A Poem by Alex Estrada

The gaming beast is a mighty beast

who lives within my head.

His claws are sharp, his howl is loud and I’d prefer

him dead.

Unfortunately I invited him in one day so long ago,

and now he tries to torment me a subtle yet

monstrous foe.

I listen to his foolishness and tell him “GO Away!”

But now I embrace him, I control him.

I am in charge, when it comes to the beast.



The Fault in Our Stars Book & Movie (Trailer) Review

Its upcoming movie talk has caused the now well known book, “The Fault In Our Stars” by author John Green, to become viral. Not only can you see people walking around reading or talking about it, but just log onto any social networking site and you will see endless posts.

For those who don’t know, “The Fault In Our Stars”, is about 17 year old Hazel Grace, who is a normal teenager, other than the fact that she is living with cancer.

Her cancer cannot be healed and she knows that so she she could die any day. When attending a support group she meets 18 year old, Augustus Waters, whom is immediately intrigued by her and begins talking ( if not flirting ) with her.

The book carries you through tough times, intense moments, teen love and relationships with friends and family.

On a personal critique, I enjoyed the book very much, and am looking forward to the movie release on June 6th this summer. If I had to rate the book on a star scale of one to five (one being the lowest) I would give it a solid four to five.

It captured my attention, kept me reeled in and did not disappoint. The characters are bold and intellectual, a great combination in my eyes. The character of Hazel Grace, 17, is not as weak as you would imagine someone with cancer being. She is very forward and speaks her mind, she has her thoughts and opinions and sticks by them unless given a reason to think otherwise, she is very witty and good with sarcasm; which I believe brings a good teenager attitude to her adult demeanor.

Augustus Waters,  18, is also a very witty and opinionated character. He comes across as an extreme optimist, however that could be due to the fact he is happily free of cancer. He befriends Hazel the day they meet, and from there the story unfolds. As I followed Hazel and Augustus throughout the book, I got a lot of mixed emotions. Between the romance, the depression, the friendships and the shear enjoyment of the novel, I completely enjoyed it and most often refused to put it down.

The trailer for the movie came out Thursday, January 28th. I was very excited to see it, as I am a huge fan and follow it extensively. I absolutely loved it! It didn’t give to much away about the book (great for their non-readers who planned on reading the novel), but it also gave enough intense moments to really grab your attention. I believe the actors/actresses they chose to play Hazel and Augustus were a great pick, although I imagined Hazel looking a bit different, I believe Shailene Woodley will make a great Hazel. Choosing Ansel Elgort as Augustus was a great choice, I think he fits the descriptions of him very well and actually looks a lot like the Augustus I imagined. Overall the trailer impressed me and gave me chills, I thought it was the perfect trailer, and in my eyes the movie will be just as great as the book.

Martha Especulta, 17 said, ” The Fault in Our Stars”, taught me how valuable life and love are. The book gets you thinking about all the little things in life and how precious they are. Being with your family, your friends, and remembering the past even if it’s bad.

The book is about love and how powerful love is even in the matter of a short time the love that Hazel and Augustus had for each other was powerful to change each of their lives. And that’s why I love the book, it shows how life and love means so much to people, to me.”

Check out the Trailer at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ItBvH5J6ss

And find the book at: Walmart, Half Priced Books, Local Library, etc.

Additional interview questions from, Alex Turner:

Q. Grading the book on a star rate of one to five ( one being the lowest ) what would you rate it?

A. Five

Q2. Was your attention easily grabbed?

A2. Yes, because it’s a John Green book, and I love his books.

Q3.Would you recommend it to others?

A3. Yes! It’s so “touchy feely”

Q4. What is one of your favorite quotes from the book?

A4. “I fell in love like you fall asleep- Slowly, and then all at once”

Q5. How do you feel about the use of his made up drug, Phalanxifor?

A5. It was creative. It takes something to make up something like that.

Q6. Are you looking forward to the movie?

A6. Heck Yes! That’s why i’m reading the book!

Q7. How did you like the trailer?

A7. I liked it, it gave me the feels.

Q8. Do you expect this movie to be a big hit?

A8. Yes, who wouldn’t want to go see this movie?

