Top 5 New Fiction Book Releases in October 2018

Top 5 New Fiction Book Releases in October 2018: Girl reading a book

Fall is now in full swing. October brings us flannel weather, pumpkin-flavored everything, and gorgeous fall leaves. And you know what else? Some of the most highly anticipated books releases of the year dropped this month.

It’s time to cozy up with your favorite hot drink and dive headfirst into the pages of a brand new novel.

Check out these five new fiction book releases in October 2018:

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

Five new fiction book releases in October 2018: The Proposal book cover

What would you do in this scenario? Let’s say you’ve been dating someone for 5 months, and they propose to you on the jumbotron at a Dodgers game. That’s what happens to freelance writer Nicole Patterson.

When she very publicly tells him no, the rejection becomes an embarrassing video that goes viral across social media–turning into the proposal that is literally heard around the world.

 

Family Trust by Kathy Huang

Five new fiction book releases in October 2018: Family Trust book cover

If you’re a fan of the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, you’ll want to check this one out. This story tells the saga of a Taiwanese-American family meets Silicon Valley. When the wealthy Stanley Huang is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, his family is anxious to learn what they stand to inherit.

In this tale of death, family, and expectations–you’ll find plenty of entertaining characters caught up in family drama along the way.

 

Elevation by Stephen King

Five new fiction book releases in October 2018: Elevation book cover

Legendary storyteller Stephen King is back. His latest novel shouldn’t be missed. Elevation is more of a short story that was expanded into a novella, but make no mistake: it packs a big punch. You’ll get through this one in a couple of hours (mostly because you won’t be able to put it down).

Want a sneak peek? If you click here, you can read the entire first chapter on Amazon.

 

Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

Five new fiction book releases in October 2018: Every Breath book cover

Are you ready to get lost in a mega romance novel? Nicholas Sparks, the author of our favorite love story The Notebook, is back. This time,  the story is centered around a 36-year old woman named Hope. She’s been dating her boyfriend on and off for the last 6 years, and she’s ready to get married.

Plagued by doubts that her boyfriend Josh will ever want to fully commit, Hope decides to take a trip down to her family’s beach house after the couple gets into a fight. When she gets down to the North Carolina beach, she accidentally begins a close friendship with a man named Tru. Is this the end of her relationship with Josh?

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Five new fiction book releases in October 2018: The Next Person You Meet in Heaven book cover

In the sequel to the number one New York Times bestseller The Five People You Meet in Heaven, we find out what happens to Annie, one of the main characters in the first novel. If you haven’t read the original, I strongly encourage you to check it out.

But be warned: Mitch Albom has a gift for heartwarming and emotional storytelling (in the best way possible).

7 Classic Books That Are Still Relevant Today

7 Classic Books That Are Still Relevant Today

What makes a book a classic? Who decides what books become essential reading? To me, a classic novel is a story that stands the test of time.

I’ve read many of the iconic classics in my lifetime (though it wasn’t always by choice). While I was an avid reader even as a young child, my mom wanted me to explore books outside The Rugrat Files or Twitches. So, she started picking up some of the classics for me.

Some I fell in love with. Some bored me, and I only pretended to read them. Many of them took a little time to really get into. But nonetheless, I’m grateful that my mom and our English teachers still encourage us to read these pieces of literature.

There’s a reason these stories last (even if the style of language can be hard to follow a few novels that go way back).

Here are a few of my favorites and why I think they’re still important today:

 

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

7 Classic Books That Are Still Relevant Today: To Kill a Mockingbird Book Cover

We’ve come a long way since the 1960’s when it comes to race, but we still have a long way to go when it comes to inclusion. Whatever progress we’ve made doesn’t change the fact that we are still a divided world.

 

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kensey

7 Classic Books That Are Still Relevant Today: One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Book Cover

Written in 1962, this novel was turned into a popular movie in the 1970’s. The reason it resonated with people is a topic that still applies more than 50 years later. This novel is told from the view of living in a psychiatric ward and, to many, represented the struggle of resisting against ineffective authority.

 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

7 Classic Books That Are Still Relevant Today: Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 is another classic set in a hedonistic future. But this time, the plot is focused on the idea of toxic censorship. Books are banned and burned. The people living in this world don’t read–they spend their free time on pure entertainment. It’s not hard to see how this future feels eerily close to today’s world.

