Monday, August 12, 2013

Beyond the Book: My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi

This bookish feature is an original by me! I had the epiphany for this the other day when I was writing out my 15 bookish confessions. (See #7) A lot of times I like to go "beyond the book" and do something that will connect me with the book and characters a little more. This week will be my first one. It will continuously pop up on Mondays! Be on the look out for which books caught my eye and made me go beyond just reading it! 

My Life After Now
This Beyond the Book features Jessica Verdi's "My Life After Now."

“That’s the point. This healthy-feeling time now just feels like a tease. Like I’m in this holding pattern, flying in smooth circles within sight of the airport, in super-comfortable first class. But I can’t enjoy the in-flight movie or free chocolate chip cookies because I know that before the airport is able to make room for us, the plane is going to run out of fuel, and we’re going to crash-land into a fiery, agonizing death.”

     What I loved most about this book is the fact that it serves two purposes at once. It gave the message of how easy it is to contract HIV to students as well as be entertaining and not feeling too preachy. It's something that teens will read and easily fall in love with.
     I chose this as the Beyond the Book feature for today because on the last Follow Friday I did, it came to my attention that no one had heard of this book, and if they had, they hadn't read it.With HIV being so easily spread, all teens should know about this disease and what they can do to prevent it.
     So many people don't realize that this disease doesn't go away. The problem with that is, there's so many different ways for it to be contracted. In the book My Life After Now, it explores all of those ways from the drugs and needle sharing to unprotected sex. But it also shows how the person believed to have given it to Lucy looks normal and doesn't even know that they have it yet. 
     That's the scariest part of it. The disease doesn't even show you that you have it for a long time. Please don't take the no symptom thing as thinking you just don't have it.
     In so many YA books the act of sex is taboo so they try to block it out and just let your imagination run there. This is scary because there are so many people that start exploring sex at that age. (I'm sure there are a dozen or so of people that will be commenting saying "I wasn't one of them, but think about it... About 12 out of how many? Let's be honest here.)  But at the same time they miss out on the most important part. The person reaching for protection. I LOVE that this book shows you the consequences from so many different things and will make teens understand that the protection part is a BIG DEAL.
     So, in short, protect yourselves. Always wrap it up. The amount of outbreaks hasn't been as bad since the 90's, but that doesn't mean that the disease has went away. I remember being a teen. And I remember being crazy. But I also remember always being safe. So please, take the initiative and be safe. 
     If you are dreading the "birds and the bees" talk with your parents, this is a good alternative. As I said in my review, "this read is fast paced and will leave you with a new found knowledge about a subject you THOUGHT you already knew.

Here are some other ways that can prohibit HIV from spreading:

Persons who are sexually active can:
  • Limit the number of partners and avoid sex with people whose sexual history is unknown.
  • Use condoms properly from start to finish when having sex.
Persons who inject drugs can:
  • Not share needles or works with others.
  • Use only clean needles and works.
  • Purchase new sterile needles from pharmacies.
Pregnant women who are infected with HIV can:
  • Greatly reduce the risk of passing on HIV to their unborn child if they receive appropriate medical care and take specific HIV medications.
(Taken from

If you have any more questions about HIV, visit this site here. There are plenty of facts and information!

Have you ever had such a connection with a book that you had to go beyond just reading it? 
Join me on Mondays with Beyond the Book! 


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