Publishers: Sourcebooks Fire
Published Date: April 2nd 2013
My rating: 4 out of 5
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.
Its always difficult to rate a book when not only is the subject sensitive but the subject matter isn't exactly one that I would chose to read for entertainments sake. That is why we read after all, right? To be entertained.
My Life After Now is an incredibly touching story about Lucy. She's a member of her schools drama group. Her boyfriend of eighteen months also attends. A casting for Romeo and Juliet is on the cards and the lead part doesn't go to Lucy, it goes to her girl-enemy Elyse. Her friends, Courtney and Max get her to check Elyse's Facebook status one night shortly after rehearsals start. Yep, Elyse and Ty are 'in a relationship'. Lucy is horrified, embarrassed and more than mortified at Ty's betrayal. That and a visit from her estranged birth mother, Lisa, has Lucy and her two friends going out and having an outrageously fun night. One thing leads to another and Lucy wakes up in a lead singer's bed naked. He's only the second guy she's ever slept with.
The story continues with how Lucy copes from here on it. It isn't that she slept with the guy. Her two dads know she was having sex. It's the consequences of not practicing safe sex. Lucy soon finds out she has HIV.
Like I wrote earlier, yes, it is a sensitive issue. All kinds of preconceptions pop into your mind when you think of someone with HIV. But what I really liked about this book was the normalcy of the situation. A girl that isn't promiscuous in any way makes one mistake one night and she's saddled with this terrible virus for the rest of her life.
Lucy takes us through the drama and crises of what happens next, and there are many. I loved her two dads and had little sympathy for her birth mother who used Dad and Papa any which way she could. Evan was a nice, kindly character to add for Lucy's new love interest. But most of all we learn about the virus itself. What are the common attitudes of people when they find out? How do you deal when someone tells you to clean up some blood and burn everything after? Or when you visit a support group and everyone tells you things you really don't want to hear?
In this story Lucy finds out she is lucky. She has tremendous support from her family and the few friends that know, but as the book tells us at the back, the statistics involving teenagers, sex and HIV are staggeringly high. As Lucy says 'it's called Safe Sex for a reason'.
So this is more of a moral journey, rather than a book to entertain you. It really is a good read, it isn't dark or gloomy and deals with the negative as well as the positive of contracting HIV.
I've given it four out of five because of the strong story line. I really did like it and it's definitely a good book to recommend all teenagers to read.
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