Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Review: My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi

From Goodreads: 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 Rating: 4 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: The topic of HIV/AIDS hasn’t really been tackled yet in YA so I applaud Jessica Verdi for doing so skilfully with her debut novel, My Life After Now. Her book was informative. It was touching. And, it was thoughtfully written.

As a character, Lucy makes some unwise choices both before and after she gets HIV. It would have been all too easy for me to get annoyed by her. Instead, I found Lucy to be an incredibly sympathetic and relatable protagonist.

Through Lucy’s journey in trying to come to terms with her positive HIV diagnosis, Verdi makes the reader think about how a simple mistake can utterly change one’s life. How would you react if you were to be diagnosed with HIV? Would you tell anybody at all about your diagnosis, and if so, who? Verdi also shows the reader how something inconsequential like trying to get a cut treated can become a huge obstacle to navigate for someone with HIV. Finally, through Lucy’s research and conversations with Roxie, the reader learns factual information about HIV.

As great as My Life After Now was, I did think it was a bit idealistic because of how lucky Lucy was in terms of her support system. Her parents are a gay couple and while shocked by her diagnosis, are quick to accept the news and extremely understanding. Lucy’s best friends act like her positive diagnosis isn't life changing at all. The girl who Lucy dislikes (and vice versa) doesn’t spread the news like wildfire when she accidentally finds out that Lucy is HIV-positive. And, the two times Lucy isn’t happy with how she’s treated leads to threats of suing … which is so convenient because one of her dads just happens to be a lawyer.

Still, My Life After Now is worth a read. I dove into it not knowing what to expect, and finished it amazed with how brilliantly Verdi dealt with the topic of teen sex without being preachy about the importance of safe sex.

My Life After Now was released on April 2, 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire. 

Comments About the Cover: Since anybody get an STD, I like that the model is turned away as it gives her an air of anonymity.  

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Sourcebooks) for free via NetGalley. 


  1. Despite parts of it feeling a little too convenient, I'm glad you thought this was good overall. I'll admit, HIV isn't something I want to read about at the moment (I think I'd have to be in the right frame of mind for something serious), though I do hope I can give this one a shot down the line. You're right to say that it's not tackled in YA very often. Great review, Z!

  2. I wanted to read this book because it deals with a topic that isn't or hardly ever talked about in YA. Despite it being a bit too convenient, I do like the message it seems to tell teens.

  3. I definitely have not read anything that tackles the HIV/AIDS issue, so I'm really interested in reading this one. I love that when Lucy could have been really frustrating, she's instead really relatable, and my heart goes out to her already. One little error in judgement..

    Thanks for this review Z, I haven't heard much about this book but it's on my radar now!

  4. HIV is so scary. I'm not sure I'd read this book as I try staying away from anything too realistic in my reading. I would find this really upsetting to read about and it would be something that would play on my mind. I've never heard of any other YA books dealing with this topic either. Great review Z.

  5. Sounds good! I'm not sure it's one I would be interested in personally, but I like that it's out there... I could see it being a good resource for teens who might be dealing with this themselves, or even have questions about it.

  6. I guess from the subject matter, it does sound so different from so many YA contemporary books on shelves today. I would like to read this now to see Lucy's reaction and how she deals with something so serious.

  7. Hm, I kept waiting for a YA book about HIV to be written, and now it's finally here. I'm glad. I honestly don't know how well I'd deal with Lucy making all those wrong choices, but if you say she's easy to relate to, I completely trust your opinion.
    Great review.

  8. I'm not a fan of books that deal with serious, real topics, but I'm glad that this subject gets tackled in YA. Therefore it does sounds like a read that I want to try.

  9. Great to hear that My Life After Now doesn't disappoint! I thought about adding this book to my wishlist and I'm glad to hear that one can easily relate to the MC's thoughts and feelings. With a topic as HIV it's very important to have one MC like that. Thanks for your review!

  10. I've not read a YA book about HIV either (or any book about HIV, for that matter). It seems like the subject matter was handled well, anyways, and that's important because I could easily see this topic messed up badly. Glad you enjoyed this one, overall, despite a few quibbles, Z! This was a very thoughtful review - loved it!


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