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Friday, July 31, 2015

Books I Read in July and Whether or Not You Should Read Them.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Plot: "Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything." -via Goodreads

Favorite Quote: 

"Mortals. I envy you. You think you can change things. Stop the universe. Undo what was done long before you came along. You are such beautiful creatures." 

My Thoughts: This is very outside of what I normally read, but a friend from work recommended it so I thought I'd give it a shot. I surprised myself and loved it. I'm so happy there are more in the series. It reminded me a lot of Twilight.

Should you read it?: If you like paranormal YA books, yes. 

The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

Plot: "Her perfect life is a perfect lie. As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancĂ©, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret. 
There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that's bigger than it first appears. 

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?" -via Goodreads 

Favorite Quote: 

“I think you know when two people are meant for each other when you see that they’re better people together than they are when they’re apart.”

My thoughts: Everywhere I saw this book, it was compared to Gone Girl. Even on the cover of the book! I think that was a very, very poor choice that someone in PR made, because I went into it expecting it to be shocking and twisty and enthralling. It wasn't. 

Yes, it's mysterious, but more in a way of you know something bad happened, you find out the bad thing that happened, and there's really no closure. It was a very raw, very rough book to read, but I kept reading it waiting for some big twist, and I just didn't feel like there was one. I know a lot of people liked this one, but I did not.

Should you read it?: No.

And, not a book, but one of the reasons I didn't read so much this month: 

SerialSerial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life, and is hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial tells one story - a true story - over the course of an entire season. Each season, we'll follow a plot and characters wherever they take us. And we won’t know what happens at the end until we get there, not long before you get there with us. Each week we bring you the next chapter in the story, so it's important to listen to the episodes in order, starting with Episode 1. 

Plot: "On January 13, 1999, a girl named Hae Min Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland, disappeared. A month later, her body turned up in a city park. She'd been strangled. Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. The case against him was largely based on the story of one witness, Adnan’s friend Jay, who testified that he helped Adnan bury Hae's body. But Adnan has always maintained he had nothing to do with Hae’s death. Some people believe he’s telling the truth. Many others don’t.

Sarah Koenig, who hosts Serial, first learned about this case more than a year ago. In the months since, she's been sorting through box after box (after box) of legal documents and investigators' notes, listening to trial testimony and police interrogations, and talking to everyone she can find who remembers what happened between Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee fifteen years ago. What she realized is that the trial covered up a far more complicated story, which neither the jury nor the public got to hear. The high school scene, the shifting statements to police, the prejudices, the sketchy alibis, the scant forensic evidence - all of it leads back to the most basic questions: How can you know a person’s character? How can you tell what they’re capable of? In Season One of Serial, she looks for answers." via Serial Podcast

My thoughts: I realize I am way behind the times here, but I'm not a huge podcast fan. Now that I know podcasts like this exist, my commute to and from work is so much more bearable. It was like listening to an episode of Law and Order play out each week, and it was incredibly interesting. 

Should you listen to it?: Yes! And it's free. 

What have you been reading this month?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

16 Weeks: Things I Want to Remember.

Practicing for our real picture. I hid cheese behind the ultrasound to get him to look at it. Mom of the year already, guys. 

We are four months today, people. FOUR MONTHS. HOW. I think this is the part where I maybe start to panic because I still know nothing about having a baby. I should really be researching and list making and learning about how to take care of a baby, but instead I'm ordering and eating pizza because it makes the baby happy and really, isn't that just as important? 

Don't answer that.

Moving on. Here are some things I want to remember from this week.

  • I swear, Gatsby can sense the baby. He gets real close to my stomach, cocks his head sideways and looks at it, and then nudges and sniffs and licks my stomach. It is the cutest thing I have ever seen, and I'm hoping it means he's going to be bff with the baby. 
  • Chipotle is back! As I mentioned on Wednesday, Mexican food has been off the table for about 9 weeks now. But on Monday, I woke up thinking about Chipotle. I could taste the barbacoa. We got it for dinner, and it has never tasted so good. So happy to have a favorite back, and to be able to eat something other than chicken!
16 down, 24(ish) to go. Somebody panic with me. Or maybe just order me a pizza.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

First Trimester: What You Need to Know.

