if there’s a friend around and a book that’s too distant to be peeked at,¬†I’ll ask them to have a look. My close friends are used to this request already, so I don’t get any weird looks. Shout out to you guys. You’re the real¬†MVPs.


THE SCREW IT

I’m quite the introvert, but nothing gets me out of my shell like the sight of someone reading. I can’t help but feel an automatic connection with them. Like: yes, friend! Book friend! Bless you, friend! It’s like I’m a foreigner in a strange land who’s spotted someone of my race. Sometimes the urge to know just burns so deep I can’t help but act on it, so five times out of ten, if the person is near me, I’ll strike up a conversation with them about the book they’re reading. Because I understand the pain of being bothered mid-read, I’ll usually keep it short, but every now and then it blossoms into a lovely conversation about books.

friends books the middle axl heck brick heck

It happened quite recently actually, in the same break room. I’d noticed this person come in with the same book for a couple of weeks now. Started a conversation with him. Turns out he was reading We Are Pirates by¬†Daniel Handler a.k.a Lemony Snicket and we ended up sharing our memories of reading A Series of Unfortunate events.¬†It’s always fun connecting with a stranger over similar interests!


My question is: Are you guilty of the book peek?

Library picks

I went to the library on Sunday afternoon and picked up a few books. It’s one of the best times to go because it’s just so¬†peaceful.

DSC_0010.JPG
My pretty, local library.

I’ve learned my lesson from previous library visits that if I get too excited, I’ll borrow too much, which reduces the likelihood of me reading them all. So here are the three I’ve chosen:

  • The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett
  • Those Above by Daniel Polanksy
  • Blood Song by Anthony Ryan

I’ve already read a few chapters of The Warded Man and am enjoying it so far. I’m trying to put off finishing Words of Radiance for as long as I can because I don’t think I can¬†bear the pain of waiting until the third book comes out…

 

“People still go to libraries?”

So there I was, reading during my hour break at work, when my boss looked over at the book I was reading. He noticed the library barcode on the front cover and, surprised, ask me the question: “People still go to libraries?”

My immediate response was confusion. For some reason, in that space of a second when the words registered in my brain, I thought to myself,¬†well, duh. Where else would you find books?¬†Of course,¬†bookstore, was being whispered in the back of my head, but I couldn’t — can’t —¬†fathom the thought of people¬†not¬†going to the library. Going to the library every other weekend is such an integral part of my life. I guess it’s the same way I feel about reading in general. Like, what else are people supposed to do for fun?

With all these thoughts racing in my head, all I could really say was: “Yes.”

Arthur
Truer words have never been spoken.

Recently, I’ve noticed a trend. Going to the bookstore seems to be more acceptable — for lack of better description — than going to the library. If you go to a bookstore, you’ll look cool and ~cultured~, but if you go to the library, you’re seen in a more nerdy/geeky light. I literally got given a “wow, that’s weird” look from a reader (albeit one who doesn’t read as often as they used to) when I told them that I like to borrow books first. If I really like it, I’ll buy it to put on my shelf so I can reread it again. I guess it’s that part of me that wants to make sure my money is going to something that I like instead of a book having to join my pile of spontaneous, not-so-loved purchases.

Maybe I’m being a little defensive. I guess as times are changing, when everything is readily available at our fingertips, libraries can seem a little redundant.

But I mean, c’mon guys!¬†Pretty much the only difference between a bookstore and a library ¬†is that the latter¬†is free.¬†FREE BOOKS.¬†Who doesn’t love free books? Don’t even get me started on the smell. It’s a truly magical experience. ūüėõ It just rubs me the wrong way when¬†people who read (my boss included. He’s mentioned a few times that he reads books.) regard library-goers like an alien species.


Do you exclusively buy books without having first read them? Or do you borrow before you buy? What’s your style?