Review: The Crown (The Selection #5) by Kiera Cass

The Crown-Cover
Book Title: The Crown
Author: Kiera Cass
Publish Date: May 3rd, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Book 5 in The Selection series
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

Disclaimer: I purchased this book.

Review
I gotta admit I am really sorry to see this series end. No it’s not the next literary masterpiece, but it’s book crack and it’s a good escape from reality when it’s needed. And reading the final book in the series was exactly what I needed in order to de-stress. I loved Eadlyn in The Heir and I kept hoping that I’d continue to love her in this book.

I did still love her, but not as much as I did in the previous book. I did enjoy watching her heart slowly warm up to the possibility of finding a love like her parents had. She had been so reluctant to it before, so seeing her evolve was really awesome to see. Seeing her take on more responsibility was great too.

The book was really short, especially for it being the end of the series. I was hoping that it wouldn’t feel rushed, but unfortunately, in some parts, it did feel rushed and that bothered me because I didn’t want it to feel rushed. I wanted the story to unfold at the same pace the previous books in the story did. The ending was a lot more rushed than I wanted it to be. Really Cass could have spread the ending out over a chapter or two.

I do recommend rereading The Heir before you read The Crown. I really wish I had. Mostly so I could keep the different suitors in my head. I did have a couple standouts in The Heir and they continued to be standouts in this book as well. Several of them, in different ways than I ever expected. I am not going to say who she picked (if she picked anyone) I will say that it was a pretty good ending to a series that so many fellow bloggers call book crack.

Blog Tour: True Born by L. E. Sterling

true born le sterling

true bornBook Title: True Born

Author: L.E. Sterling

Release Date: May 3, 2016

Genre: YA Sci-Fi Fantasy

 

Your fate is in your blood…

 

Welcome to Dominion City.

After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated…and their genetics damaged beyond repair.

The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared…

And then there’s Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are.

When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic leader, Nolan Storm, and the beautiful but deadly Jared, who tempts her as much as he infuriates her. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters

As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood.

Goodreads Book Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26114621-true-born

Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/True-Born-L-E-Sterling-ebook/dp/B0166SEV0O

Barnes & Noble Buy Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/true-born-le-sterling/1122537957

iBooks Buy Link: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/true-born/id1046533172

Kobo Buy Link: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/true-born

Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/True-Born-L-E-Sterling-ebook/dp/B0166SEV0O

Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/True-Born-L-E-Sterling-ebook/dp/B0166SEV0O

Entangled Publishing: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/true-born/

Copy of TB13

About the Author:

LE Sterling

L.E. Sterling had an early obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and romance to which she remained faithful even through an M.A. in Creative Writing and a PhD in English Literature – where she completed a thesis on magical representation. She is the author of two previous novels, the cult hit Y/A novel The Originals (under pen name L.E. Vollick), dubbed “the Catcher in the Rye of a new generation” by one reviewer, and the urban fantasy Pluto’s Gate.

Originally hailing from Parry Sound, Ontario, L.E. spent most of her summers roaming across Canada in a van with her father, a hippie musician, her brothers and an occasional stray mutt – inspiring her writing career. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Author Website: le-sterling.com

Author Twitter: @le_sterling

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LESterling22/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/LESterling

Copy of TB4

Read below for an excerpt from True Born:

“Isn’t it a little weird that we have to do our tests again? Was there some kind of mistake with the first one?” Margot says it innocently enough, a slight twang to her voice to match the nurse’s rabble-like twang.

“Well, hon, sometimes they get mixed signals, you know? Like when you think a boy likes you but then he goes all hot and cold?” She winks. Margot’s fingers tighten on mine.

“Uh huh.” Margot nods. “So there’s a problem with your machines? Or with the staff?”

The nurse frowns. “Not this staff. They’re five-star amazing. Must have just been a bad sample or something. Try not to worry about it, sweetie.” She pats Margot’s arm just before she shoves the needle in my sister’s vein.

I squirm on my seat. The skin on my arm crawls from the sharp pain originating in my sister’s arm. Relaxed beside me, Margot doesn’t move a muscle. She knows what I’m feeling even if she can’t do anything about it. This is just how it is with us.

“How much are you going to take this time?” My voice shakes as our coltish nurse comes around to me and drives a needle into my arm. It doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as Margot’s did. Our hands stay folded together. There’s a note in our file about letting us. One of the perks of being born us.