Q9. As you were reading the book, did you attention stay intact, or did you lose interest at any point?

A9. I haven’t lost interest yet, I can barely put the book down when im told to.

Q10. Who do you think John Green will play as in the movie?

A10. I have no idea.

Q11. What is the age range you believe is attracted to this book/movie?

A11. 15-20

Review and Interviews by Miranda Burrow


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Seeing is Believeing(Part two)

My flashlight speared through the darkness, revealing a hallway to me. There were two doors on my right and one on my left. haunted_house_5_by_fairiegoodmother-d5d3xazA staircase spiraled up to the second floor at the end of the hallway. I opened the first door on my left and shined my flashlight throughout the room. I saw something move from a corner as the light swept through the room and I jerked back to look again. The corner was empty. It was just the light shining on an object as the light moved through. I repeated that sentence over and over again but I felt the hair on the back of my neck rise, like there was someone watching me. I whirled around to face the hallway, hearing a laugh echo around me.
“Who’s there?” I cry out, looking around frantically. Calm down Lily. All you’re doing is freaking yourself out. There was probably a logical explanation for that noise; like the wind moving through the house. It’s old; it probably makes lots of noises. No matter how much I tried to tell myself that the feeling of being watched didn’t decrease. I shut the door I had opened which was a living room with a dining room connected to it and opened the door on my left. It looked like a kitchen, that had an opening and when I shined my light on it, to my surprise it was a washroom. I closed the door and opened the last door on the right. It was a closet. I hurriedly shut the door as the feeling of being watched increased with the door being opened. I reached the end of the hallway and stared up into the dark at the top of the staircase. I tentatively lifted my foot and pressed down on the first step and winced when it creaked. I took a deep breath and cautiously started up the steps, ignoring how much this felt like a death march. As I ascended I glanced up into the darkness. I was so focused on looking forward that I missed the eyes of one picture on the wall following me as I continued upward. I finally reached the top and shined my light into the gloom. Doors lined right and left in the hallway. Most of them were open and I tried not to let the shiver of fear that wanted to go down my back do so. I slowly walked forward, shining my light side to side. I saw my light glance off of something and shine back at me. I turned and looked at it. I almost screamed at the face staring back at me until I realized that it was only my reflection. I let out a nervous laugh and stared at the mirror. Blue eyes framed by long lashes and thick black hair stared back at me. I was about to turn away when I saw a dark figure glide down the hallway behind me. I spun away from the mirror, gasping as I swung my light down the hallway. Nothing. There was nothing there. I let out a shaky breath and continue my way down the hall. Suddenly, a shrieking laugh sounded all around me and I let out a scream, dropping my flashlight. The light went out and I let out a whimper, kneeling and trying to find my only source of security. I was just about to go into full panic mode when a light bloomed in front of me. My head snapped up and I gasped. Staring at me, illuminated by a source of light I couldn’t see was a skeletal face. It smiled at me, teeth missing and leaving only a wide and dark chasm behind. A scream of terror stuck in my throat as I scrambled back on hands and knees.
“My, my. We are lost now aren’t we?” A whispery voice asked, the horrid mouth moving. My eyes were wide and I couldn’t seem to speak. The voice continued.
“Is it correct to say that you don’t believe in ghosts? Hmm Lily?” I wanted to ask how this apparition knew my name but my voice didn’t seem to be working at the moment.
“Well, if ghost are not real then how do you explain me? Or the others?” A pale hand gestured behind me and I slowly turned, the scream that didn’t want to come out before now escaped my throat as white figures filled the hallway. My joints unlocked and I jumped to my feet, bolting down the hallway. A cackling laugh followed me.
“Remember Lily! Seeing is believing!” The voice called out to me as I stumbled down the stairs and towards the door. It was open and I could see Marie standing in the doorway. I had almost made it when the door slammed shut. I started pounding on it, screaming. An evil chuckle sounded behind me.
“Now did you really think you would be able to leave? You see, there is a curse upon this house: All who enter shall never leave.” The voice whispered in my ear and I slowly turned, my eyes growing wide and my mouth opening in a silent scream.

