Books That Changed My Life

By Chyenne Scates

I have read many books in my life, from Skippy John Jones to The Hunger Games (five times). Throughout my life at MCHS, I have read some life changing stories and talked about them with both teachers and students alike. Here are some of those stories:

Identical

For this one, it is different. Not just Identical, but all of Ellen Hopkins’ books are amazing. She talks about real-life and current struggles, mostly facing our young adult nation. Identical, specifically, is about a girl and her twin sister and how they are polar opposites. Now, I have a twin, but you can have siblings younger or older than you and still be touched by these girls’ struggles. 

Brave New World

Now you will likely read this one your junior year, so I will not talk about its contents, exactly. I will tell you that it is, in it’s own way, frightening. It is futuristic, but in a way, it still hits home. In this book, you will learn just how scary the world could and may just be already. Brittaney Mann, a senior, says that Brave New World helped her, “Reflect more on our society and how we mimic some of the world in the book.”

The Great Gatsby

You will also read this as a junior. It is set in the 1920s and all about love and how it can have its ups and downs. While reading it, some of you may see yourselves in it, and it may just change how you see things. It definitely is a good one to read as a teenager who is still learning the ropes of the romantic world. Sierra Wilson, an MCHS honors graduate, says that The Great Gatsby teaches you that, “Money can not buy you love, friends, or happiness.” and, “Physical beauty is not the best trait about someone.” She tells us, “Being rich with money does not mean your life is rich.”

This Raging Light

This book was on the gateway list in 2017, but I was attracted to it before this year. It is amazing and about a high school girl who tries living on her own with her younger sibling, without being caught. I am the oldest, so I feel a connection with trying to keep my younger siblings safe, and others may feel this way as well.

All The Bright Places

This is the only one that has touched me without feeling like it was personal. It is about a straight “A” high school girl and a delinquent boy and their adventure through something a little like friendship. It just shows that people do not have to stick with their cliques for relationships.

Best Poetry Books To Read While In High School

By Cylee Drake

If you are looking for a light read or a book you can open to any page, poetry is the thing for you. Now, I am not talking about Shakespeare and Poe, not even Dickinson and Plath. I am talking poets who started out just like us. Some are just finishing college, others are so mysterious that no one knows anything about them, but what they all have in common is their passion for poetry. The following are some of the best poetry books to read while in high school.

No Matter The Wreckage by Sarah Kay

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This poetry novel by Sarah Kay is a collection of her writings from over a decade of her young adult life. She writes about family, love, and self-discovery. Kay is shares the hardships as well as the blessings she encountered in her life.  

Helium by Rudy Francisco

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Helium by Rudy Francisco takes a male perspective on relationships, love, and life. Francisco uses his writings to talk about his observations throughout life and how those observations shaped his view of the world. He touches on topics revolving around mental health, gender, and race.

Depression and Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim

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Sabrina Benaim’s novel Depression and Other Magic Tricks brings to light real life struggles that many face daily. She carries on a conversation of mental health and family. Benaim helps to bring a new viewpoint on the fight between mental health and stability.

New American Best Friend by Olivia Gatwood

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Olivia Gatwood tells the stories of her past with great craft in her novel New American Best Friend. She uses her ability of combining storytelling and poetry to address young adulthood and growing up in America as well as moving to a new country at a young age.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

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Rupi Kaur’s first poetry novel is a beautiful collection of her poetry that touches on problems she has faced based on her gender, race, and ethnicity. This novel is divided into four chapters, the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing, where she writes about violence, loss, love, family, and friends.

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

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The sequel to Milk and Honey, Rupi Kaur’s second novel, The Sun and Her Flowers is just as good as her first novel. It covers raw emotions and real life experiences. It explores themes of self-love, relationships, and culture. Kaur takes the reader on the journey of a flower with her chapters wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming.

We Will Be Shelter: Poems for Survival edited by Andrea Gibson

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This poetry novel is a collection of poetry from different poets including Sam Sax, Sarah Kay, and Andrea Gibson. It offers insight on issues students will encounter in the “real world.” Adulthood is scary enough, so this novel offers understanding and others’ stories on how they face their adult lives.

Top 5 Webtoon Comics

By Haliegh Lewis

I will be doing the same thing like the Wattpad stories but with Webtoon! Webtoon is a really fun app, but instead of just words that you read, it is comics and manga. You get pictures, fun conversations, and there are SO MANY!!!! The comics on this list, I haven’t read all of them. I have read two out of the five of them, so cut me some slack. We are going to go by popularity of the app, so we get a sort-of unbiased opinion.

