The Endo Patient’s Survival Guide: A Patient’s Guide to Endometriosis & Chronic Pelvic Pain by Andrew S. Cook

endo patients survival guide

official blurb
The Endo Survival Guide is the patient’s essential companion to living with and overcoming endometriosis and pelvic pain: from seeking help and getting an initial diagnosis, to navigating treatment options, and achieving optimal relief and wellness.

5 out of 5

 

 

what i liked
This book is REQUIRED READING for people with endometriosis.
If you are looking for a book for your partner to read about endometriosis- this is it. It is easy to read, lots of easy diagrams and cartoons to explain things in simple terms.
This book is full of tips to live by. It is a survival guide after all.  From different treatment options (although having tried a lot of various treatment options I WHOLEHEARTEDLY live by the standards set in The Doctor Will See You Now), to dietary changes.
It talks about vitamin imbalances you may have that you can try to rectify.
It gives a lot of easy to understand statistics.
This book is a great one to have on hand, to give to your in-laws, or your partner, or best friend.  It will help them understand what you’re living through.  I’m sure that most people don’t totally understand what endometriosis even is- and this explains it!
This is also  the perfect place to start if you suspect you have endometriosis.  With simple explainations and even some lifestyle changes you can try you, you can learn an experiment with some changes to see if they help you on a monthly basis!

Go buy this book, you won’t regret it!

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With This Heart by R.S. Grey

with this heart

 

official blurb
If someone had told me a year ago that I was about to fall in love, go on an epic road trip, ride a Triceratops, sing on a bar, and lose my virginity, I would have assumed they were on drugs. Well, that is, until I met Beckham.  Beck was mostly to blame for my recklessness. Gorgeous, clever, undeniably charming Beck barreled into my life as if it were his mission to make sure I never took living for granted. He showed me that there were no boundaries, rules were for the spineless, and a kiss was supposed to happen when I least expected. Beck was the plot twist that took me by surprise. Two months before I met him, death was knocking at my door. I’d all but given up my last scrap of hope when suddenly, I was given a second chance at life. This time around, I wasn’t going to let it slip through my fingers. We set out on a road trip with nothing to lose and no guarantees of tomorrow. Our road trip was about young, reckless love. The kind of love that burns bright. The kind of love that no road-map could bring me back from.

my blurb!
Never Been Kissed meets Return to Me in this steamy romcom.

5 out of 5                                                              4 out of 5 steam level

 

what i liked
Can you believe I finally read another romance novel other than The Hating Game and I gave it 5 stars?! I know, it’s hard to believe. Okay let’s get into what I loved about this book!
I am sucker for movies/ books like this. I loved Never Been Kissed and I loved Return to Me, so I was so into the whole plot of this book.  It even had a bit of an Elizabethtown vibe with the road trip involved.  (Okay you got me, I actually didn’t love Elizabethtown, but there was something rewatchable about that movie and I’m not sure why.)
Moving on! I loved Beck (I didn’t love this nickname however, and will be referring to him as his full name from here on out – Beckham…you know by this point that I’m a name snob).  I personally picture Beckham as Adam Brody.  He was random, and full of life, spontaneous and kind. As Abby said about Beckham in the book “It’s hard fighting relentlessly quirky charm.
Abby (who I had a hard time picturing but ended up with a young Kirsten Dunst), was innocent and brave. She was driven yet lost, heartbroken but understanding.  I loved them together! Great couple alert! Oh, there’s no siren noise for that? Hmm… we’re going to have to work on that as a society.  (Side note, I ended up chatting with the author about who she pictured for Abby.  I mean, feel free to fangirl with me for a moment about me just randomly chatting up Rachel [Author R.S. Grey’s name].  She had a full pinterest board full of amazing photos of Alison Sudol. Google her and then read the book!).
This book, like all of R.S. Grey’s books, had me laughing out loud.  Here’s a few quotes that had me smile giggling…

“So you’re a stalker?” I asked with a hard stare. He smirked a knees-turning-to-jelly kind of smirk. “I prefer gravitationally linked by your presence.”

“He had texted back quickly again, and in that moment I decided Gossip Girl wasn’t actually all that accurate considering they had cast thirty-year-olds to play high schoolers.”

While this book was just as funny as Grey’s books normally are, I would consider this a romdrom primarily.
I read this book in less that 48 hours and have thought of it many times since.  I am going to be super upset when my kindle unlimited subscription ends in a few months because I have loved reading all of R.S. Grey’s books through KU! I need to get them all on hard copy!

what i didn't like
I already told you I didn’t like Beckham’s nickname that I had to read the entire book. But to be fair, I am a book name snob.  There’s nothing about his name that is unappealing but for some reason I just really like the full name of Beckham so the nickname seemed to rob it of its awesomeness.
I also wasn’t sure what Beckham initially found so extremely appealing about Abby, luckily Grey included a chapter written from Beckham’s perspective at the end of the novel. So, while I found that a negative while I was reading the book, it was rectified in the end. Therefore no negative points in the con column for this book!

while reading you should
Do: Plan and go on a road trip!
Listen: to this playlist I created on spotify for this book!
Eat: a mouth-watering burger.

This book is REQUIRED READING for romance book lovers! To check out my full list, click here!

when to read
This book is best read in the summer during the hottest months.  But because it’s required reading, you can read it anytime!

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Make Me Bad by R.S. Grey

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official blurb
I was issued a warning: stay away from Ben Rosenberg. As Clifton Cove’s resident “king”, he thinks he’s entitled to anyone and anything.The trouble is, I’ve spent my whole life following the rules and playing it safe. I know what it feels like to be the good girl. I’m the police chief’s daughter and a librarian—for adorable children, no less. My wardrobe consists of colorful sundresses and baggy jeans. I might as well have a Post-it stuck to my forehead that reads: Yup, she’s a virgin.An all-nighter with a fictional hunk is about as exciting as my life gets, until one day, fate decides to take pity on me and shove me straight into the path of Mr. Off-Limits himself. Oof. Just as I suspected, every inch of him promises to be my demise. Up close, he’s tall, menacing, dangerously handsome—the type of man who’s never spent a single moment worrying about the opinions of others. A well-behaved girl would do as she’s told and avoid him at all costs, but I’m overdue for a little rebellion. No more Friday nights sprawled out on the couch in my comfiest pajamas. No more wishing I had the courage to misbehave. Everyone thinks Ben is going to ruin me. They think he’ll chew me up and spit me out.Well, Ben…go ahead. Tempt me. Taunt me. Make me bad.

my blurb!
An innocent girl (picture Mandy Moore in A Walk To Remember) decides she’s tired of  being so innocent.

5 out of 5

                                                                4 out of 5 steam level

 

what i liked
Did you know that I love R.S. Grey books? You did? Okay so I might’ve mentioned it a time or two, I get it.  But you cannot talk me out of laughing out loud from her romcoms!  And let me clarify that her romcoms are steamy, so if steam makes you blush feel free to skim those sections or live your life with an R.S. Grey shaped hole in it.  Dramatic? Fair enough.  Make Me Bad had me laughing out loud throughout the book.  The characters were crazy likable, I was rooting for them with every fiber of my fictional fandom.  They reminded me a little bit of a mixture of some of my favorite characters from The Winston Brothers series.   I read this book so quickly.  If I could have stayed up with no repercussions and finished it at 3am I would have, that’s how much I was enjoying it!  The plot was great, and I loved the friend group.  There were SO many good quotes but because I got an Advanced Readers Copy I won’t share them with you because I want you to experience the goodness for yourself.  Are you tired of me talking about how much I love an epilogue yet?  Too bad! In the words of Miley, I can’t stop won’t stop!   Shout out to the awesome epilogue written in this book! Also, do you know what people who love to read really love to read about? Librarians and Mr. Darcy.  It’s kind of like a total win situation when writers incorporate these aspects into their books.  And guess what?! R.S. Grey had both of these elements in MMB!  Have I peaked your interest yet? Are you ready to get this book and read it til your heart’s content?! Good!  Because this is Required Reading for Romance Lovers!  I will definitely be rereading it myself.  A little fun fact about this book is that there are some easter eggs from one of her previous books titled A Place In The Sun.  You don’t have to read that book first because the plots are not connected. But if you have read that book, keep your eyes peeled for some goodness popping out of the pages.

what i didn't like
Nothing! Go Read this book!

while reading you should
Do: Go bowling!
Listen to: This playlist on spotify
Eat: A cherry and try to tie it in a knot with your tongue.  Doesn’t it seem like all the “bad” girls in high school could do that?

