Name That Sequel

Hey, Shmoopers,

We want to test your knowledge of sequels. So take a break from shipping Thomas and Teresa, and see how well you know your YA dystopian thrillers. Good luck—and don’t let the tracker jackers sting.

How Well Do You Know Your YA Dystopian Thriller Sequels?

Name the sequel to each of the following books:

1. The Hunger Games
2. Divergent
3. Uglies
4. Matched
5. Delirium
6. City of Bones
7. Beautiful Creatures
8. Legend
9. Daughter of Smoke & Bone
10. Mortal Engines
11. Shiver

Yes, we linked, but have some dignity, people. No cheating. Save the clicks till after you guess. Answers are below (and in tiny font, like ya do). Once you’ve graded yourself, find out how you stacked up.

0 right:
Yeah, you were definitely the first person killed in the 74th Hunger Games. Not that you’d volunteer, anyway.

1 -3 right:
Hope you like electricity, because you’re getting picked off by bulb monsters.

4 – 7 right:
You didn’t nail it, but at least you can take that red pill to forget about your mediocre performance.

8 – 10 right:
It’s true love for you and these sequels. Let’s just hope they’re not secret werewolves.

11 right:
You’re a regular Tris Prior: truly divergent.

How’d you do? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #ShmoopSequels.

Quote of the Week

“Thomas had lived in fear and terror the past few weeks, but this was almost too much…”

~ The Scorch Trials

Do you think the second movie was as good as the first?
1. Catching Fire  2. Insurgent  3. Pretties  4. Crossed  5. Pandemonium 6. City of Ashes 7. Beautiful Darkness 8. Prodigy 9. Days of Blood and Starlight 10. Predator’s Gold 11. Linger

Don’t Get Stupid This Summer: 10 Online Courses to Keep Your Neurons Firing

Hi, Shmoopers,

School’s out for the summer. (Er, for some of you. Everyone else can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel.) And as much as we’re all about loading up on sunscreen and relaxing by the pool, we hate getting back to school in the fall and feeling like our brains have somehow been vacuumed out by the zombies in the latest YA dystopian novel.

So how about a compromise? Shmoop’s Online Courses keep your brain muscles intact without ruining your SPF season. If you need to brush up on the basics, you can hit up one of our core courses. (Geometry? American Lit? Modern World History? Whatever floats your boat.) But we want to shout out a few of our elective courses—the just-for-fun stuff that’ll give you a good reason to skip a day at the beach. Or, you know, bring your tablet along.

1. Reality TV

This video-based course digs deep into why we’re all so obsessed with reality TV. Because we are. (Anyone else already have a pool going for this season of The Bachelorette?) We talk about the history of reality TV, the literary tropes found in every episode of Survivor, and why oh why we love to watch stuff ironically. After all, we didn’t come here to make friends.

2. Introduction to Java

Want to be prepared when computers take over the world? In this course, you’ll learn all the important variables, conditionals, loops, methods, and objects that’ll allow you to do just that. We’ll do everything but teach you how to make a cup of coffee. (But real talk: you might want to learn that skill if you keep learning how to program.)

3. Creative Writing: Fiction

Living enough of a drama-free life that your diary’s getting a little stale? Try some fiction writing with Shmoop. From squeezing those mind-grapes while brainstorming to the literary shave and haircut that is editing, you’ll finish this short course with a story that’s Pulitzer-worthy. Or at least fridge-worthy.

4. Video Games and Remixes: Audience Participation

Instead of playing video games all summer, why not learn about ’em? This course will give you buzzwords galore, which means the next time you’re playing Counter-Strike, you can distract your opponents by just saying ludological, moral panic, and narratology over and over again until their brains explode.

5. The Psychology of Influence

Nirvana might ask you to “Come As You Are,” and Madonna might want you to “Express Yourself,” but when push comes to shove, humans are crazy-inclined to follow the crowd. (How else do you explain your old Furby collection?) In this course, you’ll enjoy some Social Psychology 101 as you examine how we as humans change due to the desire to fit in and please the people around us.

