3 YA Series You Should Read

3 YA Series You Should Read

What's better than multiple books set in the same universe of your favorite book?

While stand-alone books are fantastic and immersive, there's something special about following a set of characters through a journey that continues on through several books. When you put down the first book, you want more, and you can have more! It makes the ending of a series much more satisfying. (Hopefully.) Below, I've listed three young adult series with at least three books I recommend reading.

1. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

As someone who has only read the first book in this series, I can't vouch entirely for the whole series. But what I can vouch for is a gripping first book that basically required me to buy the second book. The story follows a group of teens on a quest to discover an ancient treasure. Blue, a girl from a family of psychics, joins a group of boys from the private school on this mission. Each character is so rich that the way the series tells itself through multiple narratives is still intriguing every chapter. Plus, every book in this series is out now, so there's no wait!

2. Renegades by Marissa Meyer

This is a brand new series, the first book being released a couple months ago in 2017. If you don't mind waiting, I recommend picking it up right away. It's about a society toppled by anarchists, and rebuilt by renegades. The reason the world fell to anarchists in the first place is due to the fact that people have superpowers. Still, the heroes that saved the world from the villains are portrayed as the villains for Nova, a girl adopted by the anarchists at a young age. The story is told from Nova and renegade Adrian's point of view, and it is a pretty solid start to what could be a great superhero seires!

3. The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I will always gush about the uniqueness of The Illuminae files. Even if you don't really like sci-fi or young adult fiction, I recommend at least flipping through the book when you see it on the shelf. Even the cover is eye-catching. This story about intergallatic war is told entirely from transcripts and chat logs, requiring a lot of the reader's imagination to put together the information they are given in a way that makes sense. The last book in this series, "Obsidio", is releasing later in 2018, so there's plenty of time to read the first two books in time for its release!

Cover Image Credit: pure imagination on pureimaginationblog

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Dear Shondaland, You Made A Mistake Because April Kepner Deserves Better

"April Kepner... you're not average"

I'll admit from the first time we were introduced to April in Season 6, I didn't like her so much. I mean we hated the "Mercy Westers" in the first place, so how could we see the potential in the annoying, know-it-all resident that was trying to compete with our beloved Lexie Grey.

But then, we saw her come face-to-face with a killer and thought maybe she had potential.

We then saw her surprise everyone when she proved to be the next trauma surgeon in the making and we were intrigued.

Notice how none of these stories had anything to do with Jackson Avery. Not that we didn't love her with Jackson, but for whatever reason you've chosen to end their very popular relationship. Suddenly, you think that April is not worth further exploration but you've forgotten one simple thing. We fell in love with her before "Japril" was ever in the picture.

We love her because her story was unlike the others and she had one of the best character developments on the show. She wasn't damaged like Meredith Grey or Alex Karev who have been on their journey to become all whole and healed, but she still had to fight hard to be taken seriously. Her story has so much potential for future development, but you've decided to throw it all away for "creative reasons."

I'm sorry, but there's nothing creative about doing the exact same thing you've done to all the other characters who have left the show. We've endured the loss of many beloved characters when you chose to write off George, Henry, Mark, and Lexie. We even took it when you did the unthinkable and wrote McDreamy out of the show - killing off one half of the leading couple. (WHO DOES THAT???)

But April Kepner? Are you kidding me?

She may no longer be with Jackson, but she was so much more than half of Japril. While most of us hate that Jackson and April are over, we probably could have dealt with it if April was still on the show. Now they're done and you think there aren't any more stories to tell about her character. Why? Because she'll just get in the way of Jackson and Maggie?

How could you not see that she was way more than Jackson's love interest?

She's so much more than you imagined her to be. April is the headstrong, talented trauma surgeon no one saw coming. The farmer's daughter started off an ugly duckling who became a soldier because she needed to be one and turned into one big beautiful swan who constantly has to fight for her coworkers and family to see her as such.

She's proven to be a soldier and swan on many occasions. Just take giving birth to her daughter in a storm on a kitchen table during an emergency c-section without any numbing or pain medication as an example. If she wasn't a soldier or a swan before, how could she not be after that?

Yet, you - the ones who created her - still see her as the ugly duckling of a character because she always had to take the backseat to everyone else's story and was never allowed to really be seen.

But we see her.

She's the youngest of her sisters who still think of her as the embarrassing little Ducky no matter how much she's grown.

This swan of a resident got fired for one mistake but came back fighting to prove she belongs. Not only did April Kepner belong there, but it was her talent, her kindness, her strength that made her Chief Resident. This simply wasn't enough for Dr. Bailey or her other residents so she fought harder.

She endured the pressure but always ended up being a joke to the others. When she was fired yet again, your girl came back a little shaken. She doubted herself, but how could she not when everyone was against her.

Despite everyone telling her she couldn't, she did rise and no one saw her coming because she remained in the background. She went off to Jordan broken and came back a pretty risky trauma surgeon.

We've watched for years as she was handed promising stories that we never got to see fully develop because she was in the background. We never got to see her rise. We get the beginning and the end, but hardly ever the middle.

I thought we were finally going to have an amazing story arc in season 11 when she loses Samuel, but what did we really get? Two or three episodes of her coming to terms with the loss of her baby and then April's disappearance from the show while she's grieving off screen so that Dr. Amelia Shepherd can shine her first season on the show. Where is April's life-changing surgeries? What does April get? She's background music.

Now what?

It's season 14 and we finally get the story we've been waiting 9 years for! We get Dark April and her crisis of faith. A story arc all Christians can appreciate. Here's the chance for real character development in the foreground, but wait...