 

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith

7 Classic Books That Are Still Relevant Today: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

I read this coming-of-age story about growing up in the inner city when I was 10, but I didn’t really appreciate it until I re-read a few years later. It doesn’t feel like a novel that written over 100 years ago. It’s about struggling in poverty and how that experience compares to living in privilege. I think it applies to modern life and how we compare ourselves to each other on social media.

 

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

7 Classic Books That Are Still Relevant Today: Of Mice and Men Book Cover

This one was assigned reading in my sophomore English class, but it was a book I couldn’t put down after starting to read it. Written during the Great Depression era, it tells the gut-wrenching story of two men who are struggling to reach their dream of someday owning a piece of land. (Note: This book is controversial due to offensive language and slurs)

 

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

7 Classic Books That Are Still Relevant Today: Brave New World Book Cover

Set in the future (more than 500 years from now), a Brave New World takes place in a dystopian society where technology is used to control society. As technology changes faster than ever, this classic has never been more important than it is today.

 

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

7 Classic Books That Are Still Relevant Today: The Lovely Bones

Based on the true story of a young teen who was murdered in the 1970’s, this story is a fictional tale of grief, the afterlife, and the experiences that make us human. Death is something every human on earth faces. The perspective of life on earth shown in the book is touching and gives you a lot to think about.

 

What are some of your favorite classic books? How do you think they relate to us today?

6 Fascinating YA Novels You Might Have Missed

6 Fascinating YA Novels You Might Have Missed

From the high school romances to coming-of-age discoveries to teenagers surviving sci-fi futures, there’s something about a good YA novel that gets us every time.

If you’re a YA fan, you’ve probably already read popular titles like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter. In this blog post, we’re sharing some amazing young adult novels you might have missed.

6 Interesting Books for Young Adults (That You Might Have Missed)

 

American Panda by Gloria Chao

6 Interesting Books for Young Adults (That You Might Have Missed)

American Panda by Gloria Chao is about Taiwanese-American MIT freshman, Mei, as she navigates her two cultures and the beginning of her independence. Many parents would be thrilled to have their child at MIT, but Mei’s parents want more.

They’ve planned a nice, stable medical career for her. Regardless of whether she’s interested in medicine or even able to stomach any of the work. Between secretly dancing and secretly dating a Japanese-American classmate, though, Mei might be setting her own path.

You don’t actually need a tiger mom to relate to this story of family expectations, first love, and identity.

 

One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

6 Interesting Books for Young Adults (That You Might Have Missed) - One of Us Is Lying

In One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus, five disparate students find themselves in detention. One of them is brutally murdered before their eyes. This is where the Breakfast Club similarities end and a page-turning murder mystery begins.

Perspective shifting, although popular in a lot of recent YA novels, isn’t usually my favorite narrative style. But it works here. The other four students in detention take turns telling their truths (and let readers get closer to what actually happened that day).

Everyone in this story has something to hide. Fans of Pretty Little Liars will love the twists as the truth gets closer.

 

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

6 Interesting Books for Young Adults - The Truth About Alice

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu covers high school gossip, sexuality, and reputation in small-town Texas. While nasty rumors fly about slutty Alice Franklin, the reactions of her classmates reveal more about themselves than about Alice.

Many YA novels lean on the unsympathetic parents as stock characters, but this novel showed layered, complex relationships between teens and parents. This is a sympathetic story of peer pressure, teenage relationships, and finally independence in a small town.

 

Perennials by Mandy Berman

6 Interesting Books for Young Adults - Perennials

Is Perennials sophisticated young adult fiction…or is it adult fiction about teenage characters?

It turns out, it doesn’t matter. This summer camp story has maturing friendships, teen romance and realizations for the YA fan, as well as more adult themes of social class and consent.

As little girls returning to camp go from crafts and ponies to beer and boys, they discover more about themselves and their families. Recommended for your friend who needs a little nudge to fall deeply in love with YA fiction.

 

Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

6 Interesting Books for Young Adults - Only Ever Yours

Fans of The Hunger Games trilogy or even The Handmaid’s Tale shouldn’t miss Louise O’Neill’s Only Ever Yours.

