Exploring The Love Hypothesis: An Overview of the Book

By Makala Sanichar

Editor’s Note: Views expressed in this article are

solely the author's opinions and beliefs

The Love Hypothesis, written by author and professor Ali Hazelwood, is a rom-com published in 2021. It has grown to be a very popular book amongst young adults as it is a great book to get started in romantic comedy. Winning Amazon's best romance book of 2021, The Love Hypothesis has an almost perfect rating on Goodreads and is all over TikTok.

Olive Smith is the main character of the novel and is a third-year Ph.D. candidate at Stanford who studies pancreatic cancer. She impulsively kisses Dr. Adam Carlsen, the department's notoriously cruel (but unquestionably gorgeous) professor, in an effort to persuade one of her best friends that she has moved on from an old crush. Following their kiss, Adam and Olive decide to pose as a couple so that she can show her friend that she is happily dating, while he can persuade their department that he has no immediate plans to quit. 

The Love Hypothesis is a wonderful example of a modern romance book because it is funny, unexpected, and heartfelt. This book also incorporates the idea of inspiring women in STEM, which is something that young readers enjoy. 

One of my favorite dynamics present in The Love Hypothesis is the “grumpy” (Adam) and the “sunshine” (Olive). Two protagonists with totally opposite personalities make up this concept. This leads to interesting and laugh-filled interactions between the main characters. 

Even while this book aims to entertain readers, it also includes realistic commentary: dialogue regarding women in academics is balanced with rom-com in this novel. I got the impression when reading it that the book's goal was to bring attention to sexism in a patriarchal environment, like the workplace, which is important for young readers to educate themselves about. 

I adore how the book was somewhat corny and predictable, yet it kept me on the edge of my seat. In my opinion, the narrative is able to capture the reader’s attention from the start. After reading the first two pages, I just couldn’t put the book down until I finished it. 

The Mystical World of Winter Mythology

By Eric Joshua Calub

Since the dawn of humanity, mythology has been present in societies to connect to and explain the world around them. Winter, as a part of nature, has captured the imagination of cultures and their stories.

A classical tale that explains seasonal change is the story of Hades and Persephone, which involves the Ancient Greek Pantheon. Hades, the god of the underworld, kidnapped Persephone to take as his wife. Her mother, Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, refused to let crops grow while Persephone was in the underworld. The two eventually agreed to let Persephone spend a portion of the year with her mother when crops can grow, and the rest with Hades, when crops die.

Another wintry mythological figure, the Yuki-onna, from Japanese folklore, represents the coldness of winter. Involved in many different stories, the Yuki-onna changes in its roles and characteristics as different people tell its story. Regional variations of the creature involve a role as a beggar, a lunar princess, as well as malicious roles such as a vampiric figure that sucks the life from humans or attacks them on snowy nights. These differences in characterization demonstrate how experiences and fear reflect people in society within stories. 

But, how do these myths come to be? Is it essential to learn about them? As Bayside’s Humanities & Non-Profit teacher Mr. Bonkowski views it, “Myth is a tool and a method of conveying language, lessons, morality, and even technical teachings.” He also sees it as “an essential part of our development.” 

This perspective contextualizes many myths. For example, the Yuki-onna is a cautionary tale not to venture out alone in dangerous situations like cold nights and encourages people to make good decisions. These lessons encourage cultural development and practices while perpetuating principles within society.

Lessons and morals aren’t the only necessity that mythology can convey. Bayside sophomore Ritikha Nagah expresses the idea that “it is also a fun way to explain phenomena that we can’t explain.” Her statement applies to myths such as that of Hades and Persephone, explaining the coming and ending of winter. Other mythological characters such as the Hag of Beara from Irish mythology also explain the season of winter. Mythology offers a way to rationalize the natural world in a way that personifies nature and projects a culture’s perceptions.

Another perspective on the importance of mythology to society, sophomore Sabrina Mehreen attributes the significance of mythos to how it can “provide solace to the people during difficult times.” Societies encounter challenges, and stories can enable them to persevere or rationalize these events. For example, the Yuki-onna is a personification of winter, representing the winter’s potential for danger. 

By ascribing a name and attributes to a natural event, the world was humanized and people could find ways to attempt to appease or control it, enabling people to find solace in rituals and practices. As Bayside High School English teacher Ms. Rocchio puts it, “Within these tales and beings are the realities of the world that we have to live with.” Behind stories of mighty gods and terrifying creatures are human experiences of love, heartbreak, fear, and wonder, as well as their observations of nature like the changing of seasons or the danger of the cold. 

The human experience is one full of wonder, curiosity, emotion, and empathy; through mythology, we see the concerns, fears, and understanding of different cultures and societies represented through grand and extraordinary stories that personify and explain the world around us. Behind each story is a culture, and behind each myth a purpose and lesson. It is for this reason that mythology is and will continue to be an essential part of humanity.

Insights and Impressions of The Sorrows of Young Werther

By Paayal Cheema

Editor’s Note: Views expressed in this article are

solely the author's opinions and beliefs

To be able to take the sensations of humankind and put them on paper is a special ability. One person who may legitimately be claimed to possess this talent is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – a significant Romantic Era influence. The Sorrows of Young Werther is a beautifully crafted 1774 German-language book that depicts Von Goethe’s gift in writing.

The book is filled with letters, organized by date, written by a young man named Werther who writes to his dear friend. Werther sets out from his hometown to take a government job. Though his true desire is to be an artist, he is content for it to be a pastime. From his first letters in the May of 1771, Werther can be characterized as someone who holds love and appreciation for life. He is a lively man who can’t help but find beauty in everything– shown from the poetic illustration of his feelings.

When Werther meets Charlotte, the daughter of a local district judge who is betrothed to a man named Albert, his sentiments of passion and romanticism for life only get stronger. Werther is drawn to Charlotte by the air of kindness she exudes. He becomes further enamored with Charlotte as time passes, to a point where he writes, “I don't understand how another can love her, is allowed to love her, since I love her so completely myself, so intensely, so fully, grasp nothing, know nothing, have nothing but her!” Werther hopes their close-knit friendship might ignite requited love, but it will cease to be. Charlotte marries Albert, unknowing of Werther’s affections.

Now left forlorn, Werther shows a change in his letters. Any readers at this point can recognize Werther’s sullied life as he is clouded with misery. He writes, “God knows I often retire to my bed wishing that I might never wake up; and in the morning I open my eyes, see the sun once again, and am miserable.” Werther, overtaken by depression, turns to embrace and accept his despair, for all he can do is sigh for a world he has forgotten– a world of happiness. Years pass and his final letter ends with a note that signs off his “earthly career”.

In my opinion, this is a brutally realistic and poetic piece of literature as he portrays a man going into and through depression. I adore the meticulous arrangement and the subtle hints of Werther's change in attitude, not to mention how Von Goethe was able to convey emotions that one may have believed were ineffable! My favorite aspect of this book has to be the author's, notably utilized, vivid diction. I would not change anything about this book. 

Despite how moving and intimate the work is, it is not an appropriate read for everyone as it deals with depression, suicide, and other issues. It also contains some discouraging language that may be triggering to some. However, I strongly recommend this work for those who can endure it as Von Goethe has a flair for expressing deep emotions. 

To conclude, my favorite quote from this book has been: “I am proud of my heart alone, it is the sole source of everything, all our strength, happiness, and misery. All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own.”