ARC Review | It’s My Life

Title: It’s My Life

Author: Stacie Ramey

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release date: January 1, 2020

My rating: ★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads:

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?

Review:

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

First and foremost, I cannot speak for the cerebral palsy representation. I do not feel as though it is my place to say if the representation was accurate or not. If anyone can attest to it, please let me know so I can link back to your review! I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts!

At times it was really hard for me to like the main character Jenna. She had so much hatred and anger built up because of her diagnosis and other reasons. All throughout the book she had a really bad attitude and made some not so great decisions.

While I applaud the author for having Jenna’s parents involved in her life, it was way too much. Her mom treated her like a toddler. She never took into consideration that her daughter might want to do normal teenage things. I know she was just worried about her wellbeing, but it infuriated me. I absolutely loved her brother and sister though! They were thoughtful and sweet. Both of them were there for Jenna without breathing down her neck the entire time. 

I had an issue with all the secrets the parents kept from Jenna. I can totally understand not telling her certain things as a child, but Jenna is now grown enough to understand. Her parents should have had those conversations a long ago. Way before Jenna found out on her own. 

The romance was precious. It took a while for the chemistry to show up, but once it did, I was rooting for the two! I am a sucker for a book with anonymous correspondences so the texting between Jenna and Julian was so fun and definitely swoon worthy.  As far as Julian goes, I really liked him as a character. He was nice and protective, but I do wish we got to know more about him. 

I love that Jenna wanted to make medical decisions on her own. It is her body so she should absolutely be able to. However, I don’t think that it was realistic for her to medically emancipate herself. I don’t necessarily know how easy that is to do, but it just seemed like the wrong way to go about the situation. 

I try not to do major spoilers in reviews, but I feel like I kind of have to here. Read this part at your own risk! My least favorite thing about this book was the ending. As I mentioned above, Jenna had a bad attitude throughout the entire book. She basically gave up on herself so she just didn’t care anymore. I was expecting her to figure things out for herself. For her to come to a realization that her actions weren’t okay and then reassess. What I read though was her dad telling her that she was going to change whether she wanted to or not. Jenna didn’t get to come to that decision on her own. He told her how it was going to be and she just went along with it. That was a huge letdown and very discouraging.

Overall this was just an okay read. There were things that I really loved and others that just didn’t work for me. 

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