Before her story is even wrapped up, you announce that this season will be her last. So we're forced to realize that the only reason we're getting this story now is that you're writing her off.

No matter how you end it, it's not going to do her story justice. If you kill her off to end her crisis of faith story, you're not reaching the many Christians who watch the show. If you have her leaving Seattle and taking Harriet with her, you didn't know April. If you have her leaving Seattle and abandoning Harriet, you really didn't know April. So anyway you choose to end her story, you lost out on one great character.

You messed up.

Both April Kepner and Sarah Drew deserved better.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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My Reaction To Star Vs. The Forces Of Evil Season 3 Part B Episodes 6-7 (Finale)

Just when I thought that the season two finale couldn’t be topped…

Spoiler warning for reader: Please be aware of the spoilers that await you. This article contains information in regards to the season three finale of “Star vs. the Forces of Evil,” and is meant to give my own thoughts, ideas, and possible theories based on this information as well as the previous material that’s presented as canon to the series as a whole, which can refer to the show itself as well as its published book entitled "Star and Marco's Guide to Mastering Every Dimension." If you haven't seen any previous content of this show, I suggest that you leave the remainder of this article unread, as it’s only directed towards fans of the show and its canon.

Wow, what an awesome way to cap off the season! Just when I thought that the season two finale couldn’t be topped… This finale encapsulates everything that makes “Star vs.” great and is living proof that this show has become one of the best, if not the best, currently airing western animated shows out there, a conclusion that I’ll gladly stand behind.

Now, since this finale is just too long for me to give a full in-depth analysis, I’m just going to run through ten aspects, in no particular order, worth taking away from watching this finale.

1. Is Eclipsa evil and does she have a “plan”?

Personally, I don’t think she is or ever was evil to begin with. She had to do what was right for herself when she did dark magic and ran away to be with her true love, and after what transpired in this finale, she did what she had to for the whole kingdom, even if it meant killing Meteora, her own daughter. At least, that was her intention at first, but what resulted was not what she expected at all…

2. Meteora is reverted back to an infant.

That’s right: Meteora’s whole history has been completely erased and she can now begin anew. Some would say that Eclipsa meant to turn her back into a baby, but I think it has to do with that huge burst of magic that Star blasted at Meteora when the two had their epic brawl. The blast must have cast some sort of layer of youth around her, and when Eclipsa intended to finish her off, it only reversed her age to infancy, not kill her. This begs the question…

3. Is Star powerless?

No, I highly doubt it. In fact, the person who story-boarded this very scene even has her doubts: she claims that Star only meant to defer Meteora at the moment for a chance to escape from her grasp, not relinquish her magical power completely. This has to be some sort of confirmation on Star still being able to transform and perform spells in her butterfly form after giving Eclipsa the wand, which will no doubt be used to accomplish the one objective that Eclipsa always had in mind: freeing her monster love…

4. Globgor will likely be the main villain of season four.

Judging by his expression from within his crystal, he’ll be coming out fighting. Regardless of Eclipsa’s true intentions, other than restarting her life with her whole family, at last, her husband may have other plans. However, the Mewman/monster family won’t be alone, since it was hinted that Glossaryck came along to join them, bringing me to my other point…

5. Glossaryck has been sane the whole time!

Yep, he was faking all along, only saying “Globgor!” to warn everyone about Eclipsa’s goal to be with her monster love. Couldn’t he have just said that? I don’t know what to think anymore.

6. The Starco tension since the kiss.

It was pretty obvious that they were still feeling some awkward tension as a repercussion from what went down in the photo booth. Of course, they couldn’t fully address this because of everything that was happening with Meteora at the moment. However, Marco did finally confess to Tom about what happened with Star, and Tom reacted in a way that we were not at all expecting, thus enhancing…

7. Tom’s development as a character.

He has really grown throughout this season alone! After Marco confessed, Tom didn’t burst into flames at all. In fact, he did everything in his power to save him and Star in order to defeat Meteora! Plus, there was that group hug at the end… This really shows how much he has matured as a character, and he’ll be okay with letting Star be with Marco.

On another note, as I expected, Tom never knew about Star’s ability to transform into her butterfly form, or by extension about the times she both was able to defeat Toffee this way and visited the Magic Realm where she learned to master it at will, which brings me to…

8. The Magic Realm’s mysterious portals.

The Realm is never devoid of new secrets to unfold, as shown by the numerous portals that go to every dimension possible. However, that’s just the second thing to worry about when it comes to the Realm…

9. Moon has disappeared (again).

After Star found her in the Realm, both have succumbed to the Realm’s amnesic tendencies and the “First Born” unicorn was forced to zap them away to where they were needed. Star woke up back in the castle, but where’s Moon? Seriously, we just got her back! This can be a good thing though since the once “Acting Queen” finally accepted what she needed to be during her mother’s absence…

10. Star is now Queen of Mewni (at least for a while).

As you could tell from this finale, and the picture I chose for this point, there were major parallels to when Moon had to take on her mother’s responsibilities as queen: looking at their mothers' pictures, holding a “Situation Room” meeting, walking down the same hallway, being comforted by River, similar blushes and hugs from their love interests, and the list can go on! I really don’t think that Moon is gone for good though, only gone for the time being so that when Moon does return, she will be proud at the kind of queen that her daughter has become. Star is going to need Marco’s help as her squire more than ever now, so much so that he might finally be her knight, and of course eventually her king!

It’s going to be a long wait for season four, so hold on tight, my “Star vs.” fans!

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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