Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Fashion Page: Rothy's Review

Hey y'all! I recently bought a pair of Rothy's, and I'm so excited to tell you about them! These shoes are stylish, sustainable, and SO comfy! This review isn't sponsored and the opinions are all my own.


I've seen ads for Rothy's all over my social media feeds, and a lot of my friends swear they're the best shoes ever. They're also eco-friendly because they're made with recycled water bottles and sustainable materials. However, they're definitely on the pricey side, so I had been hesitant to commit to buying a pair. I browsed through the Rothy's site a few times, and saw a pair of flats in my favorite color (bright teal, of course)! Unfortunately, they didn't have my size available. I signed up to be notified if they ever got restocked even though I doubted it would happen, and I pretty much forgot about it. About a month later, I started working full time and studying for the bar. Studying for this huge exam in these crazy times plus struggling with the learning curve of a new job was rough, and I was in need of a little retail therapy. Since the high points of my days are usually taking my dog out for a walk, I figured I'd look into some new shoes. As luck would have it, I got an email saying the bright teal Rothy's I had my eyes on were back in stock! I quickly put in my order and waited for them to arrive.


These shoes shipped ridiculously fast, even for pre-coronavirus times. I've had them for about a month, and I broke down everything I think you should know about them:


Comfort
Since middle school, I've had exactly 2 pairs of flats that didn't rub my heels raw or give me blisters, so I'm always super skeptical about flats. When I tried these ones on they were SO COMFY! You'd never think that shoes made from plastic would be comfortable, but these felt like walking on a cloud! The insole they come with is super cushiony, and you can always replace it with a different insole if you like. Rothy's have about as much arch support as normal flats (maybe a little bit more due to the pillowy insole), but again, you can definitely swap out the insole for something more supportive.

Style
These shoes are so cute! I normally tend to buy shoes in neutral colors so I can wear them with more outfits, but I couldn't resist the bright teal option (the color was "Calypso" if you're wondering). Rothy's come in a variety of different colors and patterns, so you definitely have a good selection. There are also a bunch of different styles. I think the two most popular styles are the pointed-toe and rounded-toe flats. Personally, I've always preferred rounded-toe shoes, but a lot of people like the points. Either option is a great way to finish off an outfit. While I probably won't wear my bright teal Rothy's to court, I definitely think the neutral colors would fit right in at the office. I'm looking forward to when we can all (safely!) go out again so I can rock my Rothy's!

Durability
Since I bought these shoes, they have held up great! I tend to drag my feet when I walk, so my shoes tend to get scuffed up. Rothy's are knit shoes, so I was worried about them getting chewed up quickly. I've worn them 2-3 times a day since they arrived, and they still look brand new! PLUS they can go in the washer! Just remove the insoles, pop the shoes and insoles in the washing machine, and they come out clean! This was a huge perk for me because my flats tend to get smelly quickly. You do have to let them air dry, so make sure you don't wash them right before you plan on wearing them.

Price
I think price is the biggest reason people are hesitant to buy Rothy's. Since the rounded-toe flats are $125 per pair and the pointed-toe flats are $145 a pair, it's understandable to want to know you're getting something worth what you're paying for. I was super on-the-fence about buying a pair of these shoes entirely due to the price tag, but I think that after experiencing what they're like, they're worth the splurge. You can also save $20 by using a referral code!

Sizing
When I was doing my research on Rothy's, I found a lot of people saying to go a half-size to a full-size higher than your usual shoe size for the rounded-toe flats and a full size higher than normal for the pointed-toe flats. I'm usually a 7.5. I ordered my rounded-toe flats in an 8, and they fit perfectly. A few places say that the shoes should feel a bit loose at first and that they'll form to your feet over time. Mine had that loose feeling when I wore them without the insoles, but I haven't felt like they've gotten too tight when I'm walking around with the insoles in. If you have wider feet or like a looser feel, I'd recommend going up a full size. Personally, my feet are normal width and I prefer my shoes to be on the tighter side, so I feel like ordering my Rothy's half a size up was sufficient. I'll probably go a full size up if/ when I try the pointed-toe version.


Overall, I think Rothy's are incredible! They're cute, comfy, and they hold up well. The price is a bit high, but the fact that you can extend their life by putting them in the washer justifies splurging for them. If you want to try Rothy's yourself, check them out here. By following the link you'll get $20 off! Full disclosure, I'll get $20 back as well, so everyone wins! Let me know what you think about Rothy's in the comments!

