YA Books To Read In College

15 YA Books to Read when you Need to Escape this Semester

Sometimes you just need an escape from school.

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1. "Love and Gelato" by Jenna Evans Welch

Lina is a high school girl who just lost her mother and had never met her father. It was her mother's dying wish for her to meet her father and get to know him. The hard part was that he lived in Italy while working at a cemetery and she would have to leave her whole life behind in the states to go live with him. Lina uncovers many truths during her time in Italy, things she never knew about her mother, finding things within herself, and meeting the love of her life.

2. "Love and Luck" by Jenna Evans Welch

Addie is visiting Ireland for her Aunt's third wedding while traveling with her mother and three brothers. She is desperate to let her past go and recover from her heartbreak. She finds comfort in an old book she finds, Ireland for the Broken Hearted. She is finally able to escape her anxiety and her brother Ian's constant criticism. Addie had plans to visit her best friend Lina in Italy, but her plans changed when she finds herself discovering the Emerald Isle with her brother Ian and his very cute friend Rowan.

3. "A New Model" by Ashley Graham

In her honest memoir, Ashley Graham talks about her rise to fame, how she was judged during her rise to fame, how she is breaking stereotypes everyday, and what it really means to be beautiful. Ashley is a voice of body positivity and feminism for young girls and all woman. She gives some inspiring advice and truths in her memoir.

4. "Fierce" by Aly Raisman

In Aly's breathtaking memoir, she tells us about her road to success, what it was like to be an olympic gymnast, and how she overcame bullying and sexual assault. She takes us behind the scenes and shows us what it took to be a champion on and off the mat. She inspires others to speak their truth and make their dreams come true.

5. "The Yellow Envelope" by Kim Dinan

Kim and her husband decide to quit their jobs, and travel around the world after receiving a yellow envelope containing a check and instructions to give the money away. The only three rules for the envelope: Don't overthink it; share your experiences; don't feel pressured to give it all away. Kim and Brian travel across Nepal, Peru, and Ecuador and learn that giving ourselves to a cause or person is transformational.

6. "The Good Girls Guide to Getting Lost" by Rachel Friedman

Rachel Friedman was always a good girl in school, got good grades, and never went out of line. Thats when she bought a ticket to Ireland, and surprised herself the most out of anyone. In Ireland she made a bond with a free spirited Australian girl, who encouraged Rachel to embark on a year long journey, traveling to three continents, filling her life with new friends, and a new found passion for adventure. Rachel learns to live for the moment while traveling to Australia and South America.

7. "99 Days" by Katie Cotugno

For Molly Barlow, she is counting down the days, 99 to be exact until she can leave for college and get away from all of her high school drama. Molly has had her house egged, and nasty notes left on her car windshield. She will never be able to escape her mistakes until Patrick forgives her, and that is not something that will happen overnight.

8. "9 Days and 9 Nights" by Katie Cotugno

In the sequel to 99 Days, Molly has gotten her life together as a student at Boston University. She has just said 'I love you' to her new boyfriends and is starting a European vacation with him. But things change when she runs into her ex and his new girlfriend in London. Gabe and his new girlfriend invite them to travel all together to Ireland. They accept, but cannot come to tell their significant others how they know each other. Molly has to spend 9 days and 9 nights pretending like everything is fine, and trying to hide her past.

9. "The Sun is Also a Star" by Nicola Yoon

Natasha is a girl who believes in science and facts, not fate or destiny, or dreams that will never come true. Natasha is a realist and cares about her family, a family who is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with a dreamy boy won't be my story.
Daniel has always been the good son, the good student, living up to his parents' crazy expectations. Daniel was never creative, not a poet or even a dreamer. But after meeting his dream girl he started to believe that the universe had something bigger in store for him.

10. "Everything, Everything" by Nicola Yoon

This book is anything but the basic story of forbidden love, and it's so worth reading. Everything, Everything details a girl who is allergic to most of the environment; trees, grass, and those little floaty things in the air. She has been stuck inside for 17 years, and the only people that she interacts with are her Mom and her nurse Carla. This is when she falls in love with her new next door neighbor, Olly. And everything changes from there, everything.

11. "When Dimple Met Rishi" by Sandhya Menon

Dimple Shah, a post graduate who is defiant of her parent's push to get her engaged, falls unexpectedly in love with Rishi Patel. He is a hopeless romantic, who is excited that his future wife, Dimple, will be attending the same summer program as him. As weird as it sounds to most people, Rishi likes being arranged and believes in the power of tradition and something bigger than himself.

12. "From Twinkle With Love" by Sandhya Menon

Twinkle Hehra is an aspiring film maker, who has so many stories to tell the world. When she found the chance to publicly display her dreams in a summer fil festival with Sahil Roy, she jumped at the chance. It didnt hurt that Sahil was the twin brother of Neil Roy, Twinkle's long time crush. When a mystery internet man "N" starts emailing her, she is sure it's Neil, but throughout the film festival Twinkle falls in love with Sahil. "From Twinkle With Love" shows that love can find you in the most unexpected places.

13. "I Am Malala" by Malala Yousafzai

In her memoir Malala tells her story of fighting for girls to go to school in Pakistan, the take over of the Swat Valley of the Taliban, getting shot in the head for going to school by the Taliban, and the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. This is an insightful personal story told by a true humanitarian and feminist for girls all over the globe.

14. "Sisters First" by Jenna Bush Hager

In her memoir, Jenna shares stories of her time in the White House with her sister Barbara, growing up in the spotlight, and watching their grandfather and father become President. Jenna shares what it was like growing up with the Secret Service always behind them and paparazzi always following them, always having their teenage mistakes broadcasted to the public.

15. "What Happened" by Hillary Rodham Clinton

In her unvealing and honest memoir, Hillary talks about what it was like to be the first woman to run for President, what it was like to travel on the campaign trail, and the sacrifices she had to make in order to put America first. Hillary tells her truth in a relatable, funny, and classy manor, detailing the ups and down of the 2016 Presidential campaign.

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Top 50 Things You'll Hear A Southern Say

Y'all.
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For those of you who may need a little help understanding the slang of a southern, I made a list of the top 50 phrases and sayings, along with their translations.

1. Bless your heart.

My favorite saying. It is an empathetic phrase that is usually uttered when the speaker believes the recipient to be sweet, but misguided or stupid. It can also be used if the speaker believes the recipient needs to grow up and deal with it, when the speaker says it in a sarcastic tone.

2. Barking up the wrong tree.

Means being misguided or mistaken.

3. Aren't you precious?

Mostly this saying is used in a sarcastic tone in response to someone being offensive.

4. Britches.

Pants or underpants.

An example would be, "Your britches are too short, you can't wear those".

5. Coke.

Regardless if it's Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola, or another carbonated beverage, it's called Coke here in the South.

6. Fixin' to.

Simply means that you are about to do something.

7. Get the short end of the stick.

This phrase means that you basically got an unfair deal or cheated out of something.

8. Give Me Some Sugar.

Simply means give me a kiss.

9. Hissy Fit.

A hissy fit is a grown-up version of a temper tantrum that is as bad as one that a toddler would throw.

10. Hold Your Horses.

Be patient.

11. Holler.

When you say "holler" you are basically letting the other person know something.

Example: Holler at me when you are ready to get something to eat.

12. If the creek don't rise.

This saying simply means that if nothing bad happens, everything will go as planned.

13. You're as slow as molasses in the wintertime.

This phrase means that you are being EXTRA slow.

14. Muddin'.

Off-road four-wheeler riding with the intentions of getting mud everywhere and possibly losing control.

15. Skat Cat.

A phrase that can be used instead of saying "God bless you" when you sneeze.

16. There's Not A Pot Too Crooked That A Lid Won't Fit.

There is someone for everyone.

17. Pitcher.

We mostly mean a plastic container that holds sweet tea, not the position of a guy on the baseball team.

18. Reckon.

When you say "I reckon", you believe that something is true.

19. Hoot With The Owls, Soar With The Eagles.

This simple phrase means that if you are going to stay up all night, you should be able to get early in the morning.

20. Too Big For Your Britches.

Simply means that you take yourself too seriously.

21. Stompin' Grounds.

Your hometown or where you grew up.

22. Back In The Day.

Back in the day could be a month ago, a year ago, or 20 years ago.

23. You're A Spitting Image Of (Insert Family Member).

Yes, I know I'm a spitting image of my mother. "Spitting image" simply means that you look just like someone.

24. "Darlin, Sugar, Sweetheart"

These words are simply terms of endearment.

25. Buggy.

A buggy is a cart/basket at the grocery store.

Example: Who wants to push the buggy?

26. Quit Crying Or I Will Give You Something To Cry About.

This phrase simply means to quit crying and if you didn't then more than likely you got a spanking,

27. Where You Raised In A Barn?

If you are from the South, you have probably been asked this more than once, especially when you left a door open.

28. Close The Door. You Are Letting All The Good Air Out.

This southern heat is nothing to play with. It simply means to keep the door closed so the air (or heat if its winter) stays inside.

29. You Are Going To Make Me Lose My Religion.

When you say this phrase to someone, it more than likely means that person has done something to irritate you or made you mad. Thank goodness Jesus saves.

Example: You are going to make me lose my religion.

30. You Look Like A Chicken With Your Head Cut Off.

This is said when you are running around like a crazy person. It can be said if you are looking for something that you are searching for or if you are just really busy.

31. Y'all.

The southern way to say "you all".

32. You Can't Carry A Tune In A Bucket.

If you've ever been told this, it means that you can't sing.

33. Have Their Feathers Ruffled.

You normally have your "feathers ruffled" when you are pouting.

34. Two Peas In A Pod.

When you and someone else are "two peas in a pod", it means that either you almost always together or that you two are almost identical in the way you think and do things.

35. Well Butter My Butt And Call Me A Biscuit.

This saying can be used when you are surprised or excited.

36. Don't Let The Door Hit Ya Where The Good Lord Split Ya.

When someone say this they typically mean to get out and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

37. You're As Good As Gold.

When you are "as good as gold", it means that you are well-behaved and obedient.

38. It's Raining Cats And Dogs Out There.

This simply means that the rain is really coming down hard. It's not actually raining cats and dogs, people.

39. I'm Full As A Tick.

This phrase means that you ate too much food.

40. I'm Sweating More Than A Sinner In Church.

When someone says this, it means that they are really hot and sweating A LOT.

41. Pot Calling The Kettle Black.

This phrase is used when one person is guilty of the very same thing of which they accuse another person.

42. There's More Than One Way To Skin A Cat.

It means that there is anyways more than one way to fix something.

43. Shut Yo' Mouth.

Means to be quiet or hush up.

44. Whatever Floats Your Boat.

This saying means to do whatever you want to do.

45. Slap Yo' Momma.

This phrase means that something is good.

Example: This BBQ is slap yo' momma good.

46. She's Like A Bull In A China Shop.

When you tell someone this phrase, you are telling them that they are clumsy or careless in the way that they move.

47. Cuttin' A Rug.

Cuttin' a rug is used to describe dancing.

Example: Let's go cut a rug tonight.

48. Clicker.

A clicker is another name for a TV remote.

49. Slow Your Roll.

This also means to be patient.

50. You're A Hot Mess.

When you tell someone that they are a "hot mess", you are simply telling them that they don't have it together.

Cover Image Credit: silhouetteamerica.com

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5 Vital And Helpful Tips I Live By When Packing For A Trip

Try and pack smarter, not harder.

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If you are anything like me, you tend to overpack thinking you are being a great packer and being ready for any scenario that life may throw at you. Well, that is, unfortunately untrue, and I have learned that you are only doing more harm than good. Over the years, I have come up with five tips I always use when traveling and have been proven to work. You've heard of the five golden rules of life, and, well, these are the five golden rules/tips of packing.


1. Start with a packing list.

This is the best tip I could give to anyone else who is getting ready to travel. Making a list is very useful, especially when stressed about your travel. You will not forget anything because you have it all written down. A packing list is a great way to keep organized when packing.

2. Use space bags.

Now, this is a tip my dad lives by. Space bags are great when you are packing because it protects your clothes and makes room to put a lot in your suitcase. The crazy story of a time when my dad was traveling, and his friend's bag was soaked with the shampoo he brought on the plane. All his clothes and everything inside the suitcase was ruined. So always use space bags because you never know what could happen on the flight. You can buy a space bag here.

3. Pack the essentials first.

I will be honest and say that I do over-pack a lot. I use the line "just in case" as an excuse to pack my entire house. But I have learned that packing for "just in case" is a waste of time. When you first sit down to pack, lay out all your essentials. For example, clothes that you will wear during the trip. You will be surprised to see how effective it is.

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons Chicago Is The Best City In The World

4. ALWAYS pack an extra outfit in your carry on.

This tip is one that I have been very grateful that I used. A while ago during my trip to Canada, my check-in bag was missing and delayed for multiple hours. Luckily I had an extra outfit to keep me fresh and not feel gross. It is always crucial to this in your carry on In case of emergencies such as your bag getting lost.

5. Put identification on your suitcase.

Everyone in the airport somehow tends to have the same black or red suitcase that you have, which only means confusing when you're trying to find your check-in bag. To quickly identify your suitcase, put a sticker, or tie a ribbon on the handle. You can easily pick up your suitcase and leave. This will prevent any sneaky people trying to steal or claim that your suitcase is theirs.

P.S.: Use a bright color ribbon or a different sticker. Also, tie the ribbon properly to make sure it's secured.


I live by these five packing tips every time I travel so I hope you can use them the next time you take a trip!

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