Thursday, July 27, 2017

Summer Biannual Bibliothon Blogger Challenge 6: 25 Bookish Facts About Me

This challenge comes from @wolfgirlreads

1. I didn't read much as a kid and I didn't become and avid reader until I was an adult.

2. I'm an adult that loves to read YA 

3. Most of the books on my shelf I haven't read.

4. Most of the books I read are from the library.

5. I get ebooks from Overdrive all the time but never read them because I like paper books better.

6. Therefore I rarely use my Kindle for reading but use it all the time for Twitter, Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube.

7. I always get more books than I can possibly read from the library.

8. The library is my most favorite place in the world.

9. My dream home would include a library room.

10. My favorite place to read is on my back patio.

11. My favorite time to read there is during sunset.

12. I even read there in the fall. I just wrap a blanket around myself.

13. I only dog ear books that I own.

14. I like to highlight passages in books that I own.

15. I rarely reread books.

16. Halfprice Books is my favorite bookstore.

17. I am an aspiring author and my dream is to have my book featured by Oprah.

18. I recently started reading thrillers this summer.

19. I kind of hate contemporary romance but have a few books that I love. 

20. I want to start booktubing but what holds me back is not knowing how to edit videos.

21. I wish I had more time to read. It's hard to find time being a single mom.

22. My favorite seasons for books is summer and winter because of all the beach themed and Christmas books.

23. I don't understand why there aren't very many fall and spring themed books.

24. I read more when I'm reading casually and not doing readathons. I seem to subconsciously choke under pressure.

25. The most successful readathon I ever did was the Pokemon themed #ReadThemAllThon 

Summer Biannual Bibliothon Blogger Challenge 5: Character Connections

This blogger challenge comes from @ashleyreads88

The character I connect on a personal level with the most has always been Bridget Jones from the Bridget Jones series by Helen Fielding.

Her safe space is in bed.

She's single like me and she's sad about it.


She tries to be graceful and like me she fails.

Like me she can't wear white clothes without getting them dirty.

Like Bridget here, my hair is always a mess.

Like Bridget I am horrified by my weight and obsess about it.

Story of my life.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

At first I thought this was a comic so I wasn't all that excited. I don't dislike comics but I'm not what you would call a comic person. Then I saw on the cover "#1 New York Times Bestelling Author of Six of Crows." I was like...wait....Six of Crows is a novel. This is a novel!?

How I felt after learning this fact...

It gets better. The book is #1 in a series called DC Icons. This means there's more novels to come!

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo releases August 29th from Random House is in the YA genre.

Here is the book description:

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Summer Biannual Bibliothon Blogger Challenge 4: Book You've Rated 3 Stars or Less

This blogging challenge comes from @bookwormgirls88

I know almost everyone loves Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon but I actually gave this book only two stars. 

Here is the book description from Goodreads so my review makes more sense:

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

My review does sort of  contain spoilers so if you haven't read the book STOP READING NOW!

It seemed kind of like Madeline used Olly to be able to experience the world. I couldn't believe that she just outright abandoned him after putting him through her almost dying. This made me dislike her and view her as selfish and clueless about what love really is.

I sensed the plot twist ahead of time. I'm no doctor but I've watched enough Grey's Anatomy to know family generally isn't allowed to treat family. Also the only time she had ever been sick was when she was a baby. If she had this autoimmune disease how did she manage not to have caught so much of a cold in the last 17 years? If her disease was so rare why did not scientists want to study her? And she clearly had access to the internet but never googled her own disease!? Come on now! This is a plot hole that is utterly unbelievable.

Not to mention how ableist the book was. Your life can only have meaning if you get to leave your house and get laid. It was offensive to people who have real chronic illnesses.

It seems I'm not the only person that felt this way.

Everything, Everything is Ableist, Ableist


'Everything, Everything' Draws Criticism for Its Portrayal of SCID and Disability

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Summer Biannual Bibliothon Blogger Challenge 3: The Villain's Synopsis

This challenge comes from @PiratesandPixieDust

1️⃣   Pick a book you love
2️⃣  Imagine that the story was written from the antagonists perspective.
3️⃣  Rewrite the books synopsis from the VILLAINS point of view.

