A&E

“Harvey” hops into Fresno Pacific’s new theater venue

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The cast members for Fresno Pacific University’s production of “Harvey” rehearse their roles at the university’s Warkentine Culture and Arts Center. Photo by Enzo Paraggine / The Syrinx

A mix of student thespians and community actors bring to life the story of a man and his invisible best friend.

By Enzo Paraggine
Syrinx staff writer

A group of student actors and local community actors under the direction of adjunct instructor Elizabeth Fiester are bringing Mary Chase’s award-winning play “Harvey” to Fresno Pacific University’s new Warkentine Culture & Arts Center Theater and Atrium.

 

After various adaptations by many different theaters and actors, “Harvey” is returning to the stage in 2022. This time, it is played by the FPU Theater Department. Under the direction of the experienced Fiester, and with a talented and varied cast, the play opened Nov. 10 and continues through Nov. 19

 

“Harvey“ is a very popular play in American culture, written by Mary Chase in 1944. In that same year, it debuted on Broadway and closed in January 1949 after 1,775 performances. It became the fifth longest-running Broadway play at that time. Chase was an influential American journalist and playwright.Throughout her career, she wrote more than 14 plays, three of them eventually becoming Hollywood movies, including “Harvey.” Chase’s influential play went on to receive a Pulitzer Prize for drama.

 

“Harvey” follows the story of Elwood P. Dowd, a very friendly man who claims his best friend is a giant rabbit named Harvey. Even though Dowd is the only one who sees the rabbit, he insists on introducing Harvey to everyone he meets. This “issue” is not well received by Elwood’s sister and niece who are trying to become members of high society. The sister, Veta Simmons (Stephanie Gonzales) and niece Myrtle Mae (Alex Hodson) decide to get Elwood committed to a psychiatric clinic. This action goes terribly wrong, which then results in the original play’s plot twists.

 

The FPU version of “Harvey” is a scene-by-scene interpretation. Fiester, an adjunct instructor at Fresno Pacific, has directed over 100 plays and has worked in places such as Good Company Players, where she had her directorial debut in 1983. Fiester has directed other famous plays like “Annie Jr.” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” This is her second semester at FPU, and she has decided to go with “Harvey” for the first play of this year. 

 

“We looked for a title that was recognizable for the FPU audience and the American comedy, and Harvey hit those two factors,” Fiester said. “Personally, I also deeply love this script and know it very well.

 

The non-student community actors, she added, “are people that I have worked with before and they are really easygoing and reliable, the whole cast is very committed to the work and have connected smoothly.”

 

Joseph Ayrton Ham is the actor playing Elwood. He is a well-experienced community actor who has many popular plays under his belt, acting at Reedley’s River City Theatre Company. He has worked in plays such as “West Side Story” and “Les Miserables.”

 

“FPU’s new culture and arts facilities are awesome, it has been great to work here,” Ham added. “It is very similar to other big theaters I have worked on. I’ve worked with Elizabeth before and I´m familiar with her way of directing. She is a great and very clear director.”

 

“I must figure out my own way of interpreting Elwood,” Ham said. “Jimmy Stewart (who played Dowd in the movie version of “Harvey”) is one of the greatest actors ever, so I try to get things from him while at the same time giving it my touch.”

 

Ham addressed the challenges of “interacting” with Harvey as a character that is only visible to Elwood. “Acting with an imaginary character is very similar to what is being done nowadays with CGI on the big screen,” Ham said. “What I tried to do is to always make it clear to the audience that Harvey is being a part of the scene.”

 

One of the most interesting storylines, and an undeniable highlight of the play, is the character Wilson. Wilson works at the psychiatric clinic and uses his “brute force” to keep the patients from leaving. He is played by Sabelo Mlaba, an international freshman from South Africa, who is also making his theatrical debut.

 

“This is my first play here at FPU, and my first play as me being an actor,” Mlaba said. “Doing such a big play as my first is like walking into gold. I feel honored and blessed being a part of this.”

 

“FPU is great and very welcoming,” Mlaba added. “The artist’s environment here is good and you can grow as an actor. Elizabeth is an incredible director; it is an honor to work with her and I am thankful to get so many lines in my debut role.”

 

The rehearsals for the play flowed through the final stages. From production to actors and director, the staff worked as a unit to make this an amazing experience for the FPU students and audience.