Make today the best page yet!
Paige

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Best Paige In The Book Review: Something In The Water by Catherine Steadman

This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click the links and make a purchase
Something In The Water was the first book I read after my law school graduation. To be perfectly honest, graduation was a huge let down. My school pre-recorded videos of the speakers and degree conferrals, and then released each video at a set time. I had technology issues three times throughout the streamed ceremony, my grandparents couldn't come to our house to celebrate due to health risks, and my dad even took a call in the middle of the whole thing. I was incredibly disappointed and was in need of a good book to bury my nose in for a while. Fortunately, Something In The Water was the exact opposite of my graduation; it was engaging, compelling, and ended up being the best book I read through quarantine!

Erin's life could not be going better: her career as a filmmaker is about to take off with a new documentary about high-profile prisoners, she's madly in love with her rich and handsome fiancé, Mark, who is an investment banker, and they are about to get married and start their lives together. Despite a hiccup in Mark's career right before their nuptials, the couple still manages to have a beautiful wedding. While the newlyweds are on their honeymoon in Bora Bora, they decide to go scuba diving. They anticipated seeing fish, coral reefs, and even sharks, but a mysterious "something in the water" leads their lives down an unexpected path. If nobody knows their secret, nobody can get hurt, right? But what if somebody does know? How far will they go to protect themselves, and how far will they stray from the morals they thought they had?

"Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?" That is how this book starts, and it holds your attention in every sentence following. Catherine Steadman takes an otherwise-ordinary character and exposes her to a situation that tests her values and threatens her idyllic vision of what her life could have been. This book is so engaging and the plot twists and turns keep you page flipping until the very end. The whole time the reader gets to think about how they would handle such a situation and what kinds of implications could come from making different choices.

Something In The Water was hands-down the best book I read all through my time in quarantine! I stayed up late three nights in a row just to find out what was going to happen next, and even at 4 AM I wanted to stay up and keep reading! The characters were overall relatable, which I found refreshing after having a bit of a disconnect with the main character and plot in Where The Crawdads Sing (check out my review of that book here). While the story overall wasn't something most people will ever encounter, I felt like the events that made up the plot seemed overall believable. I would have liked a more complete ending, but I think that the loose ends seemed to give the book a haunting touch. I love a good mystery thriller, and this book was the perfect fit!

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5
Favorite Quotes:
  • "I’m not deliberately keeping secrets; I just want to wait until the time is right. It’s such big news, I don’t want it tarnished by worry. I want it to be special. Pure."
  • "It seems that the one drawback of having every opportunity in life is that you can never fulfill that level of expectation. You’ll always fall short of your own potential. Any achievement will be the minimum expected of you, considering the circumstances, and any failure will be purely due to character weakness."
  • "Why are bad boys always so attractive? I suppose, at the end of the day, if you’re not good-looking you don’t get away with being a bad boy. You just get called a thug."
  • "I might actually be the world’s most naïve criminal. Completely oblivious. I’m lucky I’m not dead yet."
  • "Mistakes come down to three things: (1) lack of time, (2) lack of initiative, (3) lack of care."


I cannot recommend this book enough! It was engaging from the first page, and I could not put it down until I was done! If you're interested in checking it out, you can buy it from Amazon here. Let me know what you think!

Make today the best page yet,
Paige

(All images and text reprinted with permission from Penguin Random House LLC. Something In The Water was published by Ballantine Books in 2019)

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

How to Prepare for Law School

Hey everyone! I'm in the heat of bar prep, so I apologize I haven't been posting as much. I wanted to talk about what kinds of things you can do the summer before starting law school to get yourself prepared for the fall. These tips are mostly geared towards 0Ls, but rising 2Ls and 3Ls may be able to find something useful as well!


This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click the links and make a purchase

1. Relax
This tip is probably what you'll hear the most, and for a good reason! Law school is super stressful, so take some time to enjoy whatever makes you happy! Let yourself sleep in, binge watch something on Netflix, take a bubble bath, and hangout with friends. Everyone will be brand new to the law school experience in the fall (no matter how prepared they may seem), so there's no need to worry you're falling behind if you can't name every tort from day 1. The summer after your 1L year will probably start with the journal write-on competition, fill itself with OCI and job applications, and all the while you'll be working an internship full-time. Your 2L summer you'll also be working full-time and trying to lock down a post-grad job. Use the time before your law school journey begins to get yourself into a good state of mental health so you're energized and ready in the fall.