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The Doctor Will See You Now : Recognizing and Treating Endometriosis by Dr. Tamer Seckin

Fun fact before you read through this entire review – Dr Seckin’s name is pronounced “Such- kin.”

the dr will see you now

 

official blurb
Endometriosis materializes when the endometrium – the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus – sheds, but does not exit a woman’s body during her period. Instead, it grows outside of the uterus, spreading to organs and nerves in and around the pelvic region. The resulting pain is so physically and emotionally insufferable that it can mercilessly dominate a woman’s life. The average woman with endometriosis is twenty-seven years old before she is diagnosed. It is one of the top three causes of female infertility. The pain it emits can affect a woman’s career, social life, relationships, sexual activity, sleep, and diet. It is incurable, but highly treatable. Unfortunately, though, it is rarely treated in a timely manner, if at all, because of misdiagnoses and/or a lack of education among those in the medical community. This book gives hope to everyone connected to endometriosis. That includes every woman and young girl who has it, and the women and men in their lives – the mothers, fathers, husbands, children, and friends – who know something is wrong, but do not know what it is or what to do about it. This book is written at a level that everyone with ties to this disease can relate to and understand, but it is also for doctors with good intentions who lack the knowledge of how to diagnose or treat it. “The Doctor Will See You Now” is for women determined to let the world know their stories so that every woman with this disease – from the thirteen-year-old girl who is being told that her pain is “part of becoming a woman” to the woman who has been misdiagnosed for decades – knows she is not alone. Yes, her pain is real. No, she is not crazy. Yes, there is hope.

5 out of 5

 

 

what i liked
This book is REQUIRED READING for People with Endometriosis.  Have you ever read a book and been relieved to read about other people’s suffering? No?  Well, I hadn’t either until I read this book.  I was desperate to figure out a solution for my pain.  I had already had one exploratory laparoscopic surgery that same year- where they found scar tissue inside of me but no endometrial tissue.  I ordered a ton of books from the library and this was one of them.  This book is a series of testimonials from people who have undergone deep excision surgery by Dr. Seckin.  They talk about their lives prior to having the surgery and they suffered.  And I was thrilled.  These women felt what I was feeling! They also were sure they had endometriosis but a quick surgery told them they didn’t.  They also suffered from extreme measures of pain and were on constant pain killers.  They also found that doctors just did no believe the severity of pain that they lived in on a normal basis.  These women were me!
Dr. Seckin describes various treatment options for endometriosis, along with highly recommending his deep laparoscopic excision surgery.  He even includes things you should be asking your doctor if you think you have endometriosis.
Truth be told, this book was a game changer for me.  I read it, and I researched like crazy. I looked into the best of the best endometriosis specialists. I got on facebook and I messaged their previous patients who had left different reviews on their facebook posts. I facetimed with previous patients and made a decision.  I ended up going to see Dr. Seckin – yes the same guy who wrote this book and he performed my surgery.  Finding PLENTY of endometrial tissue (confirmed with a pathologist), along with a grapefruit sized cyst, and an appendix that was looking rough. None of which was seen in the previous quick surgery by an obgyn who’s website specified that they treat endometriosis patients.
Even if you don’t end up with him as your surgeon (and I’m not advocating that you have to see him), this book is a MUST READ.  It will help you feel heard. Help you have solace in knowing that you’re not crazy.  It will help you feel empowered to get the treatment you deserve.  It will help you to feel hopeful for the first time in a long time, knowing some people took the risk and tried the surgery and had a drastic lifestyle change.  It will empower you to be your own health advocate.
Read this book! You won’t regret it.

 

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

crooked kingdom

 

official blurb
Welcome to the world of the Grisha. Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

my blurb!
The page turning conclusion to Six of Crows that leaves you wanting more and thrilled with the ending all at the same time.

