Page 1

ď€ ndingU summer 2014

Dazzling ‘Dos for Every Day Learn seven beautiful hairstyles for each day of the week page 20

Hit the Books

Discover the connection between organization and academic success page 22

Hail Summer Nails! Four colorful summer nail tutorials page 10

What are you into? Understand how hobbies can positively impact you page 14

findingU / spring 2014


for any day of the week...

findingU / spring 2014


findingU / spring 2014

Get Ready For Summer With Keds From The New Taylor Swift Collection

here’s to THE



Letter From the Editors

Dear Reader, The ď€ ndingU staff would like to welcome you to our magazine. In this summer edition of ď€ ndingU, we hope to inspire you to be who you are and find something you love to do. This magazine is filled with information on all kinds of topics including organization, beauty and hobbies that we hope will encourage you to find your interests. The staff has worked long and hard in order to make this magazine the best it can be and hope you find the stories throughout its pages as intriguing to read as they were to write. The journey we have taken this semester has not been easy. As three teenage girls in the midst of their high school experience, we had so many interests, it was hard to come to an agreement on what our magazine should be about. Between soccer, ballet, books, movies, crafts, cooking, organization and beauty there were so many topics we were interested in, it was overwhelming. We finally realized that other people might have this same array of interests and decided to compile them together to make a magazine that all teenage girls, no matter their passion, could savor and connect with. Through this whole process we have learned a lot about what it means to be an editor of a magazine, as well as what it means to be a teenage girl. Along the way we have explored our interests and we have tried to use the skills we have collected to encourage you to explore yours as well. Sit back, relax and enjoy.



Ai da


Aidan Henderson, born in Austin, Texas, has all kinds of hobbies, ranging from playing soccer for both club and school teams, weaving, knitting, crocheting, baking, and photo-bombing random peoples’ pictures. Aidan also enjoys endlessly staring at The Container Store catalogs because of the beauty of organization depicted throughout their glorious pages. With two older brothers, Andrew and Cameron, her dog Whisper, and her two parents, Aidan has a busy family. Aidan loves art and enjoys weaving textiles. One of the blankets Aidan wove recently went to State VASE (Visual Arts Scholastic Event, comparative to UIL for art) and got first place at the state level, equivalent to lettering in art. Being upbeat and positive are some of the main things Aidan strives for and she continues to impact those around her with her exuberant personality.

N ica

Nica Lasater was born in Austin, Texas and has lived there her entire life despite her desire to live in Europe. She has a twin sister named Phoebe, who also goes to LASA, three dogs named Charlie, Saren and Thumper and an older brother, Cameron, who lives in New York City. With a passion for all things “The Hunger Games” related, she is proud to say she has met Josh Hutcherson and read the series a total of seven times. Her other interests include musical theater, writing and ballet which she takes at Ballet Austin four times a week. She is also an advocate for animal rights and has been a vegetarian since she was three years old. Her favorite colors are purple and sunset orange (because it’s Peeta’s favorite color). Because she is a twin, she strives everyday to express her individuality through her charisma and beauty.

Ana Marsh was born in Pittsburgh,

An a

Pennsylvania and moved to New Jersey when she was one year old. After living in New Jersey for six years, she moved to Austin, Texas. She lives with her mom, her dad, her sister Leah, her brother Nathan and her dog Piper. Her brother and sister are both younger than Ana, and she likes being the oldest kid in the family. Ana has enjoyed soccer since she was a young girl. She currently plays for the school soccer team and for a club team. She also enjoys drawing, which is why her favorite class is art. She hopes to continue art throughout high school and incorporate it into her job. In addition to creating art, she likes to listen to alternative music including Imagine Dragons and One Republic. Ana has always been very shy and challenges herself everyday to be confident in who she is.


20 Dazzling 'dos for

findingU / summer 2014

every day

Seven wonderful hairstyles for every day of the week. These braids, buns and updos will leave your hair looking fantastic.


What are you into? How hobbies can benefit or hinder teens’ lives. In addition, meet Inga Marie Carmel, a master at the hobby of weaving.


