Review: ‘This Ordinary Life’ by Jennifer Walkup

This Ordinary Life was an accidental find. My coworker was looking up a different book for someone on the computer and found this instead. I really liked the cover, and the story sounded interesting, so I ended up buying it a couple days later.

Synopsis: Jasmine’s life is filled with DJing for her school radio station, hanging out with her friends… oh, and looking after her alcoholic mother and a younger brother who has seizures. She desperately wants to get an internship at a local radio station, but her crazy life keeps getting in the way. When her brother has another seizure that lands him in the hospital things just seem to be getting worse, but there might be a silver lining in the form of a cute boy in the next hospital bed.

I’m sure we can all see where this story is going, but it was a fun read, and I liked that Jasmine was interested in something a little bit quirky. She’s definitely driven to succeed, and isn’t one of those YA girls who depends on a boy to come along to save her. Yes, there’s romance, but it’s not the insta-love brand of romance that I hate, and all the women in the book have real personalities that are rarely defined by the men in their lives. Girl power!

I’m actually a bit surprised that no one called child services on Jasmine’s mom throughout this book. It was so painfully obvious that she was an unfit parent, and the fact that most of the doctors and nurses seemed to know this but didn’t do anything really bothered me. Jasmine had a lot of responsibility thrust on her, and although I know that this sort of thing happens, the fact that there were so many health care professionals in their lives who did nothing raised so many red flags for me. As someone who deals with vulnerable populations as a profession, my brain kept screaming “why isn’t anyone doing anything!!?!?!?!”

But, professional ethics aside, this was a good story with some really great characters. Although the cover will likely atract audiophiles, it’s not really about music, but that’s okay. It’s a book about a girl who is willing to do anything to keep her family together, who fights hard and isn’t afraid to be herself.

LC rating: 4-stars (really liked it)


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