Who Are We?

As a fun and engaging website for young people, The Young Folks’ main focus is to deliver a young approach to film, books, music, television, video games, etc. to those in need of a fresh and relatable perspective.

We often see a disconnect between established critics and young people when it comes to pop culture. We want to give the young folks of the world a chance to read and learn about the latest in entertainment in a way that isn’t condescending or presumptious. Everything on The Young Folks is written by young people from all over the world.

Founded by Gabrielle Bondi and Luciana Villalba, we are proud of the work provided by our amazing team of writers. Learn more about them on this page.

You can also find us on Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube & Facebook.

If you would like to make a review request, please visit our Review Policy page & contact us through there. Thank you!

If you would like to join the TYF team, details on open positions, responsibilities, and how to apply are here!
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Gabrielle Bondi

Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Gabrielle is twenty-something and lives in the beautiful city of Chicago. She found The Young Folks in 2010 with Luciana Villalba with a desire to create an online community where young writers can write and share their opinions on entertainment. Gabrielle enjoys writing about film, TV and books, but occasionally writes about music. In addition to writing for TheYoungFolks.com, she manages the editorial staff, maintains the site and all that other fun stuff the comes with running a website. In her spare time, she is either watching more movies or reading more books, while continuously checking Twitter, which she may or may not be addicted to…

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Luciana Villalba

Co-Founder & Senior Editor

23 years old, Hip-Hop connoisseur, David Fincher fan, food addict and soccer fanatic, very passionate about FC Barcelona. Born in Colombia, moved to Miami when she was 14 and currently lives there. In her spare time she usually is listening to music, taking a nap, watching soccer, thinking about food or quoting The Social Network, Gossip Girl or Misfits.

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Allyson Johnson

Film Editor

Ally is a twenty-something year old living in the Boston area. Passionate about film, entertainment and writing, and particularly a focus on feminism in film, she’s dedicated to writing about what she loves, what she finds important, and sharing with with those who share a similar interest and voice.

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Evan Griffin

Video Games Editor

A twenty-something-or-other New Englander who enjoys good storytelling. As an aficionado of superheroes, classic video games and (subjectively) awesome movies, Evan makes it his goal to slog through the good, the bad and “meh” to let you know what stories in these overcrowded creative mediums are worth the cash in your pocket, or the time of your eyeballs. He is a living movie quotation machine, obsessively analytical, and will always give an honest and fair opinion with an insertion of wit where appropriate. (Who are you kidding? It’s always appropriate.)

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Lauren Wengrovitz

Books Editor

Lauren is a 19-year-old student living in Northern Virginia. She loves to read YA books and watch movies. Lauren is passionate about many things, but reading has always been a huge part of her life. Ever since she first learned to read, her parents have always had to pry books out of her hands when it’s time for other commitments. Lauren loves everything from The Hunger Games and Divergent, to Percy Jackson, mysteries like State of the Onion, and other YA books, like The Fault in Our Stars, and is always eager to try a new book, author, or series. She also loves music, public health, Harry Potter, and the Washington Capitals.

Twitter | Articles

Ryan Gibbs

Music Editor

Ryan is a music writer, critic and journalist from Newport, Rhode Island. He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island’s journalism program, where he was entertainment editor for its college newspaper. Ryan has had a passion for pop music from an early age, and transitioned into writing as soon as he could. Aside from pop music, Ryan enjoys the films of Akira Kurosawa and SNK arcade games.

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Alex Hanavan

Writer

Alex is 22 years old and is currently working on his bachelor’s in Computer Science and Interactive Multimedia. As an enthusiast of all forms of media he loves music, movies, and games. He likes to keep up to date with what’s happening throughout the world of science and technology but wishes that he had more time to actually sit down and read a good pleasure book. Alex plays trumpet and sometimes thinks that he was born in the wrong decade. His favorite video games include the franchises Bioshock, Assassin’s Creed, Legend of Zelda, Uncharted, Fallout, and The Elder Scrolls.

Articles

Melissa Berne

Writer

She is twenty-something, born in Miami, raised in Haiti until she was 8, and then came back to Miami. Phew! She has a passion for movies, music, and books. Though some would say there’s passion and then there’s Melissa. She is an aspiring entertainment journalist who is an avid social media user. Melissa is obsessed with the movie “The Mummy,” has an affinity for vampires, pirates and sweets.

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Brianna Lockhart

Reader/Publishing Intern/Library Aficionado

Brianna is a twenty-something, raised in the swamps of Jersey. Just kidding, she lives at least twenty minutes from those swamps. She’s a publishing intern/library assistant that moonlights as a writer whenever she can find the time. She enjoys going to concerts (anything from Rooney to Springsteen to NKOTBSB), roadtripping, and complaining that she truly belongs in the 1950’s/early 1960’s (THE MUSIC! THE CLOTHES!), the 1920’s, or the 1980’s depending on her mood. She definitely owns more books than she should and reads every chance she gets. If you stop hearing from her, it’s because the book piles have fallen over and smothered her to death in the night.

Articles

Catherina Gioino

Writer

Catherina has been writing since she was 14 years old- screenplays, movie reviews, sports stories and anything in between. Living in New York City, she can tell you any fact about any movie. She writes screenplays in her free time and is a huge Kevin Spacey, Tina Fey and Quentin Tarantino fan.

Articles

Jon Espino

Writer

Jon would say that as a writer, he is a self-proclaimed film snob and a pop culture junkie. Always gives his honest, critical, and maybe a little bit snarky opinion on everything. He’s very detail oriented and loves anything involving creativity and innovation. You’re better off asking him who his favorite director is rather than his favorite film. So beware and get ready to be entertained. (Also, he doesn’t always refer to himself in the third person, but sometimes he just has to).

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Stephanie Estrada

Writer

Steph is 20 years old, born and raised in Miami, Florida. Her hobbies include reading, writing, attending concerts and watching old movies. She aspires to be a novelist in the near future and has an uncanny obsession with everything 1920’s and mafia related. She idolizes Jackie Onassis, and when she isn’t reading you can probably catch her watching Goodfellas for about the billionth time.

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Leigh-Ann Brodber

Writer

Leigh-Ann Brodber is an upcoming enthusiastic journalist. She knows it is a field that is already heavily flooded by diverse opinions, hard criticism and occasional appraisal (when it’s due), but she’s sure she’ll be able to add her own colors to the journalism rainbow soon enough. Leigh-Ann currently attends COSTAATT, a college located in the Caribbean, where she’s pursuing her Bachelors in Mass Communication. She’s written film, stage production and food articles for various websites, and she’s also a born and bred animal rights activist, although she doesn’t think she’ll ever give up her rights to eat chicken. She has helped out at her local hospital many-a-time by indulging in weekly chit-chat with patients under a program called Candy Stripers. She recently started getting help for her long term Facebook addiction, she swears.

Articles

Cristina Moreano

Writer

Cristina lives in Guayaquil, Ecuador, has an MBA in Media & Entertainment and just loves to talk (and write!) about films, music and anything related to pop culture. Her goal in life? Become the next Aaron Sorkin.

Articles

Cachie Gonzalez

Writer

Cachie is a twenty-something, Cuban American girl living in the sunny, yet shady, Miami, FL. Currently a Nurse but still a Nursing student (it never ends). She’s in love with her pets and has a weird love-hate relationship with Hollywood and pop culture in general. She’s a Twitter and Disney enthusiast (that’s putting it lightly) and enjoy writing about other things she loves, such as film, music, TV and traveling. She watches too many shows for her own good and usually has a high opinion about fictional TV/book characters. On her spare time, she’s usually planning a trip, buying concert tickets or updating her Twitter.

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Valerie Zhang

Writer

Valerie is sixteen years young. She’s located at a boarding school near Boston out of free will. Writing, speaking, and doing impossible math are her passions in life. Unfortunately, she’s a lot more interesting in person, so the internet will only be a mere glimpse into her mind. As for free time, she’s trying to get some. (Doing extra math isn’t helping.) Whoever said high school was easy was an incredible liar- wait, no one ever said that!

Articles

Jose Cordova

Writer

Jose is a twenty-something film fan and pop-culture junkie from Northern California. He majored in Mechanical Engineering and probably spent more time watching movies, TV, and video games than he should have during college. He hopes to justify all that “wasted” time by writing about pop-culture and claiming it was all “research.” He finds engineering work a little dry sometimes and enjoys writing about movies and TV to balance that out. Jose hopes to one day have a job at Disney Imagineering and combine his two passions.

Articles

Aaron Neuwirth

Writer

Aaron is a twenty-something movie fanatic.  He is from Orange County, California, but earned a degree or two at UC Santa Barbara.  He describes himself as a film reviewer, writer, podcaster, video game player, comic book reader, disc golfer, and a lefty.  There are too many films, tv shows, books, etc. for him to list as favorites, but he can assure that the amount film knowledge within his noggin is ridiculous, though he is always open to learning more. You can see what else he is up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com, and check out his podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

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Ivanna Barrera

Writer

Born and raised in Miami. Graduating from FIU in journalism. Lover of all things music with a wide taste ranging from Drake to the Bee Gees. Ivanna must admit that she is a TV show junkie thanks to DVR and On Demand. She also loves staying up to date with all her friends through social media. Traveling is one of her favorite things to do. One of her goals is to travel cross-country through Chile before she’s 30.

Twitter | Articles

Zenaida Gorbea

Writer & LA Correspondent

Zenaida is an L.A. native, lover of all things Gwen Stefani. Enjoys going to concerts, especially sliding her way through the crowd to get as close to the stage as possible. Zenaida’s passion for pop culture began from watching Spanish gossip shows as a teen during dinner time. She knew that was her calling. Once she was done with college she was hired by Tribune and spent three years interviewing all your favorite actors. Yes, that includes the cast of The Walking Dead, Twilight Saga, Glee, and Once Upon a Time–just to name a few.

Twitter | Articles

Yasmin Kleinbart

Writer

Yasmin is a 20 something from Orange County, California. When she’s not obsessively watching David Fincher or horror films, she’s drinking craft beer and trying to level up in Destiny. She hopes to one day eat chimichangas with Deadpool and become a member of Hydra.

Articles

Nathanael Hood

Writer

Nathanael Hood is a 27 year old film critic currently based out of Manhattan with a passion for all things cinematic. He graduated from New York University – Tisch with a degree in Film Studies. He is currently a writer for the Turkish Journal of American Studies, TopTenz.net, and his personal film blog forgottenclassicsofyesteryear.blogspot.com.

Twitter | Tumblr | Articles

Michael D'Angelo

Vlogger

Michael is a booktuber (the Youtube community for books) who dreams of one day being an author. Until then he is stuck in New Jersey attending college and juggling a multitude of majors and minors in an attempt to figure out the future. He’s got a sometimes frightening to-be-read pile of books and is a full time fan of The CW, vampires, superheroes, and space people, oh my. If he’s not working or attending classes, he can be found listening to alternative music on the beach (curse Jersey weather.)

Twitter | Articles

Camille Espiritu

Instagram Manager & Writer

Camille is a 20-something, college graduate from the University of San Francisco. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, you will most likely find her wandering around local bookstores, going to a concert or just enjoying the sights. She enjoys all things in pop culture and entertainment from reading the latest book releases to binge watching her favorite shows on Netflix.

 Articles | Twitter

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