5 New YA Books To Read

5 New YA Books To Read

New books are the best books!

There have been a lot of books I've been eyeing over the summer, but I have yet to pick them up. I might have a book buying problem, but it's under control (for now). That being said, there have been a few releases that I might buy, book-buying-ban or not!

1. Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

While I haven't read the first book in this duology, "This Savage Song", seeing the second book makes me want to buy them both! The story follows a reality in which humans face monsters, but a human and monster pair meet and end up stuck together in facing an even greater evil. I have a weak spot for monsters in general, so I feel like this series could be a quick favorite of mine.

2. The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

This story is about two secret agents, or "love interests", that are tasked with getting a chosen girl to fall in love with them. One is a stereotypical good guy, while another is the stereotypical bad boy. Whoever doesn't get the girl dies. Yet the agents end up with feelings that distract them from their mission. I've been excited to see where this story is going for a while!

3. The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano

At first, I wasn't too interested in a story about a girl moving into a small town and being disliked for inheriting land there by a family called the Slaughters. Then I read the synopsis further, and I discovered there was a guy that suddenly claws his way out from the grave with a grudge against the Slaughters. This story promises some dark secrets and is right up my alley.

4. How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana and Abigail Pesta

Usually, I don't read a lot of nonfiction, but this memoir following Sandra Uwiringiyimana caught my attention. It follows Sandra from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; she tells her story of how she survived a massacre, immigrated to America, and overcame all the trauma she went through with the arts and activism. The title of this memoir alone makes me interested in what Sandra went through.

Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

5. Want by Cindy Pon

The moment I saw the cover and synopsis for Want, I've been wanting it ever since! It's been a while since I've followed a book from its pre-debut stages, but Want is an exception. Want is a scifi set in a dystopian Taipei following Jason Zhou. He lives in a society where the rich are protected from the polluted air and viruses plaguing the city, while those who can't afford it have no choice but to suffer and die. Zhou wants to changes things, starting with the corrupt Jin Corporation. Want is definitely the first book I'm going to buy from this list, and I already know I'm going to love it.

Cover Image Credit: Simon & Schuster

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The Logan Paul Fiasco Is Just A Symptom Of A Much Larger Problem

In the wake of Logan Paul's suicide forest debacle, I decided to explore how this could even happen in the first place.

Wow, 2018 sure has started off with a bang, hasn't it? First, Donald Trump seemingly threatens North Korea with nuclear annihilation. Then, all these stupid memes about tide pods and Knuckles the echidna circulate across the web, and finally, Logan Paul decided that he would not be outdone.

Yes, the YouTube star decided to vlog in Japan, and every foreigner who has ever hated American tourists for their arrogance and ignorance has been validated. When he arrived in the country, Paul stated that Japanese culture was all about respect. He then proceeded to run around streets in traditional Japanese attire, buy a Game Boy Color from a store only to immediately spike it on the road like a football, and oh yeah, went to the suicide forest, and decided to film the body of a man they found who had recently hung himself in the forest.

Yep, Logan Paul found a dead body and decided to post it on YouTube. I imagine this is what the end of "Stand By Me" would've looked like if it were written today, and by a trash person. Paul has since apologized after lots of backlashes.

Logan Paul is one of, if not the fastest growing star on YouTube, and this controversy has barely affected his ascent in subscribers, some of which defended his actions, and even sent threats to those who didn't. Also, I feel I am justified in saying that both Logan and his brother Jake Paul (a former Disney channel actor turned YouTuber) are both arrogant pricks who make their livings messing with people and being an overall nuisance to anyone they encounter and have no concept of consequences for their actions, but this article isn't about them.

I believe that their popularity is only a result of several fundamental problems with YouTube.

First, I want to get into YouTube's algorithms. It's how the site decides what videos are recommended for you, and more importantly to this story, what videos are on the trending page. Logan Paul's suicide forest video, the one with the dead body in the thumbnail, and the one with the words "dead body" in the title was NUMBER 1 on trending.

YouTube's algorithm exposed millions of people to this deplorable video.

YouTube wasn't even able to take the video down; this was a video that had to have been flagged thousands of times, and it was only removed because Logan Paul himself took it down after all of the backlashes. YouTube was simply unable to do anything about this, and there have to be changed to ensure that they don't let things like this slip through the cracks again.

The real question, at least to me, is why even make a video this ridiculous and ignorant and disrespectful in the first place?

The answer, of course, is for the content. Unfortunately, this is not new. YouTubers have been doing shocking things to get views for years now, and this has led to the bar being raised. Many things that were shocking before simply aren't anymore. We've seen it so many times we get numb, so creators come up with even crazier things to do. Eventually, it becomes normalized, and the cycle continues on and on until we have people filming dead bodies in haunted forests.

YouTubers are trying to get a rise out of us so that we click on their videos, and they're seeing how much they can get away with. It seems that on the internet, no matter which site you go to, the loudest, most obnoxious, most divisive voices always rise to the top, but they don't have to. We can resist that knee-jerk angry share that they want from us.

We don't have to give these idiots the light of day, and we can tell them that we have had enough of their crap, not with our voices, but with our views, because once those go away, they'll have no choice but to listen up.

Cover Image Credit: Esther Vargas

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