Four trendy nail tutorials to spruce up any look. Easy to learn, painting these designs is the perfect activity to do with friends on a summer afternoon.



Hail Summer Nails!





28 Hooked on


Insight into the popular dystopian novel movement sweeping the nation.

n Hit the books

An interview with professional organizer Katie Bryan and tips and tricks from fellow students on how keep your books organized for the coming school year.


findingU / summer 2014

Dystopian Books


Make sure you’re up to date with the hottest movies and books of the year. This guide is perfect to choose the right one that you’re interested in.



A look into the hottest movies and books





Hail Summer Nails! With summer coming fast, it’s time to get some color on those boring nails of yours. Below are four colorful designs in the sunniest shades, ranging from colorful triangles to glitter fade. Each design has a step-by-step tutorial and pictures to get your nails looking perfect for any occasion! story and photos by Aidan henderson geometric nails ( give a great pop of color and Triangle Nails: These contrast.


• Clear Polish • Color A • Color B (a color that will contrast well with Color A) • Nail Polish Remover (Any brand) • Q-tips

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Paint each nail with a coat of Color A.

Once dry, paint a triangle onto the tip of each nail with Color B.

Clean up sides of nails with nail polish remover and a Q-tip.

Then, paint on a coat of clear polish.

Splatter Paint Nails: The classic ombre in a dazzling polish. Materials:

• Clear Polish • Color A • Other shades of Color A • Make-up Sponge • Nail Polish Remover (or a corrector pen) • Q-tips

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Paint each nail with a coat of white polish.

Using the makeup sponge, paint three shades of the same color in stripes across.

Repeatedly press the sponge onto nails until desired darkness.

Touch up with nail polish remover (or for small imperfections, use a corrector pen) and paint with clear polish.


Glitter Fade Nails: Perfect for a night out or to add some sparkle to your look. Materials:

• Clear Polish • Color A • Glitter Polish • Nail Polish Remover • Q-tips • Metallic Polish with a striper brush • Make-up Sponge

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Paint each nail with a coat of Color A.

Paint some of the glitter polish onto the make-up sponge.

Go back in once the glitter polish is dry with a thin brush and a metallic polish to enhance the glitter.

Go back with nail polish remover and remove excess. Paint over with a coat of clear polish.

Galaxy Nails: A creative design to leave everyone starry-eyed. Materials:

• Clear Polish • Black Polish • 3 other bright metallic colors • White Nail Polish • Q-tips • Dotting Tool • Make-up Sponge

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Paint nails with a coat of black polish.

Paint the metallic colors onto the make-up sponge and sponge each one on the nail until each color can easily be seen.

Once dry, put stars onto nails using white polish and the dotting tool.

Remove excess polish with nail polish remover and paint over a coat of clear polish.

Our Polish Picks!

Triangle Nails: Essie Ole Caliente & Vice Versa Splatter Paint Nails: Sally Hansen Blue Me Away!, Essie Turquoise & Caicos, China Glaze Flyin’ High Glitter Fade Nails: L’oreal Orange You Jealous, OPI Muppets World Tour Galaxy Nails: China Glaze Nasty, Sally Hansen Blue It

findingU / spring 2014




Perfect for an at-home manicure or any kind of design lasts up to a week ← ergonomic design ← grippy material ← optimal control ←

Color that shines

for more info go to

findingU / spring 2014


photo by Aidan Henderson

photo by Aidan Henderson

1 3


photo by Stuart Jarriel

What are you into?

findingU / summer 2014

find out how having a hobby is good for you, & maybe find out about one you want to do!


an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation

story by Aidan Henderson 14

photo by mary henderson



photo by Stuart Jarriel


photo by Stilfehler


these days are engaging in hobbies that people would have never thought to do 25 years ago, for example, computer programming. Hobbies can also serve a dual purpose, “Sometimes hobbies increase selfesteem, and other times hobbies keep teenagers out of negative activities such as drug or alcohol use,” Lasater says. By giving teens a place where they can do an activity that they want to do, they can stay out of trouble. “In life, we all want to be included or belong. It is natural for teenagers to want to fit in and hobbies provide a natural outlet for a social gathering or a place to belong,” explains Lasater. →


findingU / summer 2014

bit of metal here, maybe some leaves there, adding whatever interesting material she can get her hands on, Inga Marie Carmel weaves her masterpiece. Carmel is a local Austin weaver and teacher at the Contemporary Austin Laguna Gloria (an art school on the shores of Lake Austin). Hobbies have taken many forms throughout Carmel’s life, though weaving is what she has stuck with through all her hobby transformations.