6. Dinosaurs

After you’ve watched all four Jurassic Park movies (okay, fine, you can skip 2 and 3—we won’t tell), take our short course on dinosaurs. By the end, you’ll be as geeky—er, knowledgeable—as the kid in Jurassic World. Clever course.
The internet: land of quickly-changing design principles (thank goodness) and even quicker meme fads (we repeat, thank goodness). But it wasn’t always that way. There was a time before the internet had pictures, color, or even cats. While you spend countless hours watching totally-worth-it YouTube vids this summer, pencil in some time to learn about where those videos came from. Spoiler alert: no storks were involved.

8. ’90s History Through Music

Close read Milli Vanilli, learn about how an economic recession inspired Nirvana, and dig deep into everything Madonna. Come on, it’s what you’d do with your summer anyway…just with a little more Macarena thrown in.

9. History of Animation Technology

We all grew up watching animated movies (and let’s be real: they’re still some of our favorites), so why not understand the nitty-gritty of what makes them come to life? This course peeks into Pixar and covers the history of animation from cave dwellers to Arendelle dwellers. Let the info rage on…online courses never bothered us anyway.

10. How to Write a Cover Letter

Okay, so this one might not be beach reading, but if you’ve waited till the last minute to apply to summer jobs and internships, this course, and the rest of our Business and Career Preparation Courses will serve you well. Pro tip: spell the company name right. A Shmoop by any other name won’t smell as sweet.

Quote of the Week

“Mama says, ‘Stupid is as stupid does.'”

~ Forrest Gump

Don’t be/do stupid. Subscribe to Shmoop.

Don’t Break the (Piggy) Bank with Shmoop’s Financial Literacy Learning Guides

It’s time for some real talk, Shmoopers.

You think that having a million bucks when you retire is serious bank? That you’ll retire with jets and homes on multiple continents and bling as far as the eye can see? Well, that math works if you’re 97 and just going to live one more year; but if you’re 65 and planning to live another 33 years, then…what time does the Blue Plate Special start again?

Or how about if you don’t invest in the stock market and keep all of your dough in your sock drawer? The market goes up about 8-10% a year over long periods of time, doubling about every 8 years; by not investing, you’re basically guaranteeing yourself a lifetime of financial mediocrity.

Or…maybe you have no clue what we’re even talking about? No matter what, you’ve come to the right place.

Welcome to the world of Shmoop Finance: guides to financial literacy for folks of all ages, from diapers to dentures. (Well, maybe not diapers; infants should probably ask their parents to hold their cash for a few more years.)

When it comes to money, we calls ’em as we sees ’em. Why? Because way too many people are doing all the wrong things, simply because they don’t see the whole story. Ignorance is not bliss—it’s just expensive.
  • For the early bloomers, we cover financial responsibility, savings, and credit and debit cards.
  • For those of you heading out on you own for the first time, there are sections on college finance and job income.
  • And for anyone who’s becoming an adult (in age if not maturity), we’ve got all the deets on the inner workings of insurance, taxes, mortgages, and the increasingly elusive possibility of retirement.
  • After you follow our advice and start swimming in literal poolfuls of cash (or the more tax efficient shares of stock), our section on investing will give you tips and tricks from decades of experience on Wall Street.

So there you have it: our tell-it-like-it-is attitude will teach you the importance of delayed gratification, long-term greed, and not putting all your cash under a moldy mattress.

Have financial advice for the masses? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #ShmoopFinance.

Quote of the Week

“Show me the money!”

~ Jerry Maguire

Uh, how about we show you the Financial Literacy Learning Guides instead?

17-minute Distractions for APs

Hi, Shmoopers,

Six of the big AP® exams are left, and you’re burnt out. So how do you make it through the rest of the week? Our suggestion: treat your studying like it’s a real job.

Uh, no, we’re not going to pay you to study. What we mean is that you should approach studying the same way that the most productive employees approach their work. In 2014, a study found that people are most productive when they work for 52 minutes and then take a 17-minute break. (Talk about specific.)

Drawing a blank on what to do during your breaks? We came up with ideas for productive(ish) 17-minute distractions for each of the remaining APs.

