By Alexa Mastrangelo
“I get to live forever," he repeated. "I get to live, and to watch babies being born, and grow up, and fall in love... I watch them die. I am condemned, Luce, to watch it all over again and again. Everyone but you." Sixteen-year-old Lucinda Price was a regular human teenage, who went to a fancy boarding school and had one best friend that she shared everything with. She had an average family - just her, her mom, and her dad, and they were a great family that always told each other everything. Then, one night she was at a party with her friends, and one of the popular boys came up to her and asked her if she wanted to have a little bit of fun by the cabin, away from the other people. Luce was flattered. She had a crush on this guy and, finally, he was noticing her, so she followed him up to the cabin and he started to get really friendly with her. Then she saw these huge black shadows take over the whole cabin, and the next thing she knew, there was this huge fire, and she was outside looking as it took over and burned out the wooden cabin, with the other guy still in it screaming for help.
No one knew what to think, and everyone, including her parents, was afraid of the pyromaniac, psychotic girl who locked a guy in a cabin and burnt it to the ground. Her parents were so scared of her, and since she had no alibi, no evidence to prove her innocence, she was sent to Sword and Cross and boarding school, which was like a last stop before prison for teenagers who had court mandates. Luce thought it was simple enough: she would go to the school, ignore the shadows, stay away from boys, and blend in. But what happens there shocks Luce even more.
As soon as she gets there, Luce meets a group of kids who change her life: Cam Briel, Molly Zane, Gabby Givens, Ronald Sparks, Arianne Alter, Pennyweather Van Syckle Lockwood, and, of course, the mysterious Daniel Grigori. From the first time she sees them, she knows that there is something different about these kids. For one, Penn is the only one at the school who was not there because of a court mandate. But as soon as she sees Daniel Grigori for the first time, she realizes that he is so much more than he expected. He is ultimately the only tie to her real past and he knows the truth about the shadows, their relationship, and the weird group of kids he belongs to.
The truth is, Daniel and his friends are not who they say they are and they are on two different sides of a huge war between Heaven and the underworld, and Daniel and Luce are in the middle of it. Luce and Daniel have fallen in love for centuries in past lives, but every time, Luce dies and Daniel is forced to live through it, until she comes again, but this time everything is different. This time the curse is changing, and it’s up to Luce to figure out how to beat the clock and be able to be with Daniel, before the cycle ends, she dies, and it’s too late. Can Luce make it through her last life and save her love with Daniel before everything goes up in flames and the balance between good and evil is forever broken?
The best thing I liked about the book Fallen by Lauren Kate was most definitely the plot because it was full of so many interesting moments, possible connections to other books, plot twists, and it really made you just want to keep reading and not stop for anything. For example, one part in the book that had me waiting to see what would happen next was when the main character, Lucinda Price, was doing her detention assignment of cleaning up a statue of angels at the graveyard of her school. Then all of the sudden her school nemesis Molly walked up to her and told her to stay away from Daniel, the boy Luce liked, and no sooner than about one minute after this conversation, Daniel comes up to her to ask about what Molly had wanted. Lucinda was forced to back up against the statue behind her. As Daniel was pressing her for information, and when he was about to close in on her, the statue fell! Just before it could crush them, Daniel pushed her to the ground and saved her life.
Another part of the book that I liked the best was the characters and how they complimented each other in a really good way. My two favorite characters are Arianne Alter, who was the main character's friend, and Roland Sparks, who was the other main character's friend. Arianne was my favorite character because she was sarcastic, sassy, loyal, and very fierce. She was known as a special case or a psycho at their school for crazy people because, apparently, she was supposed to be very dangerous - and she was. She always had to wear a shock bracelet that would deliver electric shock impulses if she were ever violent. At one part in the book she was defending Lucinda on her first day of school from a bully named Molly, and risked punching her in the face to get back at her for stabbing the sharp heels of her boots into Lucinda's leg. She ended up being momentarily paralyzed by her bracelet, proving that she was a loyal person, even though she had just met Lucinda.
