Tips for Writing a Good Research Paper

By: Fiona Schneider.

With school comes the inevitable need to write research papers. They can be about any subject, much to the chagrin of every student on the planet, especially when the math teacher decides it’s cool to assign one on the history for a particular theorem. Who really wants to mix math with more letter variables than already exists, much less blend this further with history? Nobody, but if you don’t want to fail the assignment, here are some tips to writing a stellar research paper your teacher won’t cringe while reading.

Tip #1: Avoid First or Second Person

This tip has varying levels of importance depending on the subject you are writing about. A general rule of thumb, though, is to always avoid second person in research papers and be careful when using first person. For science research papers where hard facts are valued over opinions, it is best to stick to third person no matter what. However, if you are writing a research paper on a piece of literature where your interpretation needs to be included, first person can be applied as appropriate. If you are not sure whether you can use a particular tense in an essay, the safest bet is to simply ask your teacher. I can say from experience, though, that teachers find student papers that avoid first or second person to sound more refined, formal, and compelling since third person often gives a voice of omnipotent authority and thus sounds more convincing.

Tip #2: Properly Cite Your Sources

Perhaps the biggest mistake any student can make is not properly citing their sources. Not only is plagiarism simply illegal, but also it can be easily avoided with proper citations. The first step to properly citing sources is to know what type of style the essay is written for. Common essay formats are MLA, APA, and Chicago. Each style has unique requirements and different ways to cite sources whether they use footnotes or in-text citations. A properly cited essay also has a separate page at the very end of the paper reserved just for the “Works Cited” or “Bibliography” page where the writer will list in alphabetical order every source of information used within the essay. If you find yourself struggling with how to properly cite a source, don’t worry, there are plenty of resources out there to make sure you don’t accidentally plagiarize someone else’s creative or intellectual property like the ones mentioned in the next tip!

researchpapers1Tip #3: Use a Style Guide or Help Reference

Many books are written just for the purpose of helping students learn and understand how to cite their sources in a research paper and to make the research paper be more noticeable/memorable as a finished product to the teacher. Atlantic Publishing has helpful resources for both high school and college students in the following: A High School Student’s Guide to Research Papers: 101 Ways To Make Your Work Stand Out and A College Student’s Guide to Research Papers: 101 Ways To Make Your Work Stand Out. These guides were designed to help you figure out how to correctly write a research paper. Without the next tip, though, formatting the paper correctly is irrelevant.

Tip #4: Avoid Noncredible Sources

We have all heard the speech about using Wikipedia as a source in a paper, and the same goes for many other sources that can be found on the internet as well. Even printed books can be noncredible sources if the information they contain is now outdated. It’s important to do your research (no pun intended, apologies) and determine whether or not a source material is actually providing you with true material. This is especially important for science papers, but even for English papers as well if the source writes about events that may never occur in the novel it describes. For web sources, typically cites that end with .gov/.edu/.org are considered credible as they are typically sponsored by credible organizations. However, online newspapers and other regular .com sources with real information can be found just as easily as long as you cross-reference information to make sure it really is the truth.

Tip #5: Write a Cyclical Paperresearchpapers2

As a final tip on how to write the essay, write a cyclical paper. This may not make sense up front, so let me explain. A cyclical paper starts by introducing an idea, either supports or debates this idea in the body, and then affirms or negates the original idea in the conclusion from the evidence drawn from the body. An introduction paragraph should only explain the initial idea and give background, it should not begin the debate of evidence. This should be left in the body. And finally the conclusion should not feature any new ideas not discussed in the introduction or body, but rather give a summary of the findings from each. A successful conclusion paragraph also brings the introductory statements directly back into mind, thus creating a “circle” in the writing.

Hopefully, with these tips you feel more confident in tackling your next research paper and are eager to get the best experience out of it you can. After all, research papers are predominantly about learning new information and discussing it, so you may just surprise yourself with your findings.


