Author: Jennifer Walkup
Publisher: Luminis Books, Inc, 240 Pages (October 1st, 2015)
From: the Publisher
Add to: Goodreads
Order a copy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK
Synopsis: 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.
Review: 4 Stars - This Ordinary Life by Jennifer Walkup tells the story of one girls struggles to balance home life, family, school, love and her future aspirations of being an on air personality via the radio. Her struggles are real and readers, young and old should find many things to relate too.
It wasn’t long ago that I first heard about this book. If I’m being totally honest I think it was when I received an email asking if I’d like to read and review. When I read the synopsis I knew I wanted to read it for more reasons than it just sounding like it was going to be a good story. I needed something different and this couldn’t have come at a more perfect time because different was exactly what I got.
As someone who reads many different types of books… I’m one of those people where if it sounds good, I’ll give it a try and with This Ordinary Life it had me ready to dive right on in.
The characters are likeable and as mentioned above the plot covers issues that many people will be able to relate to. The theme of family runs strong, even with the struggles that our main protagonist – Jasmine faces from beginning to end. She’s one of those characters who has to grow up much before her time. It’s sad that so many kids these days are often forced to become adults and to have to take care of adult issues so early on… and Walkup takes the issues of illness, college and relationships of a High School age girl and does a pretty amazing job of making her issues real and honest.
I also really enjoyed how so many of the characters greatly affected each other – both good and bad and that you see it clearly throughout. And how Jasmine and Wes meet, how their friendship develops also was a plus for me. Jasmine is smart, driven and honest with herself. She took her time, went about things slowly and built a true friend with Wes creating a stronger bond for these two struggling teens.
The writing is done well, the story flows easily that if I had started this book earlier in the day I’d have read it in one sitting. It’s memorable and the characters left a lasting impression on me for all the reasons mentioned above and then some!
I can’t forget to mention Jasmines brother Danny, because he does take a large role in the story. He’s dealing with medical issues and it’s Jazz that gives him everything he needs within such a dysfunctional family dynamic.
In the end, it was a great story with great characters. I truly loved many parts of the book and I won’t forget these characters or their struggles, their lives anytime soon. Should you be on the hunt for a fantastically written book with honest characters and real struggles, you’ve found it! I’ll be looking for more to read from this author in the future that’s for sure! I haven’t read much YA these days, and this was a great reminder as to why I love it! Happy reading!