5 New YA Books To Read

5 New YA Books To Read

New books are the best books!
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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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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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7 Dating Realities For The Modern-Day Bachelorette Navigating Tinder ‘Culture’

Sometimes, it's not you. Simply move on and continue to swipe right.

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Last week, I made the fruitful decision of downloading Tinder onto my iPhone. As much as my friends lectured me about the murky dangers of dating apps, my stubbornness prevailed, and I created a profile.

I jumped into the Tinder dating pool with a set of witty responses and a catchy bio in hand — only to come out with a couple coffee dates, several dog photos (surprisingly of strangers' dogs) and an unfollow on Instagram.

It seems as if the notorious dating app resembled a reality dating show. As a sixteen-year-old girl obsessed with "The Bachelorette," I often used to joke about signing up as a contestant on the show if I was single at 25.

Three years later, I think spoke a little too soon and may have to take it into consideration. Choosing from a selection of curated profiles whilst having 20 different conversations with 20-something-year-old college guys vying for a date (and vice versa) seems awfully familiar, yet it has become the norm.

After a few weeks experimenting on the app, what have I learned?

It's an ambiguous world.

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Most of the time, you really don't know what to expect unless you receive a message. Users are either looking for something casual or are looking to settle down — you just don't know. Or perhaps you wouldn't know until the second coffee date, where you hear something along the lines of "I already have a girlfriend/boyfriend" or "I'm not looking for anything yet."

Speaking of ambiguity...

Hookup culture is prevalent. 

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Sigh. The prevalence of hookup culture on college campuses. We've all been there, and I've definitely have had my fair share of stories. With hookup culture on the rise, it seems like many are embracing being single and exploring themselves sexually.

A recent Tinder study showed that 72 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 25 said they'd made a conscious decision to be single "for a period of time." This also comes after the company's new #SwipeLife campaign, embracing freedom, individuality and the single life.

Though speaking of which, I learned that not everyone is looking to settle down with the app.

Don't have high expectations.

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*See above*

Dear boys of Tinder: "You're hot" is not a proper pickup line, nor does it constitute a following coffee date or an invite to spend the night. I'll admit, I have run into my fair share of Tinder creeps, ranging from boys with shirtless photos, desperate bios (somehow managing to find my Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, proceeding to continuously message me until I block) and a lack of substance (besides looking hot, evidently from the workout pics).

At the end of the day, Tinder is a dating app for the general public. Though you may have a slim chance of finding a decent partner, you will have to go through numerous profiles, messages and subsequent dates.

But hey, they'll make for good stories.

It's OK to be ghosted.

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This is perhaps the worst part of being on Tinder. You match with a really cute guy, you hit it off on a date, make plans for next week — and then somehow never hear from them again. Their number is still working, and they still watch you on social media though. You don't know if you did anything wrong.

Sometimes, you'll never know. It's OK to be ghosted. Sometimes, it's not you. Simply move on and continue to swipe right.

It's often a facade.

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Almost 90 percent of the time, the cute dog in the picture isn't even there. It's probably a random person's dog they found at the park. Don't be fooled and again. Don't set your expectations too high.

A little sarcasm doesn't hurt.

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We all love a guy with some substance. A little sarcasm and quick wit definitely does not hurt. Personally speaking, I love to see more than just a profile picture and your height measurements in your bio.

You may find a gem 

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After tumultuously swiping left on every guy on Tinder, you may find the perfect one: someone with a witty bio, cute pics and a smooth way with words that doesn't come off as creepy. Be patient. There are some gems on Tinder.

Will I be sticking around to swipe right? Probably not. I'll just hope for the best and hopefully bump into someone IRL, but for now, I'm OK with being by myself.

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