“Hobbies or extracurricular activities provide pleasure and social outlets,” Austin psychologist Lisa Lasater says. Both Lasater and Carmel agree hobbies are good for anyone, especially teens. Based on a national online survey conducted in August 2013 by Harris Interactive, 55 percent of teens experience stress during the school year, causing many teens to become irritable and angry. A possible solution for this? Find something they love to do, find a hobby. “The hobbies tend to be intertwined with the way I make a living a lot of the time,” Carmel explains. Her hobbies include yarn crafts (includes weaving, crocheting, and knitting), gardening, and being an architect. The large amount of hobbies Carmel has enjoyed illustrates how hobbies can take different forms and change throughout a person’s life. Teens

findingU / summer 2014

Hobbies There are both positives and negatives of having a hobby. Abbe Kelly, a freshman at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School, believes that her hobby of lacrosse helps her with stress relief, “If you are very stressed out, you can go and do your hobby, like lacrosse, and it helps me relax and gives me a positive way to channel my energy,” says Kelly. Amanda Pandola, another freshman at LASA High School says her hobby of swimming has helped her with school. “It helped with time management, because I spend a lot of time swimming and I have to prioritize my other tasks,” Pandola explains. Hobbies can also act as escapes, especially, says Carmel, “If you have a stressful job or a stressful school sometimes it’s just really nice to go weave something and to let your mind attach itself to that rhythm and a different way of being, which can be really relaxing.” Hobbies can also cause more stress, for example, “A person who is very goal bound or a person who already puts pressure on themselves may turn a hobby into something very competitive that then is no longer fun or stress reducing,” says Lasater. Kelly and Pandola both have major commitments to their sports. Kelly, who spends about 14 hours a week on lacrosse, and Pandola, who spends about 18 hours per week on swimming, both agree it is hard to manage their time between chores, school, and sports. “Having a lot of hobbies means you have a lot of time when you are not at home, or a lot of free time,” Kelly notes. For Pandola, it is still important that people “Find something that they like and pursue their one true hobby,” even if there are some sacrifices. In addition, “Sometimes hobbies help us to look at things we would not ordinarily do,” Lasater says. One hobby that


photo by Inga Marie Carmel

An example of Carmel's work. This piece was woven using wire on a rigid heddle loom in 2009. Carmel weaves with many interesting materials, including electronics.

yields many useful products is weaving, a hobby that could also help with productivity and patience, as it is quite strenuous. Weaving is reemerging as a valuable skill, mainly in the textile market, a market that relies heavily on woven items. Several universities, such as North Carolina State, now

have their own colleges devoted to textile manufacturing, with large looms situated in classrooms to teach people how to weave. Carmel is one of the few who has had much experience with this interesting hobby. Carmel’s favorite part of weaving is the warping (this is when the yarn is put on the loom, and one

We do a lot of things that are

in our brains, and I think it's really good for us to work with our hands.

Hobbies of the most complicated processes) because she says she really enjoys the “critical thinking and problem solving” aspect of it. Carmel creates all of her own patterns for her oneof-a-kind pieces, which is another part of the process in which she uses problem-solving skills. In the modern-day world, weaving has not been a very popular hobby choice when compared to the amount of people who have chosen sports as their hobby rather than crafts, though it does have a large payoff at the end when the finished woven piece is finally taken off the loom. Carmel has woven with all kinds of materials, including wire, linen and electronics. “I thought how cool is that? I don’t just have to use yarn, that is really neat, and I started getting interested in using wire and sticks and straw, and electronics and things like that, anything that wasn’t traditional. I just like it because it’s counter-intuitive, weaving is a soft