5 out of 5

what i liked
Like the first book in this duology – this book is required reading for fantasy lovers!
Oh. My. Gosh. So many feelings!  (I know, I’m super original – I should totally write a blog).
First of all, this book is just as good as the first book. (Seriously, does that ever happen?) I don’t know how she writes a book that is over 500 pages that somehow leaves me wanting more!  I want a novela, or a follow up book for at least 3 of the characters.  I felt like she really wrapped up two of the characters storylines well, but some others… (you’ll notice I’m leaving names out here- this is to avoid any spoilers for you!)
I bonded with these characters so much. I am the 7th crow.  Inej might have been the wraith but call me the hawk because I hovered around them watching all of them and creating a blood brothers bond with them all.  In hindsight, maybe I should have chosen a different animal for that scenario. A hawk being the 7th crow?  Well… what can I say, my imagination works in mysterious ways.  ANYWAYS, I bonded with these characters so much that I am in dire need of some condolence casserole from having to part ways with them.
Bardugo’s writing is so great, it reminded me a little of the lunar chronicles (I know, they’re nothing alike but bear with me here) because those books featured a crew (whom I’m also close friends with) with the odds against them that I got to hang out with in VERY long books and was constantly excited by the plot lines, and surprised and always left wanting more. [Did you enjoy that run on sentence as much as I did?] EXCEPT Marissa Meyer (the author of the lunar chronicles) wrote FOUR books and TWO novellas in the series.  Bardugo only wrote this Duology!!!!! (Okay, yes, it’s true that this is connected to her Grisha Trilogy- and is part of the whole Grishaverse, but these two books stand on their own and don’t overlap with main characters into the other series because it takes place afterwards.  Make sense? So I’m not counting those books towards the total number for this series.  That made sense right?)
My husband once said to me… and I’m not making this up “maybe I should be a vigilante because I love justice.”  This is how I felt reading this series.  I AM A CROW.  It’s all in my head but that won’t stop me from living my best life.

what i didn't like
Nothing! I loved it all! Take me back to the Grishaverse!

 

while reading you should
Listen to: Everybody Knows by Sigrid
and also listen to: Robbers by the 1975
Watch: Now You See Me
Do: practice slide of hand. (that’s right, time to scour amazon for a magician’s kit!)

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

official blurb
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

my blurb!
A fantasy dystopian Ocean’s Eleven crew, with a story that leaves you turning the pages non-stop instead of going to bed.

5 out of 5

*This book is a part of a world created called the Grishaverse.  Technically in the timeline of the Grishaverse, this book (which is part one of a duology) comes AFTER the Grisha Trilogy.  However, this is a stand alone duology and can be read out of order. I did read these books BEFORE picking up the Grisha Trilogy and I don’t regret that decision.*

what i liked
I liked so much about this book.  First of all the characters were SO well written!  The story is told by each of the six crows different perspectives.  Although now that I think of it, I’m not sure if there actually was a chapter from Wylan’s perspective.  As the chapters unfold there are also time jumps that occur.  I mean, the characters aren’t time traveling, but you learn about them in the past and then you come back to the present day heist.
All of the characters were fighting to survive in the world- filled with darkness and thievery and rich merchants and traveling acrobats.  I mean… what a world to live in!  This book was a little dark, just in the realistic world building that Bardugo writes, and the revelations of what the characters had to do to survive with the hands they were dealt.
Seriously, the world building. Wow. so good.  Big shout out to my favorite characters Kaz and Inej.   I was doing a buddy read for this book and we decided to do our own Hollywood casting.  The actors we chose are FAR too old to be playing these teens in the book, but when has that ever stopped Hollywood before?!  In the fictional movie that my friend and I created, Kaz would be played by Taron Egerton and Inej would be played by Alicia Vikander.  You’re welcome for that fictional casting.  (If you’ve read the book, who do you think should be cast in the 6 of Crows roles?)
***since reading this book it was JUST announced that this series will be combined with the Grisha Trilogy books in a new Netflix show!***
This book was a page turner, it had a great plot, amazing characters, and a realistic world created.  What else do you need for a 5 star book?!  So good!
I want to mention again that while this is YA- it is dark- so reader beware. Also, don’t let the whole YA tag dissuade you from reading this book! Read what you love and love what you read!

