Movies for March

A preview of 9 astonishing movies soon to hit the theaters in March.

March is a month of blossoming. With warmth, we embrace a blossoming of new changes—that includes the season, temperatures, and, of course, movies. To perhaps aid you in planning for what movie to watch during spring break, here provided is a list of 10 movies that will hit the theaters in March.

Logan (March 3)

In the third and supposedly last chapter in the superhero Wolverine’s saga, Logan protects newly introduced character Laura, a young mutant girl who shares the same power as Logan, from a government organization Transigen that exploits mutant children as uses of weapons. You must not miss out on this one because it is most likely this will be the last time Hugh Jackman will play Marvel’s mutant Wolverine on the big screen after his 17 loyal years as Wolverine.

The Shack (March 3)

Faith—the single word that can sum up this movie. Based on the New York Times best-selling novel by William P. Young, The Shack steers us through a character’s journey revolving around the forces of family and faith. The main character, Mack Phillips, weathering through a family tragedy alone, receives a mysterious invitation that is later proved to transform his life to one “full of wonder and miracle.”

Before I Fall (March 3) 

What would you do if you could live a day again? Before I Fall is a mystery drama literary adaptation of Lauren Oliver’s novel. Samantha Kingston, a young and charming woman with everything one can ever ask for—a boyfriend, friends, and the looks—is compelled to relive her last day over and over again while unveiling enigmas surrounding her death.

Kong: Skull Island (March 10)

Beauty and the Beast is yet another live-action adaptation of the animated and another classic and more or less familiar Disney fairy tale. With Emma Watson playing Belle, the bright, beautiful, and independent young woman, and Dan Stevens playing the Beast, the public’s expectations are high. Let’s hope the re-telling of the romantic and true love story allows us to relive the 90’s animated renaissance (And that the tea cup can still sing).

Life (March 17)

A science fiction horror film, Life is about a six-member crew trapped aboard the International Space Station in the middle of their research about extraterrestrial life on Mars. Get ready for the thrill as the movie is thought to resemble movies Alien and Gravity in various ways.

Power Rangers (March 24)

Chances are you all remember them from your childhood—and that they were for some reasonably period of time, your idols. Just like the film you faintly remember, Power Rangers features five ordinary (American) high school students with extraordinary powers and, most importantly, colorful suits to save the planet.

Ghost in the Shell (March 31)

With technology becoming a greater part of our lives, Ghost in the Shell shows a complete engulfment of humanity by technology. The main character is a human-cyborg hybrid, starred by Scarlett Johansen. And ironically, the movie is devoted to tell her battle against hackers.

The Zookeeper’s Wife (March 31)

Based on the real-life story of Antonina Żabińska,The Zookeeper’s Wife pictures the story of a woman who becomes a war hero during World War II. Putting her family and herself at great risk, Antonina opens her arms and the entrance of the Warsaw Zoo as refuge for people and animals in the midst of German invasion.

Boss Baby (March 31)

Dreamworks and animation. Putting those two together make perfection. The Boss Baby is not only hilarious with the most eccentric baby, Tim, who is boss like the title suggests wears a tie and speaks with the voice of Alec Baldwin, but also it leaves us with a heart-rending message about the value of family.

– Yoo Bin Shin (‘18)

Top 10 Winter Break Reads

Looking for some books to read over winter break? Grab a warm cup of tea and try these winter break reads!

Winter break is just around the corner—just a couple of days left! As our lives have been inundated with an incessant amount of assignments and exams, we finally have time to take a break from school. One way of resting up over the break for the new year and semester is to read some novels that you couldn’t possibly catch up during school. Below are top 10 novels that I, as an avid reader, recommend to get your mind off from work! 

1. Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Genre: Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Mental Health

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(storyman.com)

Tracing the life of a young boy who has schizophrenia, Challenger Deep takes the readers through the mind of Caden Bosch. As he is sent to a mental hospital for treatment, Bosch creates a second world inside his mind that is unlike reality: he is the artist of a ship that is headed for Challenger Deep, the south of Mariana Trench. Using simple yet beautiful prose, Schusterman leads the readers into a whole new world where imagination and reality are inseparable, whilst he reveals the truth behind the curtains of mental hospitals. A perfect book to get you out of your reading slump!

“Dead kids are put on pedestals, but mentally ill kids get hidden under the rug.”

 

 

2. Station Eleven by Emily Mandel

 

Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopian

station-eleve
(michiganradio.org)

A seemingly dark and sentimental novel, Station Eleven features a world twenty years after a devastating plague. However, one cannot call it a simple survival novel. Shifting back and forth from the current world where Kirsten, the main character,  watches King Lear to a desolate world where she faces isolation and killings, Mandel compares the modern world to that of an apocalyptic beautifully that it makes us appreciate the things we have today: laptops, phones, and even newspapers, raising important questions about the world: Why doesn’t a desolate world urge people to a common goal? Is it better to govern or be governed? Should we teach the children about the previous world? Poetically writing with the strategic diction and pauses, Mandel crafts the each one of the characters so intricately that the you immediately fall in love with them, a rare occurrence in apocalyptic novels.

““First we only want to be seen, but once we’re seen, that’s not enough anymore. After that, we want to be remembered.”

3. The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan W. Watts

Genre: Philosophy, Spirituality, Self Help

wisdom
(amazon.com)

More scholarly than the other books but nevertheless invaluable, this book discusses the need for people to find balance in an age where we worry greatly about the future and the past. It is an excellent book to read especially after weeks of hectic assignments and exams as you can start to apply Watts’s teachings of how to immerse yourself into the present to real life! As a student who is frequently insecure, this book plain spoken to me as it shifted my perspective on how to alleviate the anxieties I face everyday. Although some concepts are abstruse and heavy to comprehend, Watts integrates metaphors to help guide the reader, reminding us the beauty of using metaphors even in non-fiction.