I realize that everyone has different experiences with pregnancy. I also think that once the baby is actually here, people tend to sugarcoat everything that happened pre-baby, because the baby is so great that everything else pales in comparison. I want to blog about it all along the way, not just after. So let's do this.

The first trimester was the worst for me. I've never been so sick. So in all of my 15 weeks of wisdom, here's the best advice I can offer you:

Go to the doctor right away. Do not pass go. Do not wait. Go right away. They don't schedule your first appointment until 8 weeks, so I spent 3 whole weeks vomiting every single thing that I ate right back up, because no over the counter medicine worked for me. It makes me cry to think that I could have gone to the doctor the day after I found out and got a Zofran prescription. So do it. If you're sick, do not wait. 

Don't eat a ton of your favorite foods. I don't know why I thought it would be a good idea to eat my favorite foods when I knew I'd be throwing them right back up. Terrible, terrible idea. Now that I can actually eat, my favorite soups are off limits, as is any meat other than chicken, and, worst of all, all Mexican food. Do yourself a favor and just eat bland foods if you're throwing up a lot, otherwise you might ruin some foods for a long time.

Cut yourself some slack. I'd never been so sick, and I'd also never been so tired. I couldn't do anything, and it made me feel like the biggest slacker. Pregnancy is 40 whole weeks, surely I shouldn't already be out of commission at only 8 weeks. But dude, you're growing a human and it is sucking all of your energy. If you need to go to sleep at 8 to function, do it.

Don't freak yourself out. I wasn't planning a baby, so I immediately felt behind. I know nothing about having a kid or being pregnant! So, of course, I turned to Google. Big mistake. Because who knew that you're supposed to quit caffeine, and that doing ab workouts squish your baby, and eating too much chicken makes your baby hairy, and a thousand other bizarre, confusing statements made online.

And then I go to my first doctor's appointment, and the entire list of instructions from my doctor were as follows: Don't eat raw fish, don't smoke, don't ride a bike, and don't eat lunchmeat.

Well, that was easy. Take that, Google.

Make the best decisions for you. People all over have millions of different of opinions about what you should do or not do. There will always be a $200 stretch mark cream that you need to buy, people who tell you that going vegan is what's best for the baby, people who advocate only organic everything, people who say that you should or shouldn't take certain medicines, people who will tell you that if you choose to vaccinate your kids you're basically signing their death certificate.

Unless any of these people are a doctor, their opinion has no more weight than yours does. So talk to your doctor, of course, but then make the best decision for you. This is your baby, after all.

It gets better. I feel so much better this week than I have in 14 weeks. It is magical. So, just keep going. It gets better.

Here's hoping that the second trimester continues to be so much better than the first!

Monday, July 27, 2015

It's a Monday.

It's a Monday.

Just like any other day, really. A 24 hour window with the potential to be the best day of your life, or to change your life. But it probably won't, because it's a Monday. And we just treat Mondays differently.

We snooze the alarm a few more times than we would on, say, a Wednesday, or a Friday. We put less effort into getting ready, because it's a Monday, and the focus is going to be on doing the least amount of work possible before heading home and collapsing on the couch. We're still mourning the weekend, see.

So we'll try to rush through it and gripe about it when the clock at work seems to be moving so slowly. We'll heave sighs of relief when it's finally time to go home, because Thank God that's over.

The rest of the night will look similar to our day, just at home, and in more comfortable clothes. It's a Monday, after all, and you can't expect too much from those. They're the worst. 

But then one day, a week or a month or a year from now, we'll wonder where all our time has gone. Why it feels like life is flying by, why we never have enough time to finish our to-do lists, when really, we basically throw away an entire day of our week. And is it any wonder we hate Mondays so much when we treat them the way that we do?