“Oh.” For the first time she looks a little dismayed. “I’m sorry, hon. Didn’t they tell you? We gotta go through the whole protocol again. The whole shebang.”

My twin and I did know. We’d been told. Still, it bothers us. A full day’s worth of giving blood, going through tests, having your organs measured and documented. Urine samples, more blood samples, hair samples. We’d already been through this two times in the last two months. We no longer believe they’d gotten “bad” samples—not that we’re going to let on to the nurse.

And funny thing is, each time we come, the Protocols Nurse is new. This is the third we’ve had, each as clueless as the last.

We know better than to ask our parents. The deepening silence and constant rounds of testing and lies must mean the news is the worst. Late at night we lie together, holding hands and whispering under the deep canopy of one or other of our beds. We’ve thought about what it will mean if one of us turns out to be a Laster. We’ve talked until dawn about what we’d want, what we’d do. I tell Margot I’d want to go with her, but she’s against the idea.

“One of us needs to survive,” she said to me, her gray-green eyes as serious as I’ve ever seen them.

“What if it’s not that?” I asked her.

“What do you mean?”

“What if we’re, you know,” the words mere whispers, “True Born?”

Copy of TB7

The Giveaway:

$10 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://countdownsbyerin.com/cd/entangled/true/

Book Blitz: Bound by Donielle Tyner

bound
Bound
Release Date: 10/19/15

Summary from Goodreads:
Bound by Vengeance.Sadie has found the resolve to fight the man who caused so much pain in her life. Her tentative alliance with the HCA underground gives her the resources to train both her body and Talent for when she comes face to face with her grandfather.

Bound by Loss.

Being separated from her friends at St Vincent’s is harder than she could have ever realized and it doesn’t help that Kian has withdrawn from her as well. With help from a new friend, Sadie uncovers more about her past and that someone close to her has been keeping secrets from Sadie her entire life.

Bound by Fear.

Tragedy strikes close to home, giving a longstanding enemy, one desperate and willing to do anything to have Sadie on their side, an opportunity to arise. Allies and friends come together to stand against evil, but at a terrible cost. Sadie’s history and future collide while the world is thrown into chaos.

Sadie must overcome or forever be Bound.

Buy Links:
AmazonBarnes & Noble
Book One:

(cover linked to Goodreads)

Book Playlist:
X Ambassadors – Renegades
I.A. – Bad Girls
Muse – Assassin
Banks – Beggin For Thread
Bastille – Flaws
Alabama Shakes – Don’t Wanna Fight
First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining
Dorothy – Gun In My Hand

 

About the Author

Hello! Donnielle here. I’m a new indie young adult author. When I’m not writing, I spend my time reading, binge watching Netflix, homeschooling my two children, and hanging out with my husband.


Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png

Trigger Monday

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So earlier this week, there was a Twitter hashtag #noshameday focusing on breaking the silence on mental health issues. I shared a few things that have affected my own mental health, and I wanted to talk about them a bit more today.

My mom’s second marriage was a disaster right from the start. He was verbally abusive to me, my mom and my little brother. He would scream at me and my baby brother, and verbally demean my mom. Every time I spoke up for her, he would scream at me to shut up and that this was none of my business.

He was abusive to my mom. How the fuck could anyone expect me to be quiet about the way he was treating her?

I am forever grateful that she finally left the marriage. I was still living at home due to my own health issues, and when she left him, I went with her. That was never even a question in my mind. She was my mom, I loved her, and I was going to go with her. No matter what.

The past 4 1/2 years have been so goddamm peaceful. She is healthier, both physically and emotionally and I am healthier as well.

Every time someone yells or screams, even if it’s not mean sounding, my heart jumps into my throat, I start shaking and I shut down completely. I don’t need a doctor to tell me that this is PTSD.

I still have to see him sometimes. Usually I can avoid it. When he comes to pick up my brother, I hide in my room. I used to be embarrassed that I did that, but not anymore. If my brother has an event, I fight through it and make sure I am not sitting anywhere near him.

Now another one of my issues started 10 years ago, when I was getting an MRI. I had a full on panic attack due to feeling closed in. It’s not as bad now, but crowds can trigger it, elevators can trigger it (actually I’d consider an elevator my biggest trigger)

You guys all know that I ended a relationship last October. I’ve been doing so well that I didn’t expect to be affected by any sort of triggers. Until I found the hand towels he bought me with my favorite retired basketball players’ name on it. I just froze and then broke down into sobs. I had forgotten all about them.

