Monique Suggests: Summer Reading

The list below consists of books I think would be interesting  to read over the summer. It could be about a fluffy summer romance, a detective and his mysterious case, a gripping thriller, or a  coming of age novel that will get you thinking before you start your next academic year.

  1. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen


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2. Before I go to Sleep by S.J. Watson


This book has also been made into a thriller movie starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, and Mark Strong.


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3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


This book has been made into a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan.


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4. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith


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5. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han


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6. Jackaby by William Ritter

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7. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

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Essential Films for the Summer

Don’t forget to check out some of these upcoming movies during your vacation!

  1. Wonder Woman – The first female-led Superhero film, starring Gal Gadot as the eponymous Wonder Woman. mv5bndfmzjgymtetytk5mc00nmy0lwjhzjktowy2mzi5yjkzodnlxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymda4nzmyoa-_v1_sy1000_sx675_al_
  2. Alien: Covenant – Ridley Scott returns to his classic science-fiction horror franchise. In space, no one can hear you scream. alien-covenant-poster
  3. It Comes At Night – A new upcoming horror film that’s been gaining lots of traction recently. mv5bntc2njgwodkxnl5bml5banbnxkftztgwnzkyndgzmti-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_
  4. Spiderman: Homecoming – Do I even need to explain this one?mv5bntk4odq1mzgznl5bml5banbnxkftztgwmtmymzm4mti-_v1_sy1000_cr006581000_al_
  5. Dunkirk – From one of the greatest filmmakers of our age, comes his take on infamous World War II battle at Dunkirk. mv5bmte0mjg4mtmwmdzeqtjeqwpwz15bbwu4mdawmdq1oday-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_


The Fidget Insanity


Whether you are for or against fidget toys, they are still very popular and will still be popular till the end of the year. They come in many shapes and sizes each with a mechanism, but all have one purpose, to enable the user to do something with their hands. Although they aren’t the loudest things to play with, they still emit a small noise that sometimes distracts others. This is why they aren’t the most popular things around teachers. For students however, it is very mixed. Some would go to the point that they are life savers in some classes. Others say it is the stupidest thing around. I actually enjoy the fidget spinners and cubes and as a person that fidgets a lot in class, I would say that these things are often very handy. However, I do think that they are relatively loud, and should be used with caution.

-Gus Shumlansky, G10

Monique Recommends: Hunted


Meagan Spooner’s novel ‘Hunted’ is a retelling of the iconic ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Beauty or better known in the novel as Yeva, is a hunter just like her a father. Both wanting more than the town can offer, both yearning to return to their house by the forest. But when they do, her father starts rambling about a beast; a beast in the woods. What he doesn’t know is that the beast was following him. Weeks go by with Yeva and her sisters waiting for her father to return from his hunting trip, but he doesn’t. Disregarding her sisters’ protests, Yeva decides to take things into her own hands and attempts to find her father. Only what she discovered was not what she was expecting to find.

After the live action movie of ‘Beauty of the Beast’ was finally out in cinemas, my childhood fascination and love for the movie lead me to continuously listen to its soundtrack and just overall being in a disney spirit.

“She wept because she did not know what she

wanted, and because she wanted everything.”

Trying to find a book to read, I was looking through some websites when I found the book. I decided to read it, interested of what I was going to get because I have never really read a retelling of a story before and Beauty and the Beast has always been one of my favourite animated movies, so I was quite excited to read it and I wasn’t disappointed. Though there were major differences from the original plot and the retelling but the important features of the story remained similar. I loved the message in the book about how our wanting can impact our lives and how the author incorporated it into the curse that tied the Beast and Yeva together.
I would recommend this book to those who enjoyed Beauty and the Beast and would like to read a retelling of it, as well as those who would want to read a fantasy book that isn’t entirely about romance that also has a message to share.

Sam Speaks: The Value of Art in Society

Sam Speaks is a bi-weekly opinion/feature column, on almost every topic imaginable. Please note that the opinions expressed in these articles do not reflect those of The ISPP RUSH as a whole, nor those of the school.


The art of our ancestors

So, recently in class, we had a discussion about the value of art in society. More specifically, we talked about whether or not art was ‘essential’ to our civilisation. Since this is my opinion column, I figured this would be a perfect place for me to get my opinions out there.

I’ll say this right off the bat: art is a cornerstone of our civilisation. It is one of the most, if not the most, important assets that we have as a species.

Never thought I’d be discussing philosophy.

What separates humanity from the rest of the animals? What separates the Homo genus from that of the bear, of the wolf and the owl and the insects? It is not solely our ability to walk on two legs, or to speak, or to work together. What separates us is our ability to create art.

