My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi
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.
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 her life is completely different...every moment is a gift. Because now she might not have many moments left.
My Life After Now is a novel that should be read by everyone. While it isn't perfect, it tackles an issue that I have never encountered before in young adult fiction and will both educate and engage the reader throughout. My knowledge of HIV and AIDS was very slim before I read My Life After Now and I think that is definitely an issue with our education systems. Most teenagers never imagine that they could be affected by HIV or how life-changing a diagnosis can be.
Lucy was such an inspiring and likable character. She was layered and well-developed; everything about her from her personality to her narrative to her experiences was very real. Lucy made mistakes, but one big one that would change her life forever. Seeing the "before" Lucy and the "after" Lucy was such an interesting, and heart-breaking, experience. Her life completely fell apart in a matter of days and there was nothing she could do to change it. The reactions of her friends and family were realistic and a mix of good and bad. I loved her fathers, it is rare that parents have such a large role in today's YA novels, but both of Lucy's fathers played key roles in her life and the story.
HIV and AIDS awareness is an important, and current, issue that Jessica handles extremely well in her debut novel. When I first picked this up, I had no idea what to expect, but I finished it with a mix of understanding and sadness. It is not very often that I read a book that leaves me so emotional, but My Life After Now certainly did that.
The only issue I had was with the ending, because I wish we got more closure. I would really like to know what is next for Lucy and the other characters.
My Life After Now is definitely worth a read and is a novel that should be shared with every and any teenager. I picked this up planning on reading a few pages, and was soon completely sucked into Lucy's story. It is an emotional and realistic read that also educates the reader. I am eager to see what is next for this exciting new author and am curious to see if she will tackle another serious issue.
Overall: 4.25 out of 5
April 2, 2013/Sourcebooks Fire/287 Pages/Young Adult