Walls a Sucker for Her Eyes

I’ve always been a sucker for psychological thrillers. “Bird Box”, “Ma”, and “The Conjuring” are just a few of my favorites. Yet out of all the suspenseful shows I am madly in love with, I have recently fallen deeply for a new series, called “Behind Her Eyes”. This Netflix original is based on the novel written by Sarah Pinborough, with all the same expectations and cliffhangers. I’m not one to rewatch a show or series, but this show – especially the ending – made me restart from the beginning immediately. That’s just how surprising and jaw-dropping the finale left me. (I promise, no spoilers to follow… just reasons for you to watch.)

The Plot

Louise is a single mom who works as a secretary at a psychiatrist’s office. It all started when she got stood up on her date at the pub. Just as she was about to give up and head home, she ran into a dark, handsome man named David, new in town and in need of company. The two had an undeniable spark… until their goodbye kiss was interrupted by David’s sudden regret and rushed departure. Confused and dejected, Louise continues about her days. Prior to the next day at work when she discovered the new psychiatrist was (you guessed it) David. Ignoring the inconvenient circumstances, one morning on her way home from dropping her son off at school, Louise coincidentally (or so we think) ran into David’s wife of ten years, Adele. Oddly enough, these two also hit it off, and become closer friends than Louise would have imagined. Things continue to get messier; Louise begins to have an affair with David, Adele and Louise start to spend more time together, and secrets only get worse. Keeping both of these relationships private from the other, Louise doesn’t realize what she has truly gotten herself into until it’s too late.

Everything from the settings and actors to the plot kept me hooked until the very end. The foreshadowing is insanely clever, and the last episode will leave you sitting in silence trying to process everything you just absorbed. I totally recommend this show to people who like magical, majestic mysteries. This is one of those shows where the conspiracy theories are endless and you won’t be able to stop talking about it.

Story by Gracie Walls

Hidden Figures: Challenging Stereotypes

Hidden Figures is a phenomenal historical movie that shows how to stand up for racism and how to show your strength in the academic and physical fields. It also shows how woman human computers help to get an astronaut into space.

In the movie, it starts out showing an exceptionally smart girl. Katherine Johnson, played by Taraji P. Henson, gets asked to go to college algebra courses. This movie is based off of a non-fiction book, written by Margot Lee Shetterly. The movie, directed by Theodore Melfi, is rated PG. This movie was released in theaters on December 25, 2016.

Johnson goes off to NASA to be a human computer with two other friends: Mary Jackson,  played by Janelle Monae, and Dorothy Vaughan, played Octavia Spencer. Other main characters include Al Harrison, played by Kevin Costner, and John Glenn, played by Glen Powell. These women go off to do great things for NASA such as: help build a huge computer, do amazing algebraic problems, be the first woman engineers, and become the most brilliant brains in the NASA association.

These ladies had a very rough time getting promotions since they were human computers, but when they did get promotions they showed all the people who doubted their skills who’s the smartest. The boss’s assistant went to get someone from the human computers to do algebraic equations. Johnson got this job to see where the astronaut was going to land, how they’re going to lift off with an orbital rotation, and how to get out of orbit. Johnson, the one conducting all these equations, became very familiar with what she had to do and came up with the formula to do so.

Katherine Johnson became the most important person to John Glenn’s flight, Glenn would not take off until Johnson confirmed the calculations from the new computer system. Johnson’s calculations matched those of the computer, except with a higher accuracy. Ensured that the calculations were correct, they launched Glenn who came back successful. During the launch however Glenn’s hot air pocket came open, and so he did what he had to do to become safe again.

One of my favorite parts in this movie is when Mary Jackson is asked to become the first woman engineer, but she had to complete some courses at a high school to become this engineer she was asked to be. So, Jackson went off to make a court date to proceed with her being the first African American to go to an all Caucasian school; this school did not allow African Americans to attend the school at the time. Jackson did this so she could get her high school credits that she needs to be able to go into this field.

Dorothy Vaughan was the technical supervisor of the human computers, but never got the official promotion. Vaughan really wanted this promotion, so when the new computers came in, the gentlemen putting them together weren’t working on getting the other computer up and running. So Vaughan began working on this computer herself, she worked on it until she got the proper numbers coming out of the computer. Vaughan then became the supervisor of the computer department, she brought all her human computers with her to run this system so none of them would lose their jobs because new systems were in.

The movie was a show stopper, it got you up on your feet and had an amazing story line, very unpredictable and well-acted. This movie had some emotional parts, especially since these three amazing women never gave up on what they wanted. I really liked this movie because it showed strong women being the best at what they do and helping make the first astronaut go into space. This would be a great movie for everyone to watch, not only for its historical perspective, but for its themes of leadership and importance.

Story by Kinsey McBride

A READING-ADDICT: CINDER

This continues a series of book reviews by reading-addict junior Darrian Breedlove. 

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A Reading-Addict: CINDER

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing.

A deadly plague ravages the population.

From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . .  Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg.

