Archive for May, 2021

Mindfulness for Young Adults: Tools to Thrive in School and Life by Linda Yaron Weston

This book is written by an English teacher who developed and taught a class on Mindfulness for her young adult students. The book explains how to achieve and practice mindfulness as well as benefits for everyone, but especially young adults. High school students face numerous pressures from classes, activities, college admissions, parents, etc. Those pressures can lead to mental health issues as students become over stressed, exhausted, anxious, or even depressed. The tools in this book give a step by step plan for teachers and students that makes mindfulness seem achievable and important for helping young adults through this stressful time of life. Plus, if they learn how to be more present at a younger age, it will help them as they enter college and begin looking to enter the workforce. I think anyone could benefit from learning about mindfulness, but the author is smart to target young adults because there is a lot to be gained for them and they are probably more open minded to the process than older adults would be. Recommended.

Life At Hamilton: sometimes you throw away your shot, only to find your story by Mike Anthony

Genre: Nonfiction

This fascinating story follows bar tender Mike Anthony as he tries to find his place on Broadway. He always wanted to be an actor and even went to school to earn a degree in acting, but he’s never gotten that big break. However, he has had a successful career as a bartender in one of Broadway’s most illustrious theaters. He recounts the tale of meeting Lin-Manuel Miranda the first time when he was working on an entirely different production before Hamilton. He was immediately mesmerized by him and knew he was special. As they began to get rumblings that Hamilton was going to come to their theater the staff braced for what was sure to be an amazing experience. Mike often used social media to let the public know who had been to see Hamilton, any interactions with them, and special moments with the general public. Despite struggling with the fact that he was part of such an amazing production without actually contributing as a performer, he came to realize that it was a gift to be able to be part of this amazing show’s tenure on Broadway and to be a part, even in a small way, of such a major occasion in so many people’s lives. Recommended for fans of live theater and anyone looking for an uplifting book during such a hard year.

Teen Killers Club by Lily Sparks

Genre: Mystery

Signal Deere was convicted of murdering her best friend, Rose, but even though Signal woke up covered in Rose’s blood she knows she’s innocent. It does not help that she has been classified as a Class A, which is the most dangerous kind of criminal. Therefore, when she is approached about joining a new secret program where they take teenage Class A criminals and train them to be assassins she knows this is her only way out of jail for the rest of her life. The obvious problem here is that Signal is not a killer and has difficulty from the start with the trainings they make her do. The counselor in charge of them seems to be trying to make life particularly difficult for Signal. She quickly realizes that the other teens in the program do not have any issue with killing. Erik, in particular, notices right away that Signal really doesn’t belong there, but in order to survive she must try her best to succeed in the tasks before her. Things get more complicated when a man wearing a mask infiltrates their camp and the counselors won’t tell anyone who he is or what he wants. Can Signal survive a place where they are trying to make her a killer surrounded by other killers? Can she trust anyone around her? Will she ever be able to clear her name and find out who really killed Rose?

This book really takes off once Signal gets to the camp and meets the other teenage criminals. It becomes obvious that you can’t really classify people into nice, easy categories and Signal helps each of them to see that there is more to them than their past actions. She becomes increasingly aware of the dangers surrounding her in this place where she doesn’t know how to defend herself. Once it becomes clear they are in danger, the teens band together, but in the end they are not the ones in charge and things go sideways pretty quickly as they try to rebel. Signal’s backstory is explored, but readers will want to know more about what happened to Rose and how her death came to be. Readers will also be eager to see more after the exciting ending that leaves the future of these teens in question. Hopefully, there will be a sequel to continue Signal’s story. Recommended for fans of forensic mysteries.


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