5. Lore Olympus

 This comic is about the Greek gods and goddess’ mainly, Persephone and Hades. With friends, gossip, parties, and a course of love, this modern day re-tell is a hit.

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I have read what has been started, and this is a very very good comic. I think the concept has been overdone, but overall, it is super good. There are some scenes that make me happy; some make me upset with other characters. You should read it.

4. Lumine

Lumine is about a runaway werewolf (Lumine) who meets a little witch boy named Kody. Lumine is then hired to be Kody’s bodyguard. As Lumine tries to be friends with Kody, Kody pushes him away….until a surprising turn leaves to try to survive on their own. =]

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I haven’t read this comics. But, I have friends who have, and they say it’s really good. Um….I really don’t know what else to say. I don’t read this at all, and I don’t plan on it.

3. Let’s Play

Sam is a game developer, but before her career can get started, a popular gaming Viewtuber posts a video of himself playing her game…..and gives it a really bad review. Little does she know, he’s moving in!!!

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I am reading this comic and OMG, I’m fangirling so hard right now. I’m a really weird person when it comes to fangirling. I like things most girls wouldn’t, but this comic is so freaking good! This comic series is well played out, funny, and really understandable.   

 

2. unOrdinary

(Quote from Webtoons. Disclaimer: This is all that they put so…) “The world is not perfect. Learning to deal with its flaws is just a normal part of life. But there comes a point where these imperfections spawn a crushing realization… that something needs to change…”  

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Don’t judge me! I haven’t read this one, but to be fair, I didn’t even know it existed until now. But since it was on the list….it must be good (for some people).  Since I haven’t read this, I was hoping you guys could and give me some feedback in the comments. Only on the first episode.

1. I Love Yoo

Shot by pain and the misfortune from the very beginning, Shin-Ae has decided she wants nothing to do with neither people nor romance. Alhough she is content with her boring, dull existence, her lifestyle is abruptly challenged after she ruins a stranger’s clothes.

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Again, I haven’t read this comic. I know, I know if I haven’t read most of them what makes me think i’m qualified to be writing this article. Well, here’s the answer to that remarkable statement: I haven’t got a clue. Judging from comments, likes and subscribers, this story has – and i’m just stretching on a limb here – is amazing.

Book Review: The Alchemist

By Natalie Staib

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The Alchemist is a story about a shepherd boy named, Santiago. He lives in Spain and wanders the countryside taking care of only himself and the sheep. One night he lies down to rest and dreams of treasure buried beneath the pyramids of Egypt. He believes the dream to be metaphorical and consults a gypsy. The gypsy woman tells Santiago that there is treasure literally waiting at the pyramids for him. The young man does not believe this until a magician claiming to be the King of Salem mysteriously tells him that his Personal Legend in life is to make the journey to Egypt.

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The main theme, or central topic, is the idea that you can’t sit around waiting for your destiny to be revealed to you. You must be diligent and dedicated to your goals in order to achieve them. Have courage to stand out. Have courage to work harder than anyone else. Listen to your heart, to all your likes, dislikes, and your individuality when discovering your own Personal Legend. We all have greatness and originality inside of us. If you push yourself to achieve your dreams you will achieve them.

“This is the most dangerous of the obstacles because it has a kind of saintly aura about it: renouncing joy and conquest. But if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here.” (Paulo Coelho in the introduction to The Alchemist)

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Source:Medium.com

I loved reading this book! It is an entertaining and short read. The Alchemist took the 34th position on the list for the top 100 bestsellers on Barnes and Noble. The book also has four stars out five. Santiago is a very relatable character, and his journey is just a metaphor for all of our personal paths through life. Reading about the ordinary shepherd boy who takes charge and goes out and gets whatever he wants out of life is very inspiring. The book has a happy ending, and I definitely would recommend it to anyone in a funk. The positive theme of working hard to reach your goals is the perfect motivation for the new school year.

 

 

 

Wattpad: Top 5 Scary Stories

By Haliegh Lewis

5. Golden Hand

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A cute widow is moving to a new neighbor and she always wears gloves….everyday. A man (this is told in the first person) is smitten with her and is constantly “bumping” into her on the street. He notices the gloves and asks about them. A couple of months later they are standing in front a priest declaring their love for each other. Will the groom end up with a dirty conscience or rightful justice? Read this story to find out at https://www.wattpad.com/29458904-scary-short-stories-golden-hand  

I chose the story Golden Hand because I have (or used to have) the Wattpad app, and this stood out to me as a good clip. The fact that he got what was coming to him in the end proves what goes around comes around.  #Karma. I thought the author did a very good job.