AP Comparative Government and Politics

This one’s easy: read the news. And we don’t mean and Entertainment Weekly—although there’s plenty of politics in reality TV. We’re talking global news about the big six of the AP exam: Great Britain, Mexico, Russia, Iran, China, and Nigeria. Yeah, there’s no lack of stuff to care about there.

AP World History

Okay, so this one’s actually 18 minutes, but it’s cool enough to cheat with an extra minute. Check out David Christian’s Ted Talk Lesson: “The history of our world in 18 minutes.” It’s not exactly what the AP World History exam is about (unless there’s a surprise question about the Big Bang on there), but that’s why it’s called a study break, right?

AP Statistics

Go to your local coffee shop and settle in for some people watching. What drinks do folks order the most? How often does the barista misspell the customer’s name on the cup? And how many other weirdos like you are there, creepily staring at everyone? Might be time to head back to the books if you count more than one.

AP Human Geography

It’s no secret that old-fashioned cartography is totally outdated. Take a spin around Google Maps or Google Earth and explore a place you’ve never been. While you’re at it, examine its so
cioeconomic organization
. Hey, it can’t hurt to keep those brain cells working hard.

AP Microeconomics

Take one step more micro and dive into some of our personal finance resources. It’s one thing to be able to answer questions about market failure and another to pinpoint your own market failure. Seriously, how did you spend $9 on limes?

AP Latin

Kick back, grab some popcorn, and see a little Latin in action by re-watching your favorite scenes from Dead Poets Society. After seventeen minutes of Robin Williams, you’ll be inspired to truly carpe diem and face that AP Latin exam with confidence. You might need it, too—the test is on Friday the 13th. Bonam fortunam, indeed.
Use your break time wisely. You have fifty-two minutes until the next one.

Quote of the Week

My advice is, never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.

~ David Copperfield

Clearly Dickens hadn’t seen this study. It doesn’t count as procrastination if it’s a planned break, right?

AP is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

6 Ways to Distract Yourself from APs Without Losing Brain Cells

Hi, Shmoopers,

AP® exams started this week, and your brain might be getting a little fuzzy from everything you’re packing in there. As much as we love a good binge-watch session, we also encourage you to take a break from AP studying with something that won’t dry up those learning muscles.

1. Take a career quiz.

Start by remembering that your AP scores won’t determine your entire future…probably. Shmoop’s Career Advice Center offers two quizzes: one for people who need some guidance and one for people who have zero clue what they want out of life. Figure out which category you fall into, and then let us crush your dreams.

2. Goof around with Shakespeare.

If you’re taking AP English Literature, you might need to know a thing or two about Shakespeare. But why not take a break and see what Shakespeare would have said about Shmoop? Head over to our Shakespeare Translator and type in “Shmoop is awesome.” And then travel down the Shakespeare Translator rabbit hole.

3. Figure out how the internet actually works.

We spend all day on it, so why not understand, uh, what it is? Even if you’re not taking AP Computer Science (A or Principles), it’s fun to learn the ins and outs of how stuff works. Our guide to How the Internet Works will walk you through everything from algorithms to copper cables to IP addresses.

4. Learn a few little-known facts from history.

It’s one thing to ace the AP U.S. History exam, but how about taking a break with some fun history trivia? In addition to our guides to Historical Texts, we’ve got loads of videos about history trivia to keep you on your toes.

5. Finance Glossary

If you’re taking AP Micro or Macro, you might feel like an informed economic citizen. But if not, take a peek at our guides to economics and finance to beef up. Not only will you have more in your arsenal for dinner party chatter, but you’ll also get some tips for personal finance that’ll help you if those AP exams don’t turn out the way you hoped…

6. Today in History

Figure out what went down in history on each of your AP test days. Taking AP Chem or AP Psych? Joseph Heller was born on May 1, so take a cue from him and keep it lighthearted while you study. Working on AP English Language? On May 10, the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed—just think about that when you start complaining about how hard you’ve been working.

Now get back to those APs.

