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A thrilling series of killing

posted Apr 11, 2018, 9:55 AM by Adyson Koster

The “I Hunt Killers” three-part series written by Barry Lyga is a story about a famous serial killer’s son, Jazz Dent. Trying to be a regular teenager is more difficult for him. His father Billy is in solitary confinement after being charged with killing over one hundred women, and Jazz was a witness to them all. The book details the characteristics of the murders and guides you through the investigation.

In the first book of the series, Jazz is trying to be a regular teenage boy with a girlfriend and a part in the school play. Suddenly a serial killer comes to his town, Lobo's Nod. He calls himself “The Impressionist”, ultimately replicating all of Billy Dent’s murders. As Jazz struggles to not find pieces of himself in his dad, he sets his sights on busting The Impressionist. This is a thriller for students about a teenager trying to outrun his destiny with the odds against him.

The second book, “The Game”, takes place mostly in New York City. It starts with the aftermath of The Impressionist and a NYPD detective showing up on Jazz’s doorstep. Desperate for help in finding the Big Apple’s killer known as “Hat-Dog”, Jazz agrees and hops on a plane. While trying to figure out the “Hat-Dog” killer, he discovers more about himself and the troubles he faces in everyday life. Haunted by his past experiences and his mother leaving, he works to give his life a new meaning.

The second book’s end is a cliffhanger, and the best book of the series, the third book, “Blood of my Blood”, picks up right where the other left off. Jazz’s father is back, his mother is alive and in his father's hands. Jazz is now wanted by the police; he’s on his own. Determined to find and kill his dad while rescuing his mother, yet another plot twist occurs. These books were really good and you could never predict what would happen next. I couldn’t put the books down once I started reading, and I would definitely read any of his other books. Although a little gory for just anyone, the details gave the story a unique depth to the story. I give it a 5 out of 5 cardinal heads.












“Annie’s Baby”, a true story of teen pregnancy

posted Mar 27, 2018, 9:33 AM by Rachel Ward

“Annie’s Baby” is the diary of an anonymous 14-year-old girl telling the story of events that led up to her pregnancy at a young age.  Beatrice Sparks edited the book and is the ‘author’ of the book.

The book starts when Annie meets the love of her life, a new kid at school, who is looking for some friends that later leads to more than a friendship. Their relationship starts off perfectly — dates, spending time together, etc.— when one night, Annie goes to a party with her boyfriend, and he tries to convince her to to do things she isn’t ready for.

He gets furious with Annie and beats her, sending her home with bruises all over her body. Annie forgives him, and then one night she decides to drink around him, and he takes advantage of her while she is not aware of what is happening around her. After that night, Annie recovers what happens and takes a pregnancy test, which is positive.

“Annie’s Baby” is a good non-fiction book that tells a true story of teen pregnancy and unhealthy relationships at a young age. This book is a good example of kids trying to grow up too fast and not maturing fully before doing things they are not mentally ready for. Another good lesson is that no matter how nice a boy can seem in the beginning, his personality could change and become violent, and this book shows what signs to look for in these cases of abusive relationships.

Teen pregnancy is an issue that could happen to anyone. Teens need to be aware of the consequences they could face if they aren’t careful. Annie was 14 and too young to be able to take care of a child when she herself is still a child. Overall, this book was good, and I give it a 4 out of 5 cardinal heads.

Netflix’s “The Open House” flops

posted Mar 14, 2018, 9:52 AM by Amanda Smith

  

    Familiar with Netflix’s previous successes in original films and shows, I was eager to see the newest horror film released on Jan. 19, “The Open House”, starring Netflix’s very own “Thirteen Reasons Why” star Dylan Minnette. Although it offered a few jump scares and had me on edge, the lack of plot depth and character development made
it very disappointing.

    The film focuses on newly widowed mother Naomi Wallace (Piercey Dalton), her son, Logan (Minnette), and their recent move to a relative’s house that is on the market. After the first open house, ominous events begin to take place in the house, including missing personal items and shadows throughout the house. This leads to the audience wondering if a visitor never left. Eventually, both Logan and his mother are murdered in an almost humorous killing spree by a man that is never revealed.

    If you’re simply looking for a scary movie to get your heart racing and leave you with the heebie jeebies, then this movie might meet those requirements. Personally, I prefer horror movies that include a well-thought-out storyline and a sense of closure in the end. This movie definitely didn’t do that for me. It leaves the audience wondering if the murderer was a random visitor, the plumber, the deranged neighbor’s husband who may or may not be dead (again, unclear), or even Logan himself.

    The acting was okay and the jump scares were mediocre, but the scattered plot and unclear ending did not leave me with a good impression. Rotten Tomatoes gave this film a reasonable 14%, and I give it a two out of five cardinal heads.