I have chosen The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

The Commander is an architect of the new laws of the Republic. He and his wife, Serena Joy, convinced the government to enslave woman and force them to give birth to babies for women who can no longer have children of their own, which in Gilead is 90% of the population. To his horrror, a doctor informs him that he is no longer fertile. He hides this from his wife and blames her for their inability to have children. He finds himself needing to host a handmaid. Things go horribly wrong with the first handmaid so he must host a second one. This one, named Offred, is both beautiful and intelligent, which is rare. He finds himself spending time with her doing things far more scandalous than having an affair. However, his wife discovers this and starts to help Offred. If Serena can get Offred pregnant than she can get Offred out of her house, and has a chance at saving her marriage.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Yes I Do Have Bipolar II. I Knew it!

This handy little graphic from Petite Girls Guide shows perfectly my experiences and what I have been telling mental health professionals for the last seven years. For years, I was told I can't be bipolar because I cycle too fast. Well, this graphic describes my cycle exactly; 1 to 3 days.

It took six different professionals over that period of time to finally get my correct diagnosis, but last week I finally got it. It is now Bipolar II, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Anxiety. 

Now let me take a second to use a gif that expresses how I feel...

Reading all of that you would think that I am batshit crazy, on tons of medication, and have spent my life in and out of the hospital.

Weirdly, none of those things apply to me. My therapist describes me as high functioning. This simultaneously makes me proud, confused, pissed, and guilty all at the same time. Proud because I've kept my mental illness under control. Confused because sometimes I think if I can function this well am I really mentally ill? Pissed because I'm not affected enough to convince people I have mental illness but enough that my life is always a somewhat a struggle.  And guilty because, well, my life with mental illness isn't really that bad. While it's not that bad, I'm not normal. So I guess you could add some shame to that list too. I know, #endthestigma and all that but the shame is still there, even if it's lowkey. 

My therapist asked me if now that I have the correct diagnosis if it would change my life. The weird thing is that is hasn't so far. My appointment for medication isn't until October 1 and to be honest I haven't decided if I'm going to take medication. I believe in doing natural things like exercise, changing my diet, taking supplements, getting adequate sleep, and doing meditation to control my mental illness. I'm also obviously in therapy.

Granted I've never tried medication so I am curious to see how it would make me feel but I'm simultaneously terrified of taking it. I want to stay me. I don't want it to change my personality. I don't know if I can afford it (I can't afford Obamacare that covers mental health. Thanks Obama!). I don't want to become dependent on medication and have to take it the rest of my life. I also don't want any side effects.

There's another reason I don't want to take medication. I have to confess I like my hypomanic phases. I know, I know, that's not a good thing. But I feel confident, hopeful, and I am productive. As a writer the best thing to happen to me is a hypomanic phase. (Oh gawd, did I really just describe myself using the struggling, mentally ill, suffering writer cliche?)

Maybe if I took medication, instead of getting three or so hypomanic productive days out of the week I would have a whole week of productive days. I don't know if that's how it works though. I need to do some research and talk to people with bipolar II. The fact that I also have BPD is a factor too. Maybe because of that I can't take other things that people without a cormorbid diagnosis can take.

I thought finally getting the correct diagnosis would give me answers but instead I feel like I have a hundred new questions. But it feels so damn good to know that I am not imagining my cycles from depressed to normal to hypomanic anymore. They really are happening to me!

So I want to close this post with this. We are told all the time not to self-diagnose BUT if you feel your diagnosis isn't correct do not give up on finding the correct one. It may take years and several different professional opinions but keep at it. 

Summer Biannual Bibliothon Blogger Challenge 2: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (SPOILERS)

The Summer Biannual Bibliothon Blogger Challenge 2 comes from @misssassykassie.

I will be reviewing Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I read this book for the 24in48 Readathon.

This review DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS because it's one of those books that are hard to review without mentioning some of the things that actually happens in the book. Also, if you loved this book you might not want to read my review because honestly I couldn't stand it.

The concept of Before I Fall is brilliant. It's Mean Girls meets 13 Reasons Why meets Groundhog Day meets The Butterfly Effect. Here is the book description from Goodreads:

With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today's foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman's If I Stay, Before I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person's life can affect so many others. 

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—"Cupid Day"—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night. 

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

This review DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS so do not read any farther if you want to avoid them!

I am an adult who reads a lot of YA fiction so I know the type of writing used. When I started reading this I felt like I was reading a middle grade book. That eventually changes but the writing itself took a number of chapters to mature.

This wasn't a big deal to me but what was is the character of Samantha. This is what ruined the book for me. I get that she's supposed to be unlikable and the point of the story is how she goes from a shallow, vain bitch into a selfless, caring person but I can't honestly say I ever really cared if she lived or died. I've read characters that I didn't like but I still cared about so I know it can be done.

