Author Archives: Teen Blogger

Choosing a College: Teen Perspectives

College WheelIt’s just past the time that high school seniors have decided on their college, and juniors are looking ahead to applications. It’s nice being able to talk to someone who’s gone through the same process that many juniors will go through. There’s much to think about: the SAT, the ACT, good grades, finding a school that fits your interests, essays, applications, visits, and more.

We have the perspective of two high schoolers: Brooke who has been through the application and acceptance process, and Claire, who is just beginning it.

Brooke: Finding the right college is really difficult. My decision came down to two schools, and a lot of different things factored into my final choice. You have to consider location, class difficulty,cost, the “feel” of the school and it’s social aspects, and a ton of other stuff. With the two schools I had, one was much more prestigious but a lot more costly, and the other one had given me scholarship money, but wasn’t particularly well-known.

I had to weigh my options: would the more abundant opportunities at the one school outweigh its cost? Would I be happy in the towns the schools were in? Did I feel welcome and included by current and other prospective students? You may never have that moment where you just know, like a lot of people talk about. You have to trust you’ll make the right decison for you.

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Thirteen Reasons Why – Filled with suspense, good life lessons

Title: Thirteen Reasons WhyThirteen Reasons Why

Author: Jay Asher

Summary: No one expected Hannah Baker’s death, but thirteen people would soon find out how their actions and words pushed Hannah off the edge. Clay Jensen is determined to listen to Hannah’s thirteen tapes to figure out her story, and why he is in it. These tapes show a side of Hannah that no one saw, and the truth about who she really was.

Gut Reaction: Filled with suspense, good life lessons.

I would give this book 8/10 stars because it was detailed and had a good plot, but was slow at times.

What I loved: I really liked how the book took the image of a perfect girl in high school and showed the reader that she has feelings and is just like everyone else.

Why: This book always keeps you guessing what will happen next and surprises you with each new tape. The characters are all distinct and have intriguing personalities that draw you in.

Websites of interest:

Thirteen Reasons Why website

-Afsara, Greenwood, Teen Adviser

GWD

Philosophy Class – questioning your surroundings is good for the soul

Philosophy Class Review

Plato

Plato

Philosophy…what does this word exactly mean? Well, it’s derived from the Greek roots Filo, meaning love, and Sofia, meaning wisdom. Thus creating the word φιλοσοφία (Philosophy), the love or pursuit of wisdom. I took this class at North Seattle Community College and initially it was just for the sake of earning the credit, but as the quarter progressed I grew to love the class and its mind boggling concepts. Philosophy 101 took a general view on various ideologies but ideally philosophy can be broken down to five specific branches:

 

  • Metaphysics: explores outside of physicality such as ideas and question about existence,
  • Epistemology: the theory of knowledge “What is Knowledge? Can I prove I have knowledge of anything?”,
  • Logic: reasoning and inference; a majority of people tend to have something called Dysrationalia which is when you’re unable to reasonably think through a situation or problem despite being an individual with a high I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient),
  • Ethics: Moral Dilemmas,
  • Aesthetics: questioning the benefits of experiences.

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Pantomine – a tale of deceit, mystery & magic

PantomimeTitle: Pantomine

Author: Laura Lam

Summary: Micah Grey wants to get away from his life—and the circus seems to be just the right place to do that. He delves into the world of circus arts as a new trapeze artist, but soon learns that the circus may not be quite what it seems. As the story unfolds, more of just who Micah is gets revealed, and between Micah’s past, and Micah’s present, a tale of deceit, mystery, and magic is unveiled.

Quick review: Do you like magic, circuses, and stories where the main character isn’t who they say they are? Then you’ll probably like this book. Told in a flip-flopping style of one chapter in the past, and one in the present, Micah’s story quickly begins to unfold. As the reader, you get caught up immediately, because you can tell that there’s something about Micah that he’s not telling you yet.

I started reading because… I was told that it had good representation of characters who were learning more about their gender and their sexual identity, as well as having an engaging fantasy setting.

I would give this book8/10 stars. It’s engaging and exciting, although the language felt a bit simplistic at times. I found the flip-flopping story technique frustrating at times, when I just wanted to get back to the storyline I had been on, but ultimately it was, in my opinion, the best way to tell this story.

-Sofia, 16, Greenwood Teen Advisory Board

GWD

Mirrors – psychological mysteries

Title:  Mirrors

Author:  John O’Brien

Summary: A father’s mental struggle as he switches between two realities: one where his family is alive, and one where his family has died in a house fire.

Gut reaction:  Loved it!

Why: The beginning was somewhat difficult to get through. Although once you get past the first scene with the family everything starts to make since in a sort of creepy yet awesome way. It was the type of play that required multiple read-throughs to find all the hidden connections O’Brien made between his two realities. I found the play left me with many questions but I was well satisfied with the twists, turns, and answers it did give me.

Who would like this book: You would like this play if you enjoy psychological mysteries.

Note: This play is not available through The Seattle Public Library. If you are interested, you can request it from another library system for a $5 fee or purchase your own copy.

-Catalina, Teen Blogger

Grand Budapest Hotel – Won 4 Oscars!

GBH

Who doesn’t love an indie film every once in a while? I sure do. Director Wes Anderson’s film The Grand Budapest Hotel recently won 4 Oscars, including Best Achievement in Costume Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, as well as Best Original Score. This movie tells of the adventures of a concierge and his lobby boy living in the fictional country of Zubrowka during the 1930s.

The lovely book The Grand Budapest Hotel by Matt Zoller Seitz was just released as a companion to The Wes Anderson Collection. Both are fantastic reads. Go to your nearest library and pick up a copy today! If you are interested in learning more about Wes Anderson or The Wes Anderson Collection, head on over to the blog post Indie films: Wes Anderson. Thanks for reading!

-Laura, 17, Greenwood 

GWD

Sweep: Book of Shadows – unique plot & clear details

Sweep Book of ShadowsTitle: Sweep: Book of Shadows

Author: Cate Tiernan

Summary: After meeting Cal, a mysterious new student, Morgan is immediately drawn into his personality and his magical Wicca culture and rituals. Wicca soon becomes her passion and she finds out that she is involved with Wicca in more ways than she ever thought possible. She soon starts unraveling the history of her family and her true identity, which will change her life and the way she sees the world forever.

I give Sweep: Book of Shadows 9/10 stars because of the unique plot and clear details.

Why I started reading: The engaging title and design on the cover got my attention. I like books about fantasy and magic in the real world, and this book seemed like it would be a good book to read in that genre.

Gut Reaction: Characters are easy to visualize, this type of magic is very different that what I thought of before.

What I loved: The descriptions of what happens during the Wicca rituals make me want to meet the characters and experience what they do. I found a new perspective of magic, and the setting in the book is hauntingly beautiful.

Websites of Interest:

Sweep series blog

-Afsara, Greenwood, Teen Adviser

GWD