Archive for the ‘ Features ’ Category

Love, Simon

by Molly West

If you have been on any form of electronics, it’s hard for you to not have heard of Love, Simon. Not only are there trailers on TV, but the movie has blown up across social media. It was officially released on Friday, March 16th, though it was announced at the beginning of 2018. As of March 18th, the movie has already wracked in over eleven million dollars.

Love, Simon is based on the book by Becky Albertalli titled Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. The movie was directed by Greg Berlanti. The story follows Simon Spier, who is portrayed by Nick Robinson. There are other star actors, such as Katherine Langford–most well known for her role in 13 Reasons Why–as Leah and Jennifer Garner as Simon’s mom.

Everyone deserves a good love story, but for Simon, it’s a bit more complicated. Simon is just like most teens–he has close friends, a good relationship with his family, and a steady reputation. He has one secret, though, and that is that he’s gay. He has yet to tell any of his friends or family, as he has a fear things will be different between them.

After seeing an online post on the school’s gossip blog, he begins emailing an anonymous student at his school who is also secretly gay and goes by the pen name Blue. These simple emails spiral into a journey of love, conflict, emotions, and coming to terms with who you are, as Simon’s secrecy is threatened. You may not think you’ll cry, but trust me, you will. It feels just like the cheesy teen movies you have always seen, and in a way, it is. The melodrama of the movie does not outshine its important message, though.

Ratings for Love, Simon have been fairly high. On average, it is rated as four stars out of five. It also received 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Joyce Slaton from Common Sense Media says, “Tender, sweet, and affecting, this is the mainstream rom-com that gay teens might not have even known they needed. But when they watch it, they’ll find themselves deeply reflected.”

Another review is by Glenn Kenny of The New York Times, who says, “The emotional resonance in Love, Simon may be surprising given the movie’s relentless gloss, but it’s real.”

Just days after the movie’s release, Love, Simon has made an astounding impact. It is the movie that LGBT+ teens need, whether they know it or not. Teens who were too scared to come out as gay before gained the courage to come out after watching Simon’s journey. Nick Robinson even admitted that his brother came out to him as gay during the filming of Love, Simon. Not only that, but it helps the parents of these LGBT+ teens better understand how their child feels.

Love, Simon is a huge step for mainstream gay movies. Its success gives hope that gay movies will be more normalized in the future. It may be a bit cheesy, but Love, Simon is the on-screen representation gay kids–and even some adults–have been waiting for.


The Raven Boys Book Review

By Savannah Shah

I have recently read The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. This was a satisfying book. It was released in 2012 and has earned itself a small fan base. The story centers on the supernatural and manages to pull it off unlike most of the popular young adult books that have been coming out. What made this book stand out was how it broke the ever so common “two guys love me and I need to decide who to choose” cliché. Yes, there is a romance aspect in the book, but Stiefvater twisted it up in such a way that you find yourself wondering who will be getting together, and dying if they do, by the end of the book. The characters are extremely likable and have a realistic tone to them. Although the book is fiction, it manages to bring in realistic problems, such as: family drama that seems to be a common theme in the book.

The story centers on five main characters, Four boys and one girl. The boys attend a school called Aglionby Academy, which is considered a “rich boys'” school, where all that the students do is cause trouble. The students are collectively known as “raven boys” , which has much to do with symbolism in the book. The four main boys, Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah, attend Aglionby and are students there. Together, they search for a supposed Welsh king who is hidden near the town they live in. Gansey is the leader of the group and is the main person looking for the Welsh king. Adam is the quiet and polite person in the group. Ronan is the troubled and violent member. Last, but not least, Noah is the member who doesn’t quite seem all there. Blue is the one girl character, who is the main protagonist. She comes from a family of psychics and is often ridiculed for it. Along with that, she has been told by many different psychics that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die.

The story starts out with Blue’s aunt, Neeve, coming to stay for a while in Henrietta, the town where Blue and her mother live. Blue is the only one in her family that does not posses the ability to speak or see the dead, which is why it is so peculiar that one night she sees the ghost of a boy who will die in the next year. The only way Blue could see the boy would be if either he was her true love or if she was the one who killed him. Maggie Stiefvater managed to set up a chilling introduction which hooks the reader into reading the rest of the book. From that point forward, the book switches point of view from Blue to characters such as the raven boys. As more characters are introduced, the story starts to thicken as it leads to the unexpected climax. The way the story plays out, it seems that Stiefvater gives puzzle pieces to the reader that form an elaborate picture.