Roland is my other favorite character because he was resourceful, funny, oddly helpful at times, and could smuggle anything into the academy without notice. He also was pretty different from the other characters, and even though in the beginning he is not a major character, by the end of the book he is right in the action of the plot.
If you love mystery, adventure, and romance bundled together in one, then this book is for you. This book kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time and I literally couldn’t stop reading. To find out if Luce and Daniel can outlast the curse on their love, read Fallen by Lauren Kate. But...if the suspense at the end of the book is torturing you, don’t worry, because the next book in the series is just as amazing as the first.
By Rita Lin
“I’m here, Mother. You don’t have to talk across me. My brain isn’t paralyzed. Yet.” Me Before You is a novel written by Jojo Moyes in 2012. Louisa Clark, a quirky, weird girl, seeks to find a job to support and raise her family. She eventually finds herself in the predicament of taking care of a sarcastic, yet rude man, by the name of Will Traynor. Will Traynor suffered a motorcycle accident a few years ago and became paralyzed from the head down, only able to use his hands (barely) and move his head (barely). Ever since Will’s accident, he has become depressed and hardly smiles anymore, and his family hopes that Louisa Clark will be able to bring back Will’s laughter again. Initially, Will despises the sight of Louisa; however, after spending time together and getting to know each other, they realize they have a lot to learn from one another. Louisa has spent her entire life in the little town she lives in, never having the opportunity or the incentive to explore the world. Lou also realizes she has no dreams or goals in life, and Will allows her to understand how little she has lived of her life. Throughout the book, it is evident that Will hates his life after his accident. He hates being confined to a wheelchair and despises the idea of never exploring the world ever again. Lou eventually discovers Will has other plans in mind. Will Lou be able to change his mind, before the unfathomable happens?
Me Before You is a great book that I recommend to anyone who happens to read this book review. It encompasses many themes and valuable lessons. In the book, Lou is teased by Will when she mentions her former notion to go to fashion school. Also, Lou dresses weirdly and Will jokes with her by saying no one will buy her clothes. However, Will encourages her to go to fashion school no matter what anyone thinks of her, and he encourages her to travel, telling her exploring is sometimes the best way to learn. I really liked the book because it is humorous, emotional, and intriguing. What I found interesting is the ending, since it is different from most modern romance novels. Finally I want to reiterate one more time, I highly recommend this book to anyone who is finding a new read because it will leave you begging for more.
By Tehani Chowdhury
Social Media, such as Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and etc. are readily accessible through every platform nowadays due to the advancement of technology. We use our phones, computers and tablets to check social media during awkward moments in our lives or even when we’re just bored. Social media however, isn’t all that great when it is being used by some people 24/7 as it can have negative mental and physical effects on a person. This is even more serious as children have started using social media at such young ages, much earlier than what was typical a few years ago. I believe that informing the younger generation about the effective use of social networking, or in general, social media. The Internet is an absolutely amazing resource, and here are five tips on how we can harness the power of the Internet, in a positive way.
1. Fundraising & Crowdfunding
If you are part of or know an organization that is struggling to raise funds for an important cause, use crowdfunding websites, such as GoFundMe, IndieGoGo, Peerbackers and Kickstarter, and promote on social networks to raise funds. People are more generous than you think, and they are willing to donate their money even more so when it’s for a good cause. A $5 bill here and there from family, friends and relatives can go farther than you think!
2. Post Uplifting, Meaningful Messages and Photos
On Instagram, we see a lot of pictures of girls and boys with either new clothes, the newest food trend, cars or makeup... and if you haven’t noticed, there is a pattern here. We’re growing up in a culture that is dominated by the need for more materialistic goods and an instinct to share nearly everything we purchase to our social networks. This only reinforces a need to buy more and spend more, and whether we admit it or not, it is subconsciously ingrained into our minds. Positive ways of using this “trend” include taking pictures of amazing scenery and activities that reinforce ideas of spending time with those you love and happiness through moments and experiences shared, rather than obtaining or buying an item.