 

Remaining performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, and Saturday, Nov. 12, 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, and at 7 p.m. each night Nov. 16-19. Tickets are $15 for general admission or $5 for members of the Fresno Pacific community. Tickets are available at the door or online at www.eventbrite.com/e/fpu-theater-presents-harvey-by-mary-chase-tickets-399615078457.

What’s your Harry Potter house and favorite movie?

Insight into FPU students through their Harry Potter house

Harry potter is a well-known franchise, and it is a whole world itself. Thousands of people have fallen in love with the books, especially the movies. People can agree or disagree that the movies are good, but we all have that one movie that is extra special to us. Everyone who considers themselves a Harry Potter fan must figure out what house they belong to. Therefore, the purpose of this discussion is to find what house people belong to and their favorite movie from the franchise. We went out and asked people on campus and received different responses!

“I’m part of Ravenclaw and my favorite movie was the first one; The Sorcerer’s Stone,” Athena Silva said. 

“Gryfindor and my favorite movie is probably Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” Cinthia Lara said. 

“Gryffindor and the 3rd movie,” Jackie Garcia said. 

“I’m a Gryffindor and it would have to be the last movie the deathly hallows part two,” Emily Acosta said. 

“I was sorted into a Ravenclaw and my favorite movie is the Goblet of Fire,” Amanda Cantu said. 

“ My house is Slytherin and my favorite movie is Deathly Hallows Part 2,” Vanessa Cochrane said. 

“I’m kinda assuming I’m Hufflepuff.. but I haven’t taken the official quiz. I think I like the fourth book the most. I just really enjoyed it and that book is what made me keep reading the books.” Katie Sanchez said. 

“Slytherin and my favorite book is the seventh one, the Deathly Hallows, because you follow the books, you follow Harry through the series of just growth and processing through trauma and I think the seventh book is really good combination of all those themes and so i  appreciate  how Rowling tied all those ends together and it wasn’t just a happing ending it was a realistic ending, I feel. So I liked that about that book.” Theresa White said. 

“I’m Gryffindor but according to Buzzfeed I also have Slytherin tendencies. I’m just gonna say my favorite book is Deathly Hallows.”  Mary Ann said. 

“I’m a Hufflepuff. I love chamber secrets. I thought the humor was pretty good and I loved the acting for the movie.”  Jenna Janes said. 

“I am a Slytherin and my favorite Harry Potter MOVIE because I don’t really like the books because Harry is a complete jerk. You can quote me on that. Harry is a complete jerk. Yeah he’s not very heroic. Anyways, my favorite Harry Potter movie is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The first one. It’s fantastic. A Hufflepuff shining.”  Luke Smith said. 

We were happy to hear each house represented in the FPU community. We love a diverse community! If you do not know what house you belong to, go take the official quiz linked below!

https://www.wizardingworld.com/news/discover-your-hogwarts-house-on-wizarding-world

Written by: Julissa Mercado | Staff Writer & Alicia Garcia | Staff Writer

Graphic by: Julissa Mercado & Alicia Garcia

How Translation Effects the Viewing Experience

A discussion on Shrek and Encanto

If you speak more than one language, you have likely enjoyed a film in a particular language over the other(s) you speak. This is an experience I have had several times, and there are some movies that I prefer in Spanish while others I prefer in English. This is the case for Shrek and Encanto, which are iconic movies that are available in both languages. Despite watching Shrek in English several times, there is an indescribable sense of nostalgia that makes me prefer the Spanish version.

 One reason for this is definitely the fact that I grew up watching the Spanish version. Moreover, I feel many of the jokes are much funnier in Spanish. This is especially the case with Donkey, who is voiced by Eugenio Derbez. For example, there are many references made to some of Derbez’s works. These references involve Donkey saying things like “preguntame” and “fue horrible,” which are allusions that contribute to the humor in the movie. Since he does not voice the English version of the movie, these references and the jokes behind them are lost. On the other side of this situation, there are also other movies that I think are more enjoyable in English. This is the case with Encanto, which is actually a film that features Latin American characters. As a result, one might assume that the movie would be best enjoyed in the first language of the characters.

However, given the fact that one of the most enjoyable parts of the film are the songs, the movie sounds much better in English. That is not to say that the Spanish version of the songs were bad. They were still very good songs, but I feel like they do not sound as good as the English version since some of the rhymes and jokes do not translate perfectly. In addition to the English songs sounding better, I also feel that the effect of “Dos Orungitas” is much more powerful when listening to the movie in English. This is due to the fact that the Spanish song is unexpected, given the fact that most of the songs in the movie are in English. As a result, the lack of anticipation that a Spanish song was going to be introduced makes the effect of the song more impactful. After all, who can resist such a heartbreaking song when it punches you right in the chest?

