This Ordinary Life
by Jennifer Walkup
Publisher: Luminis Books, Inc.
Release Date: October 1st 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Rate: 4/ 5 stars
Rate: 4/ 5 stars
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.
This Ordinary Life was an amazing read that really surprised me. Right of the bat we are introduced to the main character, Jasmine, who clearly has a less than easy life. She definitely has a lot of determination and a mind set on what she loves: being a radio host. She has an undying love for it and eyes set on an amazing scholarship opportunity. However, she has a lot on her plate. Her little brother, Danny, suffers from epilepsy and that, plus her mother's lack of responsibility since their father left, has resulted in her having to go out of her way a lot.
On top of it all, she encounters her boyfriend cheating on her. The devastation is unimaginable but Jasmine, being the strong, smart, and loyal person that she is, doesn't let it ruin her. Instead, she stands her ground and for that admired her a lot. She was just such a great character all around. Well shaped and articulated. And I loved how much she cared for her family and also how adamant she was.
Another amazing character, one that I will love forever, is Wes. Jasmine meets Wes, during one of her brother's hospital visits and he also happens to have epilepsy just like Jasmine's brother. They don't hit it off quite immediately, but once they meet again the rest is just history. What I loved and appreciated about this particular romance was how subtle it was at the beginning. it wasn't an instant love type of thing and that, in my opinion, made everything more adorable.
This Ordinary Life is an obvious gem. It's so well-written and perfectly paced which are both traits that are not as common as one would like. The author made a really adorable and cute story without overdoing the fluffiness. It was a fluffy story with a bit of more serious topics and one of the cutest love interests ever.
"What I like? Many things I probably shouldn't. Like him. The thought pokes from the recesses of my mind, from some corner where I've apparently tried to hide it. And it's true, even if I only admit it to myself and even if my heart is terrified of liking another boy after Sebastian. I can't help it. I like Wesley McEnroe. Definitely more than I should." (p. 131)
"No way. I can't. I'm worth more than he gave me." (p.79)
"Even if I wanted to, there's no way to keep the grin off my face as the energy from the morning show still pumps through me. Even the mess ups are quickly fading." (p. 114)
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Award-winning author Jennifer Walkup is most often found writing, reading, and spending time with her husband and young sons. A member of SCBWI and RWA, Jennifer also works as an editor and creative writing instructor, and is an advocate for Epilepsy awareness. This Ordinary Life is her second novel.
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