3. Creative Inspiration
Is there a big school project that you want to be creative with? Well, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr and so many more sites may be the answer. These websites allow people to make really nice crafts and do DIY’s that make everything much more meaningful and personal for whatever project someone is doing. Whenever you’re feeling a little down or you have some free time, you may want to make a DIY out of anything. By doing so, you’re using these simple everyday tools and creating something amazing out of it. In addition, the things you create may not look perfect or come out of a store, but you made it with your own hands, and just in that itself, it is wonderful.
By Kajal Reed
“Man eating machines!” “Man was attacked by a shark” “Sharks were spotted in the waters by the shore, do not go in the ocean!.” Those are the types of shark-related headlines that we hear throughout our lives. We also hear sharks are scary or sharks are dangerous; in reality that's all wrong. You may be quick to disagree, but it's a fact. Sharks are misunderstood, gentle, curious, and shy creatures of the sea. Many sharks, in fact, never eat humans to begin with. Whenever a shark does attack, it's by accident. When sharks see something that they are unaware of, and they're curious to see what it is, they will bite into that object, thus leading to people getting injured. Trust me, when a shark realizes that you're not his food or realizes that you're human, it quickly swims away. They don't want us.
Often in the sea, we move and imitate sources of food for sharks, like seal and fish, which is why sharks attack. But we shouldn't be afraid of sharks! They're really important and valuable to us because our whole ecosystem would be a wreck without them! This means that we would also be affected. The shellfish industry would not do well, and people who are big seafood eaters would not be happy with the outcome.
Hundreds of millions of sharks are being killed every year. The practice is called shark finning. Shark finning is when a person cuts a shark’s fins and throws its body back into the sea while they are still alive. Shark fins are used for shark fin soup, in which the fins are completely useless and have no taste. This occurs throughout the world.
In addition, sharks are often killed by bycatch. Bycatch is when you're fishing and a marine animal is caught unintentionally while trying to fish for other species, like tuna, crab, etc. It's a sad thing to believe and see.
I believe everyone should take the time to realize sharks aren't bad. They are misunderstood, they need to be heard, and they need a voice. I will be their voice. My suggestion is that everyone should take the time to watch the documentary Shark Water by Robert Stewart - it’s on Netflix. It can really change people's views, and it especially changed my point of view a lot. I have always been a lover of sharks but my understanding of them expanded greatly. If it weren't for this documentary, I wouldn't be the person I am today, which is a shark advocate.
By Alexa Mastrangelo
“’Very well, Carstairs he said…do as your parabatai did. Ready yourself for the whip.’ The whip came down. If she had thought she felt pain before, it was agony now. … she screamed, but she couldn’t hear herself...the whip came down a fifth time…but now she barely felt it as the darkness swallowed her.”
Emma Carstairs is a shadow-hunter, sworn to protect humans and fight an ongoing battle between demons. Piece of cake, right? Well, for Emma, it’s not. Eleven years ago, Emma’s parents were murdered in the midst of a huge war in the shadow world, so, naturally, every one brushed off the murder believing that it was infamous villain Sebastian Morgenstern, the one to start the war, who killed them. But now as strange things start happening again, Emma knows that it wasn’t him. Armed with her amazing blade Cortana, her Parabatai Julian, and her new family, Emma feels ready to avenge the murder of her parents. But what seemed like a simple task eleven years ago, suddenly becomes a lot more challenging as they find clues of the worst possible dark magic going on, that started with the murder eleven years ago and still hasn’t seen an end. Oh, and not to forget the dangerous and forbidden feelings coming to the surface in Emma toward her parabatai, which could basically destroy everything they love. As the clock is running out for the shadow-hunters to figure out the murder, the fate of the entire shadow world that once rested on Clary Fairchild’s shoulders now rests on Emma’s. But is that really a good thing? As unnatural things arise, so does the question: Will Emma be able to outlast her feelings and the strange murderer before they provide her with the same fate as that of her parents?
