Title: My Life After Now
Author: Jessica Verdi
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release date: April 1st 2013
Genre: Young Adult contemporary
Source: BEA - I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
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Lucy just had the worst week ever. Seriously, mega bad. And suddenly, it’s all too much—she wants out. Out of her house, out of her head, out of her life. She wants to be a whole new Lucy. So she does something the old Lucy would never dream of.My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
And now her life will never be the same. Now, how will she be able to have a boyfriend? What will she tell her friends? How will she face her family? Now, every moment is a precious gift. She never thought being positive could be so negative. But now, everything’s different…because now she’s living with HIV.
I loved this book so much - every part of it was perfect for me. I'm so glad there's finally a YA book out about this issue, and I love the way it's handled in My Life After Now. Lucy's story is an important one, and I'm so glad I got to read it.
The whole idea of this novel is fascinating. Like the tagline of the novel says, you never think it will happen to you, so I hadn't given it too much thought what it would be like to live with HIV, to be honest. My Life After Now really opened my eyes to the struggles related with this disease; how it affects not only your health but also your relationships and the way people see you. I oftentimes found myself wondering how I would have dealt in Lucy's case - whom to tell, for example, is such a hard question. The portrayal of Lucy's life with HIV is very open and honest; I thought I knew the most important things about the disease, but this book still taught me quite a bit with it's educational but not preachy approach.
Lucy is a girl living with HIV, but that is by far not all she is; I loved reading about all the other aspects of her life as well. For example, the family storyline is great. I don't want to give anything away, but her family is different, and I had very strong emotions towards her family members. Then there's Lucy's friends, whom I loved. (Except for the fact that the whole two-girls-and-one-gay-guy-as-best-friends thing is kind of overdone. That made me think about how there's so many gay guys as friends in YA, but never any gay girls. Can we get a lesbian as more than a stereotype in YA soon, please?) Anyways, Courtney and Max are a great support system for Lucy, and I liked seeing their relationship evolve over the course of the novel. Then there's the romance, which is an important part of the novel but never really takes center stage, which I appreciated - it's just kind of there, a part of Lucy's life, and it's integrated into the story in a casual kind of way that I loved. My favorite character is probably Roxy - I loved reading about the support group! I also love how it all centers around drama club and acting, since that added a lot to the story as well.
I'm glad someone finally tackled this issue in YA, and I'm happy it was Jessica Verdi. Her writing is captivating and made My Life After Now a great read. It's eye-opening as well as entertaining, and I loved it. I can't wait to read more from this author!