Critic’s Corner: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Helena Karas

Staff Writer

4 out of 5 stars

Fangirl is a book crafted by the wonderfully talented author, Rainbow Rowell. A woman, who instead of focusing a young adult novel around a superficial romance and droning dialogue, actually managed to epitomize the college experience. At least, that is, the college experience for a socially awkward book nerd who prefers her fantastical fanfiction world as opposed to the cold, lifeless, and baseless reality that swarms her on a daily basis. And, although this book takes place in a seemingly conventional setting, the witty banter and sardonic undertones that it contains will leave you a laugh-crying, stomach-cramping mess. It is, truly, a thoroughly enjoyable experience that is most-definitely relatable and will leave the average high schooler trembling before their Journey into College: an exciting, yet daunting thought.

Wren, our main character, is not your average gal. She is shy and social incompetent. Yet, all that awkwardness fades away when she is placed in front of a computer. A computer in which she writes and dreams and pines for a world with actual magic and substance. Yet, her escape from reality stems from sibling issues, her father’s ineptitude, and ultimately, a disconnect from society. All in all, this book is noteworthy for Wren’s human struggles: things that every person deals with on a small level, at least. It was definitely poignant—whatever that means.

What Spooky Halloween Character Are You? (Quiz)

close up photo of halloween decors
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

by June Jordet

  1. Do you like horror movies?
    1. Yes (Go to 2)
    2. No (Go to 3)
  2. Are you a night owl or an early bird?
    1. Night Owl (Go to 4)
    2. Early Bird (Go to 3)
  3. What is you favorite type of Halloween candy?
    1. Chocolate (Go to 5)
    2. Skittles (Go to 6)
    3. I don’t like candy (Halloween just isn’t for you.)
  4. Which would you rather have?
    1. Candy Apples (Vampire)
    2. Caramel Popcorn (Ghost)
  5. Do you go trick-or-treating?
    1. Yes (Evil Clown)
    2. No (Go to 6)
  6. Would you rather…?
    1. Pelt a house with eggs (Go to 7)
    2. Cover a house in TP (Mummy)
  7. Would you rather carve a pumpkin or smash a pumpkin?
    1. Carve (Go to 8)
    2. Smash (Headless Horseman)
  8. What is your favorite Halloween movie?
    1. Hocus Pocus (Witch)
    2. Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin (Go to 9)
  9. What is your favorite Halloween song?
    1. Thriller (Zombie)
    2. Monster Mash (Go to 10)
  10. Would you rather go to a corn maze or haunted house?
    1. Corn Maze (Werewolf)
    2. Haunted House (Frankenstein)

Almost There: Building Perception

Luci Wilgus

Guest Writer

In Lassiter Drama’s upcoming show, Almost Maine, there are several short love stories all linked together. One of these stories is in a scene titled “They Fell,” which revolves around two characters named Deena and Shelly. The nature of John Cariani’s writing offers an important perspective to aid in the development of our community as a whole. As someone who has been involved in theatre for eleven years and literature since I could read, I have consumed quite a bit of media; very few pieces I have ever read have been quite as progressive in their representations of the LGBTQ community. These two women are presented just the same as any straight couple in the show, and this kind of indifferent respect is exactly what we as a community should note. For perspective, say our collective world view is represented by notes on a page; one would add emphasis to important topics. A majority of people like to highlight LGBTQ people, instead of underlining them. It is important to recognize others in a non-abrasive way. Yes, we have done an amazing job because so many people are openly identifying themselves, however it is important that we see this not as an invitation, but as information. We do not need to highlight people based on any part of their orientation. Instead we should focus on highlighting people based on their actions. So, when you come to see the show in November, consider the perspective in which you view those around you.

Critic’s Corner: Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

June Jordet

News Editor

3.5 out of 5 stars

Set in seventeenth century Holland, this novel tells the fictional story of Griet, a young girl who is hired as a maid for a wealthy family and becomes the inspiration for the famous painting by Vermeer. The author, Tracy Chevalier, focuses on the theme based on social class divides and women’s rights as members of the household, or lack there of; Griet has no choice in working for Vermeer’s wife, who often treats her with no respect, because the responsibility of feeding her family rests on her. But Griet finds a sliver of joy in living with this family, and that joy is found in none only than Vermeer himself. As time passes, the painter begins to ask Griet for assistance in his projects, and their unique bond grows into something that cannot quite be explained. Chevalier has written a wonderful historical novel that entices the reader with Griet’s inspiring persistence and how she unknowingly captivates Vermeer with her innocent beauty. While the author possibly should have expanded on the ending to clarify a few details, this book is still definitely worth reading.

Critic’s Corner: Lucky by Alice Sebold

June Jordet

News Editor

5 out of 5 stars

Alice Sebold, the renowned author of The Lovely Bones, writes a heart-wrenching, life-changing memoir recording the events during and after she was sexually assaulted as a college freshmen. For some, the details may be too explicit, however, no story has ever brought to light the realities that sexual assault victims experience with such excruciating honesty. In the era of the #MeToo movement, Sebold is the quintessence of someone who believes in speaking up and never hiding behind the curtains of silence. Often, people do not truly understand the effects of sexual assault just by seeing a trial on the news or watching an episode of Law and Order, but Sebold’s first hand account and description of what she endured that in no way restrains from telling the whole story will be sure to make the reader step into her shoes and walk through every police interview, family argument, court appeal, and friendship fallout. It is a promise- you will not be able to put this book down.

Staying safe when you go out

Cassie Montgomery

A&E Editor

Safety should always be your main priority when going out, whether it be to a party, concert, or festival. Follow these few tips to stay safe and be prepared in case anything happens.

1. Go with a friend. Try to find someone to go with, especially if the concert or party venue and people are unfamiliar to you. There is safety in numbers.

2. Always bring a charged phone and charger. If something happens, like getting separated from a friend or wanting to go home early, you should have someone to call and meet up with. If your phone dies, have a back-up charger. You should not be left in a situation where you cannot contact someone.

3. Know exactly where you are going and how you are getting home. You want to make sure you have back-up ride home for you and your friend just in case something happens to your first ride or you just want to leave early.

4. Have a reliable driver if your friends are old enough to drive and can drive others legally.

5. Wear comfortable walking shoes, especially at concerts or music festivals. Comfort is more important than style at events that require a lot of walking. Closed-toed shoes are also safer in a very crowded place or a place serving drinks and food.

6. Carry your purse/bag/wallet in front of you instead of behind you to prevent pickpocketing. Also, do not carry too much money.

7. Never leave your drink unattended. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people you cannot trust. Keep your drink and food with you at all times.

8. If driving home late, be more cautious on the road then you would be normally. No matter how good a driver you are, roads are more dangerous at night and not everyone is as careful as they should be.

9. NEVER text and drive.

Stay safe and have fun, everyone!

Quest for the best: new fall TV

Wambui Chege

Sports & Health Editor

New Fall TV Its nearly fall, and along with the leaves changing color, warm sweaters, and apple cider, comes the arrival of some of the most anticipated shows of the year. Most broadcasting and cable networks choose this time of year to debut the seasons of their most popular shows, as they know more people will be watching. However, tech titans such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have also entered the fall TV industry. With these two sources of great television, fall viewers are excited now more than ever for the new seasons to start rolling. Though most do not enjoy the wait time of a week between every episode, there are still some shows airing on broadcast TV networks that are worth it. A Million Little Things on ABC is the newest primetime show that the network is releasing this fall, on September 24th. Based on a very real and current epidemic, the characters of the show react to the loss of a loved one through suicide, and the show follows each person their own healing process. FBI on CBS also has its debut this fall, airing on September 25th. Though many claim that the producers became lazy with the name, critics at Business Insider claim that the show gives the audience a new perspective on the female side of law enforcement. Besides these new and improved shows, there
are also the classic returning shows that are drawing viewers back to the networks. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia returned to FX on September 5th, along with American Horror Story: Apocalypse which aired on September 12th. The networks also brought back their highest viewed shows such as The Good Doctor and Grey’s Anatomy on ABC, and This is Us on NBC. All of these shows, new and returning, will provide quality entertainment for a relaxing night this
fall. Viewing shows through broadcasting networks has always been thought of as the way to watch television, but now streaming goliaths such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu have all begun to take over the television game. Shows such as The Maniac and Made in Mexico on Netflix are the types of shows that viewers can binge watch and not feel too bad. Based in the future, The Maniac tells the story of a society that has been hidden from the world in chaos in order to preserve peace and tranquility in their own environment. Based in modern day Mexico City, Made in Mexico is a globalized telenovela that shares the drama facing some of Mexico’s wealthiest families. Both of these shows air on September 24th. The tech titans are also bringing back some of their most viewed shows, such as Atypical and Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix, King Lear on Amazon, and Empire on Hulu. Each streaming platform has managed to create shows
that always leave the audience on the edge of their seat, and luckily viewers don’t have to wait a week to watch the next episode. Each platform of television, whether broadcasting or streaming, are each trying to top the charts with the most number of viewers. This has lead to the creation of dramatic, engaging, action-filled shows that will keep the viewers asking for more. Fortunately for these platforms, fall is one of the best seasons to debut a show as viewers are excited to escape the fall chill and enjoy their favorite shows.