2. Read for Fun
If you're already an avid reader, this tip probably merged with the previous one. However, I wanted to emphasize the importance of getting into a habit of reading. In undergrad, I read here and there, but I didn't make as much time for it as I did growing up, despite loving to read. Getting used to sitting down with a book and carving out a few hours to read is a great habit to prepare you for law school. While case books aren't always the most exciting things to read, you'll have to do it every night. Making reading a routine will be a major benefit once law school starts. If you're looking for some recommendations, check out my reviews on An American Marriage, Little Fires Everywhere, The Queen of Hearts, and Where The Crawdads Sing.

3. Get Into A Healthy Routine
Speaking of helpful routines, the summer before law school is a great time to start making healthy choices. There's a myth that it takes 21 days to form a habit, but research has actually shown that habit formation varies pretty widely between people, and it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit (here's the study if you're interested). The summer before law school gives you a pretty wide stretch of time to try to form your own new habits. Do you prefer a morning workout or an evening workout? What kinds of healthy lunches can you try? Do you prefer to write out your whole week in a planner or are you more inclined to write out a daily to-do list on a post-it note? I lived on campus all 4 years of undergrad and then went straight to law school. I had always just eaten in the dining hall, so getting used to making my own meals was something I knew I'd need to adapt to once I started law school. I learned how to cook a bunch of different foods, figured out proper portion sizes, and by the end of the summer I had a list of meal ideas for the year. I also got into the habit of doing yoga as a way to exercise and relax. Finally, forcing myself to wake up and go to sleep at set times also helped me get used to my law school schedule. Having a healthy routine in place can make your transition into law school a lot easier.

4. Finalize Living Arrangements
One major source of stress can be apartment hunting, especially if you're going to school out-of-state (or unable to tour apartments due to the pandemic). Then once you have a place to stay, there's the issues of insurance, getting the power set up, picking out a cable/ wifi package, and figuring out where the nearest stores are. Getting all of this handled before you move in will save a lot of headaches. When I moved in to my new apartment, nothing was ready, and I had to deal with all of it by myself since my roommates weren't moving in for a few days. Fortunately, I had a few weeks until school started, so by the time I needed to focus on orientation and classes, everything was under control. I also was able to do a few practice runs to see how long it would take to walk to the shuttle and get to school. Getting yourself settled in before school starts will allow you to focus on law school and spend time on what matters.

5. Clean Up Your Social Media
You've probably heard this since you started using social media, but it's worth mentioning. Anyone can see what you post on the internet, and that includes judges, attorneys, and future employers. Go through each of your social media accounts and posts to make sure your privacy settings are adjusted so your personal information isn't on display. None of your pubic posts, images, or profiles should have anything you wouldn't want a future judge, lawyer, or employer to see. Also consider that you'll be adding your future classmates on social media, and this may be their first impression of you. If you don't already have a LinkedIn profile, now is also a great time to set that up. Make sure to use a professional-looking profile picture since it's a professional networking site. Another good idea is to do a google search of your name and see what pops up. If there are links or images that you don't want on the internet, you can request that they be removed at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/removals. This may not be a big issue if you have a common last name, but if you're like me and have a distinctive one, the search results may be ALL about you. By clearing up your google results, you can ensure that future employers will get a more professional impression of you. 

6. Buy A Suit and Professional Attire
Now is a great time to buy a suit. During your orientation you'll likely have a day that you're expected to wear a suit for a professional headshot as well as your swearing in. You'll also want to have a suit on hand for interviews, networking, and oral arguments. Buying a suit ahead of time ensures you'll have a well-fitting and put-together outfit and won't have to hope that something off the rack is your size at the last minute. Your best bet is to get a suit in grey, navy, and/ or black. While I don't know much about men's suits, I'd recommend ladies get a suit jacket and the coordinating pants and skirt. By getting all 3 pieces from the same designer, you ensure that the fabric colors match. Having the option of a skirt or pants also helps to dress around the weather. Personally, I really like Calvin Klein suits because they're well-made, true to size, and have lots of size and color options. If you're not crazy about going out shopping yet, you can check out Amazon for options on blazers, pants, and skirts. Also make sure you have a few neutral-colored tops for under the blazer and professional-looking shoes. I'd also recommend a faux pearl earring and necklace set to complete your outfit.

7. Figure Out A Study System
The basic overview of a law school class is: read the assigned reading before class, go to class, discuss the cases and legal concepts the reading addresses, work through a few hypothetical situations with differing facts, repeat. Your goal is to maximize your retention of 1) your reading and 2) your class lecture. First, think about how you will be able to best understand and retain what you read. This could be a highlighter system, summarizing paragraphs or pages as you read them, writing out notes by hand, typing up case briefs, or any other system. Preparing a highlighter color code system or having designated class notebooks ahead of time will allow you to dive right in to your assignments when they come rather than worrying how to approach them. After you have a plan for reading, think about how you'll get the most out of class. Some people (like me!) can't keep up with taking hand-written notes, so typing your notes is essential. Other people swear by the pen and paper method. If you do plan on typing lecture notes, try out note-taking programs like OneNote or EverNote to see what works for you. I personally used OneNote, and it helped me to stay organized from class to class. By having your files set up before classes even start, you'll be ready to go from the very beginning! 

8. Read to Prepare
Okay, take this last point with a grain of salt. I'm going to state right now that you do not need to start studying before classes even start. You'll learn the law the way that your professors teach it to you, and you will figure out how to write exam answers without trying to master it before your first day. However, if you're like I was before I started law school and want to get a jump on your studies or to feel more confident going in, there are a handful of resources I recommend. Getting to Maybe was a book I read that I felt helped me understand how to approach legal analyses as well as how to structure my exam essays. Some of it WILL go over your head because it's designed to be read by students who have already experienced a semester of law school classes and their first round of exams, but it's digestible enough that it is definitely helpful. If you want to get into some substantive information, I would recommend the Short and Happy series. These books go over legal subjects you'll learn in your first year (such as civil procedure, torts, contracts, property, and criminal law) and get you thinking about how to apply the law to different cases. Figure out what classes you'll be taking your first semester and check out the corresponding book! If you really want to get started on learning, getting prepared will be a great use of your time!

Ultimately, the summer before law school is yours to do whatever you want before you delve into the legal world. Getting into a routine, preparing, or simply having fun are all great ways to spend your time. Feel free to reach out if you want advice about getting ready for law school or just to chat! What are some other suggestions for the summer before law school? Let me know in the comments!

Make today the best page yet,
Paige

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The Best Paige In The Book Review: Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click the links and make a purchase
Where The Crawdads Sing was the first book I read after finishing my last law school final EVER! After spending a week writing out exam essays and over-analyzing answers for multiple choice questions, I was so ready to curl up with a good book. I had seen so many people talk about how much they loved this book, so I was excited to get into it. While I think my expectations were set a bit high from all of the hype, I did enjoy reading this book.

Catherine Danielle Clark ("Kya") lives in her family's shack in the marshes of Barkley Cove, a small town along the North Carolina coast. In the early 1950's, when Kya is only 6 years old, her mother abandons the family, never to be seen again. Gradually, all of Kya's siblings abandon the shack too, leaving Kya with her abusive and alcoholic father. Kya's father teaches her to fish, and the two seem to get along, but after a few years he leaves too. Alone, Kya learns to fend for herself and finds solace in the beauty of the nature she grew up around. She becomes known as the "marsh girl" to the people in town who see her on occasion. The residents of Barkley Cove are not shy about their prejudices against Kya, causing her to avoid people as much as possible. However, as Kya grows up, she starts to long for human connection. Two boys from town take an interest in her untamed beauty, but Kya learns that love isn't ever simple. Flash forward to 1969- Chase Andrews is found dead. Fondly remembered by the residents of Barkley Cove as the star quarterback and every girl's dream guy in his youth, the town is in a frenzy to find out who killed Chase. Naturally, everyone wants to point fingers at the mysterious marsh girl. The simplicity of nature and the flaws in humanity are contrasted as the search for Chase's murderer endures. 

The writing in this book was really beautiful. Owens describes nature is such an ethereal and breathtaking way that the reader can picture exactly what the marsh and its surroundings are like. The murder investigation timeline also keeps readers on the edge on their seats trying to find out how it will end. The storylines between Kya growing up and the murder investigation are intertwined to highlight how the person we were when we grew up never quite leaves us. Themes about prejudice and bias are reflected in Kya's childhood and her adulthood as the storyline develops. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book. The first 2/3 of it were a bit slow, and while the scenery was beautifully described, it did seem to drag the storyline along. There were also some plot points that I didn't think were very believable. For a while I was confused how this book had gotten such rave reviews. Once the story picked up, however, I couldn't put it down. The law student in me loved the murder investigation, and I found the legal end of things to be pretty realistic. There was also a major twist at the end that I didn't see coming. Once the book picked up, I loved reading it to the end.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Favorite Quotes:
  • “Don’t go thinking poetry’s just for sissies. There’s mushy love poems, for sure, but there’s also funny ones, lots about nature, war even. Whole point of it—they make ya feel something.”
  • "Why should the injured, the still bleeding, bear the onus of forgiveness?"
  • "Let’s face it, a lot of times love doesn’t work out. Yet even when it fails, it connects you to others and, in the end, that is all you have, the connections."
  • "A lesser male needs to shout to be noticed."
  • “That’s what nobody understands about me.” She raised her voice, “I never hated people. They hated me. They laughed at me. They left me. They harassed me. They attacked me. Well, it’s true; I learned to live without them. Without you. Without Ma! Or anybody!”
  • "it was enough to be part of this natural sequence as sure as the tides. She was bonded to her planet and its life in a way few people are. Rooted solid in this earth. Born of this mother."

I would definitely recommend this book. The writing is beautiful and the story combines coming-of-age with a page-turning murder mystery. If you haven't already read this wildly popular book, you can buy it from Amazon here. Let me know what you think!

Make today the best page yet!
Paige

(All images and text reprinted with permission from Penguin Random House LLC. Where The Crawdads Sing was published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in 2018)

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

10 Graduation Gift Ideas for Class of 2020 Grads

Right around this time of the year, the class of 2020 would have been celebrating graduations as they move on to their next steps. However, due to COVID-19, we've all been forced to adapt to a new way of life. For the class of 2020, this meant missing senior year festivities, having to say goodbye to classmates over social media, postponed celebrations with close friends and family, and virtual graduations. Having to miss out on these big moments is hard, so it's important to remember our graduates in this difficult time and to celebrate their accomplishments. If you're stumped on graduation gift ideas, I rounded up 10 great gift ideas for grads at varying price points that range from fun to professional.

This post contains affiliate links, meaning , at no extra cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click the links and make a purchase

1. Gift Cards
Gift cards are always a great gift idea. You may not know exactly what your grad wants or needs, so this takes out the guess work. Amazon is a great company to send a gift card from since there are so many options. College textbooks can be bought at a (somewhat) cheaper price, there's a great selection of school or office supplies, and there are items that your grad could buy just for personal enjoyment. I also love that you can shop through Amazon Smile where part of your payment goes to a charity of your choice. You could also get your grad a gift card to Starbucks, Panera, their favorite shop, or to a local small business. Most gift cards can be sent over email so there's no worries about coming in contact with other people. Your grad will appreciate being able to treat themselves to something nice!

2. Amazon Prime Membership
Whether your grad is headed to college or moving into a new post-grad apartment, odds are that they'll need to buy a few things. An Amazon Prime Membership will give them expedited delivery, discounts on Amazon products, access to free Kindle books, Amazon Prime Video, and Amazon music, and other great perks. An Amazon Prime Membership can help your grad long after they receive their diploma.

3. Headphones
Studying in noisy places can be tough. Dorms are usually bursting with activity, people working on group projects in libraries can make focusing hard, and sometimes you just want to listen to your own music. Headphones are a great graduation gift for your college-bound senior, future graduate students, or budding professionals. Airpods are a popular choice because they're small, easy to pop into a bag, and can charge in their case. They're also conspicuous enough to listen to music while you work and have built-in microphones if you need to make a call. Another great option are Over-Ear Headphones (the ones pictured come in black, blue, teal, purple, red, and white). The sound quality on these are great, and they also come with noise canceling features if you just want a quieter environment without playing music. Bose is also claimed to be the authority on headphones if you want to splurge on a really nice set.

4. Books for Pleasure Reading
When everyone is cooped up inside, it can be fun to escape into a literary world for a while. Pleasure reading books are also a nice break from reading dry textbooks. Find out your grad's favorite genre and stock them up on a few bestsellers! I just finished Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman and cannot recommend it enough! Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng is also a great book and has a recently-released Hulu series adaptation (check out my review here). Your book-loving grad will be so excited to get into a good book as they enter their next chapter of life!

5. Streaming Service Subscriptions
In between all the studying your future college student will be doing, they'll also need some time to relax. A favorite college activity has always been watching Netflix in bed. Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video are also great options to keep your grad entertained.

6. Keychains
  
Keychains are a cute gift to recognize your grad's accomplishment that they can take with them wherever they go. They're a great way to personalize a set of keys and jazz them up a bit. I have a couple that I like to keep on my own keys that always make me smile. They can also be added to backpack zippers, hung on cork boards, added to bookmarks, or kept in a jewelry box as a reminder of an accomplishment. Keychains are also pretty inexpensive, have so many different designs, and won't break the bank even if you get them customized.


7. Mugs, Tumblers, and Glasses
  
Creative drinkware is always a fun idea! There are so many different options that can be customized to something your grad would love! Most people drink coffee, water, wine, or something else, so mugs, tumblers, and glasses will definitely get a lot of use.

8. Picture Frames
This one is my personal favorite. Pictures let us look back on happy times in our lives. Being robbed so many fun end-of-the-year memories that your grad was no doubt looking forward to is tough. Picture frames can be a way to remember the good parts of their final year in school that made them smile. They also add a personal touch to dorms and apartments.

9: Padfolios
A great gift for emerging professionals is a padfolio. Before law school, I had never used one of these, but once I started using it, I loved it! They can hold papers, business cards, and other small items, and they have a sleeve for a legal pad and a loop to keep a pen in. Padfolios are an excellent item to bring along to interviews to hold extra resumes, keep business cards, and jot down notes. They're also super useful during internships and look much more professional than just a pad of paper and a pen clipped to it.

10. Work Bags

As your grad enters the working world, they'll need a sturdy bag that can hold a laptop, files, a wallet, keys, and any number of other things. It's best to go with a neutral colored bag that can stand on its own and will be able to hold a fair amount. My parents bought me the Tory Burch Robinson Tote in the picture on the left as a college graduation gift, and it survived all through law school and is still in perfect condition. This Laptop Bag (center) and the  Kate Spade New York Women's Margaux Large Tote (right) are also great options. Having a professional-looking work bag will send your grad off to the working world confident and put together.

Do you have other suggestions for great graduation gifts? Let me know in the comments!

Make today the best page yet,
Paige

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Best Paige In The Book Review: The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you click the links and make a purchase
When I looked up An American Marriage by Tayari Jones on Amazon, The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin was listed as a book that readers also read. Since I loved An American Marriage so much (read my review here), I figured The Queen of Hearts would be a good one to check out as well. It seemed like a lighter read after such a heavy topic in An American Marriage, so I dove right in. Overall, it was a good read that didn't take too long to get through.

This book focuses on the friendship between Emma and Zadie, both of whom are doctors, and a secret from their past that threatens to upend their friendship and possibly their medical careers. Zadie works as a pediatric cardiologist, and Emma is a trauma surgeon. They met at a summer camp for science in their youth and became fast friends. Emma and Zadie went to medical school together where they expanded their friend group and started relationships while working to become doctors. During their third year of medical school, Zadie falls for chief resident Nick Xenokostas, and they start seeing each other. The charming and charismatic Nick is only more attractive because Zadie's relationship with him has to be kept secret. However, tragedy from that year causes an unexpected end to the relationship. Zadie and Emma have since moved on from that year in medical school and settled down in Charlotte, North Carolina where their lives revolve around medical careers, their friendship, their husbands, and their children. The friends are happy with where they are in life- that is, until Nick reappears and takes a job working alongside Emma during a plight in her career. Nick's reappearance causes the friends to re-examine what really happened during their third year of medical school, threatens to unearth old secrets, and puts Emma and Zadie's friendship in jeopardy. Will the secrets come out and ruin an age-old friendship?

This book was very well thought-out. If you're a fan of Grey's Anatomy, then this is definitely something you'll enjoy. Martin tells the story from the perspectives of both Zadie and Emma, and she also jumps around in time to tell her characters' stories as the past weaves itself into the present. Martin, who is a doctor herself, utilizes her education and experience to create a very believable environment for her characters and their lives.  There was a lot of medical terminology that I was thankful Martin took the time to spell out for those of us who try to avoid hospitals at all costs. The writing came off as intellectual and at times almost pretentious. Overall, I felt this added to the credibility of Martin's characters as doctors.

