15 Books To Read If You Love John Green

15 Books To Read If You Love John Green

From one bookworm to another
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I have always loved to read. When I was little, my mom could put me next to my bookshelf and expect me to flip through picture books for ages. I still love to read, and I could spend hours in Barnes and Noble browsing through the store. I don't read as much as I used to, simply because I either don't have time, or I don't want to after having to read and do work for school.

I usually tend to read A LOT in the summer. Since it is winter break, I have tried to do some reading, especially since I have been snowed in in New England's negative temperatures and heavy snowfall recently. Currently I am reading John Green's new book, Turtles All The Way Down.

My favorite books are contemporary young adult books. Usually they are romance based or have to do with surviving high school drama. Sometimes they are cheesy, but they are always cheesy in a good way. I know if my senior year AP Lit teacher caught me reading these he probably would poke his eyes out, but I personally love these novels.

If you are a fan of these types of novels, but have already read every John Green or Nicholas Sparks book out there, these are some great ones to read. Not all of them come close to John Green's genius masterpieces, but some of them will give you the same feels of TFIOS or Paper Towns.

1. "Eleanor and Park" by Rainbow Rowell

This novel is a heartwarming story of a high schooler named Eleanor, who is made fun of for her messy hair, strange clothes and misfit persona. When Park allows her to sit with him on the bus, he eventually befriends Eleanor and finds out what she goes through at home. Together, they embrace their insecurities and their friendship blooms into a more romantic relationship. I loved the message about never knowing what people are going through.

2. "All the Bright Places" by Jennifer Niven

Two people who are unlikely to ever talk to each other meet at the top of their school, considering the jump to end their lives. After talking each other out of it, the two unexpected friends wander through their state for a school project and discover a lot about themselves.

3. "Holding Up the Universe" by Jennifer Niven

Libby is hoping to start fresh coming back to school after a few years in hiding for being called "America's Fattest Teen." But after a quarrel with a bully, Jack, they are forced to work together for community service and group counseling. Libby learns Jack's big secret and although unexpected, the two are able to make up (probably even more than what people expected).

4. "Since You've Been Gone" by Morgan Matson

Don't let this Kelly Clarkson sounding title fool you. Emily's best friend, Sloane, suddenly disappears without any notice in the summer. She leaves Emily with a to-do list of crazy things Emily would never do, especially without Sloane by her side. But she wonders if completing the tasks will somehow lead her to her missing friends. With funny tasks and a spark of romance along the way, I absolutely love this adventure. Morgan Matson has a few other books on my shelf I am hoping to read.

5. "Every Last Word" by Tamara Ireland Stone

A girl struggling with OCD and finding friends that truly care about her leads her to the school's secret poetry society. Poetry allows her to learn how to understand herself, meet new people (including a mysterious boy she has a crush on), and conquer her controlling thoughts. Although the book was a bit cheesy at times, I really liked following the perspective of a girl with OCD. I think it's fascinating to learn how a mental illness really controls someone's life and mindset.

6. "Everyday" by David Levithan

This novel, soon to be a movie, is about a person (or spirit?) called A, who wakes up in a different body every day. A boy. A girl. A child. An elderly person. But after meeting a girl in one of the bodies, A tries to find a way to be with this girl, despite living in different bodies in different places.

7. "One Paris Summer" by Denise Grover Swank

Sophie and her brother are sent to Paris to be with their dad for the summer. The problem? Well a) they haven't seen their father in years because he left them b) their father is remarrying c) the stepsister hates Sophie and d) Sophie is unable to be with her best friend or spend as much time as she hoped practicing her piano for school auditions. But after her stepmother's friend and her friend's son help Sophie with her piano dreams, the summer starts to turn around. I love this summery, Paris story of a girl following her dreams.

8. "Tell Me Three Things" by Julie Buxbaum

After Jessie's mother dies, she lives with her newly wed father and attends a prep school in LA. The first few weeks are hell, but soon she receives emails from someone anonymous, willing to help her understand how to fit in and understand people at the new school. Jessie learns how to start fresh and narrows down who could be this secret emailer.

9. "Anatomy of a Misfit" by Andrea Portes

On the surface, Anika is the superficial, popular girl, but on the inside she is a freak. When she is interested in a boy who is not popular and is off limits, she has to decide whether or not she will embrace her inner weird and learn more about this boy, or stick to being one of the Queen Bees. This book goes along with two of the themes in most of these books. Either a) being popular and realizing that it is unfulfilling or b) falling in love with someone unexpected. But despite following these typical plots, I really enjoyed following the decisions of Anika in finding out what she really wants.

10. "The Romantics" by Leah Konen

Gael is facing heartbreak and his parent's divorce simultaneously. Never a good mix with an already angsty teen. But then he finds a rebound and his heart is starting to mend. What I love about this book and what makes it so unique is that the story's narrator is Gael's heart. And let me tell you, his heart is hilarious, trying to steer him certain directions and making jokes about teen love.

11. "13 Little Blue Envelopes" by Maureen Johnson

Ginny receives a letter from her Aunt Peg, who passed away. Included are instructions for an adventure across Europe, with only a backpack, to find her other letters (and of course she meets some people along the way). I read this book a few years ago, and I love the travel aspect of the book since I would love to travel around Europe one day.

