Archive for the ‘ Features ’ Category

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.

 

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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.

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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

Senior Send-Off: Advice from Ms. Kauffman

Dear Seniors,
Well, you made it, didn’t you? You’ve arrived at that point in the semester where there are only a few weeks to go, your Dual Enrollment classes are already over, you’re wrapping up the few assignments you have left, and then you’re done. “I can’t wait to get out of here,” you say at the T.A. Desk. “I can’t wait for college because I don’t have to do as much,” you say idly when you should be in study hall. “I’m going to be free,” you say between passing periods. You count down the days, think to yourself or say to your teacher, even, “I only have be in this room eleven more times.” (I mean, none of you have said something like that
to your teacher.) So what can I tell you that no one hasn’t already said to you? What can I tell the 2017 Senior Class of Tri-City College Prep High School that no one else has said before? Here’s the truth of it: nothing.
My friends, you have reached the point in your school career where you have heard enough advice to last you a lifetime. When an interviewer asked Flannery O’Connor where she got all of the ideas for her numerous and voluminous stories, she said that if you have lived past the age of twelve, you have enough stories to fuel a lifetime of writing. Now, not all of you are going to be writers, but O’Connor had the sage retrospect to look back on her life and to be able to recognize that even as a child not paying attention to the world around her, her life was rife with other people’s stories. Her family members had lifetimes before her rich with experiences, disappointments, encouragements, and observations. Her teachers surrounded her with experience, advice, told her what pitfalls to watch out for, which actions in behavior would be unacceptable to a world in front of her, told her which thoughts would take her far, pushed her, encouraged her.
It’s up to you, now, to listen to the advice of your family members and teachers, those of us who have trained you and prepared you, who have told you of regrets and best memories alike, who have recommended and guided, and now you step out on your own. With these stories and narratives of others pushing you forward, it’s time for you to write your own story.
We know you’re not going to listen to all of our advice: you’re going to jump into that harsh world on your own, navigate in it independently, find things out for yourself. Don’t be surprised when it’s different than you thought it would be.
You might fail a college class, or take a job that isn’t what you expected. You might change your major, or go down a path that leads to a completely different career than you planned. It’s okay to make
mistakes, and indeed the best stories are full of them –but the best stories are full of brave chances, too.
When people ask me why I like to teach English, I tell them that English is a Humanities class, and the Humanities study what it means to be human. Everyone has a story to tell that is different
than someone else’s story. You have different backgrounds, different ambitions, different observations, and you’ll make choices different from everyone else. There is no one who can write your
story for you. So take chances. Dream big. Make mistakes. Make observations. Experience things. Give as much as you can to other people. Contribute something to the world we live in whether its charity or art or music or pro bono work. Write your story.
One day you’ll be in a position to share your
story with someone else. Make sure it’s a great one
to tell.
~Kristen Kauffman