thing and to put something hard in it, is just weird,” Carmel explains. In addition to being a weaver and creating woven items, Carmel is also a weaving teacher. “Seeing the lights go off when somebody doesn’t understand it and then finally they see it,” is Carmel’s favorite part of teaching. Carmel was torn when asked whether she liked teaching or weaving better, though she responded, “It’s fun weaving, but I almost like teaching more.” In order to get into a hobby or find out about other interesting hobbies, Lasater suggests, “If the person wants to do the hobby outside of school, then in today’s world, the internet or technology is a great source.” There are all sorts of hobby possibilities, ranging from crafts to sports to technology. Many hobbies could even help land a job, much as it did for Carmel; once weaving was just for fun and now she teaches and earns money for doing what

she loves. “I think it’s just really important, it’s just a good thing not to just be sitting and thinking, but actually doing things,” says Carmel.* Photos from page 9, from left to right: 1) A high school student weaves a wall hanging on a large loom at her school. 2) A girl plays in a soccer game for her high school. 3) "Drawing helps me feel relaxed when I'm stressed in class," says this high school freshman. 4) Lacrosse can help with hand-eye coordination. 5) According to Dr. Herbert Bendon, the repetitive rhythm of knitting has been found to be very therapeutic, and can help with feelings of stress and depression, in addition creates a relaxation response which helps to lower blood pressure and heart rate. 6) School sports help build confidence and create a good environment for meeting new people.

"Yes, it's good to know how to swim, you don't want to drown," says Pandola, who swims in a pool much like this one. Though swimming is not just good for knowing how not to drown; it can also give the benefit of exercise without the impact on the skeletal system something such as jogging would have.


findingU / summer 2014

photo by Szauter Lajos

findingU / spring 2014

Summer. Season. Sports.


Come get your supplies for any project at ! Come for our spring clearance sale!



OFF any regular price item

All Loops & Threads yarn, buy one get one free!

only on Saturdays in July

For more offers, go to


findingU / spring 2014

Free Godiva Chcolate bar with any purchase of $100 or more!


Dazzling ‘Dos for every Day

Tired of boring hair? Using the expertise of Dayla Woller, Emma Mayers and Anja Meisel, LASA students who have a passion for braiding hair, along with inspiration from Mindy McKnight, author of the blog Cute Girls Hairstyles, ndingU has collected seven intricate hairstyles perfect for spicing up the week. The stepby-step guide helps you transform your hair from lackluster locks to extravagant do’s so you can impress your friends any day. story by Nica Lasater

1. Flip head upside down. 2. Pick up a section of hair near the base of the neck and begin braiding down a regular french braid by picking up pieces of hair and adding them in along the way. Continue to braid towards the top of your head. 3. Once you run out of hair to add in, continue with a simple braid and secure with a hair tie. 4. Now tip head back up and gather and smooth the front section of your hair and combine it with the braid into a high ponytail. 5. Then create a bun by using a sock bun for more volume or simply using your hair.


1. Part the hair completely to one side. 2. Now begin a french braid near the left ear. As you go along, try to keep the braid as close to the part line as possible, away from the front of the face. 3. Continue braiding in this same fashion, up and over the head, until you reach the other ear. 4. To secure the braid, you may continue on by finishing a simple braid down the remaining hair and secure with an elastic or you may choose to use bobby pins to pin the remaining hair so it is hidden behind your ear.



photo by Nica Lasater

findingU / summer 2014

Headband Braid

photo by Nica Lasater


French Up Bun

WEDNESDAY Box Fishtail Braid Pony 1. Secure hair into a high ponytail and divide the ponytail in half. 2. Take a piece of hair from the left strand, cross it over that strand to the right strand. Next, take a piece of hair from the right strand, cross it over that strand to the left strand. 3. Repeat step two one time. 4. Now, take a piece of hair from the left strand, cross it under that strand to the right section. Take a piece of hair from the right strand and cross it under that strand to the left section. 5. Repeat step four once. 6. Repeat steps two to five by creating alternating two regular fishtail stitches and then two reverse fishtail stitches. 7. Secure braid.