what i didn't like
Towards the end-ish of the book, Bardugo literally tells you some things about Kaz’s character that I already knew as a reader.  I couldn’t tell if she wanted to make sure the reader understood what she was alluding to in previous chapters, or if she had forgotten she’d already mentioned that whole plot line previously in the book.  I’m not sure.  It wasn’t enough of an annoyance to not make this book Required Reading: Fantasy- because readers who love that genre will love this book – but it needed to be mentioned.

while reading you should
Play: Poker
Watch: Ocean’s Eleven or the Italian Job
Eat: Bourbon Chocolate Cupcakes… and waffles. Not together. But hey, you do you.
Listen to: Everybody Knows by Sigrid

if you would like to buy
Click here: Six of Crows

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The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

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official blurb
A long, hot summer… That’s what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy’s father. But sometimes, unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl’s world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to question her sheltered life.

my blurb!
A girl who is in search of perfection finds her perfect life doesn’t look exactly like she planned.

5 out of 5

 

what i liked
This is required reading for YA fans! (Here’s my list of amazing YA books).
Let me start with the elephant in the room.  Before I met my husband I was in love with someone else.  I have never gotten over him and still think of him often.  That’s right, I am talking about my first fictional boyfriend, Wes.  And he lives in the pages of The Truth About Forever.  Now before you go on and on saying that you also loved Wes, let me tell you that our love is good and it is true- so don’t go trying to make it anything other than that with your false tales of your swooning heart!  Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, you can see why Wes is the first thing mentioned under things that I liked in this book.
This is a reread. To be truthful, I reread this book every year.  Every. Year. Since it was published. I told you my love for Wes was real!  So to be clear, this was published in 2004. I’m pretty certain I read it back to back when I got it, so that brings my total to 15 times read!  I guess you could say I like this book.
Sarah Dessen came out with a gauntlet of perfect YA books in the early 2000s.  And don’t let this whole “YA” tag fool you.  She writes heavy topics that also happen to have swoon worthy love stories in them.
In this book, Macy is trying to cope with life after her dad died.  Dessen does an amazing job of giving you all of the feels of loss, and the repercussions of choosing the way you’re going to mourn. Macy is a crazy flawed character. She is insecure and wants total control.  She never speaks her own voice and she hides in other people’s shadows.  And she is somehow so likable.
Macy and her mom have so many realistic interactions that it is sometimes stressful to read.  Me being me, I wanted all Wes scenes all day long.  The worst part about this book is going from being with the fictional love of my life, directly into the next scene of a crappy interaction with Macy’s mom! I found myself saying, “I don’t care about your mom damn it! I want Wes!”  And then the librarian would graciously ask me to lower my voice and refrain from using curse words while watching my kids play at the library.
Have I ranted on and on about this book enough to convince you to read it? No… okay here comes my second wind.
Just kidding.  Go get this book!

Ps. You can order a personalized book from Sarah Dessen here.  I personally would like a dedication stating that she acknowledges that I am Wes’ true love but that she felt she couldn’t write about our nonfiction love so she wrote Macy instead. That’s reasonable, right?

when to read
This is a great summer read!  But since it is required reading- pick it up any time!

while reading you should
Listen to my “The Truth About Forever Mini Playlist:”
-Summertime romance by Johnnyswim
-Something Stupid by Michael Bublé ft Reese Witherspoon
– Catching Feelings by Justin Bieber
-I Run To You by Lady Antebellum

Picture the following actors as the characters in this book:
Wes: Bob Morley, Shawn Mendes, Liam Hemsworth, Logan Lerman
Macy’s mom: Lauren Graham, Julia Roberts,
Macy: Dakota Fanning, Lily Collins, Emma Watson
Kristy: (way younger) Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Lawrence
Monica: Taylor Momsen, Carly Chaikin
Jason: Michael Welch, Freddie Highmore, Lucas Till
Bert: Jack O’connell, Taron Egerton

Eat: Meatballs
Do: Go for a Run
Watch: A news special on Armageddon

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