Sierra Burgess Is A Loser: The Ultimate Catfish

Nyra Pasha

Staff Writer

Recently, Netflix released yet another rom-com movie to add to its list. Sierra Burgess Is A Loser is a classic teen comedy and coming of age story. The cast is appealing, with Shannon Purser, who played Barb on “Stranger Things”, and Noah Centineo from, the new Netflix original movie, “To All The Boys I’ve Ever Loved Before”, as the main characters. The movie stands for female empowerment and the classic message of “don’t judge someone by their appearance.” The story follows Sierra, a driven, smart and titular loser who gets bullied for not exactly fitting the original highschool definition of “pretty.” She receives a text from Jamey, your average nice guy quarterback, but Jamey thinks he is texting Veronica, who is the pretty head cheerleader and classic mean girl. So instead of telling him that he has the wrong number, Sierra decides to catfish him. She pretends to be Veronica and wins Jamey’s heart through texts and phone calls, by wooing him with her words. Veronica and Sierra forge an alliance, with Sierra tutoring Veronica in exchange for help fooling Jamey. Then they of course become best friends, and have sleepovers and share secrets while still catfishing a poor, clueless boy. With a series of unrealistic plots and schemes, like pulling off Skype calls and kissing with their eyes closed, Sierra is able to completely fool Jamey while he remains clueless of the reality of the situation.
Sierra Burgess Is A Loser isn’t a bad movie. The problem is, it does not stand out and its storyline has been reused many times. The weird high school girl tries to get a guy by becoming best friends with the cheerleader who used to bully her; been there done that. The strangest part of the plot is that the main character continues to catfish a random boy she has never seen or met in her life. Not to mention how unrealistic the whole situation is. Besides the lack of an original storyline and the catfishing, Sierra Burgess Is A Loser is pretty good. I would give it 3.5 stars out of 5, only because I am a sucker for romantic comedies and love Noah Centineo (like every other teenage girl right now). It’s a nice, light hearted Saturday night kind of movie, so add this movie to your “to-watch list.”

Why representation is important

Audrey Safir

Co-Editor-in-Chief

With the release of the movie Crazy Rich Asians in August, the subject of representation in the media has come into the spotlight. The film is the first Hollywood blockbuster in over 25 years to feature an all Asian cast and a contemporary Asian-American story, the last being The Joy Luck Club, which was released in 1993. Making over $26 million its opening weekend in August, Crazy Rich Asians exemplifies the importance of representation.
Diversity is often hard to come by in Hollywood. That’s what makes movies like Crazy Rich Asians so influential; they give people an opportunity to see themselves and their cultures represented on the big screen, something that may have never happened before. “When I was growing up, I didn’t see many faces that look like mine or my family’s on screen. And it feels like this is overdue,” said Gemma Chan, who plays Astrid Leong-Teo.”The reason for me why it’s so important is because I feel the representation – or lack thereof – of not just Asians but other minorities in popular culture, in film, on TV, etc directly impacts how these minorities are treated in life, and vice versa. It directly affects whether they are normalised or whether they are other-ised in society.”
Crazy Rich Asians showcases the core of traditional Chinese culture and its values: putting family first and respecting elders, and contrasts it with American ideals. The success of Crazy Rich Asians in the box office just goes to show people’s appreciation for movies representing cultures from around the world. Plans have even been made for a potential sequel, but this is still the first step in reaching complete representation in the media. Star Constance Wu remarked,”I do want to make sure every time I talk about the success that we also pay tribute to the fact that there are other stories that we still haven’t heard, and there are still other people out there who don’t feel seen or understood or recognised, and this whole thing is all for naught if we don’t remember that and we don’t constantly strive to make people feel heard and seen and understood and valued.”

Critic’s Corner: Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks

June Jordet

News Editor

4 out of 5 stars
Compiled of journal entries written by a fifteen year old in the 1970’s, this fictional novel follows the life of a young and impressionable girl as she spirals into the dark world of drugs after her drink is laced with LSD at a friend’s party. Each entry is told with excruciating detail that will pull at every emotion inside as she experiences new things, both exciting and heart-wrenching. The novel is written from a teenage point of view and is not a difficult read, but it is the remarkably candid words used to describe the cataclysmic consequences of her choices that really pull the reader in to not just read the girl’s story, but to endure it with her. This is a fabulous read, and anyone can assure you that after you pick it up, it is bound to make you think- what would happen to me if I too laced my life with these same decisions?