“If, then, my awareness of the past and future makes me less aware of the present, I must begin to wonder whether I am actually living in the real world.”

 

4. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

 

Genre: Classic, Fiction, Historical Fictional

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(goodreads.com)

Focusing on two colored sisters that live in south side of America, The Color Purple touches on a variety of topics: racism, feminism, and more. The two sisters face grave situations wherein they are harmed and violated by men- one of the reasons why this novel is frequently listed for American Library Association’s Most Challenged Books. Regardless of the graphic language and scenes, the novel has a much deeper side to is as it depicts not only the history of the early 1900s but also the gravity of feminism in its history. The novel may be challenging to read at first as it uses odd formatting, but it gets better as you read. I would recommend that you read the first couple of pages out loud to understand the text.

“I think us here to wonder, myself. To wonder. To ask. And that in wondering bout the big things and asking bout the big things, you learn about the little ones, almost by accident. But you never know nothing more about the big things than you start out with. The more I wonder, the more I love.”

5. Expiration Day by William Powell

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian

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(usmacmillan.com)

Sometimes as high-school students, we are urged to read more classical books like Crime and Punishment and Macbeth. But sometimes, we need to read some teenage novels that brings the nostalgic feelings from our teenage years. A science fiction novel that ties in artificial intelligence with humanity, this novel depicts a world where nearly all the children are robots, except a few of those who are humans. Tania, who believes that she is a human, sets out to discover the reasons behind the division and whether or not she is truly a human. This novel is much more in-depth compared to what I first believed as it questions the existence of humans and our lives if we cannot distinguish between AI’s and humans.

“What rational being would willingly enter a relationship that’s guaranteed to end in sorrow? Grieving husband buries wife, or vice versa. Or they divorce. But we marry anyway. Because even death and divorce is better than loneliness.”

6. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller

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(wikipedia.com)

Need something that will keep you on the edge of your seat? Well, The Girl on the Train is the right book. Riding the same commuter everyday, Rachel watches a young couple from a distance for a few split seconds every day and imagines them to be a perfect couple. However, one night, as Rachel forgets her actions, she entangles everyone into an investigation, including the couple she saw. Told through three perspectives, the novel gets perplexing at times; nevertheless, the characters and plot are well-constructed that you start becoming eager for the next page. Great book that will make you stay up till 3 am!

“Hollowness: that I understand. I’m starting to believe that there isn’t anything you can do to fix it. That’s what I’ve taken from the therapy sessions: the holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mold yourself through the gaps”

7. What if? by Randall Munroe

Genre: Science, Humour

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(amazon.com)

For science nerds and non-science lovers alike, this book is an intriguing book for you to engage in your passion or just to learn about the science behind the world. Ranging from questions like ‘ From what height would you need to drop a steak for it to be cooked when it hit the ground?’ to ‘Is it possible to build a jetpack using downward firing machine guns?’ this book has great value to it since you can learn about scientific facts, both basic and complex. It can also build your common sense about the world, too!

“But I’ve never seen the Icarus story as a lesson about the limitations of humans. I see it as a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.”

 

8. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

 

Genre: Romance, Fiction

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(chatelaine.com)

If you think this is a cliche teenage romance novel like The Fault in the Stars, you’re wrong. Me Before You  has much more depth and meaning, at least to me, than just simple love line; it reminds us about what it means to have a voice, a choice in life. Featuring a rather ill-tempered, disabled man and a young, energetic woman, the book shows the two fall in love despite the barriers that separate them. The male protagonist’s decision at the end of the novel just plain spoke to me about how precious and beautiful the choices we make in life are, and that sometimes, you can’t make someone to become the person you want. You’ve got to read it and experience it for Moyes creates the two characters elegantly and builds up to the climax beautifully. Even the conversations between the the two will make you weep in tears.

“How could you live each day knowing that you were simply whiling away the days until your own death?”

 

9. Harry Potter by J.K Rowling

 

Genre: Fantasy

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(huffingtonpost.com)

Why not throw in a childhood favorite? As you probably know or heard, the Harry Potter series is a phenomenal book for many children. Students, however, never really get the chance to re-read those books that we used to read since we are so focused on academics. However, this winter, take the opportunity to rekindle the memories of your childhood while remembering Hermione’s sassy line, “It’s LeviOsa, not LeviosA,”and the enchanting wonders of Hogwarts!

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

 

10. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

 

Genre: Self Help, Psychology

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(blog.ted.com)

One of my all-time favorites, Daring Greatly discusses the importance of building shame resilience, revealing ourselves authentically, and being vulnerable. She explains how vulnerability lets us connect with one another and build compassion, whilst hiding our weakness and imperfection would make us isolated. Touching on a variety of subjects like sexism and parenting, this novel is continuing to help me grow confidence and acceptance of who I am. Strongly recommended to all students—don’t fear your imperfection, just accept who you are! Perfect book to end 2016 and kick-start to 2017!

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity.”

As high school students, it is no doubt difficult to fit in reading time with the large amount of assessments. Yet with the winter break approaching, you can catch up with all the reading you missed out on—and possibly even accomplish your reading goal! Regardless of which you books you read, I am sure that they will give you a new perspective wherein you can learn and empathise with.

—Sarah Se-Jung Oh (’19)

*Banner: Crescentia Jung (’19)

Upcoming Superhero Movies

Superheroes, superheroes, superheroes. Whether they be from Marvel, DC, or any other franchise, there’s no denying that superhero movies have dominated movie theaters today. What’s the secret, you may ask? There’s something in these superhero movies that just clicks for everyone and anyone. Comic book nerds, everyday moviegoers, adults, children, you name it – there’s just something amazing about watching a man in a cape and red undies or a billionaire in a robotic suit save the day time and time again.

