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Chapter by Chapter

A mostly Young Adult book review blog run by a mother and daughter team.

My Life After Now

My Life After Now - Jessica Verdi My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi touches base on a subject that I don’t believe really gets enough light in Young Adult reads…HIV. My Life After Now follows the events in the life of main character, Lucy, where one little mistake ends up having huge ramifications, and shows how such a young girl struggles with the fact that she has contracted HIV and the steps she takes to accept the new cards that have been dealt for her.Lucy had it all. A popular boyfriend who always ends up being with her as the leading man in school productions, a loving family, and two best friends who have been with her through thick and thin.But this year, things turn out different. Lucy’s arch nemesis has ended up at her school, and has snagged the leading role of Juliet in this year’s production of Romeo & Juliet…and her boyfriend ends up with the role of Romeo…which inevitably has the two of them re-enacting more than just “scenes” in the play. And how does Lucy find out about Ty’s transgressions? Via Facebook of course…Lucy’s never present mother, Lisa, shows up at her doorstep and her dads have welcomed her into their home, which is something that Lucy just can’t accept. With a history of Lisa coming and going and coming and going…Lucy just can’t handle the fact that Lisa is now “back on” in her life.So how does Lucy deal with all these negatives that have popped up in her life all of a sudden? With a night of partying at a club and losing herself. When Lucy captures the attention of the lead singer of a rock band performing at the club she and her friends have decided to party at, Lucy ends up with more than just a hangover and a one night stand…Holy drama people. When you think things just can’t possibly get any worse for Lucy, she ends up getting HIV. And it was heartbreaking to watch how she tries to deal with this new information. She pushes her friends away, she locks herself away from her family…basically closing up into herself.I can’t even imagine how I would handle this kind of news and then have to attempt to try and deal with it on my own. And although Lucy has all the backing of fantastic parents and friends, she pushes them away…and when Lucy finally breaks the news to her parents…omg did I ever feel all the emotion from the words that were found in these pages.Author, Jessica Verdi, does an amazing job bringing to light the subject HIV. I agree whole heartedly with a section in the book that states that kids now a days are, yes, taught (even at very early ages) about sex. And most importantly, about the importance of safe sex. But it just stops there. It doesn’t really go into what these kids should do if they do end up contracting an STD or HIV…where they should go? Who they can speak to?It was really interesting to see the various age groups that are portrayed in My Life After Now, and it broke my heart to hear the different stories in which these individuals’ loved ones and friends turned from them, or would say or do something that completely brought to light the stigma of HIV/AIDS and how uneducated people can be and still are about how you can actually contract this virus.I applaud Jessica Verdi for writing this book, and hope that it will be a book that will be in every library and classroom. That it can be a book where teens who end up contracting this virus, can turn to this book for some guidance on where to go and who to talk to. I loved that as the story progressed, the author does leave a trail of steps that teens can take should they feel that they may need to be tested. I loved all the raw emotion found in these pages, and how in the end, there is always hope.