You got this,

AP is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

6 Star Wars Facts for May the 4th

Hi, Shmoopers,

It’s May 4th, which means Star Wars fans across the galaxy are hashtagging like crazy: #maythefourthbewithyou. But what about the people who’ve never found the fifteen-and-a-half hours to watch all seven Star Wars movies? Worry, do not. We’ve got you covered. These facts will impress even your friends who wear shirts that say “Han Shot First.”

Trigger Happy

What did we mean by “Han Shot First”? One of the most contentious debates in the Star Wars universe is “Who Shot First?” Not an Abbott & Costello routine, but an argument about who pulled the trigger in a bar fight: Han Solo or Greedo the Bounty Hunter. In the 1977 cut, Han Solo shoots Greedo from under the table without giving the bounty hunter warning or a chance to fight back. In the George Lucas-ified Special Editions, Greedo shoots first and Han’s blast is in self-defense. Discuss.

Ewok to Remember

Most of the Ewoks’ speech is based on Kalmuck, a Chinese tribal language. The rest is Tagalog, a language spoken primarily in the Philippines. If you understood what those furry little guys were saying, congrats—your Tagalog and Kalmuck are coming along nicely.

No Hope

Star Wars came out in 1977 and was retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in 1978, when George Lucas envisioned sequels and prequels for his galactic universe. Considering the first prequel, The Phantom Menace, would be released twenty-one years later, that’s pretty impressive planning. Type A much?

Grandpa Luke?

Luke Skywalker went through several changes while Lucas drafted Star Wars. At different points of the writing process, Luke was a girl, a 65-year-old military general, and a guy by the name of Luke Starkiller. Hardly an appropriate name for a peace-loving Jedi.

Harrison Ford Strikes Back

Although it went on to become one of the Star Wars series’ most iconic lines, Han Solo’s “I know” wasn’t part of the script: it was improvised by actor Harrison Ford who was unsatisfied with the written line, a simple “I love you, too.” We like to think he was saving the ILY for us. #ashmoophope

Say Cheese

The squelchy noises Jabba the Hutt makes when he moves were created by a sound tech running his fingers through a cheese casserole. That makes Jabba the Pizza Hutt sound a lot less appetizing.

Now get back to studying for APs. Regardless of what Yoda says, there is try.

Quote of the Week

“May the force be with you.”

~ Star Wars


Top 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Graduate

Greetings, soon-to-be grads!

You’ve learned a lot in high school, but there are still a few nuggets left to digest. Allow us to hit you with a good ‘ol list.

1. Not registering = not taking the test.

The last day to register for the SAT and SAT subject exams is in a few short days, so get to it. Remember: you can’t win if you don’t play.

2. There’s still time!

ACT, Texas EOC Asssessments, Florida EOC Assessments, and CAHSEE still have test dates before next school year. Translation: you’re not off the hook.

3. Graduation is a great time for fashion.

Your gown might make you look like a sheep, but if you get creative with what’s underneath it, at least you’re a wolf in sheep’s clothing…or something like that.

4. Dr. Seuss is just as deep as Derrida.

Don’t let that diploma go to your head. Remember to thank the little people—or at least the people who were there when you were little. Dr. Seuss, we love you. (You too, Derrida.)

5. The Graduate is about a college graduate.

Just don’t get your hopes up.

6. You have options.

If you aren’t heading to college, there are plenty of careers out there for you, from professional golfer to repo man. And then some.

7. A gap year doesn’t mean a year of TV marathons.

You can use a gap year to volunteer, explore different cultures, or even try your hand at the real world. Just remember—it’s good to have a plan for when that year is over.

8. Math actually is useful.

Just saying.

9. You have at least one thing in common with Einstein.

He graduated from high school, too. We’re guessing you have more in common with him than just that, though. Hopefully it’s your haircut.

10. Shmoop isn’t just for high schoolers.

We’re here for you, no matter which path you take: college (even real college credit), job, or just stuffing dollar bills under your mattress.

So close…

Quote of the Week

“My only plan after graduation was to become a full time gunter.”

~ Ready Player One

What’s your only plan after graduation, gunter?
Tell us on Facebook or Twitter. #ShmoopGrads