Sunday Sum~Up

Sunday Sum_Up (1)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer that I am linking my Sunday Sum-Ups with. Stop by and say hello!

I have found that I appreciate my weekends more and more lately. I did not know this was possible! But those small moments of downtime and peace are becoming more and more necessary to recharge. I also realized this past weekend that I need to stop pressuring myself to be “more” social. Regardless of what others believe would be best for me, it is okay to just be happy. With that said, we are shifting gears here in the home. We are making huge lifestyle changes involving how we eat and tackling physical activity. While there is no “fix” for me, I am noticing benefits. I have slept better, dropped some weight and feel more motivated. It makes it easier to combat the hard days ❤ Side note: 3 ingredient banana and oat cookies are not so great, but edible.

The poor nonhubs had to travel to multiple places this weekend to pick up a copy of The Shape of Water for me, but he succeeded. Hopefully, I will have or be watching it by the time this posts. My TBR took a detour, but it was due to some unexpected but very welcomed book mail that I could not wait to tear into. So far, I am only off by two titles, so not too shabby!




2 for 1 Review

the hazel wood

The Hazel Wood




30339493The Isle of Blood and Stone
By Makiia Lucier
Available April 10, 2018


Elias reached across the table and flicked aside two shells with a fingertip. The map curled into itself. “It’s bound to be a goose chase. You know that?”

“Or a treasure hunt,” Ulises countered, “and you’ve always been good at those.”

Nineteen-year-old Elias is a royal explorer, a skilled mapmaker, and the new king of del Mar’s oldest friend. Soon he will embark on the adventure of a lifetime, an expedition past the Strait of Cain and into uncharted waters. Nothing stands in his way…until a long-ago tragedy creeps back into the light, threatening all he holds dear.

The people of St. John del Mar have never recovered from the loss of their boy princes, kidnapped eighteen years ago, both presumed dead. But when two maps surface, each bearing the same hidden riddle, troubling questions arise. What really happened to the young heirs? And why do the maps appear to be drawn by Lord Antoni, Elias’s father, who vanished on that same fateful day? With the king’s beautiful cousin by his side-whether he wants her there or not-Elias will race to solve the riddle of the princes. He will have to use his wits and guard his back. Because some truths are better left buried…and an unknown enemy stalks his every turn.

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What I am watching this week:


Guillermo del Toro! I have been on a book buying ban, so now I obviously need to invest those funds into my bluray collection 😉 I picked up The Orphanage and The Devil’s Backbone.

What I am listening:



I finally found a copy of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake on vinyl that I wanted!


How has your week been? Did you find time to manage a good book or two? It always feels like work picks up significantly as Spring moves in.


“A book, too, can be a star, ‘explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly,’ a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.”
~Madeleine L’Engle


Danielle ❤

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Upcoming April Releases to Watch For!

There are an incredible amount of promising titles being released in 2018. I was hoping to share a list of the titles I am anticipating for this second quarter in Spring, however, it would be terribly long. So today I have chosen to highlight a few of April’s releases I am looking forward to.


Space Opera

Space Opera
By Catherynne M Valente

April 3, 2018

Promising The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy meets Eurovision in what looks to be if anything one very eccentric “space opera”, this is a no-brainer. I have been meaning to explore Valente for some time. I have already pre-ordered 😉

The Oracle Queen (Three Dark Crowns 0.1) & Queens of Fennbirn (Three Dark Crowns 0.5) by Kendare Blake – April 3, 2018

30223025Dread Nation
By Justina Ireland

April 3, 2018

This YA Historical Fiction is high on my radar for so many reasons. Just click the link above and read that blurb!


Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2)
By Mark Lawrence

April 3, 2018

If I am trying to explain why this is a must read, then you need to stop what you are doing and pick up Red Sister. The first book in this series was one of the most sophisticated fantasy titles I have ever encountered.