From the dawn of humanity, when we were living in caves, living day to day and off the land, we made art. We painted on the walls of caves, murals depicting the great hunts of our time. We drew the animals that lived with us. We drew the predators that stalked us.  Back then, we used art as a means to escape the mundane and sometimes terrifying reality of our ancient past. We used art to transcend our mortality and to live beyond what we were meant to. Those ancient cave paintings are still here, today. Since the beginning of our species, we created art!

Entertainment is also considered to be art. Books, films, TV, songs. Imagine a world without those. Life would be as dull as dishwater. We would be without anything to help us to escape the humdrum routines of our daily lives. We wouldn’t be able to watch any of our favourite shows. We wouldn’t be able to read our favourite books. There wouldn’t be any entertainment at all if not for art.

A key part of art that not many talk about is the creativity that comes with it. And without creativity, nothing (and I mean, nothing) would get done. You see, art means that we think outside of the box. Even if that art doesn’t interpret the world but merely represents ityou still require the creativity to actually create that art–be it films, TV, books, paintings, etc. Creativity is so important. Without art, and without creativity, we would live in a world set back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. After all, if none of us were creative, who would think to use fire to cook our food or to warm us at night? Who would think it better to settle down rather than be wandering tribes for the rest of their lives? Who would think to blast stones to melt down the ore inside, and then use that ore to make tools?

Without creativity, who would paint the Mona Lisa or the Starry Night? Who would compose the symphonies or invent rock or make the newest, catchiest songs? Who would think to create the computers that run our lives? Who would make the films that amaze us or the books that astound us?

I think, after all this talk, it all boils down to this.

Without art, we would live in a cold, sterile world with cold, sterile people, living cold and sterile lives. There would be nothing interesting. Nothing created. Nothing new.

-Samithi Sok

Sam Speaks: The Portrayal of Video Games in mainstream media

Sam Speaks is a bi-weekly opinion/feature column, on almost every topic imaginable. Please note that the opinions expressed in these articles do not reflect those of The ISPP RUSH as a whole, nor those of the school.

Quite recently, I watched Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s Fair Forward, a YouTube video series that discusses how certain video games fail, and what lessons can be learned from their failures. This particular episode isn’t about one specific video game. Instead, it’s about how video games are portrayed.

Before we get to the video, I wanted to talk about how I find that the way that video games are portrayed on TV and movies is, quite frankly, insulting.

There’s a certain expectation when you hear the word ‘gamer’, and most of them are negative. Take a look at this:


And this:


And this:


If you were assaulted by articles like this all the time, then you’d think that the whole world was one day away from being shot up by a bunch of teenagers who spend way too much time playing Call of Duty. 

Video games are constantly boiled down to this misrepresentative, negative image, even when there are so many non-violent games out there. The mainstream media thinks that the only video games in production are about shooting foreigners, when that is so far from the truth.

I’m going to list, off the top of my head, all the video games that don’t involve you shooting, maiming or killing people:

  1. Portal
  2. Splatoon
  3. Tetris
  4. Wiisports
  5. Mario Kart
  6. The Sims

It is infuriating to see video games taken down like this. Most people see video games as a waste of time, as a distraction, as something negative. But they’re force-fed this false image through Fox News, BBC, CNN, all the mainstream media outlets.

Video games can be works of art. Their interactivity can elevate even the most common stories to something much higher. Unlike movies–which are bound by a time limit, actors, sets, etc.–video games can tell stories that simply wouldn’t work in any other medium. Unlike books, you have a real, tangible impact on a story in a video game.

But I think I’d best let the video do the talking.

You can find the link to that specific episode here.

-Samithi Sok

P.S. Want to discuss anything? Have an issue with the points raised? Contact the site at our contact page.  

Nana Recommends: Barakamon

The previous two anime that I have recommended have been a high school romance and drama. Well this anime is different… it is a heartwarming comedy anime.

The story is about a professional Calligrapher, Handa, who won many awards for Calligraphy and was said to be the next Calligraphy master. In one of the exhibition, the curator said his piece was boring to one of the piece he won an award in. This frustrated him and he punched the curator. His father decides to send him off to a tiny island in the Kyushu region. There, Handa tries to find himself through his experience in the island.

When I read the description, I thought this anime is going to be a heartwarming anime but it turns out there is many comedic parts which happened out of nowhere. It is very interesting to see the spontaneous actions the dynamic characters do within each episode.

This anime illustrates the life of the countryside in Japan well. Handa had some difficulty getting used to the countryside from the dialect and the nature compared to the life he had in the city. The way the characters are friendly and visit the neighbors is something similar in the countryside which is illustrated well in the anime.

I first started watching the anime because I heard there was an anime about Calligraphy. This anime also shows unfamiliar art of calligraphy which is interesting if you want to learn more about the Japanese culture.
I would recommend this anime to people who like heartwarming comedies and loves the dynamic characters. I wouldn’t recommend this anime to people who love fast paced, action packed animes or people without a soul. I wish there were more than 12 episodes because this is one of my favorite animes of all time.

-Nana Isoda