Beauty Pancake Braid photo by Nica Lasater

Waterfall Braid

1. Take a good sized strand from the front of the hair. Braid it back in a simple three-strand braid. 2. Tie it off the braids with a clear elastic band. 3. In order to flatten the braid, tug on the elbows while holding the end of the braid loosely. 4. Repeat on the other side of the head. photo by Nica Lasater

1. Pick up a section of hair in the front next to the part and divide it into four equal strands. 2. Take the top-most strand and take it under the second strand, over the third strand and under the fourth strand. Allow that strand to fall. You should now be left with three strands to braid. 3. Complete one simple three-strand dutch braid stitch by taking the middle strand over the right strand and then taking the new middle strand over the left strand. 4. Pick up a new small strand of hair next to the part line and use this as a new fourth strand. 5. Repeat steps two to four, always creating one threestrand dutch braid stitch in between.


French Fishtail Braid

Headband Hair Tuck 1. Place a headband over your head. Place the front part over your hair as desired, making sure the back part of the headband remains on top of your hair, not underneath. 2. Tuck the ends of your hair into the headband. Continue tucking your hair into the band evenly from ear to ear. If you have shorter hair, pin any loose ends as necessary as you tuck your hair into the headband.

photo by Nica Lasater

photo by Nica Lasater




findingU / summer 2014


1. Take a section of hair near the part and divide it in half. 2. Take a small piece from the edge of the right side, cross it over the top and add it to the left side. 3. Now do the same for the left side, crossing it over the top and adding it to the right side. 4. Repeat step three, but after crossing the strand over the top, add in a section of hair from that side of the head. Repeat these steps until you reach the top of the ear then begin pulling in hair from the opposite side of the head, stretching it around the back and adding it into the braid. 5. When all the hair is pulled in, finish with a regular fishtail braid.

Hit the books

findingU / summer 2014

a story about the connection between academics and organization


“I think that being organized allows you to streamline and get things done more efficiently and have the time available to do the things that are most important to you. I have a sister who does not have the same organizational skills that I had and she would spend a lot of time after school doing homework and projects and my mom would always try to help her work through all of that. Where I came home from school a lot of days already done with my homework because I did it during study hall or did it during the fifteen minutes I had on the bus. I was a little more efficient with getting things accomplished,” said Katie Bryan, a professional organizer and teacher.


arranged in a systematic way, esp. on a large scale

story and photos by Ana Marsh

findingU / summer 2014




he dark silent world is asleep, but not Amelia Nicot-Cartsonis, a freshman at Liberal Arts and Science Academy. Her tired eyes open as she pulls herself out of bed at 5 a.m. and slowly prepares herself for the school day. Next, she has swim practice. After an hour and a half of practice, she takes a shower to wipe off all the chlorine and sweat she accumulated. She hops onto a bus that will take her from swim practice to school. Once she arrives at school, she has no break. Nicot-Cartsonis must go straight to class, which starts at 8:15 a.m. She has a rigorous day at school, filled with notes and tests. At 3:40 p.m. she is able to go home, only to turn around and head toward another hour and a half of exercise at ballet. Nicot-Cartsonis finally gets home at 8:30 p.m. All she wants to do is plop down on her bed and sleep after an exhausting day, but she has homework on the back of her mind. Once her homework is done around 9:15, she is ultimately able to go to sleep so she can go through the whole cycle the next day. Miraculously, with a busy schedule she is able to be academically successful. “I don’t think I would be able to concentrate in school if I didn’t have everything

Amelia Nicot-Cartsonis shows off her purple and white back pack, which contains her neatly organized binders for her classes.

organized, because that’s what makes me a good student,” Nicot-Cartsonis said. The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) states that education, such as teachers, schools and students, is one of the top five clients for the members of NAPO. NAPO member, Katie Bryan, believes that this is no coincidence. “I started to see how everything I was reading and researching and learning about organizing, how much it really applied to my students.” Even as a small child,