Two features I liked about the book were the characters and the plot. I liked the characters a lot because I thought that they were so unique, fit in so well together, and their faults were very interesting things to explore. I really believed and wished that they were real people so that I could meet them in real life. For example, I really admire Julian’s loyalty to his family and to his friends. He would sacrifice the whole world as long as his family was safe. Another character I liked was Cristina because she is always so kind and has a really gentle and healing air around her. She is always looking to help Emma and the Blackthorns even though she just met them. I thought that Cassandra Clare truly did a great job with the plot of the story, even if sometimes it became a little unbearable for me. She always kept this story flowing with plot twist, after plot twist, after plot twist. For example, when Emma, Julian, and Cristina have been trying to protect a half werewolf they thought was going to be killed, they then find out that the person they were trying to protect was actually the person who committed the murder of a young girl. This book truly kept me on the edge of my seat, and I really couldn’t stop reading. If you love a good, fantastic murder mystery, combined with romance and adventure, this book is definitely the one for you. To find out if Emma can save herself and everyone she loves, read Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, and if you’re still not satisfied, I suggest reading the sequel, Lord of Shadows, which is every bit as enticing as the first book.
Click here to view the book on Amazon!
By Paula Ramirez
Being an immigrant student is hard. Going to another country where you do not know anyone and do not speak the language can be a bit a complicated. When you leave your country, you are afraid that other people will not accept you as you are or where you come from. You are afraid they will simply judge you by your appearance. You are nervous that the change affects you completely, and that you will not see your relatives anymore. You feel nervous that everything you have in your life - your friends, your family, your home - will you leave you completely and that is the hardest part of all this, since you know that you are going to experience a new life.
I know that, here, I have better opportunities to learn good things. Some days are good and others not so much, but you always have to be patient, because good things come in time. I think you always have to find the good side to a negative situation. Though at the beginning there is a price to pay, in time, you will see it is worth it. You have to prove to yourself that you can get ahead on your own and succeed. Take advantage of opportunities that the new life gives you.
When I moved to here from Ecuador, I felt all the ways that I mentioned. I lived there for 16 years, and when I moved to Carle Place, I felt emotional, and at the same time sad, because I did not have friends. I was too shy to talk to people, because I only know a little bit of English, and I was thinking, “I can't do this.” I just wanted to go back to my country and have my life there, only coming here for my vacations, not to live here. Every day I was crying because I knew that I did not want to be here. I was always dreaming that one day I would wake up and be in my country again, but I knew it could never happen. It was just my dad and me. My mom came after with my brother, so it was more depressing, I was always alone in the house, so I always passed time in my room watching movies or programs all day long. I only left my room to eat food and go to the bathroom. That was my life when I came here.
I remember when I was a little girl, I had difficulty making friends, and that was the worst part. My parents always changed my schools a lot, so every school that I went to, the only thing that I was thinking at that time was, “Here we go again.” Meet new people, make friends, and try find a group. And that is what I thought when I was going to enter Carle Place. I was going to be the new girl again, the one who everyone looked at with a strange face. But as I went from day to day, I met people who spoke to me and I to them. The teachers also advised that I not be sad because I was going to improve over time. That helped me not to be so afraid and not feel so bad about the big change I had made in my life, and over the months, I made good friends. I learned there are good teachers that you can trust because they are always there for you, and they make you feel protected and confident in yourself. Then I started to see the school as a place where I could get out of my comfort zone and where I could be me.
I know that my parents only want the best for me. They want to see good things for my future and that of my brother. That is why they made this decision, and I know that, for them, too, this is difficult. Although it sounds so easy to say, to just come, study and work, but when it is so, you realize the reality. Over time I learned that things are not always as you want them to be, however much you want them. But sometimes the changes are good, even if you do not believe it in the moment. In spite of everything, in the time that has passed, my experiences here have made me consider Carle Place as my second home, where I have learned and am learning new things every day. It makes me a better person in the things I do, like having dreams and aspirations in life. It teaches me that I can reach my goals if I intend to, to be strong, and to move forward. You just have to think and be positive, because things alone have their own meaning, and to show that my effort is worth it, so that my parents feel proud of me, and see that their sacrifice has not been in vain.
I always have to remind myself that no matter what others say or think, I just have to trust myself, I am the only one who can judge myself, I need to try to be someone in life for myself, and I should feel very proud of myself. To any new immigrant students, remember that every sacrifice has its reward, and no matter how many times you fall, what is important is that you not stop and go ahead. Many will judge you and close the doors, but do not let that stop you from following your dreams. All the effort you put to what you propose will bring you good things in your life in the future. You can succeed and reach far, where you least expect it, just for the simple fact that you believed in yourself, and went step by step. If you have faith and want to prove that Latinos and immigrants also have the same will and desire to get ahead, like any person in the world, keep trying, because we are valuable, no matter what country we live in around the world.
By Alexa Mastrangelo
If you walk inside any middle or high school at lunchtime, you will probably see small clusters of kids keeping to themselves, whispering, pointing, playing, or eating together. These small groups of kids are called cliques. Many people claim that cliques are an important part of middle or high school life, to help kids be who they are with a small group of friends. Most people also claim that they are simply harmless. However, while they are correct that cliques are mostly formed when kids are in middle school, they are wrong when they refer to cliques as harmless.
Generally, people from the ages of 12-14 or from 16-18 are more likely to form a clique. Many of the cliques formed include people who have very similar beliefs. What many people do not know is that most cliques are formed to exclude people from groups of friends. Some excluding factors are different races, nationalities, genders, hair colors, eye colors, and even body image. While most cliques are formed mean-spiritedly, it is also possible for a clique to be formed accidentally. The meaning of forming a clique accidentally is simply when a very close group of friends who have the same interests, trust each other more, and feel more comfortable with each other start to hang out with those friends only, unaware that they could be excluding other people.
Most cliques begin as a way to keep a close group of friends. As people get older and their personalities change, many cliques grow to be mean spirited. An example of a mean spirited clique is when the people in the clique start to deliberately ignore people with disabilities, different skin colors, or other groups. Before the mean spirited cliques ever started to “pop up,” keeping small groups of friends was simply a way to have a sort of “family” when you weren’t with your actual family.
So how did modern cliques branch out to become so mean? Well it all started when school “social classes” came into play. A school social class is almost like an economic class. The main school social classes are made up of different groups that students view as the “popular and accepted” kids, the “average” kids, and the “neglected and rejected” kids.
These different groups of students include those who are stereotypically the most talkative and assertive, with exceptional social and leadership skills. There are also groups of students who are not leaders but are still commonly accepted by others. Other groups of students include those who are quiet and perhaps unnoticed, and those who are the “class clowns” or “bullies.” There are also students who are sad and depressed from being ignored or bullied by their classmates, or are prone to violence. When stereotypical “social classes” were established, the rate of cliques and bullying went up by twenty-five percent. Some students don’t fit into the typical groups and just don’t even associate themselves with them.
To further my information on cliques, I interviewed a thirteen year old who wishes to stay anonymous, but is involved in a clique. I asked her to describe all of the factors of her clique. She said, “I have three friends whom I always stick with because I trust them and because I don’t like forming big bands of friends. Most of the people in my clique have similar interests, but it really depends on the person. Some of the interests we share are reading, art, and bilingualism. Our clique is not mean spirited, and we do not exclude anybody, but we do tend to stick to ourselves and just help each other out. I think it’s important to have cliques for some people, but for me, the most important thing is having friends whom I trust.”
I also interviewed thirteen-year-old Dionysios Valentis, to hear about his clique.. He said, “My friends and I formed a clique because we were all in sports together. All of us like to play sports and we are all very competitive. The point of our clique was never to be mean-spirited, but sometimes we do exclude people. I think that cliques are important to middle school because you can be with people who have the same interests as you, and you can form long-lasting friendships.”
It’s hard to choose who to be friends with, but choose wisely because some cliques or social classes can have a lasting impact.
Source: Feder, Andrea. “What is a Clique?" Teen Health and Wellness. June 2015
By Lyra Lu
Imagine a future with robots doing all our work and jobs, so much free time on our hands now that we don’t work, and extra time dedicated to other things. Sounds like heaven, right? Think again. Experts predict in around thirty years, robots will do most of our work. Signs of robot apocalypse are already showing. According to The Telegraph, robots are doing more jobs that people used to do, like taking over the roles of pharmacists, prison guards, factory workers, and more. With more robots taking over jobs, it is resulting in job loss and an increase in poverty for many. What could robots and other forms of artificial intelligence mean for us?