By Vanna Watson

Seeing Is Believeing (A Ghost Story)


“Come on; get serious. Ghosts aren’t real.”
I scoffed, rolling my eyes.
“But they are! And the house down the street really is haunted!” My best friend, Marie insisted. I rolled my eyes again, staring up at said haunted house. A cracked sidewalk led up to the broken and lopsided steps. The dirty and dark windows were impossible to see into and vines crept up the front and sides of the house, reaching spidery fingers to the sky as if seeking escape from the depressing aura that hung around the house. The weeds, left to do what they wanted, reached up to my hips; tall enough to hide the creatures lurking in the overgrowth. The house itself looked like it was beautiful in its day. But now, it served as a story to tell kids at bedtime.
I said, turning away.
“But its true!” Marie insists, running in front of me. I sigh.
“Ghosts aren’t real and I’ll prove it!”

Marie smirks.
“Alright then. I dare you to go into the house tonight.” I gulp and she cocks an eyebrow.
“What’s the matter? Scared?” She taunts.
“Fine!” I exclaim, “I’ll go tonight and when I come out and prove you wrong, you’ll owe me twenty bucks!” She sticks out her hand.
“Deal!” I shake it and can’t help but feel that I made a grave mistake. I took one last look back at the haunted house as we walked back home and I could have sworn I saw a figure standing in the upstairs window. But it was probably just my imagination.
“Mom! I’m home!” I yell as I shut the door behind me.
“In here Lily!” The call comes from the kitchen. I drop my backpack in a chair on the way in. My mother is standing by the stove, stirring a pot. She turns and smiles at me. “I’m making chicken soup for dinner.” She says as I kiss her cheek and turn towards the stairs. “Ok, call me when it’s ready.” I say as I head up to my room.
That night, as I wait for my mom’s nightly getting-ready-for-bed noises to subside so I know it’s safe to sneak out, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of dread as the time to leave got closer. I can’t explain it but it feels like something in the back of my mind is screaming at me to stay home. Of course, it’s probably nerves, I mean-the house is old; Who knows what could happen. An hour later, I’m up, shoes on and a backpack with a flashlight and rope is slung over my back. I quietly creep down the stairs, avoiding the places that creak and slowly ease my way out the door, shutting it softly behind me. I take off down the street, spotting Marie’s figure standing under the street lamp that sits across from the haunted house. Marie greets me as I get closer and together we cross the street and walk up the creaky steps of the house. I paused in front of the door, staring up at the dark windows that seemed to glare down at me, hiding the inside of the house from my view.
“Well? Are you going in or not? Don’t tell me your chickening out.” I heard Marie say behind me. I turn and glare at her.
“Me? Scared? As if!” I scoff but I can’t help the shiver that flashes down my spine as I turn my gaze back to the house in front of me. I slid my backpack off, bending down and extracting my flashlight from its depths. I take one last look at Marie’s smirking face and my courage hardened. I take a deep breath and open the door, trying not to let the ominous creak it made get to me.
“Remember, you’ll owe me twenty bucks.” I say to Marie without turning and then plunged into the darkness…

Return to the Swarm Press next week to see the conclusion to Lily’s adventure in the haunted house.

Story By Vanna Watson

Pregnant Pause

by Bre Croxtonpregnant pause

Pregnant Pause by Han Nolan is quite the book!

In this teen drama life story you will join 16-year-old Eleanor aka Elly who isn’t the most self-righteous teen. Drugs, alcohol, and stealing is the main part of her life along with her drug addict boyfriend, Lam.

However, Elly never expected that she’d end up pregnant. Elly and Lam are forced to marry and end up living in a cabin in a camp run by Lam’s parents. But does Elly really love Lam anymore?

Elly has to give up her rebellious teen life and become a mom in the blink of an eye. But no one expects a terrible occurrence the day the baby is born. Her parents then decided that the baby should be put up for adoption and Elly should come to Kenya with them. But what happens when Elly wants to keep the baby? Will she be able to support the baby and get a job? What about finding a good home for both Elly and the baby? And what about Lam? Will she stay with him?

Follow Elly through her time at camp and how growing up was much harder when there are huge decisions to make, and those decisions don’t just affect you.

