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Reading is my drug. I love to get lost in a great book to escape into worlds that are usually much cooler than mine! >.<

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Imogen Howson
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My Life After Now

My Life After Now - Jessica Verdi I find it amazing when a book can be both a great read and an eye opener at the same time. HIV is a very misunderstood disease, and it's especially heartbreaking when teenagers fall prey to it. This is made even worse when an already terrible disease is so misconstrued that it makes those infected feel like lepers. It's not uncommon to see people afraid of touching, or even being in the same room, as a person with HIV--even though most know it can't be transmitted through touch or kissing. Lack of education on the subject is what's to blame. It's obvious that Jessica took time to do her research on HIV/AIDS. She gives us a teenager's personal insight on what it's like to live with this disease. Every single perspective of a life changes after a positive HIV test, which is what we experience first hand when Lucy gets hers. I'm impressed at how Jessica was able to point out the importance of safe sex without pointing out anything at all--the story does it on its own. We all take sex-ed classes in school, but nothing sticks as well as a story like this. I wish all teens would read it! All the while, she keeps the book engaging with wonderful characters who take us through this emotional journey. Lucy, actress and drama club star, does not have the easiest life, and one night out to escape it all will change her life forever. An impressively sympathetic character, Lucy is a sweet sweet girl with a bright future ahead of her. Sure she's going through a rough time but she's paying the ultimate price for doing something that was very out of her character for her; something that happens to the best of us. We all make mistakes, and knowing how grave the consequences of hers will be really tugged at my heart from the start. I couldn't stop imagining myself in her shoes, which is incredibly easy with Lucy's accessible voice. I found myself pondering what my own response would be upon finding out something so devastating. How much my life would change? Who would I tell? How would my family/friends react? How would I react? The book really makes you live her story. It's so easy to imagine exactly how Lucy feels; it's tragic, really. At least she has a great support system, even if some don't even know it. Her family, though unconventional with a spastic disappearing mother and two fathers, are very loving and caring. I adored her fathers they were well rounded and extremely down to earth as far as parents go. I also loved her friends and fellow drama club members. Everyone, including the jerks, evens those with the smallest roles, gives off a lot of energy and personality. What I loved the most about this book, though, is how inspiring it is. It may have an especially difficult topic that brings out a lot of sadness and regret, but it's not a depressing read. It's about acceptance; about learning to live your life with your illness, not letting your illness become your life. Lucy, as well as myself, learned a lot during this novel, I found her so inspiring, even through her mistakes and breakdowns. I only wish I knew her for longer. The book spans a fairly short time in her life which left me longing for a bigger glimpse at the future, even just an epilogue would have been great. Not only her future either, but Roxie's too; for the small supporting role she holds this girl really leaves a lasting impression!An incredible issue book that holds heartbreaking as well as uplifting emotions in perfect balance, My Life After Now is a thought provoking page-turner that may even shed light on such a darkly misunderstood disease. I also have a new appreciation for the cover which is such a perfect representation of the book in the most symbolic of ways. --An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads