What to Read Next
5th Wave by Rick Yancy
“After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one. Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from them. She runs from the beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see, and who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother — or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, and between life and death. To give up or to get up.”
If you’re looking for a fun read with romance and adventure this is the book for you. Rick Yancy’s use of switching perspectives allows readers to connect and understand all the major characters. — Ally S. & Samantha R.
The Selection by Kiera Cass
“For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself — and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.”
Legend by Marie Lu
“What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem. From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths — until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.”
Another dystopian science-fiction adventuring featuring skilled kids on the run. Though the bad guys are a little too on the nose and the good triumphs quite quickly, the intellectual complexity mesmerizes the reader. It makes up in emotional sonority and the narrative drive. It is a thrilling and easy read for tweens, young adults, and beyond. I especially like how the story doesn’t revolve around the romance between the two characters, and moves through the plot.
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
“I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero. But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado — taking you with it — you have no choice but to go along, you know? Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a road of yellow brick — but even that’s crumbling…”
It’s not just a remaking of “The Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum but a continuation where roles of wicked and good are switched to provide a new outlook on a classic story. Danielle Paige brings fantastic, fresh perspective to this classic story, but the second half of the book slows down tremendously in comparison to the first half. The last 30 pages are totally worth making it through though.
Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson
“Meet Kate Malone — straight A science and math geek, minister’s daughter, ace long-distance runner, new girlfriend unwilling family caretaker, and emotional avoidance champion. Kate manages her life by organizing it, as logically as the periodic table. She can handle it all — or so she thinks. Then, things happen like a string of chemical reactions: first, the Malones’ neighbors get burned out of their own home and move in. Kate has to share her room with her nemesis, Teri Litch, and Teri’s little brother. The days are ticking by and she’s still waiting to hear from the only college where she’s applied: MIT. Kate feels that her life is spinning out of control — and then, something occurs that truly blows it all apart.”
“Catalyst is my favorite book, it knows how to capture your emotions and I cry every time I read it. Definitely a book everyone should read at least once.” — Anonymous
What to Listen to Next
Flash Junk Mind by Milky Chance
Feels very bohemian and peaceful. If you feel emotional and just want to listen to a song that will make your heart slow down, this is the song. You feel like you’re out in nature with your favorite people, and it’s just that perfect moment.
Things We Lost In The Fire by Bastille
In the famous Bastille song, it is a catchy melodious tune that starts off slow. The vocals are simply amazing and it’s soulful, adding another take to the song. It first starts off slow and but then immediately picks up. Bastille never fails to create amazing songs, as it’s definitely one of my favorites. The pure energy emitting from within the vocals is enchanting.
My Type by Saint Motel
It’s a very fun song for a fancy party. I love how it just starts off really upbeat and keeps that rhythm going. Definitely a good song for when you are in good spirits!
Death of a Bachelor by Panic! At The Disco
Brings an EDM side to what is usually alternative and it is really a song you can shout and scream along to. — Sophie D.
No Role Modelz by J. Cole*
When it starts playing, I lose all memory of what is happening around me, and just have a moment of pure happiness. It’s so cleansing and cathartic and by the end, I have a sense of peace. Sounds a bit odd considering it is a very intense song, but it makes my day. — Meghna G.
What to Watch Next
Dead Pool (R)
“Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a former Special Forces operative who now works as a mercenary. His world comes crashing down when evil scientist Ajax (Ed Skrein) tortures, disfigures and transforms him into Deadpool. The rogue experiment leaves Deadpool with accelerated healing powers and a twisted sense of humor. With help from mutant allies Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), Deadpool uses his new skills to hunt down the man who nearly destroyed his life.”
It’s an absolutely amazing movie because it’s so ridiculously inappropriate. It’s very refreshing to see a movie that isn’t a PG 13 marvel movie that has minimal bloodshed and swearing. — Anonymous
The Office (U.S.)
“Inefficiency runs amok in this deft remake of Ricky Gervais’ classic BBC mockumentary that’s proven to be a stand-alone hit from its British predecessor, using only the framework of the previous series and adding storylines that are more reflective of American office culture. And though some viewers unfamiliar with the original series’ tone might find it difficult to adapt to The Office’s painfully intentional awkwardness, for mature audiences, it’s well worth the investment.” Kari Coop, Common Sense Media.
The Office is a show you can always fall back on. It’s one of those shows that no matter how many times you watch it, it feels as if you are watching it for the first time. Ah, I love this show so much. Way better than the British version. Jim and Pam are goals af. — Anonymous
Star Wars: The Force Amakens (PG 13)
“Thirty years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, the galaxy faces a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order. When a defector named Finn crash-lands on a desert planet, he meets Rey (Daisy Ridley), a tough scavenger whose droid contains a top-secret map. Together, the young duo joins forces with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) to make sure the Resistance receives the intelligence concerning the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the last of the Jedi Knights.” Weston Taylor, Syracuse Uni (University Union)
The 7th episode incorporates the latest installment of Star Wars with the spirit of Steven Spielberg in this awestruck, warmhearted, and good-humored action spectacle. Although the first half was slightly confusing, in the end it left me wanting more.
Flash: “After witnessing his mother’s murder, and his father wrongly accused, Barry Allen is taken in by Detective West and his family. Becoming a forensic scientist, Allen tries to uncover the truth about his mother’s murder, which leads him to Harrison Wells’ particle accelerator. When the accelerator causes an explosion, Allen is struck by lightning, and enters a coma. When he wakes up, he learns he has the ability to move at superhuman speeds, though he is not the only meta-human created in the wake of the explosion.”
Episodes 1–3 where quite cheesy, but it began to pick up quickly. The cast is awesome and they work so well together, making it a more enjoyable view. The Flash/Arrow crossovers are even better, as Oliver and Barry work together to track criminals.
Arrow: “…A thrilling, suspenseful series centering on a modern-day superhero who could likely hold his own in a duel with the more infamous cloaked vigilante of Gotham City fame. As superheroes go, Arrow ranks high on appeal thanks to a secretive double life, a genuine desire to oust the bad guys, and a heartwarming affection for the people he cherishes most. Not being hard on the eyes is a bonus, too, as is the fact that his “superpower” is a learned (and thus achievable) skill rather than a supernatural gift (like flying), but it’s the subtleties of his personality and his compassion for humanity that are his greatest attributes. Even so, Arrow/Oliver isn’t a faultless hero, and his methods raise some interesting, relevant issues…” Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
I highly recommend watching the first season of arrow first, as there are episodes where both shows crossover. The first crossover in season 2 episode 8 of Arrow. From then on, watch the Flash!
The Intern (PG 13)
“Starting a new job can be a difficult challenge, especially if you’re already retired. Looking to get back into the game, 70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) seizes the opportunity to become a senior intern at an online fashion site. Ben soon becomes popular with his younger co-workers, including Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway), the boss and founder of the company. Whittaker’s charm, wisdom and sense of humor help him develop a special bond and growing friendship with Jules.”
This Intern is let down by a weak storyline but De Niro and Hathaway’s strong performances turn it into a believable, heartwarming story that shows that friendship has no numbers. — Sebastian G.