cover image Turning Your Life Around: David Toma's Guide for Teenagers

Turning Your Life Around: David Toma's Guide for Teenagers

David Toma, Christopher Biffle. Harper Perennial, $10 (211pp) ISBN 978-0-06-096830-4

Ex-narcotics detective, anti-drugs speaker and actor Toma has drawn upon his thousands of hours on the front to put together a useful, informative self-help manual. The book consists mostly of extensive fill-in questionnaires; those motivated to systemically follow through with them may well gain substantial insight. Topics include parents, depression, drugs, suicide, Satanism, self-hatred, seeking healing through closeness to God. Typical fill-ins include: ``The advice I have for myself about tomorrow is . . .''; ``The best/worst memories I have of my mother/father are . . .'' When telling a story, Toma asks, ``Is there anything you can identify with?'' Using methods that suggest those of a wise therapist, he advises thoughtful looks at past influences on the present and builds readers' confidence as they go along. The philosophy is sound and encouraging, and Toma concludes with a reassuring list of 50 ways ``to start living a new life.'' Ages 12-up. (Feb.)