Then I thought it would be a great idea to listen to Taylor Swift’s newest album. I absolutely adore the album and I never in a million years expected to be triggered by it. Usually it helps me feel better whenever I’m having a bad day.

But then, I heard this part of one of the songs:
I want you for worse or for better,
I would wait forever and ever (ever and ever),
Broke your heart, I’ll put it back together (together).
I would wait forever and ever (ever and ever).

And I basically lost it all over again. Because we were best friends for YEARS before we got together. He always swore I was the one, forever and that he wanted to marry me someday. It took me a long time to agree to date him because I did not want to mess up our friendship.

Forever and always was the one thing he always said to me.

I’ll probably write more about this at another time, but damn, I miss him so much. I miss how he knew me better than anyone else in the world. I miss how I could tell him anything and he wouldn’t judge me. He knew I was bisexual, and he didn’t care. It didn’t matter to him.

Yet, I’m angry at him. So fucking angry with him. I loved him, I trusted him with my heart and he ripped my heart up into tiny unrecognizable pieces. How can someone you love, break your heart like this?

The idea of trusting anyone with my heart is so incredibly scary that I don’t think I can do it. My walls had always been down around him because I believed he would never hurt me.

I want to put the Berlin Wall around my heart.

Sometimes I don’t feel worthy of love. I don’t want to pull anyone into my life. I’ve got a lot of health issues, coupled with the anxiety, PTSD, who is going to love me?

I thought it was supposed to be Chris.

I don’t trust easily. I trust my immediate family and a handful of other people. Monday was just so full of triggers for me. Whether it was talking on Twitter, listening to music or looking for something in my closet.

I don’t know if I’m even going to post this.  It’s probably the most personal I’ve ever gotten on the blog.

If you’re seeing this, thanks for reading.

Role Reversal

It’s no secret that my mom and I are incredibly close. I know I’ve alluded to it in book reviews (when appropriate) It’s also no secret that I have health problems. I have mentioned them in general terms before and don’t worry, I’m not going to delve into them further today.

On May 20th, my mom will be having knee surgery. It’ll be arthroscopic so she’ll be discharged on the same day. Procedure should take about 2 hours max, but it’s still surgery, and she’ll be under general anesthesia for that. It’s going to be such a change for me as I am used to me being on the operating table and not her. I am used to signing forms and talking with the surgeons and anesthesiologists etc. Yes, she’s had 2 C-sections (last one being in 2000), but she is generally extremely healthy (thankfully she got her mom’s genetics healthwise)

It’s going to be a complete role reversal for both of us. I am comfortable in the patient role and she is comfortable in the caretaker role. Thankfully, with arthroscopic surgery, she won’t be laid up for long. Not like it would be with full blown knee surgery.

If you could all please keep her in your thoughts, I’d be very appreciative. We are all so ready to have this taken care of.

My 1 year Blog-o-versary is finally here!

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Well I made it!

Last year on this very day I decided to start book blogging. I had no idea what to expect or if I would make any friends (making friends as an adult is HARD) but I had always loved books and I had always loved blogging, so I took the bull by the horns and started blogging about books. I learned a lot as I went along. I made mistakes, but I’d like to think that I changed over the past year.

Twelve months ago I didn’t know anything about ARC’s or E-ARC’s or NetGalley or Edelweiss. I had never heard of BEA or ALA. Now I can rattle off those terms in a matter of seconds and know what they mean. Sometimes, I still feel intimidated by certain things but not always, and not nearly as much as I was at the beginning of this.

This year also brought me in contact with some of the kindest individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of dealing with. Meredith, Pixie, Kara, Steph, Bekka, Kat and Andi to name a few. Thank you ladies. At times I wanted to quit. I was sad and frustrated by some things, but you seven helped me more than you will ever know. Of course there are so many other ladies (and yes even a few guys) who have been there supporting me, that there’s no way I could name them all. Thank you all so very much. You don’t know how much I appreciate you.

There are so many moments that stick out to me as important in the past year, I doubt I could name them all.