Marvel and Fox have been churning out their Avengers and X-Men movies for years, and DC’s recently entered the party with their release of Man of Steel in 2013. We get to see comic book pages spring to life, with all different types of super-powered characters joining in everywhere. The superhero craze is here to stay, and it’ll only get bigger as more and more movies are released in the upcoming years.

There are a LOT coming. Brace yourself.

1. Dr. Strange (2016)

The next movie in Marvel’s lineup is Dr. Strange. Starring the beloved and charismatic English actor Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Steven Strange himself, Dr. Strange is the first comic book superhero movie to focus on the mystic arts of the universe, which include energy-binding spells and reality-manipulating powers. Dr. Strange is said to be the next Marvel superhero movie to truly shake up the Marvel Cinematic Universe with its introduction of mysticism and parallel dimensions. The hype for this movie is booming, and we’re anxious to see what Marvel can pull out from under its sleeve.

2. The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

This next movie is somewhat of an anomaly. The only 3D computer-animated movie on this list, The Lego Batman Movie is a direct result of the positive responses to The Lego Movie released by Warner Bros. Pictures in 2014, which also featured Batman as part of the main cast. With Will Arnett voicing Batman, the humour that we enjoyed in The Lego Movie is definitely going to be twice as heavily featured in The Lego Batman Movie, as shown by the truly comical trailers of the movie that have been released to the public so far. The plot of The Lego Batman Movie isn’t clear as of yet, but who cares when you can watch a Lego Batman run around Gotham City, putting away bad guys with a plethora of unique gadgets? Oh, and did we forget to mention that the entire movie is in LEGO?!

3. Wolverine 3 (2017)

Possibly the end of Hugh Jackman’s famed portrayal of Wolverine on the big screen, Wolverine 3’s plot is also unknown. However, there are rumours that “Old Man Logan”, a version of Wolverine who’s grown quite old (despite his healing factor) and tries not to kill anyone with his adamantium – or vibranium, whichever you comic book nerds and movie fanatics want to call it – claws. We’ll certainly miss Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, and we grow more and more excited to find out how Wolverine’s story will end!

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PC: 20th Century Fox

4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

After the unexpected success of Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014, James Gunn has returned to direct its sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, projected to be released in 2017. Hopefully we’ll see more of the dancing sapling (hint hint). The second Marvel movie to focus on the cosmic elements of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, mainly on the universe beyond the Earth’s mightiest heroes, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will reportedly reveal Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) mysterious father. Again, this upcoming movie’s plot is relatively unclear, but we definitely hope to laugh at the abundance of humour and story that we saw in Guardians of the Galaxy.

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PC: Marvel Studios

5. Wonder Woman (2017)

We loved her superhero debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last spring with her outstanding soundtrack; Gal Gadot is finally getting a full solo movie in 2017 in the upcoming movie Wonder Woman! The Amazonian member of the Justice League Triad (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) will participate in the First World War, and the trailer below shown at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 depicts just how outstanding the visuals will be in the upcoming movie. Let’s admit it: we’re mostly looking forward to the action scenes, and the supposed trench battle looks like it’ll blow our minds away. Keep yourself updated on this sword-and-shield wielding demigoddess’ upcoming movie!

6. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Another Spider-Man, you may ask? The Spider-Men depicted on the big screen have gotten younger and younger with every remake, and this one, portrayed by Tom Holland, is certainly no exception. Making his debut in Captain America: Civil War earlier this year, this version of Peter Parker is only 15 years old, and Spidey’s action scenes in the movie reminded us just how enjoyable Marvel can make its characters, no matter how often they’ve been shown before. Spider-Man: Homecoming’s title seems to represent how we feel about Spider-Man on the big screen: we’re eager to see a truly comic book-accurate version in Marvel live action, and we’re sure that we won’t be disappointed with this upcoming movie!

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PC: Marvel Studios

7. Thor: Ragnarök (2017)

Now this is a movie that comic book fanatics will be drooling all over their seats to see! Thor: Ragnarök will be the Norse/Asgardian god’s third solo movie after Thor in 2011 and Thor: The Dark World in 2013. We’ve seen him fling that unpronounceable/unspellable hammer Mjolnir and fly around different worlds, fighting bad guys all the way through. Like how Captain America: The Winter Soldier shook the Marvel Cinematic Universe (this was as spoiler-free as we could get it), Thor: Ragnarök will reportedly have universe-shattering moments throughout, including a supposed cameo by an armour-clad gladiator Hulk! Yes, folks, you heard that correctly: gladiator Hulk may be suiting up and fighting alien monsters on an alien planet with alien weapons! Gladiator and Hulk were just used in the same sentence! If that’s not enough to get you to the movie theatre in 2017 when this film is released, then you need to redefine your standards of awesome.

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PC: Marvel Studios

8. Justice League (2017)

Finally. This is the moment in comic book/movie fan history we’ve all been waiting for: the Justice League is coming to the big screen in live action for the first time. That’s right. We’ll get to see Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as the Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg. That’s a heck of a lot of comic book stars right there, and every single one of them will appear in Justice League in 2017. Despite the relatively negative responses to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (we’re softening it up quite a bit), our hopes and support are still there for Justice League. Don’t ever call it “DC’s Avengers” to DC fans; it’s the quickest way to start a heated argument between superhero fans that you really don’t want to get in the middle of.