First African American superhero dominates in Marvel’s “Black Panther”

posted Mar 9, 2018, 9:41 AM by Makenna Beesley


One of the more anticipated movies this year, Marvel’s “Black Panther” hit the box offices on Feb. 16. This is the first time a Marvel movie has featured an  African American superhero, and will go down in history as one of the highest-grossing films to date. In two weeks, it has grossed more than $400 million domestically and $704 million worldwide according to The Telegraph, and it is estimated to gross over $1 billion. The estimated release date for the DVD is May 2018.

After the death of his father, T’Challa returns to Wakanda to take his place on the throne. After his coronation, T’Challa is challenged by his long-lost cousin, N’Jadaka, and T’Challa’s  rightful place as the King of Wakanda and as the Black Panther is taken. After N’Jadaka defeats T’Challa, he eats the heart-shaped herb that gives the Black Panther his powers and burns the rest, but one plant  is stolen by Nakia, T’Challa’s love interest. After being banished and thought to be dead, T’Challa, Nakia and his sister, Shuri, must infiltrate the Wakandan lab to get T’Challa’s Black Panther suit and stop N’Jadaka from transporting vibranium weapons across the world and starting a global problem.

As someone who is not a Marvel enthusiast, I really enjoyed “Black Panther”. There were plot twists, action, and romance; there’s something that everyone can relate to and be entertained by. The special effects were extraordinary and the plot kept me entertained the whole time. “Black Panther” is extremely encouraging for young African Americans as well, especially girls, as almost the whole cast is African American. All of the king’s guards are the fiercest female warriors, which gives children someone who looks like them that is seen as strong and powerful. I can see why it has become one of the highest grossing films in not only Marvel’s history, but all filmography. I give “Black Panther” five out of five cardinal heads.


‘Baywatch’ thrills the audience

posted Mar 7, 2018, 10:00 AM by Karley Mooneyham

“Baywatch” was released last year to theaters on May 25, 2017, and is based on the old TV series of the same name. Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) is the lieutenant-in-charge lifeguard (played by David Hasselhoff in the original series) and he and his elite team of lifeguards (the baywatch) watch over and protect all the people at Emerald Bay.

Matt Brody (Zac Efron) comes to town to become a lifeguard for baywatch after his Olympic swimming career went downhill when he threw up in the pool during the team’s relay, causing them to lose the race. When a drug known as flakka keeps popping up on the bay and is endangering and killing people, the police do nothing about it, so the baywatch sees it as their responsibility to do some undercover work and figure out the source of the drug.

“Baywatch” is a remarkably good and humorous movie that can teach a lot of life lessons like the importance of working as a team and giving people second chances when they mess up. It also shows that if you have passion and drive for something you can accomplish even what seems impossible. I also really liked it because I really like the beach and the ocean, and I think it would be cool to be a lifeguard on the beach like they are and have coworkers as such good friends and support system. I give this movie 5 out of 5 cardinal heads.

  

The Summoning

posted Feb 8, 2018, 9:49 AM by Alivia Lange


“The Summoning” by Kelley Armstrong is the first in a trilogy about a girl named Chloe Saunders. While Chloe has never felt normal, her life will never be the same after she sees her first ghost, and it sees her.

She sees ghosts everywhere, and they don't want to leave her alone. Because of this, Chloe gets locked up in a special house for troubled teens, where she finds out she has a rare thing called necromancy. She sees the dead.

After the news, she doesn't even know what normal is anymore. She tries to find answers in the Lyle house, but there are people who are getting in her way. Read this book to figure out if Chloe ever gets out and if she finds the answers she needs.

This book is a real attention-grabber and makes you want to keep reading. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves mysteries and action. This book keeps you awake with all the drama and sneaking around. I could relate with Chloe a lot throughout the book. She feels she’s not always wanted and that people are constantly judging her. It helps you realize more that you shouldn’t care what people think and just continue being you. I give this book 5 out of 5 cardinal heads.


“Crank” teaches readers on drug addiction

posted Feb 1, 2018, 9:51 AM by Rachel Ward

“Crank” is a trilogy based off of Ellen Hopkins’ experience with her daughter’s drug addiction. The three books included in this series are “Crank”, “Glass”, and “Fallout”. Kristina, who is based off Hopkins’ daughter, is willing to do anything she can to get her hands on methamphetamine, or crank; she would either snort, inject or smoke it at any time of day and not think twice about the consequences she would soon see. She eventually gets involved in a drug gang, where she earns some extra money selling crank and other hard-core drugs. This results in Kristina hitting rock bottom in her life.

This book includes mature content and could be upsetting to some readers. It includes in-depth detail of her getting raped, getting pregnant with her rapist’s child, and a scene where Kristina gets high and cuts herself and drinks her own blood. This trilogy is not for everyone and if you feel uncomfortable reading these type of things then it probably not a good series for you.

Kristina’s mother expresses her feelings, and the book realistically depicted the way Kirstina was acting and how it had an impact on the entire family as she made her poor choices to start using crank. Toward the end, Kristina’s mother takes full custody of Kristina’s child. This happened because Kristina was leaving the child alone in the house to use crank with friends and crashing from the use and the child gets stuck under some furniture. Kristina ends up getting arrested for getting caught using while traveling back to see her father, who also uses.

