My Life After Now
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.
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.
Lucy is a 16 year old girl who loves theater, her two best friends, and her boyfriend Ty. But then a week of misfortune brings her to letting all her inhibitions go and getting reckless. Her entire world comes crashing down when she finds out she's contracted HIV.
What I like most about this book is the fact that it serves as a real eye opener for its readers. There are so many factors that could have been the cause of Lucy catching the disease that it makes you think a little harder about all the contributing factors and what could be the cause. Not only in Lucy's case but in real life as well. I also enjoyed the lesson in this because it is so well written out, I think teens would rejoice in reading this novel versus sitting through 90 minutes or so to a Coach throwing stats at them from a book.
This book was extremely well written and I applaud Verdi on tackling such a tough issue. Not only was I learning things (there were facts in there I didn't even know!) but I was fully entertained. I loved all the characters and the incorporation of theater. I like how although this was such a huge topic it wasn't super harsh and serious but still made you think.
As for the characters, they all were amazing. The only thing I didn't like was Lucy's poor choices involving them. For example, when she finally chose to confide in someone she chose the person she barely had gotten to know and not her friends of 12 years. To think that she didn't immediately trust them baffled me. Especially when they were characters like Max and Courtney. Max was hilarious. But, I must admit, Evan was pretty amazing himself. Even with his little hiccup he had when he first found out. And finally, there was Lisa. I really hated her. I remember thinking the entire story that it was her fault. I wanted to be so bad. And only because I couldn't stand the way she treated Lucy or her dads. Yes I said dads. Another really unique thing about this story. Verdi did not go along with the norm at all.
This book is a fast paced read that will hook you as soon as you crack the spine. I admire Verdi for branching out and tackling this disease when no one else would. This engaging read is fast paced and will leave you with a new found knowledge about a difficult subject.
Lucy seems to have the perfect life until she finds out that her boyfriend is cheated and wants to break up, and her estranged mother comes back into town with some shocking news. Before she lets herself spiral into emotions she doesn't want to deal with yet, she decides to grab her two best friends and head into NYC for a night of partying. What she didn't expect to do was to wake up the next morning in a strangers apartment not remembering how she got there or what exactly happened. So she decides to just put the one-night stand behind her and move on with her life.
Little does Lucy know that that one reckless night of 'fun' is going to have some serious consequences.
Jessica Verdi tackles some very hard topics, like teen sex, drinking and drug abuse. But an even harder topic that is rarely ever discussed, HIV and AIDS. And she definitely delivers with her knowledge and delivers a very believable main character. Lucy's reaction to the news and her determination to keep it all a secret from everyone, even her family, was heart-wrenching. It pained me to see her in so much fear, pain and denial. And Lucy's fear of rejection, of not being lovable anymore, her anger toward herself - all of these emotions bled through the pages. I wanted to reach into the book, grab her, and give her a hug and tell her that everything will be okay. No child should have to endure something so big alone.
I am happy with the way Lucy's story ended... it was a bit predictable, but it was what I wanted for her, and for everyone around her that loved her.
And I have to point out that at first I did not understand the cover to this book. But after having time to reflect on Lucy's story... I like the symbolism behind the use of the red dress and the scenery completes it. I really like what they did with it and I love it.
This is a book that should be on every school library's shelf and used in Health Ed. It would definitely be an eye-opener for many teens, and their teachers and parents too. It is definitely a subject that should be addressed a lot more.