I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.This Ordinary Life by Jennifer Walkup
on October 1, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, contemporary, romance, Family, realistic fiction
Format: Print, Print ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon| Buy on Barnes & Noble
Sometimes Hope is the Most Extraordinary Gift of All.
High-school radio host Jasmine Torres's life is full of family dysfunction, but if she can score the internship of her dreams with a New York City radio station, she knows she can turn things around.
That is, until her brother Danny’s latest seizure forces her to miss the interview, and she’s back to the endless loop of missing school for his doctor appointments, picking up the pieces of her mother’s booze-soaked life, and stressing about Danny’s future.
Then she meets Wes. He’s the perfect combination of smart, cute, and funny. He also happens to have epilepsy like her brother. Wes is living a normal life despite his medical issues, which gives Jasmine hope for Danny. But memories of her cheating ex-boyfriend keep her from going on a real date with Wes, no matter how many times he asks her.
Jasmine can’t control everything. Not who wins the internship, not her mother’s addiction, not her brother’s health--not even where her heart will lead her. She wishes she could just have an ordinary life, but maybe what she already has is pretty extraordinary after all.
There are a lot of books similar to this one I’m willing to pick up. Someone dealing with something, finding love despite said dealings. The reason (or one of the reasons) I pick up this trope over and over is that I love seeing people overcome and in that process find a person worth holding on to.
This book was the right amount of tough issues and light romance. It was really well balanced, in that I never fell too far on one side or the other. This isn’t a light-hearted romance. Jasmine is dealing with some serious shit, especially considering she is in high school. And yet, the romance part of the book left me smiling.
Jasmine is a girl with a dream of DJing. She is passionate, but she also was able to maturely take care of her brother. And sure, her mom’s issues kind of force her hand, but I feel like Jasmine was the kind of character who was going to take care of Danny regardless. I think I loved that about Jasmine because I saw my daughter in her. At seven, my daughter is already taking care of her older brother like that is her purpose in life. It both brings me joy and breaks my heart that she has to take care of him, but to her it just comes naturally. My husband and I know one day this will be something she may have to contend with and it is something we often grapple with on her behalf. And so, in this regard, I really connected with that part of Jasmine. I also connected with Jasmine’s issues with her mother. As someone who has her own myriad of family dysfunction, I really understood what it is like to feel like the parent instead of the child.
Beyond her own family issues, Jasmine is dating a boy who turns out to be the opposite of who she thought he was — cheating on her and breaking her trust with guys. Enter Wes. Wes is a really amazing friend who you just KNOW Jasmine likes, but it takes a lot for her to overcome all the other stuff in her life and give him (and love) a chance.
The thing I liked most about this book is Jasmine’s attitude. She doesn’t take crap from people and she holds her own. She knows what she wants from life and she isn’t afraid to go out there and get it. All in all, Jasmine is a great role model.
Thanks to the light side of this, the book goes by very quickly. In fact, I read it in just one night (I don’t even think I got up from it one time). I know I already said it, but the balance of heavy and light really just made this a great read. Even through the rough times, I found myself smiling like an idiot at the romantic parts. And that was rather extraordinary.
1 Winner will get a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
1 Winner will get a surprise YA book pack from Jennifer Walkup
1 Winner will get a swag pack
Open to US only | Must be 13+ to enter
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