Written by: Saraleim Mozqueda Saldana

Graphic by: Saraleim Mozqueda Saldana

Thoughts on The Iliad and The Odyssey

A discussion on gender roles and heroes

While the Odyssey and the Iliad are classic pieces of literature, they contain themes that may not be enjoyable for a modern audience. One great example of those themes is the gender roles within the stories and what it means to be a hero. To start off, women are treated unkindly in the two works. To explain, the women within these stories are either the perfect docile wife, or they are evil women you would likely describe with a word that starts with b and ends with h. An example of the first category is Odysseus’s wife, Penelope, who remains loyal to a husband that essentially abandoned her for war.

Now, by no means is Penelope an empty skull with an inability to think for herself. Despite that, the impression of her as a docile and loyal wife mostly comes across through her and her husband’s differences. These differences are best expressed by the fact that Odysseus happily cheats on his wife while Penelope remains loyal. As stated before, Penelope is quite brilliant, but she is not praised for her intelligence. Rather, she is praised for being the ideal wife since she finds ways to not be married off again. From this praise then, we get the impression that women within this society are perfect wives when they remain loyal to husbands, regardless of what the men have done. This impression is further emphasized given the fact that Odysseus is never looked down upon for cheating on his wife. So from this situation, we get a very unequal dynamic between men and women. 

Furthermore, we also get a very negative view of what heroes are meant to be like. As stated before, Odysseus cheats on his wife and remains a celebrated hero despite that. Not only that, but many of his decisions often led to many of his men getting killed, along with their journey being prolonged for even longer. Yet, we are meant to see him as a hero? This issue is also one that we see in the Iliad with Achilles, who is a man with many flaws. To keep this short, however, I will only bring up two which are his disregard for humanity and his pride. The first is one that we see with the fact that he owns a slave, who is a woman named Briseis. Yup, he owns a slave who he refers to as his “prize.”Now, I should not have to explain to you why that is a bad thing, so I will move on! Second, Achilles is an extremely proud man and it is because of his pride that he stops fighting for the Greeks. Essentially, Achilles threw a temper tantrum because his slave was taken from him and his “honor” was tarnished as a result of it. Yes, this man refused to fight and let hundreds of Greeks die just to save his supposed honor! 

Now, many begged him to fight again and one of the most notable of those is his best friend Patroclus. Even when the person closest to him begged him to spare those that were getting killed, Achilles refused to do so and let his friend fight in his place instead. Spoiler alert, this ended horribly given the fact that his friend got killed. Once that happens, Achilles finally decides to fight again but as you can imagine, it had nothing to do with saving the soldiers but everything to do with him getting revenge. So, my issue with Achilles being portrayed as a hero is that he is a horrible person. For one, he owned slaves and sold others into slavery. Additionally, he allowed hundreds of innocent men to die simply because he felt like he was “wronged” when his slave was taken from him. So while these stories may be enjoyed by many, they certainly are not something I would keep on my bookshelf!

Written by: Saraleim Mozqueda Saldana | Editor

Graphic by: Valerie Claustro

A Look On Cringy/Embarrassing Things Gen Z Does

Obsessions with quirkiness, oversharing, and much more!

Every generation has trends or characteristics to be embarrassed about. Today, however, we will discuss Gen Z and some of the cringy and embarrassing things that some of its members do. Some of these will also be applicable to generations like the millennials, but the focus of the story will remain on Gen Z. So, buckle up and be ready to possibly relate with these a little too much!

The Obsession With Being Quirky

Being quirky or unique in some way is a phase many in this generation go through. Most will recognize this behavior in those girls that claim they are “not like other girls.” However, this phase goes much deeper than that and can actually be harmful in some cases. Oh, you are clumsy? That is so quirky! Oh, you have dyslexia and can not spell? That is somehow even more quirky! Now, this second example is one of the most common forms of quirkiness within this generation. This is especially the case on apps like Tik Tok, where having a disorder like Tourette’s Syndrome and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is faked by many as a way of getting attention. Obviously, that does not mean that everyone who claims to have these two disorders are lying.