Although the characters are all teenage girls, this is dystopian sci-fi with a hint of feminist satire.

In the future, girls are born, raised, and modified to be pretty and compliant male playthings. Then they’re sent into a competition with each other to attract the best mate. However, the voluntary suicides at the ancient age of thirty aren’t even the most disturbing thing in this novel.

(Were you annoyed by the Very Special Heroine tropes of Divergent and similar novels? Rest assured. When the dystopian world Only Ever Yours has a rule, it’s not broken for our heroine.)

 

I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

6 Interesting Books for Young Adults (That You Might Have Missed) - I Believe in a Thing Called Love

I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo is a sweet YA novel, especially for fans of Korean dramas. Clumsy overachiever Desi sets out a plan to attract the handsome new student. She decides to use all the tactics from her father’s beloved K-dramas to draw him in.

While the romance is central to the story, Desi’s two closest friends and her relationship with her Appa are also intriguing. You get all the fun, funny, and awkward beats of a K-drama story set in an American high school.

What are your favorite undiscovered YA gems? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us!

3 Effective Study Methods for Acing Your College Midterms

3 Effective Study Methods for Acing Your College Midterms

College midterms are right around the corner. Cue all the panic.

Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, midterms can bring on intense amounts of pressure. Here are our three favorite pieces of advice for acing your college midterms (without heaps of stress).

Take Study Breaks with This Simple Trick

Are you cramming a ton of material into a weekend study session?

It might sound simple, but make sure to factor in plenty of breaks if you want to retain the material better. Ever heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It’s a time management method that can help you get the most out of your study session.

Here’s how it works. You break your study material down into smaller, more manageable chunks (and it really works). The Pomodoro Technique is easy:

  • You pick a task, like a few chapters you need to read or an outline you plan to write. 
  • Set a timer for 25 minutes. During the next 25 minutes, you have to promise yourself that you won’t do anything BUT that task. 
  • Work on the task without any interruptions until the timer goes off. When the timer goes off, take a quick break. Spend 5 minutes doing anything but work, whether it’s stretching or grabbing some more coffee. 
  • After your 5-minute break, start the timer again for the next task. Rinse and repeat. Once you’ve done this 4 times, take a longer break for 20 or 30 minutes.

It works because our brain needs rest in order to concentrate. It’s also easy to get sidetracked by our phone, Netflix, or stress. Using the Pomodoro method helps eliminate some of those distractions.

You can manually set a timer on your phone. I personally use a free app called BeFocused so I don’t have to mess with a timer, but either way works! BeFocused is an iPhone app, but if you have an Android use you can use something like Pomodoro Timer.

 

3 Effective Study Methods for Acing Your College Midterms

Don’t Forget to Breathe

Is breathing something you consciously think about? It can save you from stress.

We’re slammed during midterm season. When we’re hit with the overwhelm of studying for everything at once and our to-do list is packed with endless tasks, we forget how to take deep breaths.

Not only can meditation help you remember your material better, but you also don’t need to spend a ton of time doing it to reap the benefits. I was terrible at meditating when I first tried it. I use the free version of the app Headspace to help (available via iPhone and Android). All it takes is three minutes and you instantly feel better!

Even if you’re not interested in meditation, focus on deep breathing when insane amounts of stress begin to hit you. Here’s how you do it:

  • Place your hand on your stomach. Take a deep breath in through your nose until you feel your stomach begin to rise. Note: you want the air to enter all the way into your belly instead of just your chest.  
  • Breathe out through your nose. But make sure your exhale is even longer than your inhale (this is essential). If you inhale for 4 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds. 
  • Repeat for 3-5 minutes! Try it out; you’re guaranteed to instantly feel calmer and less stressed.

3 Effective Study Methods for Acing Your College Midterms

 

Start Your Study Plan Now

Don’t wait to get started! Figure out your study plan a couple weeks in advance.

It seems like professors all schedule their midterms at the same time, right? Enter panic mode.

If you want to avoid major anxiety this semester, get your study schedule nailed down now.

Planning out what days you’ll study, creating your own study guides, and organizing the material will help you prioritize every class. This way you’re not devoting all of your time and energy to just one class.

Your personal study guides can be a simple outline of key topics and ideas you plan to study. Getting a game plan together now will help clear your head.