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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Begone the old books, welcome the new

Photo Credit: Daniella Albuquerque
No one should ever underestimate the power words behold. They can change your mood in an instant.

“Books are a good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.” — E.B. White

“The 2023 global book market was valued at $132.4 billion,” according to with the ebook global market bringing in $12.32 billion in 2023. With this much revenue being generated, there must have been some pretty good reads being published this year. Here are some of the best teen lit of the past year.

Best of 2023

“Happy Place” by Emily Henry

Though they are deemed as the perfect couple, no one knows the truth– they broke up months ago. But how could they tell their best friends and ruin vacation? So, they come up with a deliberate plan: pretend to be in a relationship for the rest of vacation, and then go their separate ways. Even though their plan is well thought out, they forgot one factor– the tension that will be simmering between them as they try to keep up with the fake facade.

Released on: Apr. 25, 2023

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Genre: Romance/Fiction/Contemporary

Age Group: Adult

“Fourth Wing: The Empyrean” by Rebecca Yarros

Twenty-two-year-old, Violet Sorrengail was ready to venture into the life of books and history. Everything seemed to be going well, until her mother had a change of plans for her.  As the general commander, she ordered Violet to fight her way into becoming a part of Navarre: dragon riders. Which would seem easy for most, but Violet is “smaller” than most of the opponents. And when you are tiny, it is easier to be killed. Everyone knows that dragons don’t want to be bonded with delicate humans. They would rather burn them.

With each day that passes, the deadly war becomes even more bloody. The kingdom’s walls that are supposed to keep out intruders, are crumbling to dust. Will Violet have a chance to become a dragon rider, or will she die in the process?

Anum! on Goodreads commented, “This book is a rollercoaster of twists and had me so hooked from the start! Not once did it feel boring or like I should just skim something, and for once, I know the hype was so worth it! 😩”

Released on: Apr. 5, 2023

Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Age group: Young Adult

“Yellowface” by R.F. Kuang

Death happens, right? But who would expect someone to publish your original work and then claim it as their own? Well that is what June did after Athena died. She saw an opportunity and took it. Though, June does not get off the hook too easily. Before she knows it, she is spinning webs of lies to keep her original sin buried from the public.

“Yellowface” is told in first person and deals with diversity, racism, and cultural appropriation.

Released on: May 25, 2023

Genre: Contemporary/Mystery

Age Group: Young Adult


Books With High Expectations in 2024

Elise Dumpleton of Nerd Daily wrote, “From magic, fairytales, romance, and thrillers, to monsters, rebels, pirates, and friends, there’s certainly something for everyone to look forward to amongst the young adult books releasing between January and June 2024!” Most avid readers couldn’t agree more. With social media, like TikTok promoting books from time to time, this might encourage young adults to pick up a book or download a book. If you need a recommendation, here are some must reads for 2024.

“Only If You’re Lucky” by Stacy Willingham

Taking place at a liberal arts center in South Carolina, Margot meets Lucy. Both of them are polar opposites– Margot being shy and Lucy being bold.

It’s the end of freshman year and Lucy asked Margot if she would like to house with her and two other girls. Something in Margot was screaming at her to say “yes,” so before she knew it, she was moving in. Sooner than later, Lucy, Margot, Sloane, and Nicole all became close. Though, all of that changed when Lucy went missing in the middle of their sophomore year. No one knows what happened to her. Not even if her disappearance is connected to the murder of one of the fraternity boys next doors.

Nilufer Ozmekik on Goodreads commented, “This book skillfully captures the essence of this monumental conflict, transforming the journey into a sinister thriller that could be likened to a fusion of “Heathers” and “Pretty Little Liars” within the realm of dark academia. The story features unreliable female characters harboring concealed secrets.”

Released: Jan. 16, 2024

Genre: Thriller/Fiction

Age group: Young Adult

“Funny Story” by Emily Henry

Daphne had reached the milestone that every woman wants–to be engaged. Her lovely fiancé, Peter, had a habit of always re-telling how they met. And that is one of the many things she loved about him. She even moved to his hometown, Waning Bay, Michigan, because that was what he wanted. But after they settled in, Peter decided that he wanted someone else, Petra.

With all of this betrayal and confusion, Daphne is stranded in a town where she knows no one. So, she goes and asks to be roommates with Petra’s ex, Miles Nowak. As she gets situated, she notices how different they really are. Daphne could be described as up tight, while Miles goes with the flow. For the most part, the roommates ignore one another and continue with their lives.

One night, they confide in each other and create a plan. Apart of their plan is to create a fake relationship. Will they stop there, or actually fall in love?

Expected release: April 23, 2024

Genre: Romance/Fiction/Chick Lit

Age group: Young Adult/Adult

“Island Witch” by Amanda Jayatissa

Set in the 19th century, Amara lives in an island where her father is considered the Capuwa– demon-priest. Her and her father were living their normal lives, up until the British Colonizers began to introduce their practices to the villagers. With what the villagers were learning, they soon turn on Amara’s father and accused him of attacking men in the jungle. As Amara tries to clear up all the lies, she begins to have dreams about the village and what lurks within. Can these dreams help her prove to the people that her father is innocent?

Expected release: Feb. 20, 2024

Genre: Horror/Fantasy

Age group: Young Adult

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About the Contributor
Daniella Albuquerque
Daniella Albuquerque, Editor-in-chief
Daniella Albuquerque is a 16 year old in her Sophomore year at Colonia High school. She is involved in tennis, Spring Track, Interact Club, Book Club, and Student Council. She has never been athletic but has joined a few sports over the last couple of years, she recently found her love for tennis. Albuquerque is a bubbly person who loves to speak and get to know people whenever and wherever. If you asked her what her favorite hobby would have to be, she would answer with no hesitation: reading. When she isn´t studying or playing tennis, you can find her holed up in her room reading books. Her favorite genre has to be romance with a mix of fantasy. Albuquerque would like to study abroad and major in writing. Her dream is either to work for an important editing company or become a best selling author. With this being her second year with the Declaration of Independence, she hopes she does it well and is informative with what she writes.    

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