You have to change the system

findingU / summer 2014

into something that you can live with by watching your behavior that you are already doing and then crafting a system around that. 24

organizational habits can be influenced by parents and adults. “At that very young age it still takes so much adult help to keep them organized,” Bryan said. Bryan believes that these influences have an effect on the child. “I think that for young kids, organization and systems can feel very soothing and very safe and secure because they have come to expect a certain thing and that thing happens. That lets them know that they can count on the adults around them.” Parents and adults also influence a child’s academic habits. “From a young age my parents encouraged me to be curious about why things are the way they are and to challenge things I don’t understand or I think are wrong,” said Madeline Jones, a freshman student at Liberal Arts and Science Academy. After a foundation is created for academic and organizational skills, a child starts to become more independent through responsibility. “Kids in third through fifth grade are a little more independent and more responsible for keeping up with their own assignments and their own projects and things like that,”

Organization “Learning how to focus and get something done is about more than just good grades — it’s the foundation for success in life.” When trying to get organized, Bryan said that there is no right way to get organized. She further explained by addressing a student’s personality. “You are not going to change your behavior, it’s really hard to change your behavior,” Bryan said. Instead of changing your behavior Bryan suggests the power of observation. “You have to change the system into something that you can live with by watching your behavior that you are already doing and then crafting a system around that.” Getting organized is the first step, but staying organized can be an even bigger challenge. Bryan encourages her clients to save some time specifically for organization. “Do a sweep of an area, give yourself five minutes and if [an organization task] can get done in five minutes, do it.” When in the classroom, Nicot-Cartsonis explained how she stays organized. “If they [a teacher] give you a paper and you put it in the reading section of your binder,

that’s done and you’re not left with fifty papers that you have to sort and organize.” Once the student has tackled the challenge of staying organized, Jones, Nicot-Cartisonis and Bryan believe there are benefits from organization long after school. This success can be shown in the student’s job. “In a job [organization] will be helpful, so that I can complete things on time because there is always deadlines that people have to face no matter what line of work they are in,” Jones said. Bryan, who has always found organization natural and soothing, also found future benefits from organization, “You have a little more control over how you spend your time when you are organized.” Furthermore, Nicot-Cartsonis knows that having to stay organized to keep up with her busy schedule will continue to help her. “If I stay organized I should be able to regulate some amount of success that I will have in the future.” *

Madeline Jones explains how she uses her school planner. “For every school day, I write the homework assignment for the class and also fill in upcoming dates (such as for quizzes or projects). Then when I get home, I check my planner and start checking things off the list as I do them. I usually do homework on the day that it’s assigned, but if I don’t do it, then I draw an arrow in my planner to the next day to remind me to do the assignment before it’s due.”


findingU / summer 2014

Bryan said. As the child becomes independent, Bryan notices the importance of organization. “I think that what I see with older students who are doing more research and science fair and that type of thing is that students who are not organized a lot of times end up doing twice the amount of work.” Other than avoiding twice the work required, Jones and NicotCartsonis see other benefits of organization that create a successful student. Jones is known by her peers for being academically successful. “I use my planner for all of my homework assignments so that I never forget anything and then I can prioritize what I want to do first,” said Jones. Jones uses organization as a way to keep track of what she has to do, while Nicot- Cartsonis uses organization as a way to never lose her paper work. “ [Unorganized students] lose their homework, they lose their work, they lose their project rubrics and the fact that I have everything ready and in its own little folder and in its own little place makes me better prepared for the day,” Nicot-Cartsonis said. One benefit that both NicotCartsonis and and Jones see from organization is sleep. “Being organized helps me do things more efficiently, so I have more time to do things like sleep,” Jones said. Having the right amount of sleep can affect a Jones’s attention span in the classroom. “Having more sleep helps me to stay focused in the day.” NicotCartsonis says that she also finds importance is sleep, which leads her to draw a connection between sleep and academics. “Lack of sleep can be detrimental in your academic success,” she said. According to the Nemours Center for Children’s Health Media, focusing can help students even after the classroom.