9. Black Panther (2018)

Chadwick Boseman’s debut as Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War was nothing short of brilliant. He has all of the charisma, strength, and relatability that the Wakandan – a fictional, technologically advanced African nation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – king needs to dominate the big screen, leading Marvel’s charge into 2018. Essentially nothing is known about the plot of this upcoming movie, but after Chadwick Boseman’s performance as Black Panther earlier this year, we don’t think there’s anything to be worried about.

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PC: Marvel Studios

10. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

In 2018, we’ll get something even bigger than The Avengers, even bigger than Captain America: Civil War, and possibly even bigger than Justice League. Avengers: Infinity War is supposedly going to be the ultimate culmination of Marvel’s films right up to this very movie. The story will reportedly be split into two parts, but still have more than enough substance to fill two movies back-to-back in 2018 and 2019. Not much is known about the plot, but the big purple alien – last seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015 – who’s been observing the Marvel Cinematic Universe all this time will finally get out of his chair and do something for once. With nearly every character that Marvel’s put to screen coming together, including both films and TV, there’s absolutely no way that the releases of Avengers: Infinity War in 2018 and its sequel in 2019 won’t become huge – and we’re talking HUGE – blockbuster events for both superhero fans and everyday moviegoers alike.

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PC: Marvel Studios

The second decade of the 21st century is a good time, to say the least, to be a superhero fan, whether you support Marvel or DC. Of course, the age-old rivalry between Marvel and DC will still exist, and probably become an Infinity War (pun absolutely intended), but hey, that just adds to the fun!

– Daniel Park (‘17)

Featured Image: ComicsAlliance

Feel the Last Bit of Summer

Before we say our temporary goodbyes to Summer, let’s feel the season one last time through some of the hottest songs of 2016 Summer.

In case you haven’t noticed already, the traces of summer are slowly disappearing.  The cool winds are starting to smear into your skin, and with that your body feels the exotic chill… the sweater weather is coming.  Gone are the days of rolling around the grass under the warm sun.  Gone are the days of indulging fully in laziness.  
So before we say our temporary goodbyes to Summer, let’s feel the season one last time before we let go.  Here are the seven hottest songs from the 2016 Summer.

1. The Chainsmokers – Closer (ft. Halsey)

How can you not know this song.  With the “hey,” you find yourself immediately singing along to the lyrics “So baby pull me closer…” This song has it all: the catchy and varied tune, the easy-to-sing along, and the unique voices of the artists.  No wonder it was the biggest hit this summer.

2. DJ Snake – Let Me Love You (ft. Justin Beiber)

This song doesn’t seem to meet up to the expectations that people usually have for DJ Snake and Justin Beiber.  The chorus is pretty catchy, and good to follow along.  Maybe with a little variation in the tune could have made this song a greater hit than it is now.

3. Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha – In The Name Of Love

This song just seems to describe the peak of the summer.  The slow, steady build-up till the EDM tune makes the anticipated chorus more exciting and engaging.  The chorus part, though repetitive, has such great tune to it that you will immediately find yourself singing along to a lyric-less melody.

4. Jonas Blue – Perfect Strangers (ft. JP Cooper)

The unique beat will slowly start you moving in the beginning.  As these beats build up to the chorus, the song becomes more sprightly and energetic.  Jonas Blue, the renown UK singer, seems to meet up to his high reputation as an artist.

5. Calvin Harris – This Is What You Came For (ft. Rihanna)

This song as much as it belongs to a house EDM genre, stays loyal to keeping the listeners at an euphoric mood.  Certainly, a one time song.  The choppy, but easy-to-sing-along tune immediately engages the audience at once.

6. Hailee Steinfeld & Grey – STARVING (ft. ZEDD)

Hailee Steinfeld’s voice does it all.  The rhythmic beat puts your body into dancing mode before you even realize it.  The two artists convey an intriguing yearning for love by incorporating fresh, playful tunes with the EDM beats on the chorus.

7. Charlie Puth – We Don’t Talk Anymore (ft. Selena Gomez)

It’s strange how a sad story can turn into cheery beats.  Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez’s voice seems to blend in so well and in such a unique way.  The two singers sing with little energy in their voice but the tune itself is so addictive and catchy.  Ironic, but well done.

Before we let our moods get droopy from the nostalgic season, autumn, let’s celebrate the last remaining days of summer to the fullest with these songs.

– Eunice Na (’17)

Featured Image: sincerelystefie.com

Goodreads: The Book Lovers’ Social Media

The skyrocketing ‘book social media’.

Used by over 40 million book-lovers worldwide, Goodreads is an online website that allows people to share books to friends, track their own books, and find new books to read. This prevailing website can be coined as a social media: it allows you to discover what your peers from overseas or nearby are reading, their personal reactions towards certain novels, and enable others to see your own reading status. As Ms. Tiffany Skidmore, a KIS 8th grade English teacher at Korea International School who frequently uses Goodreads, said,  “Goodreads is an amazing tool I use almost daily in my reading life. I use it to stay connected to what my friends are reading; to find new books to read by the great book recommendations or by looking at ratings and reviews of books I’m considering; and, to keep track of and organize the books I have read. Goodreads has enriched my reading life in countless ways!” 

“Books are one of the strongest social objects that exist, so lots of people are innately willing to talk about and share them.” – Mr. Chandler, founder of Goodreads

One of the main features of Goodreads is its convenient method of tracing one’s own progress. There is are sections of the website called “2016 Reading Challenge” and “Currently Reading” where readers can update the number of pages they read in their currently reading books and see whether or not they are working towards their reading challenge. In between the two sections, there is another part where Goodreads recommend books that are in line or similar to the books that one is reading and the books that one rated high as, giving one a vast opportunity and exposure to a variety of novels ranging from contemporary to economics.

