Entertainment

The 5 Best Books of 2014 (so far)

The Fault in Our Stars written by John Green

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Arguably, one of the most buzzworthy books of the first half of 2014. Its popularity skyrocketed almost overnight, gripping its readers and tearing at their heart strings. It was originally intended for young adults, but college students and even older adults have relished in this tragic young love story. Therefore it’s not surprising that the book was both successful in print and at the box-office.

All the Light We Cannot See written by Anthony Doerr

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Almost as soon as its release in May, this book has been on many best sellers lists (and rightfully so). It carefully weaves historical fiction to the backdrop of war to create a hard to put down read. For those who cannot get enough of World War II history, this may certainly be the book you’re looking for.

Capital in the Twenty-First Century written by Thomas Piketty

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A bestselling book on economics and development? This certainly does not happen every day. Piketty brings fresh, easily understandable language for those who are unfamiliar with economics and blends it with interesting concepts and charts. This overtly large book (it’s close to 700 pages) have kept readers engaged and thus lifted itself to the top of the nonfiction best sellers list.

Gone Girl written by Gillian Flynn

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This mysterious thriller is sure to leave you at the edge of your seat with the many plot twists and suspenseful circumstances that can only be found in a book by Gillian Flynn. This book has been receiving lots of buzz lately. It has a movie in the works and has been on bestsellers lists since its release.

The Goldfinch written by Donna Tartt

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An extremely smart novel whose popularity has been unmatched in recent years. Donna Tartt successfully brings the reader into the time and place, allows them to feel emotions portrayed and brings all her characters to life. It’s no wonder that the Goldfinch has been given praise for all over the world.

4 Must Watch Shows This Summer

Summer TV shows are back in full force and the choices are endless. We are currently in a television Golden Age, where the number of quality TV programs is at an all time high. What shows will you watch this summer? Here’s a short list to help you get started!

1. Orange is the New Black
7-8 OITNB PosterThe second season of OITNB was released in full on Netflix on June 6th, so you may already be caught up on this one, but for those of you who aren’t: there’s no better time than now! The show was a breakout hit after its first season was released in July 2013 and fans of the show eagerly waited for Season 2. The show, set in a minimum-security women’s prison in New York State, has received critical acclaim as well as positive viewer reception. Plus, there’s lots of awards’ season talk around the show and its cast as we get closer to the Emmy’s this August, so put this one at the top of your list.

2. True Blood
7-8 true blood posterThis HBO hit returned for its 7th and final season on June 22nd. If you haven’t watched the show before and you have an HBO Go account, all of the episodes are available online for you to watch at your leisure. For the final season, they amped up the drama and the stakes (pun intended) are higher than ever. Who will make it out alive? Tune in to find out.

3. Pretty Little Liars
7-8 pretty little liars posterThis ABC Family breakout hit debuted in June 2008 and has gained a loyal following ever since. The drama centers on a group of four friends who start receiving anonymous, threatening messages a year after their friend Alison goes missing. The show came back for its 5th season on June 10th and with Alison back in town, craziness ensues. If you’re not already watching this show, it’s time to start!

4. The Leftovers
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Another HBO creation, this brand new show just premiered on June 29th. The show, from the co-creator of Lost, is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Tom Perrotta. The show is set in the fictional town of Mapleton, New York three years after a “Rapture” that caused 2% of the world’s population to disappear without a trace. The show has received positive reviews and stars Justin Theroux, Liv Tyler, Amy Brenneman, and Christopher Eccleston. And yes, it is the same Christopher Eccleston who played the Ninth Doctor on Doctor Who!

 

Summer 2014 Blockbuster Sequels

PSST…Let us know by 6/17  in the comments which summer blockbuster sequels you are most looking forward to to be entered for a chance to win $20 to the movies!

With stars like Channing Tatum, Jessica Alba and Mark Wahlberg heating up the big screen this summer, it is shaping up to be the summer of movie sequels. Whether you are into comedies, thrillers or animated movies, we’ve got all the details (without spoilers!) on this summer’s biggest sequels. Don’t forget to catch up on your favorite movie franchises before going to see the newest installments, especially for titles like Transformers: Age of Extinction and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which haven’t seen a new release in the franchise since 2011.

So kick back with a bucket of popcorn and your favorite candy and enjoy the show!