Top 5 Favorite People in the Book Community

By: Martha Pointer

The book community is an awesome group of people who, to put it simply, love literature and reading. It consists of publishers, editors, authors, and readers who have a passion for books, and there are some pretty spectacular members of this close-knit community. Today, I’m going to talk about my top 5 favorite people in the book community — a tricky task because there are so many fabulous bookish people out there.

sarah-j-maas_05. Sarah J. Maas

How could I not include my other favorite author on this list? I absolutely LOVE Sarah J. Maas’ series — every single book she writes is a masterpiece in my eyes. I have two tattoos that are connected to her fantasy novels, and her world-building and characters are simply to die for. Next to J.K. Rowling, SJM is my author queen.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset4. Jamie of The Perpetual Page Turner

Jamie is a book blogger I’ve followed for years. She reviews mostly young adult novels, and she’s got a slew of feature posts she’s created that I always find interesting or entertaining. Jamie’s a pioneer in book blogging and helps keep a lot of readers, myself included, up to date on YA releases and reviews. Plus, she’s super open and honest about her life and reading habits, and that makes her relatable.

196459273. Regan of PeruseProject

Regan is a YouTuber, or BookTuber as it’s called in the book community, who I’ve followed since her early college years. She posts all sorts of book-related videos and has a very relatable, humorous personality. I especially like her channel because she reads and discusses a lot of fantasy and historical fiction novels, and those are by far my two favorite genres.

Emma-Watson-Book-Club-Books2. Emma Watson

I adore Emma Watson, not only for her portrayal of Hermione Granger (and her other acting roles) or her work as the UN’s ambassador for women’s rights, but also because a year or two back she founded a feminist book club called Our Shared Shelf on Goodreads. I thought this was such a cool idea, because it relates directly to the issues she addresses on her public platform, but is a more intimate way for fans and readers alike to connect with Emma and the feminist movement.

rowling1. J.K. Rowling

How can J.K. Rowling not be on a list like this? Not only did he author Harry Potter, arguably the most famous children’s series of all time, which has touched countless lives with its magic, but she also founded her own nonprofit organization, the Lumos Foundation, to benefit children in mental hospitals and speaks out regularly about political issues and injustices. In short, she’s a pretty marvelous woman.

So there you have it: my top 5 favorite people in the book community. As hard as it was to narrow down my list, these people have all had a significant impact on my reading and I am thankful that they choose to be a part of this lovely literary community.

Who are some of your favorite bookish people?

Reflecting on My Reading Year

By: Kylie Widseth


Often what my TBR pile looks like.

I used to always want to be able to report that I’d read 50 books this year, or I wanted to be a person that averages a book a week. But, that’s not me. I don’t know if that will ever be me, and that’s okay.

I think as readers we can’t help but compare ourselves to our reader friends, even though that’s not really fair to do. We don’t have the same exact lives as our friends, so how can we compare our reading habits with theirs?

Even though I haven’t read every single book I planned to get to so far this year, I still do very much consider my reading year to be accomplished thus far.

This year has been one of my most successful reading years outside of actually physically reading. I personally consider my reading year to be more about my reading journey than the number of books I’ve read over the course of a given year rather than just about the number of books I’ve read.

IMG_5973I’ve made so many new book friends, not only in my college town, but also people all over the country! I’ve been able to meet some authors I never even dreamed of meeting. I’ve discovered all kinds of new books that I’ve now already read, or I’m very eager to read! I got to go to BEA and BookCon, something I’ve only dreamed about! I’ve been able to talk to all kinds of people in the publishing industry. Heck, I even started working at a publishing company (thanks, Atlantic!), I mean how much more real can it get.

IMG_6033Never ever ever would I have thought that I’d would get the opportunity to meet Stephen Chbosky, author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and somehow that happened? I recently got to see a screening of the film for an early celebration of National Banned Book week, and I had to resist from squealing throughout the movie when all my favorite lines were said.

Back to the original thread, though, I know everyone is probably looking for that infamous number, how many books has Kylie read this year? While I know everyone is looking for it, I do want to emphasis that I don’t know the number off the top of my head, and I think that’s the way it should be for all readers. Don’t let your reading goals drive you mentally insane. Remember to enjoy reading because that’s really what it’s all about. There’s no need to rush through a book just to get to the next one (this also tends to allow you to remember what actually happened in the book when you slow down and simply read).

But, if you really want to know, Goodreads tells me that I’ve read 20 books this year. Or at least that’s the number of books I’ve remembered to log on Goodreads.


Proudly hugging my most treasured items — books.

I’ve been able to branch out and read books from all genres, books by new authors, books for school, I’ve been reading classics now, and I even got to reread one of my favorite kid’s books (thanks, Atlantic, again!).

Regardless if you’ve read one book this year or 100, be proud of yourself! That’s at least one more book than you read last year!

Remember that the only person you should be comparing yourself to is well, yourself!

With that, keep on reading and enjoy the literary journey!

Good Jobs for Teens in School

by Fiona Schneider

High school is a time where many students want to branch out and get their first job. It’s a personal choice, but when considering a job, you need to think about your options. Whether it is because you purely want the experience, or you just don’t want to keep asking your parents to pay for things, finding a job while still being a student can be intimidating. Below are some job choices that will work with a student’s schedule and allow you to gain better personal skills, such as communication or courtesy.

#1 Cashier

Being a cashier is a common entry-level job for teens in school. The hours tend to be more flexible so working around your school schedule is no problem, especially if you only work part time and don’t dismiss working on the weekends. Cashiers are present everywhere in your local grocery store, movie theater, clothing departments, and many other areas. Depending on where you work, cashiers often get an employee discount, so this may be a factor when deciding where to apply. Nothing beats bragging to your friends about revamping your entire closet with the latest clothes without breaking the bank.


#2 Camp Counselorshutterstock_452513506

If you are more time-constricted during the school year, consider becoming a camp counselor for the summer. Not only will you be able to get away from your parents asking about summer homework for a few weeks, but also get to participate in many outdoor, water, and other fun recreational activities. The best part is you get paid for every second of it. There are all kinds of summer camps so look for ones in an area you take interest, such as a science, music, or a purely summer get-away camp. Make a note that many camps often require their counselors to get certified in CPR or other health and leadership areas to ensure the safety of the other non-counselor campers in attendance.


bookcover#3 Waiter/Waitress

Waiting tables is a frequent job many teens take while in school. With all the walking and food lifting entailed, it could likely double as your work out time and save you a gym membership expense. You can pick your favorite restaurant (or least favorite, depending on how easily you get tired of food) and work with a variety of other people to keep a business running. A unique aspect of this job is the tipping system where for each customer you serve, you get a tip in return for your service. This can seem intimidating since you may not be confident in your professional or courtesy skills, but our book The Young Adult’s Guide to Being a Great Waiter and Waitress: Everything You Need to Know to Earn Better Tips lays out how you should conduct yourself as a waiter/waitress and how to earn great tips to add to your paycheck.


#4 Barista

This job is perfect for students looking to improve their time management and ability to work under pressure. Which is honestly something most students could improve upon, if we’re being real. You will also gain great communication skills between customers and your fellow employees to balance the work and get the right orders out. The skills you learn on the job may also help in the future when you can make all the smoothies, teas, coffees, and other drinks that were on the menu. This is great leverage for choosing roommates later in college when everyone asks you to be their roommate, and you get to choose who you think you won’t want to kick out after the first week.


#5 Receptionistshutterstock_410739736

Receptionist jobs are good for teens who love directing people around. If you are passionate about fitness, you can apply to a gym or if you love animals, watch for front desk openings at the local animal shelter. Communication and organizational skills are the top priorities for this kind of job where you will be likely scheduling appointments and distributing information such as open hours to customers as well as relaying these to your coworkers in other departments. Most of your time will be spent at a desk, so it doubles as a way to sneak in any last homework you may have procrastinated on between work tasks.


Taking on a job while still in high school will present you as a hard-working, responsible individual down the road on college applications, so don’t shy away from the opportunity. Not to mention having the extra cash isn’t awful, especially if your friend group is the kind who constantly likes to go out to eat or see a movie when they meet up. So start looking around your area to see what possible jobs are out there for you.

Teaching My Dream High School Class

By: Martha Pointer

I’m a history major with an interest in teaching in the future. I think about classes I would teach, develop potential lesson plans, and have even taught some of my favorite teachers’ classes for a day when I’m home on break. My ideal teaching job would be a position teaching high school history. If I could teach any class, it’d be on the history of World War II. The Second World War is such a defining event of the 20th century, and its impact is still felt today. I think it’s important for the next generations to learn about this tragedy: what led up to it, what occurred, and why.

As an avid reader, I’ve read quite a few books on the subject, both fiction and nonfiction. Here are a few of the books I’d put on my class reading list, as either recommended or required reading.

25614492Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

One of the most incredible books I’ve read. It captures the experience of war from four young adult perspectives, and it’s brilliant. The war feels real, and so do the emotions and backgrounds of the characters, like the reader is right there along with them. It also covers an event not well known in history: the Allied sinking of the German refugee ship, the Wilhelm Gustloff, which is the greatest maritime tragedy in history (yes, greater than the sinking of the Titanic). It is estimated that approximately 9,600 people, including about 5,000 children, were killed in the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff; the death toll after Titanic was under 2,000. The tragedy of the Wilhelm Gustloff is often forgotten because the Allies won World War II and it’s an embarrassing blight on their victory. As they say, history is written by the winners.

19063The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This book is a slow build, but it’s worth it. It follows a lower middle class family in a small German town during WWII and the difficulty in hiding a Jew during that time. Narrated by Death and providing perspective from German civilians and the home front, it is eye-opening, unique, and focuses on the choices of individual people (and families) during war.

1971304City of Thieves by David Benioff

Written by one of the writers of Game of Thrones (the show, not the book series), City of Thieves is a humor-filled adventure novel about two young men during the Nazi siege of Leningrad in the Soviet Union. The two main characters show the readers the hardships of life in the USSR, especially during war; the realities of living in a sieged city; and the cruelty of the Germans towards Russian civilians, all while making them laugh at their ridiculous banter and escapades across the Russian countryside. The ending will make you realize why Benioff is a writer for Game of Thrones.



All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This. Book. Is. Beautiful. The writing is magnificent, and it’s a story about a blind French girl and a German Hitler Youth boy finding their way through the war. I’m not sure I’ve ever read such an eloquently written novel, especially about such a violent and devastating topic as war. What more can you ask for in a novel?

168668Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Another brilliant read. It takes place at a U.S. military base on a fictional Italian island, has a ton of hilarious characters (I recommend keeping a character chart), and is filled with humorous commentary on the corruption of the government, military, and capitalism.

1617Night by Elie Wiesel 

This memoir really enlightened my perspective of the Holocaust and provides an excellent real-life narrative of the horrors that Jews and other persecuted groups endured at the hands of their neighbors and National Socialism. Wiesel discusses the failure of human beings to prevent the Holocaust while remaining positive about humanity as a whole. It’s a vital read for everyone.

It was difficult to narrow down the reading list for my dream high school class, but I think all of these books provide different, yet essential perspectives on the war. If you don’t know much about the Holocaust, the first book I’d recommend you start with is Night by Elie Wiesel, but all of these books are excellent World War II reads.

If you could teach a high school class, what would it be?

The most underrated author

By: Kylie Widseth

shutterstock_596457200Sometimes I feel like the publishing industry can be a bit like a popularity contest. This is why I’d like to begin a discussion about the authors who really deserve a lot more publicity than they get. Whether you read all the time or just a little bit, I’m sure we can all name a few popular authors. J.K. Rowling, John Green, James Patterson, just to name a few, the laundry list of names could go on and on.

But there are some authors that really deserve a lot more attention than they get. I’d like to shed some light on one of those not-so-well-known authors in this post.

While my author is someone who people would consider popular, I would argue that she has not received as much attention as she should in recent years.

Jodi Picoult.

One of my goals in life is to read all of Jodi Picoult’s books, oh yeah, and maybe also Nicholas Sparks. Guilty.

The only downside to Jodi Picoult is that her books are quite long, which really doesn’t work well within my school schedule. Especially now that I’m pursuing an English minor, so my classes are filled with reading galore.

Jodi CoversMost readers are probably familiar with her book-turned-movie My Sister’s Keeper, but not many people are familiar with any of her other work. She has 22 other novels, just waiting to be read by you. Her most recent novel just came out this past fall, Small Great Things.

I highly recommend reading her books if you like human interest stories. You’re probably thinking, “duh,” why else do I read? But her stories really make you feel for her characters. Her book, Change of Heart has never made me feel so physically ill like no other book has before. I can’t really get into detail as to why because it would be a #spoiler, but this plotline is unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

Her books come with some of the craziest twists and turns I’ve ever read. But they aren’t so crazy that you think, “Okay, that came from left field.” Once the big reveals start coming, you find yourself mad that you didn’t predict it.

While her books are mainly considered adult books, she also has a few young adult books, Between the Lines and Off the Page. She actually wrote them with her daughter. They went back and forth spouting off lines until the novels were completed. The books are about a prince who is in trapped in a fairy tale, the novels follow what happens to characters after you close the book. It’s a very meta kind of novel, but it’s also incredibly creative.

change-of-heart-400If you find yourself even remotely interested in reading one of her books, I highly recommend Change of Heart; it’s by far my favorite book by Jodi Picoult. Without making the plot synopsis too complicated, the book follows Shay Bourne who is on death row. Instead of being put to death, he wants to give his heart to a young girl named Claire who is in need of a transplant. Claire’s mother, June, does not like the idea because Shay is in prison for killing June’s husband and other daughter. Claire is in desperate need of a heart, but June does not want her new heart to be from the man that killed her husband and daughter. The book wrestles with a lot of really controversial but thought provoking topics. Many of the topics are things that I couldn’t even imagine having to think about, but I really started to feel as if I were one of these characters. While I do love My Sister’s Keeper, (side note: the movie and book endings are wayyyyy different) I think this novel is a lot more important for the kinds of topics it brings to the forefront.

Whether you’ve read Jodi Picoult before or not, I highly recommend looking into your first Picoult novel or another Picoult novel. She’s an author that I find myself reaching for on the shelves time and time again.



5 Textbook Reading Tips

By: Fiona Schneider

shutterstock_693418636We all have to read textbooks for school at some point or another. We get it, it’s an important way to learn and understand the information for a class, but at the same time textbooks can often be dense and unengaging to read. No matter how much you may love reading, if all you see is block after block of text about [insert subject here] it can feel tedious. Here we’d like to offer five tips on how to get through your daily/weekly/ monthly textbook readings and actually retain some of the information instead of staring at the page for ten minutes before flipping to the next.


Don’t put off all of the reading until the moment you are held accountable for the material. Everyone is guilty of a little procrastinating, and it is so tempting to put off assignments such as reading. “It’s only 40 pages, I can read that in under 30 minutes,” we think and then slide the textbook over and opt to watch another episode of Netflix. Instead of waiting, ration out the number of pages you read over the amount of time you have. Don’t tackle it all at once. Even if you’re way ahead of schedule and want to get all the reading done as fast as possible, you may just overload your brain with information and forget the majority of it by the time you need it. Stick to sections you know you can handle instead.


Take a moment to make sure you are actually reading the material and not just skimming. The experience of “reading” an entire page just to realize you did not take a single word in is probably one of the worst moments a student can have. It means you have to spend more time re-reading before you can move on. To combat this, while reading after a major section or after every page if you want to be proactive, try to recall the information you just read. If you can remember immediately, you’re in a focused state and can safely keep reading. However, if you feel like the last few minutes are a blur, it’s probably a good time to practice the next tip.

Tip #3: TAKE A BREAKshutterstock_378479308.jpg

Now if you have been procrastinating this may be hard to do, but if you followed the first two tips and have ample time to learn the information, go do something to take your mind off the reading. Mental stress can often be more tiring than physical, so giving your brain proper rest is important. Take a walk, pet your dog, do yoga. Whatever helps you calm down, take about 20 to 30 minutes for that activity before sitting back down at your textbook.


This will mostly be up to you and what you consider a reward, but many people find incentives motivating to get work done. You can place goldfish after each paragraph to eat when you complete that reading or you can have a friend block all of your social media until you finish. If you’ve been wanting something, you can select that item to finally buy when you get the reading done. Whatever may be your motivation, figure it out and see if it works as a proper motivator.


shutterstock_512443126In your note taking, avoid copying everything the textbook says, try to keep these notes succinct and filled with key points and details for easy review later. Teachers often reuse material from earlier in the course on midterm and final exams, so notes from the textbook can come in handy. It’s quicker and more effective to review the major points than trying to read the entire textbook section again. If you keep your notes precise and focus on what’s important, you can identify where your problem sections are. Then you can choose to either go back and read those sections or to focus on what you already know to more effectively spend your study time.