 

Goodreads: The Book Lovers' Facebook
(Goodreads)

Another aspect, according to a New York Times article, that makes this website an escalating social media and different from other book-tracking websites such as Shelfari and LibraryThing, is the fact that “people will put more faith in book recommendations from a social network they build themselves”(Leslie Kaufman). Goodreads accentuates individuality and commonality; it allows readers to create their personal bookshelves where they can easily find their favorite books and discover what their peers are reading. This assures the users to feel free to personalize their reading process, to express their own feelings towards a book, and advocate novels to their peers.

Goodreads: The Book Lovers' Facebook
(Goodreads)

Goodreads not only benefits readers, but also self-published authors—such as Lisa See. She, who is the author of New York’s Times Bestseller novel Shanghai Girls,  Snow Flower and The Secret Fan, claimed that she has been using Goodreads since 2009 and found it as “a way to meet your readers and hope they become your advocates and spread the elusive word-of-mouth places you are not going and are off the book-tour route.” In other words, Goodreads enables authors to engage with their authors and gain invaluable feedback from them.

As students, we should encourage each other to utilize this “book-lovers’ Facebook” not only to discover new books, but also to ascertain what our fellow book-lovers and peers are reading. If you are struggling to find your next novel to read, there is one solution: Goodreads. This skyrocketing website, perhaps, will become the newest, largest ‘book-social’ media yet in our world.

 

– Sarah Se-Jung Oh (‘19) 

Underrated TV Shows You Need to Binge Watch This Break

Need to kill some time this winter break? Here are the best underrated TV shows of all time.

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(USA)
  • In A Nutshell:
    • Shawn Spencer, an uncannily observant and lazy man, gets hired by the Santa Barbara Police Department to help solve crimes under the premise that Spencer is psychic. Together with his partner-in-crime and best friend Burton Guster, his ex-policeman father Henry Spencer, and police detectives Carlton Lassiter and Juliet O’hara, Spencer uses his “psychic powers” to deduce hints and help catch criminals. Not only is Psych hilarious and fast-paced, but at times is insightful and even scary.
  • Total Watching Time:
    • 8 Seasons, 121 Episodes
    • 22 minute episodes
    • 2662 minutes of 44.3 hours

 

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  • In A Nutshell:
    • Neal Caffrey is a world renowned white collar criminal, jailed for bond forgery by FBI Detective Peter Burke. After realizing the two could mutually benefit from a new Criminal Informant program, Caffrey is released into Burke’s supervision and helps the FBI to catch other high-class thieves. Although Caffrey consistently proves to be a useful asset for the FBI, Burke is always suspicious of Caffrey and his lifelong friend Mozzie. Caffrey, a clever guy, always finds ways to twist his situation to his advantage and it is always unclear what his ulterior motive is.
  • Total Watching Time:
    • 3 Seasons, 81 Episodes
    • 40 minute episodes
    • 3240 minutes, 54 hours

 

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(FOX)
  • In A Nutshell
    • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (also called B99 by fans) centers around Detective Jake Peralta, a hotshot detective with the highest arrest record who does not care for the rules of the precinct. However, Peralta’s life is turned upside down when a new captain, Captain Ray Holt, comes to the 99th precinct. Holt, being gay and black, has a lot to prove to the homophobic and racist elite police community and forces Peralta to respect his job. Other major characters include Detective Amy Santiago, who is a hardworking, suck-up detective close to beating Peralta’s record, Detective Rosa Diaz, an intimidating, down-to-business police-woman, Charles Boyle, a naive cop who idolizes Peralta and Gina Linetti, a free spirit civil worker and dancer.
  • Total Watching Time:
    • 3 Seasons, 52 Episodes
    • 22 minute episodes
    • 1144 minutes, 19 hours

 

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(HBO)
  • In a Nutshell:
    • A hilarious comedy full of sarcasms and innuendos centers around the Pied Piper tech startup run by introverted coder Richard Hendricks. Hendricks and his nerdy friends hope to make it rich in the increasingly competitive Bay Area. After Hendricks codes an incredibly powerful search algorithm, he is torn between selling his work for 8 figures or selling part of the company to a strange, but rich venture capitalist in exchange for funding and ownership. Insightful humor shows the crazy lives of those who work in tech start-ups and accentuates the character’s nerdy characteristics.
  • Total Watching Time:
    • 2 Seasons, 18 Episodes
    • 30 minute episodes
    • 540 minutes, 9 hours

 

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(All3Media)
  • In A Nutshell:
    • An edgy TV show on teenage sexuality, mental health and drug abuse, is split in two three different generations. In each one, the series focuses on a gang of friends and the difficulties they each overcome, whether it being struggling with anorexia, coping with the loss of parents and friends, or pining for a girl. The group members although drastically different, each bring an essential part to the team. The TV series is unique for every episode is filmed in the point of view of a different character. This change in perspective adds a twist to the program.
  • Total Watching Time:
    • 7 Seasons, 61 Episodes
    • 45 minute episodes
    • 2745 minutes, 45.75 hours

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 11.34.22 AM
(Hulu)
  • In A Nutshell:
    • This relatively unheard of show follows Tim, a father fighting for his son Marcus, in a custody battle. After applying to what he thinks is a civil service job, Tim is recruited to be a trainee spy at MI5. Marcus, an extremely mature and intelligent schoolboy, outwardly despises living with his father, but as the show progresses, he begins to realize how great his quirky father is. Spy hits touchy topics such as divorce in a humorous manner and never fails to entertain with its eccentric characters.
  • Total Watching Time:
    • 2 Seasons, 17 Episodes
    • 23 minutes, last episode is 44
    • 414 minutes, 6.9 hours

 

– Juyon Lee (’18)

Featured Image: Huffington Post

Seoul Fashion Week Recap

A recap on the stylish week of the year

With the cooling fall weather and falling leaves, while others are bringing out their autumn sweaters and heavy jackets, some are strutting out in their brightest clothing designed for summer and spring. What for?