Speaking of dying, the book description gives the impression that she dies every single time. This isn't true. The clock actually resets to the previous day whenever she either dies or falls asleep. I thought this was kind of a cheat by the author because the day never reset exactly at 12:39 am. Sometimes Sam was able to get extra time and make the day last longer.

Also, how the hell does someone jumping in front of a truck that size make it flip off the road much less burst into flames? I've seen people hit by cars in the movies and on TV and NEVER has hitting a person caused a vehicle to spin out, flip on its side, go into a ditch, and burst into flames. This part of the story was beyond unrealistic. Especially considering whenever she jumped in front of a different car, that car didn't crash.

All of these things irritated me but I it wasn't until I sat down to write this review I realized why I didn't just dislike the book but absolutely hated it. It's because of the way Lauren Oliver treats mental illness. Actually, I should say the way she doesn't. Because the issue is never addressed at all.

Sam is absolutely convinced that she can make everything all better for Juliet by being nice for a day. For one damn day! She knows for a fact that Juliet is going to kill herself but being an idiot teenager who thinks she can handle everything herself, she never once goes to an adult and tells them Juliet is a danger to herself. In fact, at one point she does go to Juliet's parents' house an never says anything about what Juliet is going through. She never once warns Juliet's own parents!

Also not once does Sam stand up to her friends (much less everyone at the party) to tell them to leave Juliet alone and stop bullying her. Instead she tries to save Juliet without telling her friends to stop being the bullying bitches that they are. For most of the novel Sam cares more about her relationships than she does about Juliet. One day she had completely forgot about Juliet's suicide until she saw her at the party!

In fact, the ending proves that this story was never really about preventing an attempted suicide. It was about being a damn martyr for someone instead of getting them the actual help that they need. Had Sam gotten Juliet help instead of doing what she did, the book could have ended very, very differently. Instead the whole book reads like tragedy porn.

My ratingand that's only for the brilliant concept.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Summer Biannual Bibliothon Blogger Challenge 1: Blogger Book Tag

The Summer Biannual Bibliothon Blogger Challenge 1 comes from 4teenliars.

Blogger Book Tag Questions: 

1. What are you planning to read for the Summer Biannual Bibliothon? 

My TBR can be found here. I'm going to focus on getting The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand read first. The Identicals is from the library and has a hold queue of 112 people. If I don't get it read now it will be months (probably fall) before I can get the book again. I also want to make sure I read Flame in the Mist since it's the group read.

2. What is your favourite genre to read in Summer? 

Summer themed books. A list of 2017 summer books can be found here. I try to mix other genres in though or else I get bored. This year I've gotten into thrillers. I recently read Into the Water by Paula Hopkins and really liked it.

3. Where is your favourite place to read in the summer? 

Sitting outside on my back patio especially as the sun is setting. This is my favorite place to read in spring and fall too. 

4. What is your favourite challenge done in the Summer Biannual Bibliothon? 

The group read. I love reading a book with a bunch of other people and this genre is one of my favorites. Even thought I'm 41, I love reading YA fantasy and adventure. 

5. What fictional character would you hang out in the summer if you could? 

Magnus Bane from Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunters series. He's my favorite fictional character of all time.  He has an amazing sense of humor and is so mysterious. He throws the best parties. He has the best connections. But most of all I want to raid his closet. That's a lie. Most of all I want to do things with him not appropriate to describe in this book tag. 

6. What are your plans for summer? 

My summer is actually kind of coming to an end in a few weeks. For some insane (and inane) reason my kids have to start school August 8th. That's just not normal. It's way too early!

7. Do you have summer reading playlist? If not what would be on it?

I didn't have one before but I've been listening to Linkin Park again to pay tribute to Chester Bennington. 

8. What is your favourite summer movie? 

Dirty Dancing is my favorite. The original not the horrid remake. The movie is a huge part of my teenage years. I watched it so much on VHS tape that I wore out the first tape and had to buy a second. The movie is the perfect summer love story.

9. What book do you read every summer, if not what thing do you do every summer? 

I don't have a specific book but specific authors known for their summer books including Elin Hildebrand, Dorthea Benton Frank, Nancy Thayer, Shelley Noble, Wendy Wax, Mary Alice Monroe, and Morgan Matson. 

I usually go camping every summer but due to unforeseen circumstances wasn't able to this year so far. I'm hoping to maybe squeeze a weekend in even though the kids will have started school.

