Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson: A Review

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had heard so many people talking about how good this book was, and I thought it would be perfect to read in October. It’s a double murder mystery with many twists and turns.
Stevie loves a good murder mystery. It’s an obsession, really. And when she has an opportunity her junior year to attend a ritzy school with free tuition that also had an unsolved murder, she took it. But when there is a death on campus, her detective skills have to work overtime, to the detriment of her relationships and schoolwork.
The plot is pretty fast-paced. Most of the chapters include both the present day story and snippets from the original murder mystery from the 1930s.
Stevie’s character transformation was really well done. She arrives at the school with anxiety and a loner mindset but slowly learns to trust, have that trust broken, and trust again. The ending revealed a surprise that might test that trust yet again. I’m looking forward to learning more in the next book.
There is profanity in the book. It shows up in the later chapters so it took me by surprise. As far as sexual content, there is a makeout scene, kissing, and some discussion of sex but no graphic sex scenes. And the violence in the book is not graphic at all. The deaths are not discussed at length, though they do describe the position the body is present day is found in.
Overall, I thought it was a good mystery, not too scary and perfect for this month. The book ends in a major cliffhanger, so I’m definitely anticipating the next book in January!

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Sustaining: Thankful for God

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.  Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. Psalms 36:5-6
Six years ago, Michael and I went to Paris, France for our wedding anniversary.  I remember the first full day, we got on the metro to go to the Eiffel Tower.  We entered a tunnel during the trip into the heart of the city.  As we left the tunnel, the Tower came into view.  We were in a train car with other Americans, and there was an audible gasp as we all looked at it. We left the metro and walked to the tower.  We stood under it and looked up.  The sheer size of it left me speechless and overwhelmed.  I’ve had similar experiences underneath the Arizona sky at night, how the entire sky seems massive, stretching from one end of the earth to the other.  Also, looking out over the ocean on a cruise ship, how tiny the boat feels (which isn’t tiny in the least) compared to the unending water around us. This verse reminds me just how small I am compared to the love, faithfulness, righteousness, and justice of God.  It is the tall tower, the evening sky, the expansive ocean.  It’s overwhelming and awe-inspiring.  I am so thankful we serve a God like our God.  

Continuing the Conversation

I want to continue sharing other people’s stories or articles from around the internet, so here are three new posts to share.

Why Michelle Obama’s revelation that she had a miscarriage and did IVF matters

There were a lot of articles about this particular story, but it encourages me that so many sites found this important.  In Michelle Obama’s recently released memoir (November 13, 2018), Becoming, she talks about her own difficulty in getting pregnant, having a miscarriage and using IVF.  Needless to say, I will be picking up this book as soon as I can!

#WorthTheWait Series

Los Angeles photographer, Amanda Naor, after her own journey with infertility, offers a free photo session to one couple who have recently had their child after struggling with infertility each month.  She shares these stories in beautiful photographs.

Recovering After a Miscarriage

Psychology Today posted an article about the many healthy things one can do after a miscarriage.  The list touches on a lot of things but also with the caveat that not everyone will follow the same exact path.  For example, talking to others or not talking to others as two options, but also stresses the importance of being mindful about depression and taking care of yourself. If you have never experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, I can guarantee there is someone in your life who has.  While the above stories may not be the same experiences for everyone, they can definitely open that window to more understanding and empathy for what everyone goes through.  And for those of you who are in the midst of these unknowns or losses, you are not alone.  May these words uplift and encourage you today. Do you have any posts or articles that have touched you or compelled you to share?

What I’ve Been Up To Lately

I mentioned in my Anticipating November blog that I’ve been working on a few projects.  Mainly, it’s been a bunch of purging, but I’ve also been updating a few rooms.  One of those rooms is our library/my office.  Just last year, we turned my office into a library, but I took it a step further this month and now it’s more library than an office.

Before

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After

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All of the new furniture is from IKEA.  The chair is Ecktorp and the bookshelves are Billy. I love curling up in that chair and reading a book.  And, there is room to grow and room for some of Sam’s toys (because we spend a lot of time in here). The puzzle that I did a month or two ago is now framed and above the chair.  I still have a few things to put on the wall, but I’m really happy with the way it all turned out!

Reading People by Anne Bogel: A Review

719ol8wcd8lReading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a big personality assessment nerd, so when I found out that one of my favorite podcasters wrote about book about personality assessments, I had to read it. Anne Bogel takes us through her own journey of eight different personality classifications. It was really interesting because I hadn’t heard of some of these tests (which I will definitely remedy in the near future).
She doesn’t just talk about her own outcome with each of the assessments but also gives a brief overview of the other types in each assessment. She also gives suggestions, whether the free tests you find online will give you an accurate assessment or if you will need to go on a more professional route. She also suggests books that can be helpful for a more in-depth look into your particular type.
I really enjoyed the book, overall. It was like sitting down over coffee with a friend, discussing personalities. It’s not by any means an exhaustive look into personality, but it is a fun jumping off point for several different ways you can look into yourself. Also, I really liked what she said about why we should look into these different perspectives of personality. “When I understand myself, I can get out of my own way.”