Last minute gift needs? Read all about it

Brittney Downing – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Sometimes the best present you can give someone is a good book, and these books are guaranteed to please anyone.

  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
    • What it is: In the future, a young genius is charged with leading the fight against what is presumed to be a great threat to humanity.
    • Why it makes a good gift: It’s an easy read that also manages to be thought-provoking and insightful.
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
    • What it is: A young boy in a futuristic world gets caught up in a political struggle when his parents accept ownership of the planet Arrakis.
    • Why it makes a good gift: Dune is a delightful, imaginative world not unlike that of Star Wars and despite being a classic, many people still haven’t read it.
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
    • What it is: Short fables set in the Harry Potter universe.
    • Why it makes a good gift: It can be read and enjoyed even if you haven’t previously read the Harry Potter series, and will be especially treasured by those who have.
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
    • What it is: A girl who kills everyone she touches escapes from the jail she’s spent most of her life in and has to learn how to properly use her powers.
    • Why it makes a good gift: It’s nearly as great as The Hunger Games but much lesser known, and the writing style is unique and delightful.
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
    • What it is: A boy has a thing with a girl, but it turns out he didn’t really know her at all.
    • Why it makes a good gift: Besides for being incredibly meaningful, the heartbreak this book causes can last a lifetime. There’s also a movie adaptation of it planned, which is an added plus.
  • Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
    • What it is: A young girl in a corrupt society is taken off the streets to join a group of criminals that are plotting to overthrow their ruler and god.
    • Why it makes a good gift: Mistborn is a riveting fantasy novel that’s surprisingly easy to pick up, and Sanderson proves himself to be a wonderful writer.
  • Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson
    • What is it: A girl sets out to identify the person who murdered her parents, but she isn’t completely sure that she herself is innocent.
    • Why it makes a good gift: The protagonist is basically a younger and more relatable female Sherlock Holmes, and the added supernatural element to the novel only makes it even better.
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
    • What it is: A realistic high school love story, including the likelihood of a high school relationship just not working out.
    • Why it makes a good gift: Eleanor and Park is short, sweet, and will make you feel all fuzzy inside without ever buying into the cheesiness of other romance novels.

Mustangs eager for new “Star Wars” (just like a billion other people)

Jonathan Barker – LRHS News

A long, long time ago, the original “Star Wars” amazed audiences and set itself up to be the biggest movie franchise ever and a cornerstone of pop culture. Now, 38 years later, they continue the saga with, “The Force Awakens.”

The original trilogy consisting of “A New Hope”, “Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” is often considered to be among the greatest trilogies in cinema. “A New Hope” started as a passion piece for George Lucas, the creator of “Star Wars.” At the time, the concept of a science fiction film was still mostly farfetched, and he was rejected by many studios, including Universal Pictures, who produced his previous film, 1974’s “American Graffiti”

After finally signing with 20th Century Fox, Lucas and his crew painstakingly crafted many of the signature set pieces of Star Wars by hand, due to the low budget and the perfectionism of Lucas. What came out was a film that transcended generations, age, race, religion and gender.

Being done with “A New Hope”, Lucas put his efforts to finishing the trilogy.  “The Empire Strikes Back,” the next installment in 1980, is often considered by fans to be the epitome of the series, with great action, beautiful set designs, and what is regarded as the greatest plot twist to ever grace the screen. 1983’s “Return of the Jedi” concludes the trilogy with great pace, intense acting from all of the actors, and a satisfying end that will put a smile on fans’ faces.

In 1999, people were ecstatic for the new prequel trilogy, detailing Anakin Skywalker’s rise and fall from grace. “The Phantom Menace” was the first, and is generally considered to be the weakest of all the Star Wars films, to the dismay of many.  “Attack of the Clones” followed it, with many feeling that it was an improvement to “The Phantom Menace” but still avoiding the right direction.

