8 Books I'm Chomping At The Bit To Read This Summer

8 Books I'm Chomping At The Bit To Read This Summer

I'll finally have time to read... woohoo!

Reading is therapeutic and exciting. However pleasurable it is, with school responsibilities, it can be difficult to squeeze in. However, summer is fast approaching and I've already started compiling the books I plan on reading. Here are 8 books that I can't wait to read:

1. 'Salt to the Sea' by Ruta Sepetys

This is a historical fiction novel following four teens in East Prussia during WWII. While this doesn't look to be a light summer read, I've had my eye on this book since fall time and it's about time I get wrecked by it.

2. 'Scythe' by Neal Schusterman

The amount of times that I've almost bought this book is a whole lot. This science fiction novel eliminates all natural causes of death and leaves the fate of others in the hands of someone called a Scythe. If that's not enough to draw you in, I don't know what is.

3. 'Bird Box' by Josh Malerman

Malorie and her kids need to find somewhere safe. There's only one slight issue... they can't open their eyes. There's a mysterious creature among them that kills people if they look at it. Like how in the world will they be able to escape? How does she manage to convince her kids to keep their eyes closed? It's going to be intense, and I am so here for it.

4. 'You' by Caroline Kepnes

I'm looking forward to this book for two reasons. One, this book is told in second person... as in we, you, and us pronouns, which is super rare. Two, we get to be in the mind of a stalker. Besides that, I don't really know what this thriller is about... but it has its own TV show in the works and Penn Badgley (peep Dan from Gossip Girl) in it. I'm sold.

5. 'Vicious' by V.E. Schwab

This book is about two ex-friends who happen to be rival villains fighting to achieve supernatural abilities. From dual perspectives that also jump timelines, this book visits two morally gray characters that have some beef to settle. This book has been on my shelf for an embarrassingly long time, and with its sequel coming out later this year, I need to devour this book.

6. 'Gilead' by Marilynne Robinson

Not going to lie, out of all the books on this list, this is probably the one I know least about. I know that it is about three generations of fathers and sons and them passing life advice to one another. I also know that two of my friends greatly enjoyed reading this novel, and I trust their opinions on literature like this. Hopefully, I'll knock this one out and have my own input to add.

7. 'Save the Date' by Morgan Matson

After all the action and emotions of those other books, I need a nice, light, summery read. Morgan Matson's new book doesn't come out until June 5th, 2018, but I'm already looking forward to it. I've read all of Matson's other books, and I'm hoping this one is as fun as the others. If the cover is any indication, this book has wedding cake, clumsiness, and dogs: sounds good to me.

8. 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett

I feel like everyone has read this except for me. I know that I will enjoy this novel, so I don't know why I am so intimidated. With characters named Skeeter and Aibileen, there's no way that this book won't be enchanting and thought-provoking.

Cover Image Credit: Casey Lofton

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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