It's a Monday.

Another day, another 24 hour window with the potential to be the best, life-changing day of your life. And it might be, because it's the first day of a brand new week.

It's a Monday. What will you do with it?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

15 Weeks: Things I Want to Remember.

  • Not throwing up a single time all week. Is this what I used to feel like all the time?! Magic. 
  • Someone at work asked for my maternity leave dates, which one, made me so thankful that I have a job where I get time off, and two, made me so excited to get to spend six weeks just getting to know this little guy/gal. 
  • Starting to look at baby names. We've been flipping through a baby book and taking turns randomly picking out names, making fun of the outrageous names, and arguing over what a good name is. It's been so much fun. 
  • Reexamining my priorities. This whole thing has made me stop and realize what's actually important in life, and it's made me realize that my life is so good. Sure, there are things I want and things I want to do and places I want to go. Of course there are things I worry about. But I have a partner in all of this who I love more than life, and we've created an entire human (that is just so mind-blowing to think about!) who I know we will love so much. And if your life is filled with love, then it's a good, good life. 
  • This doesn't have anything to do with 15 weeks, but a little note on that picture: That's my best friend Catherine. She came to take pictures of me and Chris (and gatsby, duh) to put in a card to tell my parent. I was so nervous we were going to run into someone we knew, because no one knew about the baby, and we were walking around with chalkboards that said "baby jacobs due January!" Chris kept reassuring there was no way we would, but lo and behold, we ran into one of our best friends. Catherine, being the amazing friend that she is, literally snatched the chalkboards up and took off running down the street like it was nothing. I love her forever, and little is already lucky to have her in his/her life.
15 down, 25(ish) more to go. Little baby J, I can't wait to find out if you're a boy or a girl!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

5 Things You Should Say Goodbye to Immediately for a Happier Life.

We spend a lot of time wondering what we need more of in order to be happier, when sometimes, I think the better question is what do we need less of to be happier?



I've heard that healthy jealous is good, but really, when has this ever worked out? When you're jealous, you're entirely too focused on someone else--what they have, what they do, who they are--and not nearly focused enough on yourself and what you have and what you do and who you are. Cutting out jealousy leads to cutting out a lot of nasty stuff in life, so it's a great place to start.


Life is too short to be negative, plain and simple. The world is a beautiful place if you look for beauty, and it's a terrible place if you only look for the negative. This is one of the biggest choices you have in can be a positive person, or you can be a negative person. Personally, I like being around positive people more, don't you?


Right up there with jealousy, this just never leads anywhere good. When you choose to compare yourself to others, you are cheapening who you really are. You are never going to be exactly like someone else, just like no one else is ever going to be exactly like you. It's a waste of time and energy to spend time seeing how you compare to others, and it leads to being exhausted and bitter, two enemies of happiness.


I am a messy person. I know this about myself. No matter how much I love when things are clean and tidy, by nature, I am just a messy person. When my house is messy, it stresses me out. You know what leads to messiness? Clutter. You convince yourself you need it and then it takes over your house.

One of the easiest steps to being happy is this: If you don't use or need or love something, say goodbye to it. It's that simple.

The bad kind of tired. 

There are two kinds of tired. There's the kind you are when your day has been filled with fulfilling work or adventure or excitement, and you're tired because you spent your day, and then there's the kind of tired where you're overwhelmed and too much happened and the day just went by you. That's the bad kind of tired.

While it would be nice to fill every day with excitement and laughter and adventures, we do all have to work, I get it. But you can still say goodbye to the bad kind of tired by choosing to spend your day instead of letting it fly by you. If you have to work a job you don't love, don't let it exhaust you. Instead, choose to be the best you can be at it. There's a difference between simply checking things off your to-do list and choosing to be productive and effective. If you pour your heart into your day-to-day, chances are, you'll end the day feeling the good kind of tired.