It’s Seoul Fashion Week; the time for designers to display their latest collections for the coming seasons ahead. This time, the models are walking down the runways in the new Summer/Spring 2016 collections.

As South Korea continues to grow as a cultural hub for tourists and creative artists all around the globe, it’s inevitable that Korean fashion has been widely noted for its innovative and quirky style, unseen in other well known Western brands. Here are the top five Korean brands that stood out in this year’s SS 16 Seoul Fashion Week.

 

Photos by InDigital
Photos by InDigital

Kim Seo Ryong

Titled “Hey, Good Looking”, Kim’s SS16 menswear collection displays a range of aesthetics, from colorful abstract prints to more classic silhouettes. Kim established his brand in 1996, and is most well known for his finely tailored suits with his occasional touch of “rock star excess”. By using tougher materials such as leather and unconventional colours, Kim made even the most classic pinstriped shirt or plaid blazer look bold and outstanding. Contrastingly, Kim stuck to more neutral colours such as beige or black for louder prints. The stars of the show, however, were his colourful geometric pants and blazer, maintaining Kim’s signature eclectic rocker look.

 

Photos by InDigital
Photos by InDigital

Flea Madonna

Inspired by the term Prima-Donna, meaning the first woman in Italian, the womenswear brand is renown for its girly and quirky prints, combining dollish and edgy elements in the clothing. This season’s collection had a combination of extra girly pieces, with its sheer lace tops and flowing silk robes, and bolder, more manly articles, such as the slit leather culottes and varsity sweatshirts. Jei Kim, the designer of Flea Madonna, even paired the two together, with hooded jumpers and fluffy tulle skirts, creating an interesting juxtaposition between the casual tops and the more feminine bottoms. With slicked back hair and classic red lips, the models paraded down the catwalk, truly like prima-donnas.

 

Photos by InDigital
Photos by InDigital

Cres. E Dim.

Short for “crescendo e diminuendo,” the gradual increase and the gradual softening of sound, the brand Cres. E Dim. was launched in 2009 by Hong Bum Kim. Kim created unconventional silhouettes by having the fabric “overlapping the body…cut into fragments to add rhythm” (Cres. E Dim. official site). Pinstripes were all over Kim’s pieces, from trousers to collars, thick and thin. Playful icons, reflective of a circus, were spotted on many of the tops, and the models also sported trendy thin scarves around their necks. The colour palette was youthful, borderline tacky, with louder, elementary colours paired with muted denim and pastel tones. Silhouettes were either loose and boxy, with irregular necklines and extra wide lapels, or short and flirty, with high slits and body-hugging skirts.

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 9.24.41 PMKYE

Kathleen Kye’s high-end street style brand KYE is adored and worn regularly not only by Korean celebrities, but also by others around the globe. She has held shows at the New York Fashion Week event, and has showrooms in other global fashion hubs, such as Paris and Milan. This season, a common print was the continuous serpentine loops. The models bore midriffs, shoulders, and leg, in sheer mesh, short skirts, and cropped shirts, that all bore Kye’s signature black and gold or sweeter candy-coloured hues.

 

Photos by Benu Studio
Photos by Benu Studio

BAEMIN X KYE

A collaboration between one of Korea’s top delivery service systems, Baedal Minjok, and a world renown fashion label produced some of the most whimsical and edgy clothing seen at this year’s spring/summer SFW. The collection featured fun and comical phrases, such as “Please don’t lean on the door” and “Entrance forbidden: Officials only”.  The combination of Korean typography and fashion was unexpected, yet ultimately refreshing and original, as seen on the oversized sweatshirts, sporty bomber jackets, and flowing silk shirts. Many of the pieces were almost a collage-work of multiple Korean texts, from newspapers to street shop signs, creating novel graphic designs that have captivated fashion moguls from all around the world, including British fashion blogger Susanna Lau.

 

While New York, Milan, and Paris are all well-respected global fashion capitals that carry some of the world’s most recognized brands, it’s nice to come back to our roots and appreciate the great style that surrounds us today: in Seoul.

Which designs or brands allured to you the most this Fashion Week? Let us know in the comments below!

 

– Seiyeon Park (’17)

 

10 Must Read Novels

As hectic as our lives can be, it is essential for us to read multiple novels throughout our high school years.Whether it’s historical, fiction, psychological, our getting exposed to a wide range of literature will enhance not only our writing skills, but also knowledge. Below are ten novels—ranging from fiction to psychological, from historical to christianity—that I find engaging and thought-provoking. I hope you, along with your peers, attempt one or more of these books and truly embrace yourself into the powerful content and prose.

1.Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Genre: Non-fiction, Self-help, Business, Feminism, Leadership

10 Must Read Novels
(integrityequestriancenter)

 

Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In is an empowering novel that has changed not only the lives of women, but also the perspective of the society. Dissecting and examining current gender inequality, anecdotes, data and research, Sandberg reveals the harsh reality that surrounds women in the workplace. She advocates that women should Lean In at work and explains how vital it is for men and women to unite in making progress to this issue. Gender inequality is critical to know in our fast-developing country; yet, so little know about it. Reading this novel will make you ponder about aspects that you have never thought of and will make you want to lean into your work and responsibilities. 

“Women need to shift from thinking ‘I’m not ready to do that’ to thinking ‘I want to do that — and I’ll learn by doing it.’”