12. "The Spectacular Now" by Tim Tharp

There is Sutter - the partier, the popular kid, the charmer, the guy who probably won't end up going to college. Then there is Aimee - the social disaster, the nobody, the quiet and innocent girl. When Sutter meets Aimee after a night of partying, he decides to help Aimee with her social status. Along the way, he realizes that Aimee is truly special. And once again the popular guy and the misfit girl end up more than acquaintances. Cliche. Cheesy. But so good. Oh, and there is a pretty good movie too!

13. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky

This novel follow's Charlie's journey through high school. Charlie is strange, but luckily he finds a group of friends willing to take him in and explain to him the many experiences of adolescence and adulthood. Charlie's character is super fascinating and his awkward, innocent personality makes you feel for him as he goes through high school. This is also a great movie.

14. "Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl" by Jesse Andrews

Greg is awkward. He has only one good friend in high school, Earl. In his senior year, Greg and Earl do what they do best, make awful stop motion and poorly acted short films. Greg's mom tells him that a girl in his grade has cancer and forces him to visit her. Greg decides to make her a film, a difficult task to complete considering she was getting worse and worse. This is a sad, but heartwarming book and movie. I think Greg's character development is an interesting one.

15. "Six Months Later" by Natalie D. Richards

Chloe falls asleep in study hall in May but wakes up 6 months later. She doesn't remember anything about the past months, and all of a sudden her whole world is different. Her friends. Her boyfriend. Her grades. She tries to mend the changes and figure out how everything came to be. The idea for this story was pretty crazy and unrealistic, but the reason I liked it was the actual mystery of it which was unexpected.

I encourage everyone to pick up a book whether you are sitting by the beach, stuck in a power outage, or simply have time to over break. Many people do not like to read and usually it is because they are forced to, but if you find a book that you truly enjoy, reading can be the most relaxing and fun pastime.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.
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Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

Cover Image Credit: http://nd01.jxs.cz/368/634/c6501cc7f9_18850334_o2.jpg

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My AP Environmental Science Class' Cookie Mining Experiment Shows Why Capitalism Is Destroying The Planet

Who cares about the environment with profits this high?

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With the AP exams in May approaching quickly, my AP Environmental Science class has wasted no time in jumping right into labs. To demonstrate the damage to the environment done by strip mining, we were instructed to remove the chocolate chips from cookies.

The experiment in itself was rather simple. We profited from fully or partially extracted chips ($8 for a full piece and $4 for a partial) and lost from buying tools, using time and area and incurring fines.

This might seem simplistic, but it showcased the nature of disastrous fossil fuel companies.

We were fined a $1 per minute we spent mining. It cost $4 per tool we bought (either tweezers or paper clips) and 50 cents for every square centimeter of cookie we mined.

Despite the seemingly overbearing charges compared to the sole way to profit, it was actually really easy to profit.

If we found even a partial chocolate chip per minute, that's $3 profit or utilization elsewhere. Tools were an investment that could be made up each with a partial chip, and clearly we were able to find much, much more than just one partial chip per tool.

Perhaps the most disproportionally easiest thing to get around were the fines. We were liable to be fined for habitat destruction, dangerous mining conditions with faulty tools, clutter, mess and noise level. No one in the class got fined for noise level nor faulty tools, but we got hit with habitat destruction and clutter, both of which added up to a mere $6.

We managed to avoid higher fines by deceiving our teacher by pushing together the broken cookie landscapes and swiping away the majority of our mess before being examined for fining purposes. This was amidst all of our cookies being broken into at least three portions.

After finding many, many chips, despite the costs of mining, we profited over $100. We earned a Franklin for destroying our sugary environment.

We weren't even the worst group.

It was kind of funny the situations other groups simulated to their cookies. We were meant to represent strip mining, but one group decided to represent mountaintop removal. Mountaintop removal is where companies go to extract resources from the tops of mountains via explosions to literally blow the tops off. This group did this by literally pulverizing their cookies to bits and pieces with their fists.

They incurred the maximum fine of $45. They didn't profit $100, however.

They profited over $500 dollars.

In the context of our environmental science class, these situations were anywhere from funny to satisfying. In the context of the real world, however, the consequences are devastating our environment.

Without even mentioning the current trajectory we're on approaching a near irreversible global temperature increase even if we took drastic measures this moment, mining and fracking is literally destroying ecosystems.



We think of earthquakes as creating mass amounts of sudden movement and unholy deep trenches as they fracture our crust. With dangerous mining habits, we do this ourselves.

Bigger companies not even related to mining end up destroying the planet and even hundreds of thousands of lives. ExxonMobil, BP? Still thriving in business after serial oil spills over the course of their operation. Purdue Pharma, the company who has misled the medical community for decades about the effects of OxyContin and its potential for abuse, is still running and ruining multitudes more lives every single day.

Did these companies receive fines? Yes.

But their business model is too profitable to make the fines have just about any effect upon their operation.

In our cookie mining simulation, we found that completely obliterating the landscape was much more profitable than being careful and walking on eggshells around the laws. Large, too-big-to-fail companies have held the future of our planet in their greedy paws and have likewise pulverized our environment, soon enough to be unable to return from.

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