It’s My Life
Published January 1, 2020
About It’s My Life
If she wants a future with him, she’ll have to make peace with her past.
Jenna’s never let her cerebral palsy get her down. But when she discovers that her condition was actually caused by an injury at birth, she’s furious with her parents, who withheld the truth. And as they push her to get yet another difficult procedure, Jenna feels her control over her life starting to slip.
Enter Julian, Jenna’s childhood crush. He’s just moved back to town, and he’s struggling in school, so Jenna reaches out to him—anonymously— to help. Soon, their conversations are about so much more than class. She’s falling for him all over again, hard and fast. But would Julian still be interested in her if he knew who she really was? And can she find a way to take back her own narrative before she pushes away everyone she loves?
You know, just leave it to Stacie Ramey to create still more characters that I can’t help falling in love with. I really, really needed a solid, heartfelt contemporary book, and IT’S MY LIFE totally had me covered. I love Jenna’s awkwardness and her tendency to overthink things. I love her passion and her relationship with her mom.
Actually, I want to say more about her and her mom. Because I felt like that was a really complex relationship, since Jenna’s really pushing back against her parents’ assumptions about her medical treatment and care. She’s feeling lied to by her parents and unable to communicate to them her need to make her own medical decisions.
Though we only see Jenna’s point-of-view, I felt like it was easy to see that so much more was happening between the lines. Her mom felt like this real, complicated character with conflicting desires but a consistent commitment to her daughter. I don’t know if that makes total sense, but I just found myself having a lot of respect for Jenna’s mom because clearly she had a lot going on in her head and heart.
IT’S MY LIFE is at its core, a personal journey story. At the beginning, Jenna feels like her perfect life starring the cooler, better version of herself is completely out of reach. Jenna has two choices: she can sit back and let that life stay a fantasy, or she can pull together all her courage and figure out a way to make things happen for herself.
I love that theme in the story so much, and I think Stacie Ramey does real justice to the part of life where we must choose to become the main character in our own stories. I’m so glad I read this book, and I think it will really stay with me for a long time.
If you liked MY SISTER’S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult or IMPOSSIBLE MUSIC by Sean Williams, or just find yourself in the mood for an uplifting contemporary story featuring a strong protagonist, make sure you check out IT’S MY LIFE.
Recommended for Ages 12 up.
Jenna has Cerebral Palsy. Jenna and her family are Jewish. Her best friend Ben is gay.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used fairly frequently. A couple instances of stronger profanity.
Kissing between boy and girl. Jenna has some daydreams about lying in bed with a boy.
Some references to Jewish traditions and holidays.
Jenna witnesses a fistfight between two boys.
Jenna and a friend drink alcohol at a dance.
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