What else do you recommend saying goodbye to for a happier life? 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What's Your Dream? And When is it Enough?

What is your dream? 

Really, what is it? If someone asked you to describe your dream life, what would you tell them?

I love talking about dreams. I love dreaming. I love saying to dream big and chase your dreams no matter what.

Lately, with so much transition happening, it's made me think more about this. And I'm wondering if maybe all the focus we put on chasing our dreams leads us to a place of feeling unfulfilled.  Does putting so much pressure on chasing the dream make us more apt to not feeling content when we should?

If you asked me what my dream was, I'd tell you it's to be an author who gets to write books for a living. I'd tell you I want to pay my rent with my words. That I want to get to write book after book and know that people want to read them. To me, that's the dream. 

But alas, that's not happening right now. My job has nothing to do with writing, but it pays my bills. And I still get to write--I have this blog, and of course, I'm always writing, still chasing that dream. Is that enough? For now, I think yes.

Here's the thing: I think it's possible to enjoy life and be happy exactly where you are while still chasing your dream. Does being happy where you are mean you're settling, or that you're giving up on what you want? No, it doesn't.

We're all where we're at in life. And we can--and should--chase our dreams. But don't let that lead you to a place of being ungrateful and restless. Celebrate the areas where you get to have your dream and your life intersect, and keep looking for those areas. But don't let the desire to chase your dream make you throw away the happiness that your life right now could bring you. Because chances are, it's a pretty good life.

So dream on, dreamers. But be happy today, here and now, too.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

14 Weeks: Things I Want to Remember.

I'm never going to be one to post weekly baby updates. I love reading the ones my friends post, but I'm just not going to write about how much weight I've gained and what my symptoms are and how big the baby is every week. It's just doesn't feel like me. That being said, I know there's so many little things I'm going to want to remember. So I thought I'd post weekly little snippets of things I don't want to forget.

This was right after I told Chris, right before we went to chick-fil-a. 

  • How excited my family was when I told them. 
  • Chris is being so sweet. Even though dinner and wine at a fancy restaurant isn't an option right now, this weekend included a picnic on the porch and it was just as great of a date. 
  • The fire alarms at our apartment went off in the middle of the night this week, and I felt responsible for another human for the first time in my life. While walking down seventeen flights of stairs, I realized that I'm the only one who can take care of this little babe right now. What a big responsibility.
  • Going to my second doctor's appointment and the doctor warning me not to worry if they couldn't find a heartbeat since it could take awhile at this stage, only for the room to immediately fill with the sound of my little's heartbeat. 
  • The doctor telling me about a blood test I needed to get and then casually slipping in that it would also show the baby's gender. We'll know within two weeks if this is a little guy or a little lady!
  • I finally am starting to have energy again. I made a grocery list, went grocery shopping, and pre-made SIX crockpot meals. Compared to the previous month and a half, that alone makes me feel like a champion. 
14 down, 26(ish) more to go. I can't wait to meet you, little. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Embrace the Adventure.

Thank you so much for all of your sweet words and congratulations on Monday's post. You guys are really just the best. It makes it so much better and more real to have so many people to celebrate this new step with!

Now, I'm a planner at heart. I like to know as many details as possible before new things happen. Neither one of those things meshes with life at the moment. I have so. many. questions. 

Like, how are we going to fit an entire extra human into our tiny shoebox of an apartment? Because we resigned the lease two days before we knew about little. 

What exactly will the next few years look like? No clue!

Where is Chris going to work? Not the slightest idea. 

Where are we going to live? Haha, such a funny question.

I've heard the expression "I know God is laughing at me!" And while I don't really like to think of God laughing at me, I can't help but think he's at least chuckling a little bit up there.

And the thing is, in this time of just total unknowing, I'm learning so much and nothing all at the same time.

I'm learning that it's okay to feel like you know nothing. It's okay to not know. 

