Mini Reviews: Year One & How to Stop Time

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

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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.


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The Writing

I have always thought that Nora Roberts was a talented writer. If I am looking for a romance, then it is her that I will turn to. Year One is so different from what she normally writes so I was not sure what to expect. Her writing in Year One is just as readable and fast-paced as I have come to expect from her!

The Characters

There are a lot of characters in this story so it can be difficult to keep track of them all. I liked the characters, but because there were so many, I never had the chance to become truly connected to them. It was interesting to read their stories and what the were doing both before and after the sickness spread. I loved seeing how their stories eventually connected!

The Story

The plot of Year One is what truly won me over! It was a unique take on the apocalypse and I really enjoyed the supernatural elements. I enjoy reading about characters who are on a journey and I definitely got that in this book. There is so much going on and that makes it so much fun to read. It is a big book but I could not put it down and finished it quickly. I can’t wait for the next book in the series!

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

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A love story across the ages – and for the ages – about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history–performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life.

So Tom moves back to London, his old home, to become a high school history teacher–the perfect job for someone who has witnessed the city’s history first hand. Better yet, a captivating French teacher at his school seems fascinated by him. But the Albatross Society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom, has one rule: never fall in love. As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the Society’s watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can’t have just happens to be the one thing that might save him. Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present.

How to Stop Time is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.


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The Writing

This is the first book that I have read by Matt Haig and I really enjoyed his writing style. It can be pretty flowery but not in a way that is distracting or goes too far. I am now convinced that I need to read his book, The Humans, because I have heard amazing this about it.

The Characters

The characters were just okay for me. They were not memorable and I was not particularly invested in them. To be honest, I found the main character to be quite whiny and negative! It was draining to read about at times! I did like some of the side characters that he met throughout time. It was really interesting to see Tom meet William Shakespeare and F. Scott Fitzgerald!

The Story

I was hoping that Matt Haig would do something different with time travel but I did not find the story to be particularity original. There was a lot of potential but I never thought it quite reached it! I much preferred the chapters that had to do with Tom’s past rather than the chapters that focused on the present. Overall, How to Stop Time was enjoyable but it was nothing new!


Have you read Year One or How to Stop Time? I would love to know what you thought about them! It is funny because I was unsure about how I would feel about Year One and I loved it, and I thought I would love How to Stop Time and thought it was just okay!


20 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Year One & How to Stop Time

  1. I haven’t read either, but I have How To Stop Time on my shelf and The Humans as well. I really should read at least one of them pretty soon!

  2. I have listened to How To Stop Time on BBC Radio Book at Bedtime and I quite liked it but the narrator did a really great job with it to make it so captivating. I don’t read historical novels but I still liked it. It was free so I thought I’d give it a try and wasn’t disappointed but maybe like you said it could have gotten a bit more emotional yet and deeper. Great review!

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