10. What other book tags are you planning to do this summer?

I'm anxiously awaiting the return of the book tag Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I also do Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Biannual Bibliothon Blogging Challenge List

The list has been posted in tweets and I decided to make things easier by putting them all in one place here on my blog.  I didn't see the Day 7 challenge listed yet but will add that when it gets tweeted. 

I'm Doing Booktube-A-Thon too!

So I've been on Twitter and it felt like everyone was tweeting about Summer Biannual Bibliothon AND Booktube-A-Thon and even though I don't do booktube I felt....well here's the tweet...
I was tweeted back almost immediately by Ariel and she said...
That said, here is the basic info about Booktube-A-Thon:

Here are the reading challenges:


 I obviously won't be doing the video challenges but Biannual Bibliothon has released the blogger challenges so I will be doing those and I'll try to incorporate my progress on Booktube-A-thon.

I will be  sharing about my progress on Twitter @juliecornewell and Instagram so you can follow me there.

Now on to my TBR. I am going to try to combine these with my summer Biannual Bibliothon TBR.

The 2017 Reading Challenges: 

1. Read a book with a person on the cover. 

I have chosen The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand.

2. Read a hyped book. 

I am choosing the group read for Biannual Bibliothon, Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh.

3. Finish a book in one day and 4. Read a book completely outdoors

I know you don't exactly choose a book for this challenge but I'm adding Doctor Strange: Season One by Greg Pak and Emma Rios just so I can complete this challenge.

5. Read about a character that is very different from you. 

Just about every book in TBR can fit this challenge but the gunslinger from The Wastlands (The Dark Tower series) by Stephen King is definitely not like me. Disclaimer: I may switch what book I use for this challenge.

6. Read a book you bought because of the cover. 

I want to know what all of these symbols mean or are they just randomly put on the cover of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness to make the book look more mysterious and archaic?

7. Read seven books.

These are the other books I have chosen for my Biannual Bibliothon and Booktube-A-thon TBR.

Friday, July 14, 2017

My Combined 24in48 Readathon and Summer Biannual Bibliothon TBR

July has three overlapping reading challenges!
July 22 - 23 24in48 Readathon 
July 23 - 29 Biannual Bibliothon 
 July 24 - 30 Book Tube-A-Thon

I am not a booktuber so I will not be participating in Book Tube-A-Thon or doing the video challenges for Biannual Bibliothon but I will be doing the reading challenges. I guess there are blog and Instagram challenges as well and I will try to do these.

Here is the Summer Biannual Bibliothon Reading Challenge Announcement

Camp Nanowrimo was also this month but I decided not to participate because I want to actually enjoy my summer with my kids. My kids start school early this year on August 8 so I feel like the summer is cut short. Who starts that early? It's nearly a month before Labor Day. It's ridiculous! Moving on...

For the 24in48 Readthon the challenge is to read for 24 of the 48 hrs. There aren't specific book genre challenges but since it overlaps with Bibib for one day, on the second day of 24in48 I will be reading a book from that TBR list.

Obviously I'm not going to get all of these books read for Bibib (there's 13 challenges!) but I never know what I'm going to be in the mood to read so thought I would still choose a book for each challenge. I did double up challenges on two books to make it a little easier.

Binannual Bibliothon Reading Challenges: 

1. Group Book Challenge - Flame in the Mist by Renee Adieh

There weren't any copies available at the library but I have it on hold. Hopefully I will get it in time.

2. Read from the host’s favorite genre Kassie - Magical Realism

I have chosen The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game #2) by Evelyn Skye

3. Caz - Historical Fiction 

I have chosen The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

4. Brittni  - High/Epic Fantasy 

I am currently reading The Dark Tower series so have chosen The Waste Lands by Stephen King

5. Emma - Diverse Books and 6. Momo - Urban fantasy 

I have chosen American Gods by Neil Gaiman and have decided to pair up this challenge with the urban fantasy challenge

7. Kelly - Dystopian/SciFi 

I'd like to reread 1984 by George Orwell

8. Red - Paranormal 

I've chosen A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

9. Read a book that has been or still is banned and am combining it with 10. Book to movie adaptation - read & watch (@booksbydano) 

I'd like to reread Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling

10. Throwback challenge 

I chose the challenge Character Swap because I want to read The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand which is about twin sisters that swap places.

12. Read a book you've seen somewhere other than booktube (@pucksandpaperbacks) 

I know the challenge is to find a book not on booktube but since I am a book blogger and rarely watch booktube I am doing the opposite. I chose The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness which I saw in the Totally Tori Lynn TBR video.

13. LGBTQIA+ (@daily_booknerd)

I have chosen Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan