This Ordinary Life by Jennifer Walkup
Young Adult Contemporary Romance
High School student, Jasmine Torres just wants to be a radio DJ and she’s doing everything she can to make that happen. But when her little brother’s epilepsy flares up she is forced to take care of him while their mother struggles with her alcohol addiction. While staying with her brother at the hospital, Jasmine meets Wes, another epilepsy patient, that she can’t help but be attracted too. But knowing what it’s like for her brother makes her hesitant to start anything and her recently failed relationship has her gun-shy. All Jasmine wants is an ordinary life but that might not be in the cards for her.
I thought Jasmine was a very put together young woman and considering how much she cares for her brother and herself it’s understandable. I also loved how much she cared for her brother Danny. So many times in YA books the character acts so burdened by whatever issue causes them to care for another sibling. But Jasmine genuinely loved taking care of her brother and would do anything for him without making it seem like it was ruining her life. Yes, Jasmine would rather not have to take care of Danny but she never put other things before him or made him feel like she’d rather be elsewhere. I also loved Jasmine’s radio show at the school, it was pretty cute and made me wish my high school had a radio show when I was there. Wes was also great; he has grown up with epilepsy but he’s determined to be normal and enjoy life. He doesn’t let it get him down and he knows what he wants in life. Their romance is very sweet and fits nicely into the story and you can’t help but love both of them.
I would have liked to have Wes’s point of view just because I loved his character so much and wanted to know more about him. The only other thing, and it’s not really anything bad, but it just seemed to sum up perfectly in the end. But it is a book and it’s more about the characters reaching their goals so I was by no means bothered by the fact that everything worked out so well for Jasmine and Wes.
4 out of 5 stars
Hero with epilepsy
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.
Published by Luminis Books on October 1, 2015