“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”

 

  1. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Genre:  Non-fiction, Self Help, Autobiography, Inspirational

 

10 Must Read Novels
(Goodreads)

Just as the subtitle states, this runaway bestseller novel revolves around two man and a concept: an old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson. Through the perspective of the author, Tuesdays with Morrie recounts the colloquial—yet inspiring—conversations that a young man named Mitch have with a dying, old man called Morrie. The two planned to talk about how they are doing; however, it turned out to be a final class about how to live. A heartbreaking and inspiring novel that will change your life completely.

Tuesdays with Morrie has made me hungry to find a teacher like Morrie”- Anonymous Freshmen
The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” -Mitch Albom

 

3. Everything is Illuminated– Jonathan Foer

Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Contemporary

 

10 Must Read Novels
(Goodreads)

Jonathan Foer’s novel is divided into three sectors and perspectives: recount of journey, history, and letter. The novel mainly focuses on the journey of Foer who travels to Ukraine with a blinded man, a lustful dog and a bad translator in quest to find the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazi. The other two sectors seem to be completely divergent and non-linear to the story; however, these three intertwine as the story drives through and remind us that confusion is what makes this novel so unique and powerful. Beautiful prose, jargons and sentences that will guarantee you to be illuminated—you will cry, scream and smile.

“She was a genius of sadness, immersing herself in it, separating its numerous strands, appreciating its subtle nuances. She was a prism through which sadness could be divided into its infinite spectrum.” —Jonathan Foer

  1. Letter from Birmingham by Martin Luther King Jr.

Genre: Non-fiction, Politics, History

10 Must Read Novels
(Goodreads)

Through the play of words, Martin Luther King Jr. portrays the injustice that evolves and dominates in Birmingham. The letter was, initially, to the clergyman who forced him to stop campaigning; however, instead, it is a depiction of the cruel inequality that still lingers around human and a compelling defense of nonviolence. Inspiring and powerful, Martin Luther King  Jr. guides the readers through his cogent logic, enabling you to have a firmer grasp on reality.

“Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. Anyone who lives inside the US can never be considered an outsider anywhere in the country”

“Justice too long delayed is justice denied”

  1. City of Thieves by David Benioff

Genre: Historical Fiction

10 Must Read Novels
(Goodreads)

Imprisoned for looting, Lev—a socially awkward, passive Jewish boy—meets an outgoing, garrulous Cossack deserter named Kolya. Rather than being executed, the two are given an alternative: to find a dozen eggs for the colonel’s daughter’s wedding cake. In the war-torn city of Leningrad where even finding a single meal is a rarity, Lev and Kolya venture on a perilous journey that will determine their fate between life and death. What makes this novel compelling is the fact that Benioff intertwines history with humanity, allowing us to know that friendship is what keeps us going. 

“ I have always believed that smile was a gift for me. Kolya had no faith in the divine or the afterlife; he didn’t think he was going to a better place, or any place at all. No angels waited to collect him. He smiled because he knew how terrified I was of dying. This is what I believe. He knew that I was terrified and he wanted to make it a little easier for me.”

 

  1. Elements of Style by William Strunk

Genre: Non-fiction, Language

10 Must Read Novels
(thedailybeast)

A classic manual that will help amateur or professional writers to find their own style. Starting from basic grammar instructions to tips on choosing the right dictions, The Elements of Style is a short and powerful book that will guide you to writing with power and passion. 

“To achieve style, begin by affecting none”
“ When a sentence is made stronger, it usually becomes shorter. Thus, brevity is a by-product of vigor.”

  1. The Geography of Thought by Richard Nisbett

          Genre: Psychology, Non-fiction, Philosophy, Sociology

10 Must Read Novels
(smithsonianapa)

As international students, we often see the divergent characteristics among Westerners and Easterns—not only in appearance, but also behaviours, logic and decisions. In The Geography of Thought, Richard Nisbett utilises history, statistics, diagrams and examples to convey and inform the readers about how the two are different and why. Reading this will allow readers to appreciate who they are and the reasons for this difference.

“‎The Chinese believe in constant change, but with things always moving back to some prior state. They pay attention to a wide range of events; they search for relationships between things;and they think you can’t understand the part without understanding the whole. Westerners live in a simpler, more deterministic world; they focus on salient objects or people instead of the larger picture;and they think they can control events because they know the rules that govern the behavior of objects.”

  1. Predictably Irrational– Dan Ariely

Genre: Economics, Non Fiction, Business, Psychology

10 Must Read Novels
(Goodreads)

In our lives, we always overpay, procrastinate and belittle; for so long, many have believed that we are innate in these actions and that our decisions are unpredictable. Ariely, however, reprimands this commonplace notion and entices us through statistics, economics and experiences that we are linear and predictably irrational. Once one finishes this, he or she will never think about decision making and economy the same.

“We usually think of ourselves as sitting the driver’s seat, with ultimate control over the decisions we made and the direction our life takes; but, alas, this perception has more to do with our desires-with how we want to view ourselves-than with reality”

 

  1. Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo

Genre: Nonfiction, Christianity, Spirituality, Inspirational, Autobiography/Memoir 

10 Must Read Novels
(Amazon)

Colton Burpo, a four years old who made it  through an appendectomy surgery, tells his parents of how he went to heaven whilst he was in operation; how he met Jesus; how he discovered what happened before he was born. As absurd as this sounds, his parents constantly gets aghast and shocked at his seemingly fictional yet true recount. Heaven is for Real will alter the way you think about eternity, life and love.

“…when I was angry at God because I couldn’t go to my son, hold him, and comfort him, God’s son was holding my son in his lap.”  

 

10. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teentalk Getting into College  by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Amy Newmark

Genre: Self-help, non-fiction

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(simonandschuster)

As high school students, we are always pressured about getting into college—especially with the upperclassmen. In this novel, there are 101 first-hand stories and recounts from students all around the world who have experienced getting into college. Intertwined with multiple emotions, these stories will guide and remind you that although the application process is onerous, the experience is successful and rewarding.

