Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Life After Now

Book Description

 April 2, 2013

Fans of Glee and Rent will love this story of unflinching honesty and unfaltering compassion.

The last thing Lucy ever expected was to end up as another teen statistic.

Lucy had a plan: become a Broadway star, start a life with her leading man Ty, make her family proud. But in a matter of days, Lucy loses Ty, her starring role, and her parents drop a bomb she never saw coming.

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 new Lucy. So she does something the old Lucy would never dream of.

And now her life will never be the same. What will she tell her friends? How will she face her family? Off script and without the comforts of her simple high school problems, Lucy must figure out how to live, and even embrace, her new life.

Now...every moment is a gift. Because now she might not have many moments left


Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Lucy is having the worst two weeks in her 16 years. Her longtime boyfriend cheats on her and starts dating her rival, who wins the role of Juliet, which Lucy spent most of the summer rehearsing. Then Lucy's mom arrives unexpectedly and wants to stay with her and her dads. The teen decides that a night out on the town, where she can forget everything, is just what she needs. She and her friends go to New York, where they drink too much, and Lucy goes home with a guy she doesn't know. A month later, when things have sort of calmed down, she realizes that one night could have had severe consequences. She tests positive for HIV, and her life spirals out of control as she tries to hide the reality from her parents and friends. She can't handle the pressure of the disease for long, though, before her secret is out. Although a few elements in this plot seem unrealistic, like her parents' reaction, most ring true. Lucy struggles with the reality of being HIV positive-especially since she doesn't feel sick-and knowing how people will treat her when they find out. There are few books about HIV-positive teenagers, and this is a poignant story. HIV/AIDS resources and facts are appended, along with book discussion questions.-Natalie Struecker, Rock Island Public Library, ILα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

"Debut author Verdi paints Lucy's devastation and her tangled emotions with honesty and compassion. The reactions of those in Lucy's life are believable as well, from a newfound love interest, who shies away from touching her, to the fierce devotion of her fathers, who are ready to fight when Lucy wants to give up. Information about living with HIV is peppered throughout, but Verdi's novel never preaches, instead telling Lucy's story with realism and hope." - Publishers Weekly

"Verdi forces her readers to face Lucy's dilemma with unflinching honesty and unfaltering compassion. Her complex and relevant story addresses issues that every teen faces. She deftly deals with the controversial topics of sex education in schools and prejudice against people who receive an HIV diagnosis. A gem of a novel." - RT Book Reviews

"Lucy's journey toward accepting her diagnosis is realistically handled, complete with highs and lows." - Kirkus

"My Life After Now is one of those books that wakes you up and demands your attention. It weaves light scenes and heavy scenes and really makes you think, not only about being careful, but also how you live your life in general. " - My Heart Hearts Books

"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." - Chapter By Chapter

"Lucy is a strong, beautiful heroine. There's no doubt that this book has a heavy subject matter, but Verdi does such a wonderful job of balancing the HIV part with the happier parts of life. Lucy has a life before and after she's infected and that life is wonderful. I love the theater parts and I love how something like that is there for her to come back to even after she has such a hard time. I also appreciated the authenticity in the conclusion where not everything is wrapped up and not everyone ends up happily ever after. I just strongly recommend this book because I know I walked away understanding more about people who have HIV and I felt a little bit like I made a new friend in Lucy. " - In the Best Worlds

"What I loved the most about this book is how inspiring it is. Lucy pushes people away from her at first, but eventually she is able to pull through her situation thanks to the people around her, especially Evan, who becomes an important person in her life. My Life After Now is a wonderful, touching story that portrays Lucy's devastation and her tangled emotions with honesty. The book is about acceptance and learning to live your life with your illness. It brings every single perspective of a life changes after a positive HIV test" - Imaginary Reads

"This book was crazy good is so many ways . . .What I love about Jessica's writing is she keeps it real. Real reactions. Real misunderstandings. Real fears shown by uninfected people . . .Cancer is a killer, but so is HIV/AIDS. It just doesn't get as much air time. That is why I would LOVE beyond LOVE to see this book saturating schools, being a part of their reading plan. I think it would save lives." - Novels on the Run

"My Life After Now is a remarkable and beautifully written story that brings a lot of awareness to teenagers about HIV. Jessica Verdi's work is up their with the likes of Janet Gutler - who also brings a lot of awareness out through her writing. " - Book Passion for Life

"I find it amazing when a book can be both a great read and an eye opener at the same time. What I loved the most about this book, though, is how inspiring it is." - Xpresso Reads

From the Back Cover

WHAT 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, every moment is a precious gift. She never thought being positive could be so negative. But now, everything's different...because now she's living with HIV.

About the Author

Jessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. Her favorite pastimes include singing showtunes at the top of her lungs (much to her husband's chagrin), watching cheesy TV, and scoring awesome non-leather shoes in a size 5. She's still trying to figure out a way to put her uncanny ability to remember both song lyrics and the intricacies of vampire lore to good use. Visit Jess at jessicaverdi.com.

My Life After Now
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