She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

CINDER is the first book in the LUNAR CHRONICLES series and is a retelling of the famous story of Cinderella. Personally, I grow tired of the never-changing story of Cinderella, but the author of this novel took the fairy-tale and retold it in a very amazing and creative way. First of all, Cinder is a cyborg. Half human and half machine. How cool is that? Not to mention how strong her personality is. Throughout the story her wicked step-mother repeatedly accuses her of not having a heart because she’s not completely human, but Cinder firmly refuses to believe that because she knows her emotions are real and sincere. Who doesn’t like an awesome protagonist?

Another aspect of the novel that I really enjoyed was getting to know Prince Kai. In the original Cinderella story, we don’t really know much about the prince. All we know is that he is charming and handsome and he sweeps Cinderella off her feet at the ball. In CINDER, we get much more character development from the prince and he becomes a very important character.

When I first picked up this book, I was a bit skeptical. Not only was I tired of repeated stories of Cinderella, but I was also a bit hesitant to read a story that involved robots and outer space. CINDER turned those discomforts around and made them into a really fascinating aspect of the story that I overall enjoyed. I rated this book 5/5 stars. CINDER was very different and it was a very enjoyable read. It completely took me by surprise and left me anticipating to read the sequels. If you love fairy tales and you also like action and even a bit of romance, the LUNAR CHRONICLES is definitely worth checking out.

Book Review by Darrian Breedlove

A Reading-Addict: A Look at STOLEN

This begins a series of book reviews by reading-addict junior Darrian Breedlove. 

A Reading-Addict: A Look at STOLEN

STOLEN is the story of Gemma, a sixteen-year-old girl on her way to a family vacation. She steps away from her family to get a coffee, when she is approached by a handsome stranger named Ty. He pays for her drink, and drugs it when she’s not looking. They talk for a bit. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what is happening, he takes her. Steals her away. To sand and heat. To emptiness and isolation. To nowhere. And expects her to love him. This novel is about Gemma desperately trying to survive; of how she has to come to terms with her living nightmare — or die trying to fight it.

This novel really stands out among other works of literature that deal with the modern tragedy of abduction. STOLEN is written as a letter from Gemma to the man who kidnapped her, Ty.

One factor that was really compelling about the book was that Gemma was not a damsel in distress given her abduction — she tried on multiple occasions to escape her captor despite how small her chances were of actually succeeding. Her attempts of escape were very gripping because you never knew how Ty would react or how her attempt would wind up.

Not only does this story follow a strong, female protagonist who never quite gives up in a situation of hopelessness, but it also has a very vivid writing style that takes you into the shoes of Gemma throughout her terrifying yet interesting experience. It makes you question what you would do if you were put through an event like that.

The relationship that develops between Gemma and Ty throughout the story line is very captivating and emotional. Ty cares about Gemma and does nothing to hurt her, which is different from the captors that are seen on the news whom have killed or raped their victims. In the novel, Ty raises questions on what his intentions and reasons are, and what he is hiding.  You find yourself wondering what exactly Gemma feels towards Ty as she starts to understand him as a person and learns about his past.

I was conflicted as much as Gemma when it came down to understanding what kind of a person Ty truly was and how I felt about his character, and that proved to be a really important aspect of character development and suspense in the plot . Despite the fact that Ty was a kidnapper, I found myself really starting to care for him. Overall, the novel raised one big question about the relationship between Gemma and Ty: Is Gemma starting to fall in love with Ty or is it a case of Stockholm Syndrome? This was a very interesting and amazing idea to plant in a reader’s mind, because really, it is up to the reader to figure that out.

STOLEN by Lucy Christopher was an emotional thriller that I could not put down and it left me wanting more once I finished the book. I gave it 5/5 stars. I now consider this book to be one of my all time favorite novels, and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes captivating plots and survival stories.

Book Review by Darrian Breedlove

Review: Fields Speaks about “Speak”

“Speak” is a book wrote by Laurie Halse Anderson and the title says it all. Mainly because of how the book is and goes and how the ability to speak can effect someone.

It’s all about a girl named Melinda who is going into her freshmen year at Merrywether High School. Melinda year is off to a horrible start because she busted up an end of summer party. She is avoided by everyone. Even complete strangers hate her. She lost her friends and most importantly her best friend Rachel. Late in the year Rachel starts to date “IT” and Melinda has wars inside her about whether to tell her or not. As school flies by things seem like they won’t get better.

Then she finally speaks and everything changes.

The book has won several awards. It was a National Book Award finalist for Young People Literature in 1999, Michael L. Printz Honor Book, Edgar Allan Poe finalist, and last a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist. The book also won eight different state awards and was a finalist for 11 more.

The book was really good and had enough suspense where it was the right amount but not overkill either. As someone who doesn’t read a lot of books or starts some but doesn’t finish them, I started “Speak” and not to long after I finished it.

For me I give this book 5 out of 5. It has suspense, was intriguing and was an all around good book to read.

Review by Cody Fields