  • Getting my first review book in the mail.
  • Getting my first pieces of swag in the mail.
  • Getting auto-approved for HarperTeen’s titles through Edelweiss.
  • Winning my first book through GoodReads.
  • Filming and positing my first vlog on YouTube.
  • Getting my first print ARC from Scholastic.
Those are only some of the moments that have stuck with me since I began this journey.
Let’s not forget the writers. The beautiful, amazing and talented writers that have been amazing to work with. There’s no way I could name them all and you know what? I’m not even going to try.These writers have been supportive and kind all across the board and I am grateful to be able to collaborate with them as I, along with so many other bloggers, work to show the world how talented and underrated these writers are.

The publishers, they have all been awesome. Harper Collins, St. Martin’s Press and Scholastic, to name a few. I look forward to working with all of you more in the future.

Thank you, to each and every one of you who has been a part of my journey so far. I love and appreciate all of you so very much.

Stone of Destiny (The Danaan Trilogy Book 2) by Laura Howard

Stone of Destiny (The Danaan Trilogy Book 2)
by Laura Howard
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance

Blurb:

Allison thought it was crazy enough when she found out her father, Liam, wasn’t entirely human. But now she has to join his magical allies to unravel his former mistress’s plans. Aoife wants to keep Allison’s parents apart forever.

Despite Allison’s efforts to keep Ethan, the only guy she’s ever cared about, out of this supernatural mess, fate keeps throwing him back into the mix.

Will Allison be able to find the amulet that holds the enchantment Aoife placed on Liam and destroy it? Are Ethan’ s feelings for Allison strong enough to endure the magic of the Tuatha De Danaan?

Links

Amazon:
Kobo:

The Forgotten Ones
Book One in The Danaan Trilogy
About Laura:
Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known.

An Explaination

Hello everyone,

 You may have noticed that I have not posted anything in about a week. This was totally unplanned and it was only yesterday that I really realized how long it’s been since I posted anything. I have a couple posts drafted and several reviews scheduled but nothing for awhile. This blogging slump happened to coincide with yet another reading slump. I have started several books but nothing is really grabbing me lately. I’m sad and frustrated as I have piles of books piling up everywhere, many of them I am dying to read, but I don’t want to start any of them. I don’t want to run the risk of not being able to enjoy a book because of the reading slump.

I don’t do filler posts that much anymore unless it’s an author I love or a book I enjoyed. When I was starting this book blogging thing, I did a lot of promotional posts. I don’t do them much anymore. I usually do 1 meme, and as many reviews as I can fit in. I don’t want to post more than one post a day. I don’t focus on keeping a certain schedule anymore. It doesn’t work for me. What I do focus on is having fun with this adventure. If I happen to have a week or two where I don’t post anything, that’s okay.

This coming Saturday I will be celebrating my one year blog-o-versary. It’s exciting and it’s honestly not a milestone I thought I would get to. I’m sure I’ll have a post up for that day, maybe not a full fledged wrap-up post, but I’ll definitely acknowledge the bloggers and writers and publishers that I have been fortunate enough to work with this past year.

Review: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

Book Title: If You Find Me
Author: Emily Murdoch
Published Date: March 26th
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: YA 
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble

Synopsis from Goodreads:
There are some things you can’t leave behind…
A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.

Disclaimer: This book was purchased by me.

Review:
Oh wow…

I’m not even sure that I can spit out in coherent sentences how amazing this book really was. It’s rare that a book can leave me totally speechless but this one rendered me speechless for a good hour or so after I finished the book.

Not only was I speechless but I had tears rolling down my face during the majority of it. This book really brought out those all important feels and I’m getting choked up again as I try to write a decent review for this book.

The idea of being told so many things and then eventually finding out that most of the things your troubled mama told you were lies. That is just heartbreaking to me. Carey and Jenessa “Nessa” both showed how incredibly strong they were. Carey needed to step up and be the mom that Nessa needed since their own mom had her own issues with mental illness and drugs. 

Suddenly they are forced to live with Carey’s father and stepmother and stepsister even though they had been frequently told that Carey’s father Charlie was a bad man and that they had to stay away from him.It wasn’t explored in the book much but I have a feeling that Carey wondered a lot about her dad despite the lies her mother had told her.It’s only natural to wonder about someone you haven’t seen in a decade.