I love planning. It would be really nice to be able to sit down with a planner and pencil in the answers to all of the questions I have, but not being able to do that doesn't stop life from happening.

It would be really nice to know what city we will live in next, but I don't even know what state will be home, and that doesn't mean we're not going to have a home that we love next summer.

Just because having a baby wasn't the plan and I'm not really sure how it's all going to work out doesn't mean that it's not going to be the most exciting, wonderful change.

Just because life is changing and happening without my permission or even knowledge doesn't mean life is any less good. It just means it's an adventure.

So I'm just over here learning that it's okay to not know. And that when you don't know, the best thing you can do is embrace the adventure.

Cheers to embracing the adventure. Because I have a feeling it's going to be better than I could have even imagined.

Monday, July 13, 2015

A (Tiny Little) Ginormous Plot Twist.

"No time soon!" 

That's been my go-to answer whenever anyone asks when I plan to start popping out babies. For some reason, once you're married, everyone feels like it's their personal right to know your plans for the future--specifically involving tiny little humans.

So I say "no time soon" because while we didn't have a plan for if and when we may want a baby, the plan was just no time soon. 

And then one day, on a Wednesday, I woke up and noticed my boobs. (Sorry, dad, and any other male family member that reads my blog out of loyalty.) As a lifelong member of the flat-chested society, when you wake up and notice your boobs, well, that's something different. And then I thought, hmm, it's been awhile since I bought tampons. (Again, so sorry.) We had plans to go to a dinner party that night where I knew wine was in my cards, so I thought, ehh better just take a test.

Now, I have a blood disorder that prevents me from being able to take normal birth control, so there have been months where I'm two days late and just know I'm for sure pregnant and I take a test and sit there and watch it in terror and just know it's going to be positive. And it never has been.

I took this one and was for sure it was going to be negative, but I was proud of myself for being a responsible adult and taking it just in case. I peed on a stick, set it on the counter, went and made myself a cup of coffee, forgot about the stick, started work, and then remembered it.

It was positive.

I fell down on the floor and threw up. Really, I was that shocked.

I drove to CVS and bought every single brand of pregnancy tests they had (seven) and took those.

All positive.

But I did what any responsible adult would do and drove to Target and bought every single brand that they had (four). Also all positive. I'm not even going to tell you how much money I spent on pregnancy tests.

Okay, fine. Ninety-eight dollars. I spend ninety-eight dollars on pregnancy tests. I know, I know.

So with eleven plus signs staring up at me and two hours before Chris got home, I did what any logical thinking adult would do.

I watched Netflix and ate entirely too much mac-and-cheese.

I'll blog all about how I told Christopher and all of that later, but the short story is he canceled his plans and took me to chick-fil-a instead, because he is the love of my life and knows that the appropriate response for any life-changing news is sweet tea and well-done fries.

So there you have it. One day, on a Wednesday, I woke up to my normal life, and then BAM, plot twist.

No, it was not planned. It wasn't expected. But hey, life is an adventure, and this just adds to it.

Little baby Jacobs, coming this January. We can't wait to welcome this tiny little person into our adventure.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Books I Read in June and Whether or Not You Should Read Them.

The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson

Plot: When Mary-Margaret Fischer met Jude Keller, the lighthouse keeper's son, she was studying at a convent school on a small island off Chesapeake Bay. Destined for a life as a religious sister, she nevertheless felt a pull toward Jude--gorgeous, rebellious, promiscuous Jude. But Jude, driven by demons no one really understood, disappeared into Baltimore's seamy red-light district. Mary-Margaret moved on with her life, preparing to serve God with her sisters as a teacher and artist.

Then Jude comes home--but now he's bitter, dissolute, and diseased. And Mary-Margaret receives a divine call that shakes her to the core, a call to give up her dreams for the troubled man who befriended her so long ago. For Jesus' sake, can she forsake the only life she ever wanted for a love that could literally cost her life?

Favorite quote: 

"We all want to be rescued and we'll look in the craziest of places for that rescuer, won't we? We all want to be found." 