 However, many individuals on this platform have been exposed to faking it for attention or to seem “quirky” and “cute.” This is especially the case with DID since it is actually a very rare disorder. Despite its rarity, Tik Tok would have you believe that it is much more common than it actually is. Therefore, the misuse of disorders like these is very harmful because it glamorizes and romanticizes issues that can severely impact a person’s life.  To these individuals, it is not like people with Tourette’s and DID can have their entire lives controlled by their disorders. No, instead, their disorder is something cute to laugh about and gain attention for.

Doing Tik Tok Dances at Odd Moments

Like with the previous category, Tik Tok is largely responsible for this embarrassing behavior. Admittedly, most members of the Gen Z generation do not record themselves dancing at odd moments. However, many avid fans of Tik Tok often partake in this behavior. Have you seen that video of Addison Rae filming a Tik Tok dance in front of a bunch of people? Ooof, how awkward! Under normal circumstances, this type of behavior would not be awkward if the person was not silently dancing and lip-syncing. Since that is the case, however, this type of behavior can be uncomfortable to watch!

Oversharing on Social Media

Sharing one’s experience can be helpful at times when trying to advise others. There are some moments, however, when sharing details of one’s life becomes too much. For one, there is only so much one wants to learn about a person they do not know that well. Furthermore, however, oversharing can oftentimes lead to a person becoming obsessed with gaining validation through likes. A great example of this type of behavior are breakup and crying videos that many people post. While some that post this kind of content do not do it with the intention of gaining attention for it, it is clear in some cases that the ultimate goal is to gain some kind of validation. Gaining likes may feel good in the moment, but will it really fix your situation? In the age when anything can become a meme, is it really helpful for your mental health to post videos and pictures of your breakdowns?

Overuse of Catchphrases

It’s the repetition for me. See what I did there? Admittedly, some Gen Z phrases are not cringe at all, but some make you question how they even came to be. In addition, while some Gen Z phrases are funny at first, the constant use of them soon means that they lose their spark. In fact, some phrases and trends can soon become annoying when one comes across them on a constant basis. For example, anyone that has been on Youtube will have come across overused phrases in comments sections. They may have been funny the first few times someone used them, but after several uses, these phrases become annoying and give off the impression that a person is simply trying to be relatable.

Written by: Saraleim Mozqueda Saldana

Graphic by: Liza Larrabee

A Review/Rant on Classical Books

Thoughts on books we were forced to read in high school

Many of us have been forced to read classical books at school, and the experience can be one that sucks the entertainment out of reading. As a result, here is a short review relating to some of the most popular books that high schoolers are forced to read. Along with the short rant I will provide, there will also be a rating and a nickname that I think fits the book better than the title.

The Great Gatsby

Do you want to read a bland love story? If so, this book is the perfect story to pick up! I will warn you, though, you will be very disappointed and likely angry by the end of it. To be fair, the “love story” is not the only focus of the story. For example, the failure of the American Dream is a theme that is often explored in the book. Despite that, the themes are not enough to overshadow my hatred for the love story between Gatsby and Daisy. In summary, Gatsby is so in love, possibly obsessed, with Daisy that he dedicates years to the task of becoming the perfect man for Daisy. This perfect man may or may not involve a lot of money, even though Daisy herself has loads of it already, so you can gain an idea of what type of person Daisy is. Besides the lack of chemistry between these two, we also see more infuriating events take place. For one, Daisy gets away with murder, and Gatsby takes the fall for it. Along with that, the most compelling relationship between the characters involved is that of Nick and Gatsby. Many have pointed out the homoerotic undertones, and my opinion on that is that the book should have owned up to it. If it had, we at least would not have had a bland and one-sided relationship.

Rating: 2/5

Nickname: “Even Rich People are Golddiggers”

Frankenstein

While the themes in this book are amazing, the plot is boring 70% of the time. Sure, interesting things happen occasionally, but those events are usually too coincidental for my taste. Admittedly, as a professor pointed out, the least unbelievable thing in a story about Frankenstein creating a man out of thin air is all of the coincidences that occur. Despite that, I wish a little more creativity was used in the story. After all, I can not help but roll my eyes when the creature happens to kill his creator’s brother, frame his family friend, and kill Frankenstein’s childhood friend. After all, the creature knew nothing of the world or his creator, so it is not like the creature plotted most of these events! The opposite is true since the creature killed Victor’s brother and framed Justine without knowing they had anything to do with Frankenstein!