The Hunger Games Trilogy

Hunger Games Trilogy

courtesy of Vanna Watson


A country born from the ashes of war.

It is ruled by a single body, a place called the Capitol. Only the privileged get to live there, basking in the wealth and riches that came with a sheltered life.

The rest of the population was split into different districts. Each district was given a job, a job that the rich gained from and the poor lost from.

For example: District Four was given the task of fishing and such, Eleven: agriculture, Twelve the mining of coal. And even though the districts manufactured these goods, they got to keep little. Instead most of the resources went to the Capitol, supporting those whose have more than they really need.

At first, there was thirteen districts in all but they soon grew restless of the Capitol’s control and rebelled. Twelve districts were quelled but the thirteenth was destroyed, now only ruins; a dark reminder of why rebellion is not an option.

Soon after, the Hunger Games were formed. It was stated that every citizen between the ages of twelve and eighteen were to have their names entered into a reaping. Then, on Reaping Day, one boy and one girl will be chosen to be entered into the Hunger Games, a terrible thing where families are forced to watch their children fight for their life’s in an arena controlled by the Capitol.

Only one will be crowned victor, where they are granted a grand house and money. To some, this seems like the best thing ever. But to others, it is saddening; having such nice things like food and a warm house, while the rest of the people in the district suffer from starvation and death.

Join Katniss Everdeen, as she struggles to fight for her family, friends, and her life. She will need to keep her sanity if she’s going to survive in this cruel world and still retain her sense of self by the end of it.

Suzanne Collins has most defiantly out done herself with this trilogy, it is sure to top the popularity charts with tweens and teens alike.


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The Mortal Instrument Series

City of Bones 

City of Bones


City of Bones by Cassandra Clair doesn’t disappoint! Enter the world of Shadowhunters through Clarissa Fray’s eyes, where demons, which hadn’t existed before, suddenly make themselves known and love unfolds in a forbidden way.

The story begins in New York where ordinary Clary thinks her life is normal and loves it the way it is…. that is, until she meets Jace and enters the world of Shadowhunters and demons and anything else that didn’t use to exist.

Clary’s “normal” life turns upside down when her mom falls into a sleep she can’t wake up from; she starts having feelings for Jace that she shouldn’t have because of a terrible secret she wasn’t supposed to know, and creatures and demons that were just fairy tales and nightmares are now real and she finds herself coming face to face with them.

What will Clary do when questions she didn’t want to have to ask don’t even have any sort of answer? Or how about how she should save her mom and get rid of these confusing feelings that seem to be a roller coaster ride everyday?

The Mortal Instruments, City of Bones series delivers romance, adventure, and page turning details about a world of its own. Cassandra Clair reaches out to an audience of all ages, and truly captures the true meaning of love and adventure. Impossible to put down!

Courtesy of Breanna Croxton


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Caster Chronicles

UnknownBeautiful Creatures

Authors Kaml Garcia and Margaret Stohl combine mystery with romance in the novel Beautiful Creatures. The main character, Ethan Wate has been having this re-occurring dream of a girl. He doesn’t know who she is and he would have thought it all to be his imagination if not for the dirt under his nails and the scratches on the backs of his hands, which he finds when he wakes up.

Soon he finds out that this “dream” girl, named Lena is very real and that she is nothing he expected. Lena is known as a Caster, a person who can use magic and if he doesn’t find a way to save her, she could be claimed for the dark, which is the last thing he wants.

Beautiful Creatures is the first book in the series of four books known as the Caster Chronicles.  Garcia and Stohl mesmerize and entice the reader in this spell-casting saga of good verses evil.

Ironically, in the first book, Ethan hears a repetitive song called Sixteen Moons, which Lena plays on the violin.  This song predicts Lena’s destiny, which is unfolded in more depth in book two called Beautiful Darkness.

The rest of the series is spell binding and will keep the average reader spell bound until the last turn of the page.

The first book in the series was released in theaters February 13, 2013.  If the movie producers can cast the magic from the pages to the screen without losing the depth of the plot then it is sure to be a box office hit as is the book.

Courtesy of Vanna Watson



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