“Revenge of the Sith” concludes the trilogy in 2005, and the general consensus is that it was almost on par with the original trilogy, satisfying most fans. All three films were the highest grossing of their respectable year, with “Phantom Menace” making over $1 billion when adjusted for inflation.

Even though the memories of the prequels haunt many, “The Force Awakens” has been received with the utmost anticipation.

LRHS senior Jackie Drake is among the many fans looking forward to the film.

“As a long time fan of the series, I am extremely excited to see how many favorite characters will be depicted with new, modern day film technology.”

Terminal cancer patient, Daniel Fleetwood’s dying wish was to see “The Force Awakens” before he passed on. People started the trend “#ForceforDaniel” which caught the attention of many, including Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hammil. Walt Disney, the current owners of the franchise, presented Daniel with an unedited director’s cut of the film. With his death wish granted.  He passed on the Week of Nov. 12.

These films continue to please people, break records and transcend generations. Can anyone really Imagine a world without Star Wars?



Harvey one of many adjusting to US life

Lauren Hopkins – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – LRHS junior Millie Harvey, a junior, is one of the school’s few students who make up the legal immigrant population in the United States.  That’s around 41.3 million people as of 2013 and she is still quite foreign to American affairs considering she’s only lived here for a year. Here’s life in America as told by an immigrant.

The Harvey family’s reason for moving was simple but sudden.

Millie Harvey
LRHS junior Millie Harey considers her options with a foot in both the old and new world.

“We fell in love with Florida after coming here on vacation and so we just moved,” she said.

“Thankfully the transition was actually easy since I’ve come here on vacation a lot. Life here really isn’t that different. However I was terrified to start school because I knew everyone in my town since the communities in England have richer history and are more close-knit with each other unlike here.”

She spoke openly of the hardships her and her family have had to face since arrival stating, “It’s a bit hard living here since I feel like I don’t have any rights because I can’t get my license or work. However if someone goes to the U.K. they can get everything, like rights to own a house and work. So I feel like restricted right now but Ii still love it here since I will have more opportunities once I do become a citizen and of course I prefer the weather.”

She also said,” On the bright side the schooling system is better here because you learn a lot more and there’s more clubs/ electives you can choose from that pertain to you and your own interests.”

Harvey wants to go into the medical field after high school so clubs like HOSA really help her in learning more about the medical field,  was something she never had the opportunity to learn or be a part of in England.

To keep in touch with back home she said, “I snapchat my friends and use Facebook to keep in touch but it’s difficult with different time zones and calling/texting fees. I miss my family and friends but my grandparents try to come over at least one time a year.”

Their visits help her catch up on what’s going on back in England.

While everything else is being juggled in her life Harvey’s family has been trying to famliarize themselves

“My dad’s trying to get into American football, but he still doesn’t get it so he just quits sometimes and puts on English football/ soccer,” she said.

Her parents are also trying to get into more American food like French fries, steak, and burgers but she claims she’s not a fan.

Ranch Reviews – Why wait for “The Weekend”

Sammy Kedziora – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Many Mustangs trekked to Tampa’s Amalie Arena Wednesday as Canadian R&B artist, song writer, and record producer Abel Makkonen, better known as “The Weekend,” brought his “Madness Fall World Tour” to the area.

Maddie Mercer, LRHS sophomore, said, “It was a lot of fun and there were a lot of people there. Travis Scott was lit and The Weeknd was radical.”

Many Mustangs went to the concert and many more wanted to.

“I really wanted to go but we had plans,” said sophomore Sarah Buchanan.  “I wish I could’ve been there.”

Halsey and Travis Scott were also scheduled to perform at the concert. Sadly, Halsey didn’t make it and Lil’ Panda DJ covered for her.

Kaitlyn Carachidi, LRHS sophomore, said, “I was mainly going to the concert to see Halsey perform and I was upset when she wasn’t there but the concert was still great.”

Overall, many say the concert was very exciting.

“I would go again,” Mercer says.