Rating: 2/5

Nickname: “Happy Coincidences”

A Tale of Two Cities

“To be or not to be that is the questio-” wait, wrong beginning. “It was the best of times…” that’s more like it! While this novel has an iconic opening, this novel is not an interesting one. To be fair, this novel is well crafted and well thought out. For example, it is evident that the author created many motifs, themes, and metaphors that he expanded on throughout the story. However, I and many of my classmates were confused most of the time while reading the novel. So, while it is unquestionable whether the story is well written, it is questionable whether it is interesting. For me, many of the characters were too boring to care about what happened to them. In addition, the love story was also one that lacked chemistry. This meant that I had nothing to become attached to, so getting through each chapter was a struggle. 

Rating: 2.5/5

Nickname: “A Tale of Boredom and Confusion”

Of Mice and Men

Out of all the books I was forced to read, this is the only one I actually liked. While this story was slow at times, the friendship between the two protagonists was so compelling that it did not really matter. Besides the compelling friendship, though, there are also many interesting characters and themes in the novel. More than that, however, there is a heartbreaking ending that drives home the message the writer was trying to express. So if you are not prepared to have your heart stomped on, this book might not be for you! On the other hand, if you like unconventional endings and would love to see the themes of found family and friendship, this is a great story!

Rating: 5/5

Nickname: “Of Heartbreak and Hopelessness”

Romeo and Juliet

Ahhh, true love! While this play is mainly a “love story,” I find the relationship between the two characters the least compelling dynamic I have ever seen. For starters, Romeo was pining after Rosaline at the same party he met Juliet. Soon after laying eyes on Juliet, though, Romeo has completely moved on and is deeply in love! If I was meant to believe that this is in fact a love story and not satire, you failed at your job Shakespeare! After all, how can I root for a couple when they know each other for less than a day before getting married? Sure, one can argue that it was “love at first sight” but given the fact that these two are 16 and 13, I think it was actually something that starts with L and ends with T.

Rating: 1/5

Nickname: “It is Not True Love Unless you Only Know Each Other for 1 Day Before Getting Married”

Jane Eyre

Besides the huge age difference between these two, the relationship between Jane and Mr. Rochester is inappropriate in other ways. For one, Jane is essentially the nanny and teacher of Mr. Rochester’s ward. This means that we have an employer/employee love story in our hands! Besides that, however, we also see a dynamic that has so many red flags that Jane should have run for the hills. For example, Mr. Rochester does not truly respect her and actually threatens her on one occasion. Furthermore, this novel sends a very problematic message through Mr. Rochester treating Jane better once the two get married. As a result of this change, the message that is sent is that a woman can change a man with her love. This message is one that encourages women in abusive relationships to bear the treatment since “he will change.” Therefore, this novel has a horrible romance that reinforces problematic messages that only lead to further misery. 

 Rating: 1/5

Nickname: “You Should Definitely Ignore the Red Flags Because He Will Totally Change for You”

Written by: Saraleim Mozqueda Saldana | A & E Editor

Graphic by: Liza Larrabee

The Crocheted Ducky: a small business ran by a student from FPU!

A description of the business and how it came to be!

Are you interested in supporting small and local businesses? If so, The Crocheted  Ducky is the perfect business to support! This business is run by FPU student Jacklyn Avila, otherwise known as Jackie, who makes a variety of crocheted art. From an adorable baby Yoda, to a snowman with a removable hat, to handbags, Jackie offers a variety of adorable items. Not only that, all of these items are affordable and if you desire something she does not have on her Etsy page, she also takes custom orders.

So, how did this business come to be? Like many other things, the answer to that is the pandemic. During quarantine, crocheting became really popular online. More than that, though, Jackie grew up with a grandma that knitted each of her grandchildren’s baby blankets. One of her biggest inspirations was her beloved grandma and the possibility of connecting over a hobby. Since she also had a friend that was trying it out, Jackie decided to test it out herself.

 Her journey to crocheting, however, was not a perfect one. For example, her very first attempt at crocheting involved following a Youtube tutorial on how to make a stuffed dinosaur. Despite her efforts towards making this dinosaur, Jackie grew frustrated when her own did not match the one on the video. After several sessions in which she tried her best to recreate the dinosaur from the video, Jackie decided to put it away.