As wonderful as the storyline and characters were, there were a few issues with this book. One, walking into this book, I was expecting something not necessarily happy, but something that wasn’t as dark as this book was. It liked to deal with the idea of death quite a bit. Two, I was extremely surprised with the amount of profanities and violent content in the book. Most of the profanities came from Ronan, the troubled member of the group, as well as the violent content. Three, a pet peeve of mine is when the author doesn’t describe what exactly the character looks like, then makes it up as he or she goes along. This happened a lot in The Raven Boys, specifically with Blue. Four, how slow the book became at certain parts is a problem. A small chunk of the book really slowed down the pace of the book, causing boredom when reading it. And five, unless you plan on reading the entire series, don’t read the first book. Questions are never truly answered in the first book, and are extremely infuriating because the cause such big problems for the characters.

In the end, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater was a wonderful read with unexpected twists and turns. The likable characters mixed with an amazing storyline really portray what is to come for Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah. The Raven Boys is the first book in the series by Maggie Stiefvater called The Raven Cycle. I highly suggest reading this book as quickly as you can, because I can almost guarantee that anyone will enjoy it.


Senior Send-Off: Congratulations!

Below is a list of this year’s seniors. Denobis would like to congratulate the senior class and thank them for their various contributions to Tri-City. Tomorrow’s graduation ceremony at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center is open to the public and begins promptly at 5:30 pm.

Continue reading

Xenobiology: Life as We Don’t Know It

By Kaleb Lyonnais

What does life require? The most common answer is carbon, water, and solar energy. Carbon is the basis of biochemistry: organic molecules are composed of functional groups bonded to carbon skeletons. Water is the solvent those molecules are dissolved in. Solar energy allows organisms to break apart and rearrange those molecules.

These work for Earth-based life, but circumstances may exclude these on other planets. To explore other options, it must be understood why carbon, water, and solar energy are important on Earth. This study is called xenobiology, and it helps the search for alien life by expanding the set of things being looked for. Continue reading

Senior Send-Off: Advice from Mr. Marman

Dear Short Timers (that would be you, seniors),
All year long, maybe even for the last four years, everyone around you has been saying how fast this time would go. Of course, they were all wrong. It’s gone excruciatingly slow. Sloths move faster. Glaciers move faster. Now admit it, you cannot believe that your senior year is racing toward the finish line. The year has been a blur. Memories pass through your mind and you think “Was that this year? No way. Can’t be.” The year has been filled with fear, excitement, anticipation, a little boredom, maybe some heart ache, maybe (no, absolutely) some drama, sadness, euphoria, stress, lots of stress,
a veritable overflowing cornucopia of stress, apprehension, and the overwhelming sense of ‘the future.’
Aahhh, ‘The Future.’ Always capitalized. Always spoken about in serious tones, full of reverence. Always something that existed out there in the ether. It certainly wasn’t something tangible. You couldn’t touch it, although many said you could. You’ve been listening to people your whole life telling you all kinds of things, full of sage wisdom, instilling in you the way to navigate ‘The Future.’ Make no mistake, these are well-meaning people; they care about you deeply. Indeed, much of what they’ve told is you is the truth. Listen to them, digest what they say, file it away in some inner recess of your brain. When the time comes, you may well be grateful for the advice given many years ago.
The thing is though, it’s your Future. It’s coming at you fast and you’re gonna have to deal with it on your terms. It’s wonderful and a little frightening at the same time. Plan the heck out of it and do everything you can to stick to the plan. The reality though is that it’s not going to go according to plan much of the time. That’s okay, you’ll adapt. You’ll re-tool; make a new plan. Moving ahead doesn’t always go in a straight line. Many times the best experiences in life are the ones that come at us obliquely, hitting us without warning. You’ll meet people that will forever change your life but rarely are they planned encounters. Typically, they involve chance meetings, brought on through coincidence and the vagaries of fate. New best friends, new partners, even new spouses enter our lives through seemingly random events. All the planning is good, but I suggest that these random events are often times where the richest parts of our lives begin, are nurtured, and lived. The deepest relationships are born during these ‘chance meetings.’
Memories of TCP will be with you forever. Mostly good, some not. Many will make you smile and openly laugh while sitting around all by your lonesome. Your classmates, friends and teachers have made an imprint on you and they help make you who you are. You, in turn, have affected those around in ways you’ll never know. Speaking for your teachers and everyone at Tri-City Prep, realize that we are always behind you. We’ve got your back. We are as excited for what your future holds as you are. We know that your passions and desires are in your strong and capable hands. You’ve got this.
After rambling on (remember, I am a math teacher) let me #gettothepoint. Don’t be afraid of the unknown. Embrace it, search it out, meet it head on and wrestle with it. Be cautious when it is necessary but remember, we only really make big change when we get out of our comfort zone and take a chance. A little fear can be a good thing. Sure, you will stumble sometimes, but in the end, we learn more from our mis-steps than we do from easy successes.
Graduates of the Class of 2017, I salute you and applaud you on a job well
done. Now go out and own it.
Ed Marman