News Years Resolutions + What I’m Excited for in 2018

Year In Review

I can’t believe 2017 is over! It feels like just yesterday I was making new years resolutions for last year. It’s been a tough year, but I’ve grown from it and there’s been many moments I know I will cherish. For instance, the transition to boarding school was a welcome challenge and I cannot wait for the next four years. However, it can be easy to overlook big (and small) moments of joy when we are faced with the current news cycle. This year, I learned it is important now more than ever to use my voice to contact my representatives, stand up for what I believe in, and to fight for my rights.

“That’s the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?” – Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give


bestofBest Young Adult Books of 2017

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway. It is hard to imagine any “best books” list without Benway’s National Book Award winning Far From the Tree. This story of three siblings begins with middle child Maya grappling with giving her baby up for adoption just as she was given up for adoption sixteen years ago.

Warcross by Marie Lu. Lu’s sci-fi thriller was an unexpected favorite. I am not usually drawn to either genre, but something about heroine Emika Chen was immediately compelling.

Continue reading

No More Book Reviews by Ava

I started blogging about books in 2010 when I was seven. Now, for half of my life, I’ve written weekly about books online. I originally started on Tumblr because of the free platform and easy customization. Now, I blog on WordPress, where I pay a small annual fee for my own URL and more advanced customization options. Book Reviews by Ava is small- consisting of around 500 followers across all platforms (Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and WordPress). Because of this, if the FCC repeals net neutrality, Book Reviews by Ava will likely be no more.

970x90-2 (1)

I am a full time high school student, so I do not make a steady income. Book Reviews by Ava is my passion project. I love blogging and I love the fact I can reach anyone in the world with my writing. Net neutrality makes sure I have an equal playing field to do so. Net neutrality is the simple idea that the internet is equal for all. This means all can access and create whatever content they wish. Without net neutrality, internet service providers (ISPs) such as Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Comcast can charge fees to be able to look at certain websites or slow down websites that compete with their own.

Net neutrality protects everyone from start up companies like Etsy or Reddit to small book blogs like mine from predatory ISPs who will speed up or slow down our internet speed based on if we pay a fee. I will not be able to pay additional fees so that my blog loads at a competitive speed.

Not convinced that you should be worried? Check out this graphic from the Washington Post. In 2014, while Netflix and Comcast were in negotiation Netflix’s loading speeds plummeted on that network. In February 2014, Netflix loading speed shot back up. This proves companies will slow down the speed of competing websites if net neutrality is repealed.

Continue reading