My thoughts: This is a book about a nun who thinks she can see Jesus. If you would have told me that description, I wouldn't have ranked it as something I thought I would enjoy. But I devoured this book. It was so good, so beautiful, and such a good reminder that no one is ever too far gone for love and grace, and that sometimes what we've always thought we wanted isn't the best for our life. 

It's such a deep, funny, unique story with so many layers I want to tell you about, but I don't want to spoil anything. So I'll just say it's a book about a nun who thinks she can see Jesus, and you really, really need to read it. 

Should you read it?: YES.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Plot: Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

Favorite quote: 
“We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreparably broken.” 

My thoughts: Sometimes things are super mainstream and popular for a good reason. John Green books are some of those things. 

Some people end up not liking these books for the very reason that I love them. They read The Fault in Our Stars first and fall in love with it (because it's wonderful) and immediately after finishing that they buy another John Green book (a natural reaction), only they're disappointed because they were expecting a grand story of tragedy and heartbreak like in TFiOS. 

I love John Green's books because while they are all magical and very obviously written by him, they are all so different. All of his books are filled with tragedy and heartbreak; only they're different kinds. This one covers the tragedy of being someone who feels things deeply and the heartbreak of being alive. 

I loved this book, and much like after I read Paper Towns, I wanted to run around and live life and experience everything, because being alive is just so great. Any book that reminds you of that is one worth reading. 

Should you read it?: Yes. Immediately. 

Water from my Heart by Charles Martin

Plot: Charlie Finn had to grow up fast, living alone by age sixteen. Highly intelligent, he earned a life-changing scholarship to Harvard, where he learned how to survive and thrive on the outskirts of privileged society. That skill served him well in the cutthroat business world, as it does in more lucrative but dangerous ventures he now operates off the coast of Miami. Charlie tries to separate relationships from work. But when his choices produce devastating consequences, he sets out to right wrongs, traveling to Central America where he will meet those who have paid for his actions, including a woman and her young daughter. Will their fated encounter present Charlie with a way to seek the redemption he thought was impossible--and free his heart to love one woman as he never knew he could?

Favorite quote:
“This is love with legs.’ My father used to say that you can tell someone you love them until you’re blue in the face, but until they see that walked out, they have no idea what it means. Hence, ‘love with legs.’

My thoughts: This story has so many layers of different stories all intertwined and I don't want to spoil them for you, so I'll sum it up because I don't think the Goodreads description does the book justice. 

Charlie deals Cocaine (in the big leagues) with his best friend. Some things they do get his best friend's son in trouble. When Charlie goes to rescue him, he stumbles upon a group of people whose lives he has inadvertently ruined, and he sets out on trying to make things right. And then an incredibly beautiful story unfolds. 

Once again, Charles Martin blows me away. 

Should you read it?: Absolutely. 

The Good Girls by Sara Shepard

Plot: Mackenzie, Ava, Caitlin, Julie, and Parker have done some not-so-perfect things. Even though they all talked about killing rich bully Nolan Hotchkiss, they didn't actually go through with it. It's just a coincidence that Nolan died in exactly the way they planned . . . right? Except Nolan wasn't the only one they fantasized about killing. When someone else they named dies, the girls wonder if they're being framed. Or are they about to become the killer's next targets?

My thoughts: I shamefully watched Pretty Little Liars every week because at this point, I just have to know how it all ends. I started reading the books, because I'm always interested when a tv show is based on a book series, but then I realized the tv show and the books have very different plots, and that was just too confusing. 

So I read The Perfectionists, the first book in this series. It was just kind of ehhh. But since it's a mystery, I had to finish it, so I read the second book, which ended up being much better. 

It's a juvenile read with incredible plot-twists and an end that I really didn't see coming.

Should you read it?: Only if you've read the first one, or if you enjoy the Pretty Little Liars books. If not, I'd pass.

What have you read lately?