Reading textbooks isn’t always fun, but it is necessary. With the help of these tips, you can tackle readings with renewed focus and learn the material you need for class.

Top 5 Travel Destinations

By: Martha Pointer

I’m an avid traveler. I backpacked through Europe for three months this summer, and so far I’ve visited fifteen countries. In my spare time, I can often be found reading travel articles, researching destinations, or planning trips. While there are so many places I want to visit, I’ve tried to narrow down my bucket list to 5 destinations for the sake of this post (and my sanity). It’s sad to think that even if we traveled our whole lives, we’d never see everything, but that just goes to show how large and diverse our world really is. Without further ado, here are the top 5 destinations on my travel bucket list.

5. Sky Dive in New Zealand

New Zealand is renowned for its natural beauty and adventure activities. While I’m absolutely terrified of heights, I’d love to sky dive in Queenstown, New Zealand to conquer my fear and see one of the most beautiful countries in the world from a birds-eye view, hopefully sooner rather than later (before I chicken out)!

4. Yacht Week in Croatia

Sail Croatia is a company that takes young people, like myself, island-hopping for a week along the charming coast of Croatia. I backpacked through Europe this summer, and although I didn’t make it down to Croatia, many of the friends I made did and I watched their Snapchat stories with envy for weeks once I was back home. Sail Croatia seems like a great (and inexpensive) way to get some sun, sea, and visit a bunch of the sites in Croatia. I’m hoping to tackle this bucket list item next summer!

3. Scuba Dive in the Bahamas

51wiPQ55EYL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I snorkeled in Mexico when I was in middle school and it was an incredible experience. Since then, I’ve had the desire to earn my scuba certification so that I can dive in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean. While there are many optimal dive locations in the region, I was drawn to the Bahamas, and particularly the island of Bimini, because of Captain Nathan Riley’s guidebook, Bahamas Bucket List for Divers. He gives a lot of advice on where to dive in the Bahamas, and the book even includes a checklist for me to mark off each dive spot I hit.


2. Go on a Safari in Africa

Ever since I was a little kid watching Animal Planet, I’ve been infatuated with African wildlife. Big Cats, especially lions, are my favorite animals, and I find the circle of life in the African Savanna—the ebb and flow of life and death, predation, and migration—so fascinating. I would love to witness the wildebeest migration in Tanzania that occurs every July, and go on a safari in either Kenya or South Africa, both of which have national parks that are renowned for their wildlife.

1. See the Northern Lights in Scandinavia

This is such a must for me. The Aurora is absolutely breathtaking in pictures and videos, so I can only imagine how stunning it must be in person. Several places in the world are hotspots for viewing the Northern Lights—Alaska, Iceland, Greenland, parts of northern Canada and Russia—but I want to view them in Norway, Sweden, or Finland so that I can hopefully visit some fjords, too. Did you know that you can rent an igloo to watch the Northern Lights in Finland? It seems to me that this would be the ultimate way to experience the Aurora.

While it was challenging to narrow down my travel bucket list to only 5 activities/destinations, I think it helped me prioritize my future travel plans and narrow down the things I really want to see and do in the near future!

What’s your top travel destination?

One Book You Have to Read

By: Kylie Widseth 

33385229The list of books that I think everyone should read could really go on and on for days, but I decided to go with a pretty current book. It’s actually a book that’s going to be released tomorrow, so I feel like I’m cheating in a sense since I got to read it before it even came out, but oh my goodness—I feel as though it’s a book everyone could really benefit from.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. This book rocked my world. In both good ways and bad ways, but by bad ways, I mean that it was just so emotionally intense. To start with, that title. Is it a spoiler? Who really knows? As stated by the author, the title of the book doesn’t mean that they are both going to die at the end. And who really knows who “both” is referring to anyway?

This book takes place in a world where a group called Death Cast calls you on the day you are going to die, which is termed your End Day. Death Cast explains that you are going to die in the next 24 hours, essentially so that you can spend your last day doing whatever you wish. Two characters, Rufus and Mateo, meet on this app called Last Friend where people who are experiencing their End Day can connect on their final day of life. Throughout the book, the two new friends share countless adventures and truly live their day as if it’s their last.

A book that just mentions the idea of an End Day packs an emotional punch in itself. End Day. It just sounds absolutely terrifying. It really makes you wonder what it would be like to live in a world where you’re told the day you’re going to die. There are many pros and cons, and it begs the question: would you want to even know the day you’re going to die? While reading this, I really felt for these characters because just the idea of thinking “I’m going to die soon” is such a scary thought, and these characters are so young that it physically pained me.

I know we hear it time and time again that we shouldn’t take life for granted, but sometimes we need those reminders every once in awhile. I think this book really asks you to look at life and every day as a gift. The author’s note that Adam Silvera includes at the beginning of the novel is really powerful and echoes these same sentiments that the book addresses. He talks about his own journey of starting to really cherish every single day and be his true self and not always worry what people think about him. I found his words quite admirable.

Not only does this book teach, or rather reinforce, a really important lesson, but also I think the idea for this story is original and interesting. The second the synopsis was released, I knew I was in. Actually, the second I heard the title I was in for the long haul. Not only does Adam Silvera write amazing works, and the title alone I think could make anyone at least pick up the book and give it a chance.

Quite simply, Adam Silvera has done it again and written an incredibly beautiful story with They Both Die at the End.

Passage to Publishing: My Time at Atlantic

By: Kristen Joseph

Flashback to a couple years ago: I’m sitting at my desk waiting for my teacher to start regaling the class with all her tales about the wonders of algebra. I grab the Harry Potter book that I’m currently reading (Half-Blood Prince, I think? It’s been a while…) and start to skim a page to occupy my time. So far, I’m enjoying it, and I’m just about to fully immerse myself in the story when I find something within the pages that will stick with me for the rest of my life ­– a mistake.

a1Normally, when I find a small grammatical error in a book I’m able to get over it quickly, after cringing a bit. But that time, I just couldn’t. Percy,— one of many Weasley brothers — was the main topic of discussion in the small section I had been reading. His name was mentioned at least five times on a single page. Percy, Percy, Percy, Perry, Percy… Wait, what? Perry? That’s not right, that is completely 100% wrong, how did no one catch the misspelling of this character’s name even though it’s mentioned four other times on the page?!?

Yeah, that was my reaction. And that small inaccuracy, — an r instead of a c — marked the beginning of my journey into the publishing industry.

Working with books was —and still is — my dream, but I was also considering a law career, a more feasible and reliable career choice. I assumed it would take me at least ten years to actually work in the publishing field, if the fates would allow me to pursue my dream job. So when I was looking for summer internships a couple months ago, with the plan to send resumes to half the law offices in town, the last thing that I expected to find was a publishing company, in my hometown, that actually accepted interns!

I was incredibly excited and nervous about this job prospect with Atlantic (because there’s always the chance that you won’t be hired for a position that you’ve applied for, and you’ll have to begin your job search all over again). Luckily, the application process was incredibly pleasant and easy-going, and I got the job!

a4I’ve been here for a mere ten weeks, and I’ve enjoyed every second of it, even the less exciting tasks. I always have a range of assignments to accomplish, so if I start getting tired of doing one thing I can switch to another. Editing, proofreading, placing photos in books, creating indexes (which falls under the category of “less exciting tasks”), researching future book topics – I now have experience with each of these topics, and so many more.

The most unexpected part about this internship has been learning so much about marketing, a side of the publishing world I hadn’t really considered. I had anticipated a lot of reading and fact-checking, maybe some editing,; I never thought that I would learn how to create and manage Amazon ads, and now I’ve made a bunch of them! Watching the sales increase for products I’ve made ads for is honestly one of the most rewarding feelings. I know that all of the editorial work that I do for the company helps them out, but it’s really great to see tangible results from my contributions to the company.

a3.jpgNonfiction books typically aren’t my genre-of-choice when I’m reading, but I’ve sincerely enjoyed working at a small nonfiction book publisher. I learn so many new things everyday – from the books I’m prepping, the various projects I’m working on, and from all of the great people that I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Thank you all so much for helping me to take this wonderful first step into the world of publishing. I can’t wait to keep on traveling through it!