I loved Melissa, she was exactly the kind of woman that Carey and Nessa needed in their lives and I am so glad that she was such an important part of their girls’ new life. I was focused so much on Carey and Nessa’s story that it wasn’t until the end that I really started thinking about Delaney and how she was feeling about all this. Like Melissa told Carey,it was an adjustment for all of them, Delaney included.I think Delaney struggled with the abrupt changes in her own life with her mom and stepdad.

Ryan and Pixie were totally awesome people. Ryan’s connection to Carey and to her mom Joelle was heartbreaking and the few times it was brought up, I only cried harder.In my head Ryan is the guy who Carey gives herself to. Not because she has to but because she wants to.

This is the kind of book that really makes me so grateful for the people in my life.Especially the people who are constantly and consistently in my life. I don’t know what I would do without them.I absolutely adored this book and it gets an easy five stars from me. I couldn’t imagine this book being any more wonderful.

Review: Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

Book Title: Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
Author: Susannah Cahalan
Published Date: August 6th, 2013
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Memoir
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
A gripping memoir and medical suspense story about a young New York Post reporter’s struggle with a rare and terrifying disease, opening a new window into the fascinating world of brain science.

One day, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room, strapped to her bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records—from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory—showed psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four year old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter. 

Susannah’s astonishing memoir chronicles the swift path of her illness and the lucky, last-minute intervention led by one of the few doctors capable of saving her life. As weeks ticked by and Susannah moved inexplicably from violence to catatonia, $1 million worth of blood tests and brain scans revealed nothing. The exhausted doctors were ready to commit her to the psychiatric ward, in effect condemning her to a lifetime of institutions, or death, until Dr. Souhel Najjar—nicknamed Dr. House—joined her team. He asked Susannah to draw one simple sketch, which became key to diagnosing her with a newly discovered autoimmune disease in which her body was attacking her brain, an illness now thought to be the cause of “demonic possessions” throughout history. 

With sharp reporting drawn from hospital records, scientific research, and interviews with doctors and family, Brain on Fire is a crackling mystery and an unflinching, gripping personal story that marks the debut of an extraordinary writer

Disclaimer: I bought this book for myself.

Review:
I had had my eye on this book even before it came out. It looked interesting and it combined some of my favorite things: medicine and memoirs. So I knew that I had to snatch it up as soon as possible. I was very much hoping that it would live up to all the hype that I had it built up to in my head.
It was amazing. It was raw and gritty which I feel is the mark of a wonderful memoir. The story was so scary and harrowing I couldn’t put it down for very long. There seems to be a real lack of these medical related memoirs which I find is a real shame.The way that the author wrote the book was so unique as very few books do it in this journalistic style.
The way that the illness was chronicled was fascinating. The seizures and paranoia and the violence seemed to come out of nowhere until Susannah was essentially catatonic. The doctors had clearly never seen this before which is what happens when a patient has a “zebra disease” and not a “horse disease” This is not uncommon in hospitals where doctors are trained to look for the obvious diseases (called the horses) and they don’t know about the zebras. So while Susannah’s family got frustrated at the doctors for not knowing what was causing Susannah’s behavior, from my extensive hospital experiences the doctors were ruling out the most obvious things first.
I really liked how the book was divided into three parts. The first part was the beginnings of her illness all the way up to a seizure on the hospital floors. The second part chronicled the desperate attempts to identify what was going on and all the measures that the doctors took in order to get there. Followed by the correct diagnosis and the treatment that followed. The third and final part of this book focused on Susannah’s attempts to assimilate back into her old life all the while reconciling herself to the idea that she’d never be the “old Susannah” again.
I loved how even though her parents had been divorced many years ago,they were able to come together and help Susannah through this. They had two great spouses in Giselle and Alan who were also part of Susannah’s support system. When things of this nature are going on,it is very important to have a support system and I loved that Susannah did have such a great support system. She also had her wonderful boyfriend,Stephen, who stuck by her when so many other men would have turned and ran for the hills.
This book is not one for everyone. Even those who enjoy memoirs because it is pretty heavy on the medical terminology and neuroscience. Things that I am able to follow very well,but not everyone else has the ability or the frame of reference to understand what is being said. Particularly towards the end of the book where the author goes into further explanation about the diagnosis.
I am giving this book 4 stars. Yes I enjoyed it,yes I will probably read it again but I think parts of this could be really hard for someone not in the medical profession to understand. I think it would have helped if the book wasn’t relying so much on the advanced medical lingo.