Every summer has it's own story... Make your summer spectacular with style under the sun.


findingU / summer 2014

why dystopian novels are so popular with teenagers now


an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.

story by NICA LASATER 28


photo by nica lasater


findingU / summer 2014

yelids heavy with makeup and sleep, ardent fan Dayla Woller, 14, discusses the movie she just saw, “The Hunger Games”. “My friends [and I] went to the premiere and we got all dressed up in costumes to be like the Capitol people,” Woller said. They went all out on their outfits wearing 3-4 inch heels, “really fake eyelashes in dandy colors” and even painted their nails eccentrically. Every detail had to be exact to match the stylings of the Capitol. Her friend, 14-year-old Evelyn Burd, also attended the midnight premiere and came out of the theater buzzing with energy. She immediately began commenting on what she did and didn’t approve of in the movie. “I was really excited to see [‘The Hunger Games’] because it’s this book that you imagined in your head on the screen and you can finally see everything in front of you,” she said. Staying up until 3 a.m. and having to go to school the next day was a small price to pay for the girls to see their favorite book come alive as soon as possible. They went on to see the movie five more times in theaters after the premiere. Many teenagers have this same fervent reaction towards dystopian novels. This is apparent in the 23.5 million copies of the “The Hunger Games” that have been sold in the U.S. alone, according to YALSA (the Young Adult Library Services Association). This series is at the head of the dystopian movement lead by young adult fans. “All it takes is one really, really great book to reach mega popularity and then people want to read a lot more stories like that,” said Meghan Goel, the children and young adult book buyer for Book People. “You saw a big increase in fantasy books that were published following ‘Harry Potter’. You look at all the vampire books that follow[ed] ‘Twilight’. The expanding field of dystopian novels is following the big launch of ‘The Hunger Games’.” “The Hunger Games Trilogy” is the epitome of how big the dystopian novel movement has become since the first book was released in 2008. “When I first read ‘The Hunger Games’, I dressed up as Katniss [that Halloween] and NO ONE knew who I was,” Woller said. “And then when the movie came out, everyone started reading them and all of a sudden they were huge fans, too.” →

Hobbies Prior to seeing the midnight premiere of “The Hunger Games”, Burd had the opportunity to meet Josh Hutcherson, Isabelle Fuhrman and Jacqueline Emerson, some of the members of the cast, on a mall tour across the United States to promote the movie. Hot Topic sponsored the event and was selling a limited number of tickets for $25 dollars to fans who could get their hands on them first. “It was a big deal because we had to skip school to go, so I had to talk my parents into letting me. It was in Dallas at the Galleria and we went and waited in line for a really long time,” she said. “It was worth it, though.” These events that bring fans together are This collection of “The Hunger occurring Games” merchandise belonging to a friend of Dayla Woller, more often. Phoebe Lasater, 15, shows the Costume rising obsession of the series. It took her roughly four years to contests, collect it all including CD’s, board meet and games, posters, T-shirts, action

findingU / summer 2014

figures, mockingjay pins and most importantly a signed Josh Hutcherson poster.


All it takes is one really, really

great book to reach mega popularity and then people want to read a lot more stories like that. greets and book signings happen nationally and even internationally where teenagers meet because of a common obsession. “There are different websites for the fandom. There are different Instagrams, [and] Twitters. And obviously propaganda, posters, movies, books. The whole thing, it’s gotten huge,” Woller said. “The Hunger Games” has brought light to other dystopian novels quickly gaining popularity, like “Divergent” by Veronica Roth,

photo by nica lasater

“Legend” by Marie Lu and “Matched” by Ally Condie. “‘Divergent’ I think started out more popular because of ‘The Hunger Games’” Woller explained. “I think my friends had been reading it and were talking about it and how [the two series] were similar. So I just started reading it and I really liked it.” Because of the hype following the release of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” in November, Lionsgate, the production company, released the “Divergent” movie on March 21. The idea of a different, futuristic environment is one of the many reasons why teenagers have latched onto the dystopian genre. The excitement takes them out of their ordinary lives of school, homework, sleep and allows them to ponder different scenarios the current world could morph into. “I think that dystopian novels are always interesting because it’s your world, but it’s not. It’s a possibility of a world that could be created from yours and it’s always interesting to see what people think our world could become,” Burd said. Woller agreed, saying, “With all the advances in technology now, there’s all these iPhones and iPads and fancy gadgets, like Google Glasses so, we’re getting more and more towards dystopian futures.” The characters in these books are

