It’s hard to believe that Alicia Keys has been on the music scene for nearly twenty years, but her signature soulful vocals and expressive lyrics make her music just as powerful as ever. Keys does not depart from her norm in “Underdog.” Released in January, the song is an inspirational ode to anyone who has ever been underestimated. “They said I would never make it but I was built to break the mold,” sings Keys, “You’ll find that someday soon enough / you will rise up.” The single is from her upcoming album Alicia, which is slated to be released Mar. 20
Movie: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
On Dec. 20, 2019, the last episode of the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, was released. Rey (Daisy Ridley) continues on the path of finding herself and what it means to be a true Jedi. While trying to find where she comes from, she denies what many claim her to be, including Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Rey doubts who she should trust as many attempt to drag her to the thought-to-be-dead Emperor Palpatine, who calls upon her. The conclusion of The Rise of Skywalker wraps up the saga nicely. With tension between Rey and Kylo Ren building in past episodes, this episode is full of many unexpected plot turns.
TV Show: Diary of a Future President
Disney+’s new comedy TV series Diary of a Future President follows the life of 12-year-old Elena Cañero-Reed (Tess Romero) as she navigates the jungle of middle school. The show explores important themes like accepting change, true friendship and dedication to family in a fun and lighthearted way. So far the actors’ performances have been excellent, with Romero in particular deserving praise for her portrayal of the innocent, hilarious and instantly likable Elena. The first three episodes of the ten-episode season are now streaming, with new episodes to be released weekly on Fridays.
Book: “When We Believed in Mermaids”
“When We Believed in Mermaids” is a complicated tale that doesn’t shy away from showing the messiness of life, including tragedies, deep secrets and family dysfunction. Kit Bianci believes her sister Josie died 15 years ago in a terrorist attack, but one day her world crumbles when she sees Josie on TV, which means that she somehow survived. Kit is angry that her sister has been deliberately hiding but is nonetheless determined to find her. Part mystery, part love story, part exploration of long-buried secrets, Barbara O’Neal’s novel is an inspirational celebration of the enduring power of sisterly love.