 When this occurred, she felt very discouraged and figured that it might not be her thing. Some months later, though, Jackie decided to give crocheting another try by finding a much simpler tutorial. The result of her decision was her first successful stuffed animal, which led to her realizing she wanted to make more! Although her first attempt was unsuccessful, the answer was clear: perseverance is key! 

Now, besides her story highlighting how important perseverance is, what other advice can we get from her experience? For starters, her story shows that an activity, like crocheting, can be much more than a hobby. In her words, the activity she partakes in can be a coping mechanism for many people. More than that, it can also be a way to find a positive community that has thrived, as a result of people dedicating themselves to an engaging hobby. Along with that, though, her success can also demonstrate how important building an online presence is when starting a business.  For one, having an Instagram page before making her Etsy account helped her gain a following. Additionally, the interaction that she gained from the people that followed her served as a motivation. From the fact that she just received her first custom order from a complete stranger, it is clear that her online presence has helped her immensely!

Check out her instagram or Etsy page for inquiries and orders!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thecrochetedducky/

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheCrochetedDucky

Written by: Saraleim Mozqueda Saldana | A&E Editor

Graphic by: Liza Larrabee

#BookTok books that are actually worth the hype

A deeper review on #BookTok recommendations

Many of us have Tik Tok, and honestly,  we all probably spend too much time on it scrolling endlessly through videos. Tik Tok has developed a huge hashtag called “Book Tok.” Several people post videos with reviews of trending books and use #BookTok in the caption section. However, are those books really worth all the hype? Are they actually as breathtaking and amazing as everyone on Tik Tok says? The truth is…they definitely are worth the hype, and they are most definitely worth buying from Barnes and Nobles or Amazon to read. Below is a list of #BookTok books that have been trending on Tik Tok for awhile. 

#BookTok Recommended Books 

  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins 
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller 
  • The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas 
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  • All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo 

Author: Taylor Jenkins 

Are you looking for a plot twisting dramatic love story that makes you turn the pages as fast as possible? Jenkins creates a story that features famous actress Evelyn Hugo and displays her love life through her seven husbands. The question throughout the whole book is: Does  Evelyn Hugo  love her seven  husbands? Or, is there someone else in her life she loves more? Evelyn Hugo recounts her story of her seven husbands to a journalist named Monique Grant, and through Evelyn and Monique working together for the article, Monique hopes to publish one of the biggest plot twists.  #evelynhugo #bookrec #sevenhusbands 

Rating: 5 Stars 

The Song of Achilles 

Author: Madeline Miller 

It would be safe to assume many of us in high school most likely read some sort of Greek mythology book, like The Iliad or The Odyssey. It can also be assumed that many of us struggled with engaging with the books and simply read them because they were required for a class. However, Madeline Miller takes these famous Greek mythology characters and creates a powerful and emotional love story between Achilles and Patroclus. Throughout the book, Miller focuses on the Trojan War and the struggles Achilles and Patroclus face in their relationship and friendship throughout the war. However, will their relationship be enough to get them through the war? Or, will sacrifices have to be made? #patrochilles #songofachilles 

Rating: 5 Stars 

The Spanish Love Deception 

Author: Elena Armas 

Are you interested in a romance novel that is possibly more cheesy than a Hallmark movie? Then, Elena Armas’s novel is the perfect match for you. Armas tells the story of Lina and  her lie to  her family about having a boyfriend. This turns into a huge problem, because Lina must find a fake boyfriend to take to her sister’s wedding.  However, when her despised enemy from work, Aaron Blackford, offers to be her fake boyfriend, Lina is torn between going to the wedding alone embarrassingly or going with her ultimate enemy. The question remains: what will Lina do and is Aaron Blackford as bad as she thinks he is? #aaronblackford #enemiestolovers #spicybook 

Rating: 4 Stars 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe 

Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

This novel is a great story about self discovery, acceptance, and family secrets. You will follow Dante and Aristotle, two boys that struggle accepting themselves in similar yet different ways. Behind the coming of age theme that is present throughout the novel, a mystery looms. What happened to Aristotle’s brother? Why does his dad refuse to talk about him? Both  questions will be answered in a satisfying manner. Additionally, this book grapples with heavy issues such as accepting one’s sexuality, coming to terms with not “fitting in” to one’s culture, and mending strained family relationships. 