I personally like this series partially because it reveals a real family struggle with drug addiction and the effects on everyone from the addiction.This series could be good for adults as well to know what signs to look for, for drug abuse and open discussions about the effects drug use has on a family.

This trilogy is an eye-opener for many people to realize that even a wealthy family could be a victim of drug abuse and that it could happen to anyone, not just people who have a poor family background. It could open many discussions and help people understand the effects of drugs and that they don’t only impact the user, but everyone around them. I give this series a 5 out of 5 cardinal heads.

“Reign” teaches French history

posted Jan 30, 2018, 9:54 AM by Rachel Ward

“Reign”, a TV series available on Netflix, is based off of the history of King Francis of France and Mary, Queen of Scotland. As Francis was crowned King in 1559, Mary became Queen of France for a year until Francis’ death in 1560. The series was put together by Stephanie SenGupta and Laurie McCarthy and premiered on October 17, 2013, and seasons 1-4 are currently available. The show goes through a series of events that show the struggles and history of Mary, Queen of Scots, as she travels to France to marry Prince Francis.

As soon as Mary arrives at the French court, the nobles see her as a threat. Mary is faced with nobles attempting to take her life; even Prince Francis’ mother, Katherine De’ Medici, attempted this. Mary and Francis share an attraction to one another, but Sebastian, otherwise known as Bash, an illegitimate brother of Francis, comes between the Queen and the Prince. After Katherine explained a prophecy given by Nostradamus, the castle’s physician, that the marriage between Mary and Francis would end up with Francis’ death, Mary is driven into Bash’s arms, leaving Francis angered and heartbroken. At this, Nostradamus’ vision alters, which results in Mary leaving Bash for Francis, whom she loved all along. After Mary receives a threat from the English Queen Elizabeth, her cousin, that she is capable of taking the throne, she marries Francis, who eventually dies in Season 3 of an ear infection.

After becoming widowed she tries to return to Scotland, her home country, but her country has turned against her rule due to her being a Catholic Queen; while she was away at French Court, her country converted to Protestant beliefs and no longer accepts her as their Queen. Mary eventually marries her cousin Lord Darnley and their marriage was miserable for her, so she attempted to murder him for kidnapping their son, James. Mary was caught by Queen Elizabeth, was imprisoned and eventually was beheaded due to her crimes against her husband.

I think this TV series was good. There are some inconsistencies with the actual historical aspects and events, but the major points are made and the show is still beneficial. I really liked this series as a whole and would recommend it to anyone, as long as they don’t mind not having a happy ending. This show is good for educational uses, especially if you are in World History learning about this era of time. I give this series a rating of 5 out of 5 Cardinal heads.



How important is a college education?

posted Jan 30, 2018, 9:51 AM by Rachel Ward

Getting a high-paying job in today’s time normally requires a college degree or post-high school education of some sort. It’s hard to get a job now that doesn’t require at least something after high school. I think college is important to attend so you can further your education in the field you wish to work in. People who attend college usually make more on average than people who don't attend, according to Southern New Hampshire University, and I can see that being reasonable on many different sides. Employers want people who know exactly what to do and to know they can trust that employee.

Southern New Hampshire University also reports that people who go to college also have less of a chance to face unemployment throughout their career. Students who choose to go through with college often find their desired careers and enjoy what they do for a living.

One of the reasons that people don’t go to college is the expense being so high. Tuition, books, and other associated expenses could put people in debt to start off their adult lives, which would have an effect on students who are not wealthy enough to afford college classes.

I think college is important, despite the cost, due to the requirements of most high-paying jobs requiring some sort of education. It is hard to find jobs that can make more than $60,000 a year, which is about the average income of a United States citizen according to College View, without any education past high school. It is an investment into your future that is worthwhile for most.


‘Thor: Ragnarok’ thrills

posted Jan 17, 2018, 10:02 AM by Karley Mooneyham

“Thor: Ragnarok” is the third movie in the Thor series. The setup for the movie is that Thor is the god of lightning and protector of Asgard, their heavenly kingdom. His father is Odin, the god of Asgard, but Odin was banished off of Asgard after the second movie by Thor’s brother, Loki. Loki is Thor’s evil brother, but he got ahold of the throne because Thor was absent, trapped in another world.  

This movie is about discovering Thor's long lost sister, Hela, who is trying to take Asgard under her rule. She is extremely evil and is trying to start a war of the worlds all around them. Hela was first born and the goddess of death. She throws Thor off of Asgard and he falls into a junk world where he is captured as a slave and used as a gladiator. This is where he starts his journey into taking Asgard back to the rightful rule.

I think this is the best Thor movie yet and one of the best Marvel movies produced in a while. It was released to theaters on Nov. 3, 2017, but will be released on DVD Feb. 20. I definitely recommend anyone to see it, especially if you are a superhero fan. I give it five out of five Cardinal heads.

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