Hobbies mainly the same age as the typical audience, such as 16-year-olds Katniss Everdeen and Tris Prior from the “Divergent” series, which makes the stories easily connectable. “Tris is really relatable because she doesn’t exactly know what she’s doing, but she’s still taking brave steps.” Burd commented. “With [these] books, I just really love being able to get into a character’s head and being able to experience what their theoretical world is like.” Goel explained that the main reason she was able to become so immersed in the text is because, “It has a great main character. Katniss is such a strong, vibrant person and I think that it’s easy to connect with her.” Seeing as the majority of the readers are female, it was even easier to become attached to the main character while reading. “I loved that Katniss would do whatever it took to survive, even if it meant faking her love for Peeta,” said Michelle Beebower, librarian at the Austin Public Library. “She had her eyes

Avid fans gather to meet Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta), Liam Hemsowrth (Gale) and the director, Gary Ross in Los Angeles at the Westfield Century City center on March 3, 2013. The cast of “The Hunger Games” went across the country, including Dallas where Burd met them.

that,” Woller said.

and what choices they might want to make in life.” Unlike fantasy novel “Twilight” where Bella’s main goal is to be a vampire with Edward forever, Katniss and Tris are causing revolutions and fighting to make their futuristic world a better place. “I want a really great plot line where characters have the ability to really build and develop character over time. I’m looking for excitement and adventure. I like love stories where that’s not the central thing. I want love to emerge from situations where it is not the complete focus of the story. It’s the product,” Beebower said. Even though the main audience of dystopian novels is teenagers, they are popular with adults and younger kids as well. “My mom, at first was kind of disturbed by the idea, but then she read them and she really liked them,” Woller said. “Also, my friends’ parents have read them. The books just appeal to all people. I mean, really all ages like them.” Dystopian novels have become very popular with all ages for all different reasons. “It’s just grown into this immense thing for everyone,” she said. *


findingU / summer 2014

on her goal and she didn’t stray from that so I really loved the strong female character.” Another reason post-apocalyptic novels might be such a big hit with teenagers is how relatable the situations are. “I like [how] in dystopian novels it’s where the world is either in great crisis or is about to end and I think that, and sorry if I upset [teens] here, when you’re a teenager you always feel like your world’s about to come to an end or is on the precipice,” Beebower said. “So photo by nica lasater that’s really relatable, but it’s put in different scenery that’s easier to deal with than real life.” Teenagers are in the place where they aren’t really children anymore, but aren’t yet adults. This feeling of not completely belonging in one’s world is a common theme in antiutopian books. “[Teenagers] are getting ready to get out and find their place in the world and figure out what they want to do and what they want to make big choices about,” Goel said. “The reason that Excluding “Uglies” by Scott they resonate with teens is it Westerfield, the stack of gives them the opportunity dystopian novels followed the release of “The Hunger to think about what a society Game” in 2008. “I guess you should be like, to think about could say that they’re the next “The Hunger Games”, standing up to authority, to but none of them are ever think about individuality going be quite as popular as

photo by Doug Kline


A Look Into the Hottest Movies and Books story by ana Marsh




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Katniss Everdeen has miraculously made it through the “Hunger Games” the first time, but will she make it through a second time? And this time the capital is watching her every move.

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findingU / summer 2014

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Hobbies Finding a good movie or a book can be difficult, especially when you are in the mood for a specific genre. Using IMDb and Goodreads we chose the current most popular movies and books in three different genres: comedy, adventure and horror. With the help from Amazon we followed each book and movie by a quick summary to see if it’s something that interests you.




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Captain America: Winter Soldier Steve Rogers tries to adjust to his new world as he battles an old enemy called the Winter Soldier.


findingU / summer 2014

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findingU / spring 2014

For whatever mood you’re in we’ve got you covered.



findingU / spring 2014



A magazine for teenage girls with any interest.

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