“The best counsel of all comes from reading the real stories of those who have known the anxiety and uncertainty of the college application process”- Sally Rubenstone

 

– Sarah Se-Jung Oh (’19)

The Deal with the Red Cups

Haven’t you heard? Everybody’s talking about it.

Everybody’s favorite (yet ridiculously overpriced) go-to cafe: Starbucks. Especially during this time of the year, Starbucks surprises us with amazing drinks that are just right for the season. And an extra something that comes with its warm, cozy drinks are their ever so Christmas-y cup designs with snowflakes and reindeers. However, this Christmas, Starbucks decided to take a different route. A rather orthodox one, at that. As Jeffrey Fields, Starbucks vice president of Design & Content mentioned,

“In the past, we have told stories with our holiday cup designs. This year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”

Source: gossipcup.com
Source: cdn.inquisitr.com

Quite beautiful. Am I right, or am I right? But we can’t always have everybody impressed and satisfied. The word is out that some people are absolutely horrified by this reveal. Sure, it’s different from the traditional Starbucks cup designs, but what’s so bad about this minimalistic look they’re rocking? Well, apparently, the fact that their designs no longer feature cliché Christmas symbols are making Christians go insane.

https://twitter.com/ChuckNellis/status/662292182393597952

Even Donald Trump is concerned about this “issue”, suggesting boycotting Starbucks over their new holiday cup design. As he said during his campaign event in Springfield, Illinois,

“Did you read about Starbucks? No more Merry Christmas on Starbucks. Maybe we should boycott Starbucks.”

And indeed, offended Christians are boycotting…each in their own way. Many of them are seen posting pictures of Starbucks drinks they have purchased. The only thing is, they haven’t been using their true names when doing so. They’ve all been telling their baristas that their names are “Merry Christmas” so that all of their cups have the words “Merry Christmas” written on them. This whole trend was started by Joshua Feuerstein, who is—surprise surprise—also a Christian. He apparently believes that “Starbucks removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus,” and he has convinced hundreds of others to join him on his so called journey, under the hashtag, #MERRYCHRISTMASSTARBUCKS.

Of course, we must consider the other side of the spectrum: those who really couldn’t care less about the cup, and just want their morning coffee.

Come on guys, they’re just cups. The rationale that Starbucks hates Christians and Christmas because they changed their holiday cup design is absolutely bizarre. Starbucks most definitely does not hate Christmas (why else would they have carols on loop at their cafes since October), and neither do they hate a specific group of people. And to make such assumptions because of what they decide to put on their cups is absurd. ‘Tis the season to be jolly. Let’s just enjoy our drinks, and be thankful that the year is almost over!

– Leona Maruyama (’17)

Featured Image: wtop.com

Top 10 Underrated Songs You Should Be Listening To

Warning: Low Key Hipster

Tired of listening to all those mainstream songs? Nae Nae? Anaconda? Show Me the Money? Tell me about it. There are so many underrated, not-listened-to-enough songs out there you should be searching up right this moment. I mean, doesn’t the thought of countless great songs you never end up listening to absolutely haunt you? Fear not; Blueprint’s got you covered. Here is a list of the top 10 underrated songs you should be listening to like, now.

 

“We Won’t” by Jaymes Young & Phoebe Ryan

Match made in heaven; the two voices complement each other ever so perfectly, giving off a unique and one-of-a-kind vibe. The poignant yet exquisite lyrics about letting love go will make you listen to this song on repeat.

 

“Aloha Ke Akua” by Nahko Bear (Medicine for the People)

Aloha Ke Akua means God is Love in Hawaiian. As beautiful as the title sounds, same goes for the song itself. The relaxing aura this song builds throughout its ten minute span is definitely worth giving a shot.

 

“Sober” by Childish Gambino

Childish Gambino, also known as Donald Glover, is a well known comedian. But have you ever given his music a try? If not, try listening to this song. It’ll help you calm down and loosen up, and it’s great to listen to while taking breaks in between your studies!

 

“Stuck on the Puzzle” by Alex Turner

One word: Breathtaking.

 

“Forgiveness” by Made In Heights

Forgiveness by Made In Heights is a combination of an extremely soothing voice and an unconventional song style. It’s undeniably different and fresh and it’s guaranteed to make you obsessed for a while (happened to me).

 

“Irish Margaritas (RAC Mix)” by Harriet

When is a RAC mix NOT good? Imagine you’re staying home, cozy, cuddling under dim lights and feeling super relaxed (maybe near a fireplace, too). This song, Irish Margaritas, is the kind of song that would be playing in the background. Basically what I’m getting at is, listen to it now.

 

“Demon Dance” by Surfer Blood

With its catchy chorus and inspirational lyrics, Surfer Blood will get you hooked to its indie rock song, Demon Dance. You’ll find yourself humming the tunes, chanting the lyrics, and constantly replaying this video.

 

“California” by Rogue Wave

California: Charged with multiple emotions, yet soothing at the same time. Their spot-on lyrics with the underlying message of, “no matter the uncertainty out there, hope will always lead you somewhere”, Rogue Wave will not fail to mesmerize you.

 

“James Dean & Audrey Hepburn (Acoustic ver.)” by Sleeping With Sirens

Sleeping With Sirens is a well known rock band, usually with rather hardcore songs. However, their acoustic songs take a complete 180 degree turn, giving off somewhat of a sentimental feeling.

 

“Ocean” by Coasts

A perfect summer song, as well as a love song. Missing the hot and sunny months of July and August? Let Coasts take you away.

 

– Leona Maruyama (’17)