4. Yellow Ribbon

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Jane wears a yellow ribbon around her neck everyday. Rain or shine, sun or blizzard, she has that ribbon. Johnny thought it was cute in middle school, but now that they are in high school, it doesn’t seem so cute anymore. Eventually, he gets over it and they start dating. Cute couple right? I know. https://www.wattpad.com/29440640-scary-short-stories-yellow-ribbon .

Now, for why I chose this story. The ending surprised me and the mental image it gave was….disturbing. Let’s put it that way, I watch and read a lot of disturbing and scary things so the fact that this unsettled me says something.

3. The Piggy Back

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Story number three is about a married couple whose marriage is becoming strained more and more, but decides to give it another try because the wife discovers she is pregnant. Five years of fighting go on and the husband snaps. The Piggy Back is available at: https://www.wattpad.com/33636279-scary-short-stories-the-piggy-back

I picked this story because it was interesting. I like the middle-ending the most of all, so this definitely had to be on this list.

2. Cell Reflection

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 A man convicted of murder and sentenced to die encounters something unusual. He sees the girl he killed and walks through a portal, “Time of death four thirty-four. Danika is Dead.” https://www.wattpad.com/37600344-scary-short-stories-cell-reflection

I opted for “Cell Reflection” because it wasn’t the most interesting, but when I shared it, it was liked by a lot of students. So, here we are. I believe the most interesting part of this clip was the announcement of the time where he was pronounced dead.

1. The Clown Statue

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Finally, story number one, “The Clown Statue”. Parents decide to go out and leave a teenage babysitter to watch their kids. She is only allowed to go into one room and watch TV after she checks on the kids. When she discovers a statue that creeps her out and calls the parents, she has to get the kids and go to the neighbor’s house. The parents didn’t know that they had that statue. For more details here is the link: https://www.wattpad.com/26622135-scary-short-stories-the-clown-statue

Deciding on the number one was tough, so this is the story I chose. I am terrified of clowns. I can handle things like toys but if it’s moving or human….byyye Felicia! But this is just a story,  so I think I can manage. It was interesting and fun in a way I guess. If you are scared more than I am, don’t read this story (unless you think you can handle it). If you aren’t afraid of clowns, then go for it!

Credit to hunnybunny00 on Wattpad for creating such scary stories

Book Review: The Wolf’s Surrender

By Tierra Welch

At Mia’s mercy.

As second in command, Nick Jenner protects the Blackpaw pack, a werewolf pack in a secluded town. It’s quiet until one night Mia D’Alessandro running from her feral date stumbles into a Blackpaw territory. Now Jenner has to protect her with a strange attraction like her own magic is calling out to his. She’s quiet and beautiful, but seem to have something else to her, not normal.

Now in order to protect the pack, he has to keep Mia alive no matter the cost, but she’s also the thing that could destroy his whole world. He will have to decide if she’s really worth it. The attraction between Jenner and Mia is growing despite them fighting against it.  

When he discovers what she really is his life and the life of the pack will be on the line. He will have to either save her or kill her in order to save the pack.

The Wolf’s Surrender by Kendra Leigh Castle is a great young adult book to read in free time. Although I wish it was a little longer, it’s still great that way. I would give it four stars out of five.

Book Review: Torn

By Tierra Welch

When Wendy Everly finds out the truth about herself she knows her life will never be the same especially figuring how powerful she really is and what connection she has with her enemies the Vittra. And she knows they’ll stop at nothing to get her and have her at their side. But with her mother’s failing health she must face the fact that she will lead the Trylle a lot sooner than she expected. With her already fiery attraction to the tracker, Finn, she meets her enemy Vittra, only to have a curious attraction to Loki, the Vittra prince. But her duty will cause her to walk away from both of them and lead the Trylle. She’s never been so torn between duty and love, her people or her heart.

She must go against everything she wants for the better of her people. That would mean that she will need to even leave the safety of her castle right into her enemies hands and make her people prosper.

But in the end, will she choose love or duty? Loki or Finn? Trylle or Vittra? It’s all Torn in her heart.

Torn by Amanda Hocking is the second book of the Trylle trilogy sequel to Switched. It’s wonderful and a roller coaster of emotions. You will fall in love with new characters and see your beloved older characters. I rate this book five stars out of five.