Macbeth by Jo Nesbø – April 5, 2018

The Diminished (Untitled Duology #1) by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson – April 10, 2018

30238163Ace of Shades
By Amanda Foody

April 10, 2018

I do not even know where to start with this one! Promising a story full of illicit activity and fantasy, I simply cannot wait to pick this up. I am seeing some positive reviews that hint at fantastic character development.

Winter Glass (Spindle Fire #2) by Lexa Hillyer – April 10, 2018

Isle of Blood and Stone (Isle of Blood and Stone #1) by Makiia Lucier  – April 10, 2018


The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives
By Viet Thanh Nguyen

April 10, 2018

Because some books just need to be read, and I feel like this is one I need to read.

Ecstacy by Mary Sharratt – April 10, 2018

Circe by Madeline Miller – April 10, 2018

35274560Unbury Carol
By Josh Malerman

April 10, 2018

Because this writer blew me away with Bird Box (which I was thrilled to learn is being adapted by Netflix).

Noir by Christopher Moore – April 17,2018

The Gloaming by Kirsty Logan – April 19, 2018

What titles are you looking forward to next month? Planning to read any on my list?

Happy Reading!

Danielle ❤

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Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

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Nemesis (Project Nemesis #1)
By Brendan Reichs

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
ISBN: 9780399544934
Pages: 443
Genre: YA Sci-fi


He killed me. He killed me not. He killed me.

It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.

Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs. But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life. Everything changes in an eye blink.

For the planet has a bigger problem. The Anvil, an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth, leaves little room for two troubled teens. Yet on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough. She vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake and uncovers a lifetime of lies: a vast conspiracy involving the sixty-four students of her sophomore class, one that may be even more sinister than the murders.


Nemesis was beautifully successful for me in an area that has been predominantly a miss for YA; It offers a complex and rewarding science fiction experience that feels not only well fleshed out, but incredibly entertaining. It was a welcomed change of pace that I openly embraced and look forward to continuing with the sequel. I recently shared a playlist as part of the tour, which can be found here if interested.

Best left to exploration and revelation, I am choosing to skip the traditional recap and fast forward to exactly what worked for me so well in the young adult, science fiction story.

Character development is a steady somewhat slow process as there is a mystery shrouding both of our protagonists Min and Noah. But it is also equally rewarding. Left to uncover secrets of their own pasts that they soon find will cross, there is something to be said for the leisurely approach Reichs has created. It is a well-balanced blend of getting to know who Min and Noah are while vying to learn why.

There is enough complexity contained within the overall storyline to boast Nemesis as a clever and often surprising experience. The reader is provided with just enough details to facilitate multiple theories while encountering a nice dose of the unexpected. I hold a certain appreciation for authors who refuse to spoon feed readers while also avoiding unnecessary and inconsequential details. Here Reichs has created the perfect mixture, and it goes down so well!

The writing is smooth and knowledgable. Alternating perspectives are presented in a very concise and effective manner that help fuel the mystery and lead to a successful conclusion that feels gratifying while still accommodating an easy segue into the sequel. I find books that feel well researched to be extremely rewarding, adding the solid structure and execution of Nemesis, the end result is certainly so. My only small complaint would be how much I favored one character over the other. But even that served its own purpose in the end.

Nemesis will definitely find a welcoming home among the shelves of sci-fi fans old and young alike. I would love to see this one adapted into a series!

*I want to thank the publisher for this copy. The above review is my own, honest and unbiased opinion.

tea cup


Devoured over several cups of Darjeeling!

Purchase Links:  Amazon UK  Book Depository

226079About the Author 

Brendan Reichs was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 2000 and The George Washington University School of Law in 2006. After three long years working as a litigation attorney, he abandoned the trade to write full time. He is the author of Nemesis, and co-author of the Virals series, written with Kathy Reichs. Brendan lives in Charlotte with his wife, son, daughter, and a herd of animals that tear up everything.

Follow Brendan Reichs: Website  Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads

Happy Reading!

Danielle ❤

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