#friendstolovers #itsabouttheyearning

Rating: 4.5 stars

All the Light we Cannot See 

Author: Anthony Doerr 

World War I and II are a common subject to write about in fictional novels, yet this story stands out from the others despite the prevalent  theme. For example, this story follows three young people who are affected by the German invasion in France. All of these characters have intriguing aspects to their story such as dealing with blindness, indoctrination, and the efforts involved in hindering Nazi goals. In addition to the exploration of each character’s issues, a mysterious artifact is being hunted by Germans. Who has the real copy of the “Sea of Flames?” What is so important about this artifact, and what are people willing to do to possess it?

#anthonydoerr #historicalfiction

Rating: 5 stars

We hope you find some time to engage in self-care by picking up one of these #booktok recommendations! Make sure to tag FPU Syrinx on Instagram when you pick a #booktok recommendation and start reading it!

Written by: Nikki Campos | Editor in Chief & Saraleim Mozqueda | A&E Editor

Graphic by: Nikki Campos

The Batman Movie Review

Non-spoiler movie review of Robert Patterson’s newest movie The Batman!

Robert Patterson received lots of criticism when he was cast as Batman. Many thought he could not perform the role. Additionally, his role as Edward in Twilight played a role in the criticism. Some people did not like the idea of him playing Batman for that reason. Overall, D.C’s movies have rarely lived up to their hype due to them being poorly written. As a result of this, a lot of people believed it was going to be good while others believed it was going to flop. On the Rotten Tomatoes website, the audience score was 88%. However, I personally would have given it a 90% because it felt like it was missing something. 
This movie is different compared to other superhero movies, as it had a serious tone. It has a slow start, but the movie keeps you engaged the whole time. The plot was written perfectly and I cannot complain about anything there. It had great riddles, as the audience tried to figure them out as the movie played. Also, it had good action sequences. More importantly, however, the main figure was Batman, because he was in every scene. Robert Patterson played a great performance, and he really showcased that he can do this role. It was interesting that they censored some scenes that may have been too graphic. This was done in order to keep it PG-13, but it was good they included some scenes, because it gave the movie more depth. Finally, I think the only thing that was missing was the Bruce Wayne side in this movie, although it is called The Batman.

Written by: Julissa Mercado | Staff Writer

Graphic by: Julissa Mercado

Mock Rock 2022

A description of the event and an interview with the winner!

Mock Rock was an incredible event in which students showed off their lip-syncing and dancing abilities. The event involved both individual and group performances. From performing an entire storyline based on Olivia Rodrigo’s “Driver’s License,” to coming out of the stage and throwing wigs at the audience, the performances varied. All participants gave an amazing performance, but only one person took home the cash prize!

The Mock Rock winner was the “21st Century Pirate,” otherwise known as Jesus Alexander Gomez. He performed “Dance Apocalyptic” by Janelle Monáe. Jesus wanted to perform this song since his sophomore year in high school, but he decided that this year, at FPU, was the right time. Considering the state of the world, Jesus wanted to perform a song that gave off the idea of “dancing until the end.” Overall, it took Jesus about three weeks to practice for the performance. The process involved settling on a song, practicing in front of a mirror, and sending videos to his friends for feedback. Given the fact that he created the entire performance himself, it is impressive that it only took him three weeks to nail the performance onstage!

During the performance, audience members commented that Jesus gave off Johnny Depp vibes. Despite the fact that he may have given off that impression to the audience, he was not actually inspired by Johnny Depp’s “Jack Sparrow.” In fact, Jesus was thinking of a “future anarchist” when building his persona. When I mentioned to him that he gave off “V for Vendetta” vibes, Jesus admitted that he was inspired by the character. Ultimately, however, Jesus’s character was an original persona rather than an imitation.

Moving on from his performance, it was announced that the contestants were competing for $400. So, what is Jesus planning to spend his money on? Like many other people, Jesus loves iced coffee, iced tea, and boba. As a college student, he can not really afford that all the time, so he is planning on taking advantage of the money to treat himself. 

Besides the monetary prize, Jesus had the desire to participate in Mock Rock since his freshman year at FPU. He loves to perform, but he had not performed for six years before the event. As a result, he felt like he would have regretted not performing at the event. This performance, however, will likely not be the end of the “21st Century Pirate.” Although he did not give much detail, Jesus hinted at possibly incorporating this persona into other works, such as a character in a novel!

Written By: Saraleim Mozqueda Saldana | Editor

Graphic by: Saraleim Mozqueda Saldana

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