 

Book Review: Three Dark Crowns

By Eric Teeters

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https://www.kobo.com

 

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake  is a novel that takes place in a dystopian setting on three islands that are inhabited by three types elementals, poisoners, and naturalists. One queen rules over all three islands, and after their time is up, they are gifted with triplets that are one of three types. When the triplets come of age, they are tasked with being raised on the island of their type to hone their gift, and they are raised to rule and be queen. The triplets can’t live together when they come of age because they must not gain feelings for their sisters because when the time comes they are to kill each other. Only one can rule.

This novel follows the story of three of the next generation queens in training Mirabella, Katherine, and Arisnoe. Katherine is a poisoner and is pushed hard to earn the spot of queen because the last generations have been ruled by poisoners, and so she has a lot of pressure to kill her sisters and become queen especially since she has a problem with consuming poison. Arisnoe is the naturalist and is not your typical queen; she plays in the dirt and hunts. Most importantly, she doesn’t want to be queen because she wants to leave to the mainland. She is predicted to be first to die, and to top all of that off, she also does not have a gift. Mirabella the final sister is an elemental, and she is predicted to be queen because she is one with a strong channel to her gift. However, she also has memories of her sisters and doesn’t want to be the cause of their deaths. These three sisters are destined for greatness, but everyone questions whether they will be able to kill each other. Guess you will have to read it and find out.

This novel was really well writte,n and much like other books, the author went with a format of changing perspectives every chapter. This is specifically a great way to write this book because you get the story and emotions from each and every queen. That and it was written in third-person so you don’t know who is going to win; therefore, you also don’t know who is going to die. This novel has the perfect mix of thrill and action to it. Just reading it made me think I was actually in their world and experiencing it with them,. I have no quarrels with this story because I didn’t see anything wrong with the storyline or the way each action followed each other. Everything flowed easily together like a story should.

I really liked this story because it has so much to show deeply hidden underneath the story itself. The first thing I noticed was that in a world filled with queens that it always falls into disarray. With unorganized order; things tend to fall into chaos. Another was how much society has an effect on people specifically children. This story is about triplets being born to kill each other, and when you are taught that is what you have to do that, then you become a victim to societal pressure and feel as if it is your duty to fulfill. This, isn’t right under circumstances, because in the story Mirabella doesn’t want to kill her sisters on the count of memories she has of them, and the high priestess tells her it is just dreams or nerves getting to her. This shows that if a society has an agenda they will do or say anything to finish it even if they have to lie about it. This book is well written and I highly recommend it, so if you love thrilling action and fantasy, then get down to your local or school library and check out Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake.

 

Book Review: Serpent King

 

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http://www.jeffzentnerbooks.com

By Eric Teeters

The novel The Serpent King by Jeff  Zentner is about dealing with people who think you made the wrong decisions, and each right decision made is still the wrong decision in some people’s eyes. The novel takes place in a town in Tennessee where there is a boy who shares a name with his father, but that name isn’t the name someone wants to have. The novel is about the boy and dealing with his church and his society persecuting him over what his father did; some say he should have taken the fall for his father to keep him out of prison, and others don’t take kindly to his name at all because of his father. So in this coming of age story, we learn how to appreciate our friends and what they do for us, and maybe look more into their situation for it may not be as bad as yours but they still need help just like you. It is a really good read and I highly recommend it to those who like a good read to have faith in friendships.

I read this book in the span of one week, so it is a pretty quick read. However, just because it was a quick read didn’t make it any less good. I loved this book, and honestly, it was one of those few books that make me an emotional wreck. I don’t know why I had such an emotional attachment to the book or the story, but just the general story of friends and someone getting through the torment of others gets to me. The author of this story did an amazing job of actually capturing the pure emotion of having best friends who stick by your side even when things get rough.

If you read all books from a very observing perspective, you can take a lesson from all stories, but some lessons are needed even in today’s society. I think that the lesson of this story was that no matter where life may lead you or your friends if they are truly your friends, they will always have your back no matter what. I have no idea what was running through the mind of this author when he was writing this novel or what may have been going on his life, but I do know that he captured the essence of true friendship in tough times. I have great friends and I know they would have my back whenever I need them. When reading this book, my faith in my friends was reassured and in knowing they have my back, they can be assured that I will have theirs. So if you like a good story with religious themes, friendship, and emotional feels; then get down to your local library and check out The Serpent King by Jeff  Zentner.