For years, scientists have seen potential in robots, since they could do the slow, tedious jobs that our world offers, they could hold so much more information than humans, and they work alongside scientists as easily replaceable assistants. With all their knowledge and efficiency, they could really propel advancements in science. Although that may sound good, nothing is as it seems and everything has a price.
Almost everyone has thought about our future, maybe envisioning floating items and technology-rich homes where a room is cleaned with just a flick of a switch or a touch of a button. But many others also envision robots far surpassing us and starting to outwit us. When asked about what a future of robots might seem like, a student at CPHS said, “In my opinion, I see robots and artificial intelligence taking over the world. Robots could even send transmitters through the air one day.”
Artificial intelligence may be very helpful, but it just might be our road to extinction!
Sarah Knapton. “Robots will take over most jobs within 30 years, experts warn.” 13 Feb 2016
By Alanna Boland
Between rigorous classes, after-school activities, and the intense pressure of getting into college, it’s no wonder that teenagers seem more stressed than ever before. In a recent study conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), more than a quarter of teens (ages 13-17) reported having extreme stress levels, while only 18% reported having little to no stress. 59% of the teens surveyed reported that balancing all their activities was the thing that stressed them out the most. One of the reasons why many teens overload themselves with activities to the point of extreme stress is to impress colleges. Most colleges today want kids who can “do it all.” This means students who not only take challenging courses and maintain a high average in them, but who are also “well-rounded” and take part in multiple after-school activities. Because of this, I know many CPHS students who have taken a certain class or joined a club or sport just because they thought it would look good on their college applications – not because they had any actual interest in it.
Another study conducted by the APA found that today’s teens are experiencing more stress than adults. When asked to rate their stress on a scale of 1-10, teenagers averaged 5.8, while adults averaged 5.1. A possible reason for this might be that adults have their priorities in order much better than teens. Adults focus mainly on two important parts of their life – their jobs and their families. Teenagers, however, may care equally about every aspect of their life and try to devote the same amount of attention to each one. As a result, they can spread themselves thin and end up severely stressed.
According to USA Today, many students resort to unhealthy methods to balance their busy lifestyles, such as skipping sleep to finish assignments. In the APA’s survey, 26% of students reported losing sleep due to stress. Instead of choosing healthy ways to cope with their stress, such as exercising, students tend to choose less healthy ways, such as playing video games and spending excess time online. Of all the students the APA surveyed, only 37% reported exercising to manage their stress, and 28% said they played sports. In contrast, 46% admitted they played video games to alleviate stress, and 43% said they spent time online. According to USA Today, experts say these bad habits for dealing with stress can carry over into adulthood and result in detrimental health effects.
Some might say that this overwhelming stress is the fault of schools for giving teenagers more work than they can handle. However, you could also argue that the stress students are under is their own doing. They choose whether or not they want to take advanced courses, and they should know how heavy the workload is for these courses before signing up for them. Students can also choose which after-school activities they want to do, if any at all.
Others might say that colleges and universities are at fault for making students think that they won’t get into a good school if they aren’t able to do it all. This argument might have some merit, considering that the University of Phoenix released a TV commercial not too long ago that stated, “There are many requirements for a [college] degree...sleep isn’t one of them.”
On the other hand, some experts are saying that students may not be stressed at all. They believe the APA’s surveys are inaccurate because they measure stress based on what students’ own perception of it is. In an article for USA Today, teen psychologist Michael Bradley stated, “I'm not sure it would be the clinical definition of stress. I think they get stressed because somebody puts a demand on them and they don't want to do it.” In other words, it may not be the overwhelming amount of responsibilities students have that’s causing their stress; it might just be that they don’t want to complete those responsibilities. “However,” added Bradley, “on their behalf, I will fall back on the fact that hard numbers tell us kids are more anxious and depressed than they've ever been.” Severe stress is linked to anxiety and depression, so, while there’s a chance students are lying about or misinterpreting their stress levels, there’s also evidence to show that’s not always the case.
After reading this article about the effects of stress on teenagers, I’m sure the last thing you want to be right now is stressed out. So, here are some helpful tips for eliminating stress from your life: