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Lucy was just having a rough few days. She didn’t get the lead in the school play, her boyfriend cheated on her and didn’t bother to break up with her until she confronted him, and her dead beat mother has moved in with her and her dads. She just wants to escape her life for a night, and makes a huge mistake with a muscian she’s met. Then the social worker at the free clinic informs her that she’s HIV positive. Lucy’s life is never going to be the same.
I found it interesting how My Life After Now includes characters who fit the stereotypical HIV patients. Lucy’s fathers are gay and her mother is a heavy drug user, but it’s Lucy who ends up contracting the virus. It just goes to show that anyone can get it if they don’t protect themselves. Lucy also ended up isolating herself from her friends, rather than them shutting her out. This is because she keeps it a secret and worries that people are just going to know by looking at her. It doesn’t help that the one person she does tell, flinches away from her touch.
The author presents HIV in a way that is realistic, but not scary. I don’t want to become a hermit and avoid all human contact after reading My Life After Now. I actually learned quite a bit about the virus and my awareness has definitely increased. There’s definitely a stigma attached to being HIV positive, and I think Lucy’s story will help fight that a bit even if it is just fiction. Overall, My Life After Now is a wonderful YA Contemporary that deals with a serious issue that is completely relevant in today’s world. It’s not preachy or depressing. It just sheds some light on the issue and presents it in an approachable way.