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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.

‘Wonder’ teaches life lessons

posted Dec 12, 2017, 9:48 AM by Makenna Beesley


Based off of the novel by Raquel J. Palacio of the same name, “Wonder” hit the theaters on Nov. 17. The story takes you through the lives of Auggie Pullman (Jacob Tremblay), a 5th grader who’s been homeschooled and has a facial deformity; his sister, Via (Izabela Vidovic); Via’s best friend Miranda (Danielle Rose Russell); and Auggie’s first friend, Jack Will (Noah Jupe). Throughout different events, you get the perspectives of each character and the struggles they are going through that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Auggie is struggling with starting public school and worrying about how the other kids will treat him due to a genetic facial deformity. Despite bullying and being avoided like the plague, Auggie manages to make friends with Jack Will. However, as Halloween comes around, Jack makes the mistake of trying to fit in with cool kids and bullies.

Your heart breaks with the main character, as more bullying happens to Auggie, and now Jack isn’t there to defend him. And by switching perspectives, you also learn about Via’s struggles of always getting overshadowed by her brother and losing her best friend.

            By the end of the movie, Auggie has won the hearts of many of his classmates that had previously bullied him. The story shows a very common problem that kids deal with today--bullying and making friends--though not everyone has the extra struggle of a facial deformity. “Wonder” accurately shows how mean kids can really be and that some adults, especially parents, don’t recognize the bullying.

I went with a friend, and there were multiple times that we were both almost in tears. It teaches the life lesson of “If given the choice to be right or to be kind, always choose kind,” through a story rather than just saying, “Do this,” and “Don’t do that.” I give “Wonder” five out five cardinal heads.




"Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera

posted Dec 5, 2017, 9:54 AM by Alivia Lange

“Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera holds an important message

I listened to the song “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera the other day, and it made me realize how much emotion is put into this song and that it needs to be more popular.

Although it was originally released in 2002, “Beautiful” is an amazing song with powerful and positive lyrics. The song made a huge impact on me the first time I listened to it. It can be a powerful song for people with anxiety and insecurities; it really helps me when I have moments during my anxiety.

The song tells you that no matter what people have to say about you, you are still beautiful in every single way. It makes you realize that with confidence you can build yourself up but also break yourself down by listening to those people. Teenagers often struggle with self-worth or body image, so this song can help them remember their value.


I give this song 5/5 cardinal heads.


The Emoji Movie connects to our daily lives

posted Nov 21, 2017, 9:45 AM by Stephanie Brozovich

S
ony Pictures Animation’s newest film caught the attention of many children today with a great connection to our daily lives with technology. Today many children and students are constantly texting each other, some even in class during school, and within these texts, using emojis. “The Emoji Movie” does an excellent job making this connection to the daily lives of these children.

The movie starts with a school filling with students, who are constantly texting and have their phones during class. Within these texts are emojis, and the movie switches to the lives of these emojis being used. The main character Gene (T.J. Miller), is preparing to be a “meh” emoji but runs into conflicts with the original emoji, Smiler (Maya Rudolph). Gene and his two friends, Hi-5 (James Corden) and Jailbreak (Anna Faris), attempt to escape Smiler and her attacks. The three resolve Gene’s conflict and learn a valuable lesson about being yourself and not forcing yourself to be someone you’re not.

Young children will learn a great life lesson from watching this movie, while being entertained with the creative animation and cartoon-style characters. The emotions that many students feel today, such as a boy trying to impress a girl, are shown very well, as he tries to use the right emoji when texting her when they aren’t together. The movie is also really easy to relate to since the emojis are very humanlike. I would recommend this movie to young children. For high school kids, it’s the perfect movie to take a younger sibling or niece or nephew to. For this daily connection to our lives, I give “The Emoji Movie” five out of five cardinal heads.

Green meets expectations with new novel

posted Nov 13, 2017, 9:50 AM by Amanda Smith   [ updated Nov 13, 2017, 9:50 AM ]

  

       Four years after his hit novel The Fault in Our Stars, John Green released his long awaited novel, Turtles All the Way Down, on Oct. 10. The story dials in on Aza, a 16-year-old from Indiana who lives with mental illness, in constant fear of contracting diseases, sending her through an “ever-tightening spiral”. The book is written in first person, allowing the reader to really see into the mind of Aza and what she battles every day.

    After a local billionaire who had been accused of fraud goes missing, Aza and her outgoing best friend, Daisy, seek to locate him to claim the $100,000 prize. To do so, Aza reconnects with the billionaire’s son, Davis, her childhood friend. Switching back and forth from reality to her intrusive, anxiety-induced thoughts, Aza juggles a possible relationship, her lifelong friendship, and the bond with her mother.

    Green is notorious for writing sappy romance novels for teenagers, but in my opinion, TATWD is his most mature novel yet. According to an interview with Green on Good Morning America, it is derived from his personal experiences with mental illnesses and the barriers it can create when it comes to forming or maintaining relationships, which gives it a real and relatable feel.

        Personally, this book makes my list of favorites, following Green’s Looking for Alaska (2005). He definitely met, and even exceeded, my expectations. Goodreads gave his novel a 4.3/ 5 and I give it 5 out of 5 cardinal heads.

Go to Bella Luna Cafe for a perfect first date

posted Nov 1, 2017, 10:09 AM by Makenna Beesley


Are you looking for a place to impress a date? Something a little more fancy than Applebees or Olive Garden? Or are you just looking to try a different culture’s cuisine? Bella Luna Cafe might be the place for you. They serve all sorts of Mediterranean food, from hummus to quinoa to chicken de Chateau. Bella Luna has two locations in Wichita--New Market Square and Bradley Fair.

This summer, I ate lunch at Bella Luna Cafe in New Market Square. The venue is small; they only seat a small number of people — my guess would be somewhere around 50-100 people. The service was quick, especially considering we had a group of 15, and the food was amazing. I do give a little warning — it is somewhat expensive. To start, we all shared hummus and chips, one of the dishes Bella Luna Cafe is known for. I had the lobster ravioli and quinoa. I had never tried the rice-like side but quickly found that is was delicious.

Even with it being expensive, the combination of trying new foods and the more personal atmosphere makes Bella Luna Cafe an excellent choice for a date or a small dinner party to celebrate with your friends.

Exact directions, menus, and other information can be found on Bella Luna Cafe's website



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