22 jump street

22 Jump Street
Release Date: June 13th
Sequel to: 21 Jump Street
Genre: Action, Comedy
Rating: R

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are back at it again when they go undercover as undergrads at a local college to investigate a new drug that has taken over the campus. With no new leads, the two end up on a spring break trip to Mexico and shenanigans ensue.

how to train your dragon 2

How To Train Your Dragon 2
Release Date: June 13th
Sequel to: How to Train Your Dragon
Genre: Animation, Adventure
Rating: PG

The friendship of Hiccup and Toothless continues as they discover a secret ice cave full of wild dragons. The two find themselves in a battle in which the outcome will determine the future of both men and dragons alike.

transformers age of extinctionTransformers: Age of Extinction
Release Date: June 27th
Sequel to: Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Genre: Action, Adventure
Rating: Not Yet Rated

Director Michael Bay continues the franchise with its fourth installment. Set four years after the epic Chicago battle in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, a mechanic stumbles upon an old Autobot and his findings cause quite a stir with the government who want nothing more than to wipe out all the Transformers for good. Autobot favorites Optimus Prime and Bumblebee return along with a number of new characters, including Grimlock, a mechanical T-Rex.

dawn of planet of the apesDawn of the Planet of the Apes
Release Date: July 11th
Sequel to: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Rating: Not Yet Rated

The continuation of 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes picks up a decade later with Caesar calling the shots as the leader of a large population of genetically-evolved apes. The apes struggle against the humans who have survived for the right to become Earth’s most dominant species.

planesPlanes: Fire & Rescue
Release Date: July 18th
Sequel to: Planes
Genre: Animation, Family
Rating: PG

In the second installment of Disney’s Planes, air racer Dusty learns that he may never race again so he switches careers and becomes an aerial firefighter. Dusty teams up with a fire and rescue helicopter and his team to battle a massive wildfire.

the purgeThe Purge: Anarchy
Release Date: July 18th
Sequel to: The Purge
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rating: R

Due to escalating crime rates and overcrowded prisons, this sequel is set in a world where for one night a year all criminal activity, including murder, is legal. Most citizens barricade themselves inside their homes before nightfall to avoid the dangers of the night, however one couple finds themselves caught out after dark after their car breaks down on the highway.

the expendables 3The Expendables 3
Release Date: August 15th
Sequel to: The Expendables 2
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating: Not Yet Rated

With Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger (just to name a few!) starring in this film, it is sure to be an action-packed thrill ride. Mel Gibson plays Stonebanks, an arms dealer who has set out to end The Expendables once and for all.

sin citySin City: A Dame To Kill For
Release Date: August 22nd
Sequel to: Sin City
Genre: Action, Crime
Rating: Not Yet Rated

Frank Miller’s famous graphic novel Sin City heads back to the big screen for the third movie in this crime thriller starring Jessica Alba and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

PSST…Let us know by 6/17  in the comments which summer blockbuster sequels you are most looking forward to to be entered for a chance to win $20 to the movies!

Summer 2014 Pump Up Playlist

The 2014 spring semester has officially come to an end! Let’s just take a moment and let that sink in. if you’re reading this: Congratulations, you have officially survived finals week! *Takes deep breath, exhales stress* It’s safe to say the next couple of days we’re all going to be anxiously waiting for semester grades to be posted.

To the 2014 College Graduates: The day that you have been strenuously working towards has finally arrived; you have achieved a very important milestone in your life and this will be no doubt one of the most unforgettable moments of your life. All your hard work and dedication have paid off, and resulted in a college degree. All of us here would like to wish you best of luck as you embark on a new adventure and transition into the professional life. Congratulations grad, you’ve earned it.

Okay, okay, I’m done with all the sappy stuff. Let’s get back to the fun.

Who’s pumped up for summer? I know I am! Because I know many of you are heading back home or kicking off summer with a road trip to the beach, I decided to share with you the current playlist that my friends and I have been blasting through our open car windows. This fun summer playlist is full of quirky electric ballads that will have you tapping your toes and dancing in your seat

Top 5 Reasons to Study Abroad

During your time in college, you may have an opportunity to study at an institution in another country. Many college students partake in this opportunity, as it can be a life changing experience. Here are some of the top reasons to study abroad:

1. New Way of Learning

You may have a 4.0 GPA at your home institution, but wouldn’t it be great to step outside of your old familiar classrooms and libraries? Studying abroad can offer a fantastic opportunity to continue your studies in an environment that is completely new and fresh.

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2. Travel

Once you graduate college and have a full time job, you may not have the opportunity to spend a few weeks or months in a foreign country. Take this time to travel while you have minimal responsibilities elsewhere.

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3. Interact with other cultures

Everyone does not have the opportunity to interact and make friends with people from other countries. Studying abroad could give you the chance to see what college life is like in a country that is unfamiliar to you.

Friendships Around the WorldGlobal Friendshipsimage source

4. Expand your world perspective

It’s easy to get comfortable in your own mindset and cultures, but traveling internationally can give you a fresh perspective on the world, your life, and how it all fits together. The world will seem much smaller when you realize that we all have much more in common than we think!

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5. Learn a new language

Studying abroad can be especially beneficial to those studying linguistics or who wish to learn another language fluently. No amount of textbook studying can compare to one-on-one conversation with a native speaker of the language you are studying.

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Have you studied abroad? What were your reasons? Let us know in the comments below!