I enjoyed reading this book. I wanted something that was more fictional and removed from my problems or the problems of the world, and this book hit the mark. Reading about Zadie's relationship with Nick made me reminisce on my own choices that maybe weren't the best, but felt so exhilarating in the moment that I didn't care. The friendship between Zadie and Emma was also heartwarming. Watching all the emotions the characters experienced play out proved to be an entertaining read.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Favorite Quotes:
  • "With him, I was a more vivid version of myself."
  • "All you need to do to believe anything is surround yourself with a herd of like-minded reinforcers, and there’s no need for objective reality at all."
  • "How often in life did you meet someone whose presence caused you to blaze into an immediate erotic meltdown every single time you saw them? Every glance between us was charged; every utterance, every physical contact, no matter how slight, seemed to rearrange the very molecules of the air around us into incandescent conductors of longing. No wonder people used heat metaphors to describe passion."
  • "This feeling was why people got addicted to heroin, why people risked everything for affairs, why people jumped from airplanes . . . this rush of being as completely alive as it is possible to be, a honey-thick ecstasy coursing through your veins."
  • "It left me so vulnerable, this perception of myself as an impostor. I was brittle and rude sometimes, trying to overcome the ache of pretending."
  • "I was older; my life had irrevocably changed. My younger self had thrived on intensity, but now I knew the bottomless, elementary pull of love for my husband and children. I should no longer want to be consumed by the sun when I could bask safely in the glow of the moon."
  • "The way he looked at me was unsettling: a rapacious gaze, too familiar, still somehow electrifying after the passage of years."
  • “Your past is set, but your future is wide open,”

I recommend this book. The plot is engaging and plays out like a medical drama. I was eagerly page turning until the end. You can get this book here on Amazon. Let me know what you think!

Make today the best page yet,
Paige

(All images and text reprinted with permission from Penguin Random House LLC)

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting Law School

The past few months in COVID-19 lockdown have definitely made me nostalgic. In trying not to dwell on all the things I'd be missing out on, I tried to look back on the happier times and the lessons I've learned over the past three years. Law school is a long and difficult experience, and everyone is bound to make mistakes that they wish they could have avoided. Here are some of the things I wish I had known about:



1. Get Involved with MEANINGFUL Pro Bono Work
My pro bono work was probably the most inspiring part of my law school journey. Most of my classmates who weren't on the BigLaw train were interested in public interest positions. I admittedly wasn't sure which camp I resided in when I started law school. My first semester I kept my involvements to a minimum, and balked at the idea of getting involved with pro bono work that would take away from my studies. After accepting an unpaid public interest summer internship, I decided to work towards getting enough pro bono hours to qualify for a summer grant. The organization I chose to work with ended up being a glorified study hall: maybe 3 clients came in the entire semester, everyone just studied in silence while they were there, and I got nothing out of it. The next year, I talked with my school's public interest office about pro bono work, and they pointed me to a different organization. I loved the work I was doing, I felt like I was actually making a difference, and I definitely improved my skills. I continued to work with this organization through my 3L year, and I'm actually still helping after graduation. One of the clients whose case I did almost all of the work on got a HUGE compensation package, and I about cried when I heard the news (and I do NOT cry in public)! I've gotten a few recognitions for my pro bono work, and I attribute those to the fact that I am so in love with the work that I've gotten to do. My confidence in myself and my abilities has absolutely soared from my pro bono work, and I cannot encourage law students enough to get involved with pro bono work that inspires you. There are so many different kinds of pro bono opportunities. Your school will likely have a list of clinics and organizations it sponsors, and your local legal aid office likely has some opportunities for students as well! Not only does this look good on a resume because it shows that you care about helping others, but you get to do actual legal work that will make you a better employee. You can also make a lot of connections that could lead to opportunities down the road. Find something that you are truly passionate about, and see how you can help!

2. Choose Your Roommates Wisely
While roommates can be helpful financially, I personally would recommend getting your own apartment if possible. Living in close quarters with people who have different ideas of how to share space can be tricky. Add in the stress of law school, and it can get pretty explosive. If you're going to opt for roommates, try to get on the same level (and stay on the same level) for expectations on cleaning, guests, noise levels, and communal spaces. It's also helpful to meet the people you're planning to live with and get to know each other before deciding to sign a lease.

3. Take Classes You're Interested In
There are so many classes in law school to pick from. Your first year classes will likely be mostly selected for you, but in your second and third years you have much more freedom. There will probably be a few required courses you'll have to take outside of your first year in order to graduate. I would recommend taking these as soon as you can. Scheduling courses is always stressful, and knowing you met your graduation requirements early on can alleviate some of that stress. If there are scheduling conflicts, electives are easier to let go of than classes that you have to have. I waited until my last semester for one of my required courses, and it made scheduling a pain. There was a class I really wanted to take but couldn't since it would have conflicted with the required course. Learn from my mistake. Once you have taken the classes you have to take, think about what kind of law you want to practice. If you want to go into litigation, see if there are any classes for trial advocacy. Future transactional attorneys may be interested in a contract drafting course. While you should try to take bar-tested courses to prepare you to study for the bar, you'll still have to re-learn the materials during bar prep. Don't completely ignore bar classes, but don't focus solely on them. You'll do so much better in a course you actually have interest in rather than something you're just taking to fill time or because you "have to" for the bar. Another point on classes, try to get some experiential learning classes into your schedule. You'll learn actual lawyering skills that will give you a taste of what actually working in the profession is like, and they're great resume boosters! I took a pretrial motions practicum course and the adjunct that taught the class actually helped me land my externship! Interviewers have also been much more interested in my experiential classes than the doctrinal ones. Try to fit in classes that will mimic what you'll be doing as an attorney to get experience that will help you down the line.

4. Focus Your Interests
I go back and forth on this, but overall I think it would have been helpful had I done it. I did internships in two different states (neither of which I'm going to be practicing in) and in different fields of law. My externships and pro bono work are also a bit mismatched. While I 100% believe it's important to explore differnt areas of law, being able to have a narrative of clear interest in your resume is also helpful. My fiancé is interested in prosecution, and his resume is filled with criminal law internships, coursework, and volunteer work. He's had a much easier time applying for jobs than I have. On the other hand, I feel like I'm able to appreciate a wider variety of practices and have an understanding of a few different types of law. While this gives me plenty to talk about in interviews, having a clear picture of what location I want to be in and what area of law I want to practice would probably make me a better candidate in the eyes of employers.

5. Make Time For Fun
I was so focused on doing well my first year that I didn't do much else than study, study, study. Looking back, I think if I gave myself some time off it would have made me relax more and have higher quality study sessions. My friends all joke that they barely saw me outside of class that first year. There were a lot of times I regretted not having a bit more fun once in a while that first year. Studying is super important, but making friends and memories is also important. My friends are what really helped me through law school, and I would have had such a miserable experience if I kept myself locked at my desk the entire time. I also let my hobbies slip, and I became a much happier person once I picked them back up. Crocheting while binge-watching Netflix was always a great way to have something to do when I didn't feel like going out, and reading was a great escape when I didn't want to think about classes for a while. Doing the things outside of law that make you smile can improve your time in law school and make it so much more enjoyable.

6. Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help
I'll be the first to admit I am not the greatest at this one. I've always had the mindset of "don't let anything get in your way" and "you have to fight for what you want." Admitting that I need help has never been something that I liked to do. Walking into a professor's office and saying "I really don't understand this, can you please help?" seemed like a fool's errand. I didn't understand the value of studying hypothetical situations and discussing them with professors. However, if you don't understand something, chances are that other people don't either. I was used to being the smartest person in the room, but in law school, so is everyone else. I felt dumb if I didn't understand something right away. Study groups seemed like a way for some people to show off how smart they were while others just internally cowered in fear. Well, that changed. I was talking with a friend about a problem we went over in class, and it turns out we were both confused. So we went to talk to another group of people- also confused. The law can be as clear as mud sometimes. Going to talk to your professors about class materials is a way to help you understand the concepts and maybe feel a bit better about where you stand. Law school also comes with a mountain of stress, anxiety, and a myriad of other mental health issues. Don't be afraid to talk to a counselor if you're feeling any of these things. Law school is tough, and needing help is a normal thing.

As my time in law school comes to an end, I want to wish anyone still there (or going there soon), the best of luck! I believe in you, and I'm always here to talk! To any law school veterans, what do you wish you knew before starting law school?

Make today the best page yet,
Paige