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?

It's My Life Details

TitleIt's My Life
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 1st, 2020
PublisherSourcebooks Fire
ISBN-139781492654230
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Disability

It's My Life Review

  • The Nerd Daily
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Nathalie DeFeliceI’m always looking for books with diverse representation and I’m very excited to say this is the second book that I’ve gotten to read with Cerebral Palsy (CP) representation. It’s a lovely and heartfelt story about a young woman coming to terms with the actions surrounding her condition, as well as finding a little romance in the cutest way. It’s a story of family and friendship, and I was so glad to have gotten to read and Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Nathalie DeFeliceI’m always looking for books with diverse representation and I’m very excited to say this is the second book that I’ve gotten to read with Cerebral Palsy (CP) representation. It’s a lovely and heartfelt story about a young woman coming to terms with the actions surrounding her condition, as well as finding a little romance in the cutest way. It’s a story of family and friendship, and I was so glad to have gotten to read and review it for The Nerd Daily.It’s My Life is the story of Jenna, who finds out that her cerebral palsy wasn’t present at birth, but was caused by a doctor’s malfeasance. Even worse, her parents and uncle have kept this from her all of her life, and just as they are pushing her to do another difficult procedure to help her with her CP, she feels her life falling out of her control. Her solace comes in the form of Julian, her former friend/neighbour that has come back to her town and is going through some struggles of his own. Jenna decides to help him, but anonymously. Through their phone chats, Jenna starts to feel something more than just friendship, but would Julian still like her if he knew who she actually was?This story sets off to give readers an idea of what it’s like to live life with CP, it was very raw and full of feeling. Despite the setback that Jenna has because of her physical condition, you can definitely see her fighting spirit through and through, especially with how she’s attempting to deal with all of the emotions of finding out the secret her parents have been keeping from her. I loved Jenna’s personality. She’s witty but stubborn, and sticks to her convictions. However, she’s also vulnerable. She’s taking control of her life in the small ways that she can, even if it comes at a detriment to her. While she struggles with some self-esteem issues, she works through them in the best way she can.Something that I truly loved seeing in this story was the fact that we didn’t brush aside how Jenna’s everyday activities went. Things like getting out of bed or even getting dressed are a little different when you have CP, and it was very enlightening to read. More importantly, the sibling relationships between Jenna and her brother and sister are the sweetest. Yes, they care about her well-being, but they certainly won’t leave her out of any shenanigans they’re going to be a part of.Jenna’s relationship with her parents is a little more complicated because she’s dealing with her emotions from finding out about the medical malfeasance. The relationship becomes more strained when she decides to take action in regard to her medical decisions, because she’s determined to gain independence from them without regard to the cost. While this was something I didn’t necessarily agree with in the story, I could see where Jenna’s becoming more desperate for some control of her life. There are a few tense scenes in the story concerning this, but I do wish we’d gone a little more in depth.The romance that is happening through text in this story is cute, and mostly going on through text messages. I don’t want to say too much about it because there’s some fun that happens that’s too sweet to spoil. While I’m here I also want to mention that I absolutely adored how Stacie Ramey included music in this story. Not just because there are some of my favourite bands included, but because music can also be a way of release for a lot of people. Ramey captures how Jenna loses herself in the rhythms and songs that play throughout the story, and they make for beautiful scenes in the book.Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There are some areas that I would have loved to see more development, but I think it would give this story a more serious tone than what is intended. The romance is sweet, but it isn’t too much, if that’s something you’re concerned with. It’s a high school story that I am excited to have on my shelf.
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  • Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)
    January 1, 1970
    From the beginning, this book called my attention due to the representation, since I'd never read about a main character with cerebral palsy, I thought it would be something very interesting for me to read. I ended up enjoying it, I think it's a book that despite touching a super-serious theme has the ability to be quite light to read, which is great. It also has adorable scenes and a great family support system. However, it has some weak points that need a little more work and I'll talk more From the beginning, this book called my attention due to the representation, since I'd never read about a main character with cerebral palsy, I thought it would be something very interesting for me to read. I ended up enjoying it, I think it's a book that despite touching a super-serious theme has the ability to be quite light to read, which is great. It also has adorable scenes and a great family support system. However, it has some weak points that need a little more work and I'll talk more about them later.3/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️You can find more of my reviews on my blog A Book. A Thought. In the book we follow Jenna, she's a young woman who suffers from cerebral palsy and after she finds out that her condition was caused due to a bad praxis, she's furious with her parents for having hidden it from her. Soon she must also face a new intervention and all this makes Jenna feel that her life is getting out of her control. When Julian, her childhood love, returns town, Jenna begins to send him messages anonymously to help him with his homework, but soon their conversations become more serious and a stronger feeling begins between them. Jenna starts to have doubts about what she's doing, and wonders if he really wants her once he discovers who she really is. I think that a type of book where the main character suffered from a condition such as cerebral palsy should be taken very seriously and give it the place it deserves, I'm very happy to have run into this type of book, I must admit I was totally ignorant about this condition, so I think I'm a little bit wiser now, which is always a good thing. Beyond that, I'm not in a position to criticize the rep due to my ignorance on the subject, so based on the author's note, which so gently leaves us at the end of the book, it shows that she's an informed person since she has worked with children suffering from cerebral palsy, so I think it's great that she clarifies that to us. It was super painful to see Jenna going through all those treatments and to see all those devices that she uses to improve her quality of life, but it was eye-opening as well.There's a huge romantic weight in this story, it's pretty much focused on it, it's a very adorable romance, but there are scenes where I think Jenna could be somewhat obsessed with Julian and they made me uncomfortable, these scenes are all about senseless jealousy, you know? but leaving that aside has super sweet and adorable moments that made me smile. The rest of the relationships in the book are very positive, which I'm very grateful for, the relationship with her family is very supportive and loving, (it's also very interesting to see how much the family is affected when a family member suffers from cerebral palsy), and also presents a very beautiful friendship relationship.Medical Emancipation is touched upon, which I think is super interesting since I haven't read much about it. I think it's a subject that although it's taken very seriously at the beginning, it doesn't have the necessary depth or seriousness, I think it's touched very lightly and that's why it was unable to have a strong impact for me.Something super curious and that I think adds another dimension to the story, is the fact that she has another self in her head, as another healthy version of herself, and whenever she has a difficulty she returns to that scene in her head and she revives it with her healthy self, "Jennifer" she calls it and we see how she would react to each situation. I think it's very smart, and it also gives us the opportunity to get to know Jenna better.Sadly I don't have much to say about the characters, because they don't have a great depth in their personalities or lives, the only one we focus on is Jenna, and although I like first-person POV, I would have liked to know more about the other characters. Another thing that was annoying for me was the transition between chapters, which is done very abruptly and when another chapter begins you almost feel lost by a moment, there are also very strange time jumps and all this doesn't help the plot flows well. In summary, I think the idea is to give us a look at the daily life of a person with cerebral palsy and I think that's really well achieved, has very solid moments like the family relationship and some of Jenna's internal thoughts, that help us to know her more. But on the other hand, it has weak points that need more work such as the transitions of the chapters and the deep and development of the secondary characters. Anyway, it's a book to highlight due to its representation and I would recommend it, no doubt, it's very easy to read and it will leave you thinking. First Thoughts || 12/06/19 I enjoyed the book, it was easy to read and has very lovely moments, with a solid family support and good friendship, although the romance was a little too much at times, I don't get bothered about, though and I end up thinking that it was fine, but there's a lot in the plot that needs to be worked on, especially the development and depth of the characters and the transition between chapters, I think they're the weakest points.I'll talk a little more about it and its representation of a character with Cerebral Palsy in my full review super soon, because I think it deserves my greatest attention.I greatly appreciate the author's note at the end of the book
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  • Boston
    January 1, 1970
    Arc provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am so incredibly disappointed about this book. I went into it with high hopes. By chapter 5, I was sure it would be a 4 stars at least (more if I could get someone to verify the representation). Things went downhill quickly from there. First off, I can’t and won’t speak for the representation of Cerebral Palsy in this book, so I’ll only be reviewing it based on overall enjoyment and general author competence. There were a lot of Arc provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am so incredibly disappointed about this book. I went into it with high hopes. By chapter 5, I was sure it would be a 4 stars at least (more if I could get someone to verify the representation). Things went downhill quickly from there. First off, I can’t and won’t speak for the representation of Cerebral Palsy in this book, so I’ll only be reviewing it based on overall enjoyment and general author competence. There were a lot of things wrong with this book. I find it highly unlikely that any 15 year old would be allowed to ask for medical emancipation from her parents. I find it even more unlikely that her uncle/lawyer would not only approve of it, but also encourage it and keep it a secret from her parents. Also unlikely that a 15 year old and a senior in high school would end up in the same English class. (Also, I’m pretty sure neither the main character nor the author knows what the term “catfishing” means.) The character “arc” was more of a character teleportation. There was no growth or change, just her dad telling her how it would be and her suddenly agreeing. The feminist lines in this book were nice until you read lines like “…no way am I going to eat chocolate cake in front of a boy.” And realize that they didn’t really mean much. There were more sexist/misogynist lines, but they require way too much context and backstory and I’m just tired at this point. Overall, this was such a huge disappointment and I wish I had loved it, but I could barely make it to the end.
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  • Kathryn Speckels (Metaphors and Miscellanea)
    January 1, 1970
    A timely narrative about disability, sense of self, and first love, It’s My Life deftly navigates the difficulties–physical, emotional, and social–that accompany serious disability, through the eyes of a smart, likable, and relatable narrator. Though it does get a bit cheesy and/or implausible at times, the story itself is an important one, specifically targeting the younger end of the YA spectrum with a solid message of hope.(The blurb here on Goodreads covers the story fairly well, so I'm not A timely narrative about disability, sense of self, and first love, It’s My Life deftly navigates the difficulties–physical, emotional, and social–that accompany serious disability, through the eyes of a smart, likable, and relatable narrator. Though it does get a bit cheesy and/or implausible at times, the story itself is an important one, specifically targeting the younger end of the YA spectrum with a solid message of hope.(The blurb here on Goodreads covers the story fairly well, so I'm not going to bore you by repeating that.)This is the second book I’ve read this year about a character with cerebral palsy (the first being A Curse So Dark and Lonely), and in terms of awareness about the condition and how serious it can be, this one did a far more thorough job. Of course, with such a wide variety of symptom manifestations, this is not a criticism of the other book; rather, it is a compliment of this one. (Note: while this isn’t an OwnVoices story, the author noted at the end of the book that she is a speech-language pathologist who works with a lot of CP patients, and as far as I can tell, she has done a solid job of research. If there are any OwnVoices reviewers out there who disagree with that, please let me know and I’ll edit that last part accordingly.) We see all the pains Jenna deals with on a regular basis: repeated hospital visits that put her behind in class, crutches and a wheelchair that impair her mobility, unexpected spasms that cause additional injuries to her, an inability to go out in the cold without extra layers because her body does not warm up easily, and so on. The condition is an essential and omnipresent part of who she is.And yet–and this is the important part–it doesn’t overwhelm her identity, either. She is a multifaceted character and though I’m sure there are going to be people who complain about her being “too immature,” she feels like a real high school student, with a wide range of interests and emotions that permeate both her narration and her conversations. She loves to learn, sneaking online access to her friend’s AP Psych textbook even after she had dropped the class, just to keep seeing the material. She enjoys hockey, musicals, Panic! at the Disco, and Disney movies. She believes in magic and the Jewish concept of there always being 36 saints on Earth. She cares deeply about her family and is super close with her siblings. Like so many teenage girls, she has a crush on a boy. Like so many teenage girls, she is also deeply insecure about herself.And here’s one of the most interesting elements of the book: one of the ways Jenna deals with this insecurity is through imagining herself as having a sort of alter-ego named Jennifer. The key difference between herself and Jennifer is not just that Jennifer is more confident; it’s that Jennifer doesn’t have cerebral palsy. This leads to Jennifer having a thriving social life, an easy time talking to boys like Julian, and an easy time graduating at the top of her class. Whenever Jenna’s life gets difficult–an embarrassing situation, being under anesthesia before a difficult surgery–she slips into a sort of daydream where she imagines herself as somebody who doesn’t have to live with the physical constraints she has grown accustomed to. It is a striking narrative device, a deeper sort of wishful thinking that highlights just how many ways Jenna’s condition has affected her well-being.While Jenna’s story is the center of this novel, I would be remiss if I did not talk about some of its other strengths. Her relationship with Julian feels genuine, not just an “oh you’re cute let’s date” kind of deal, but something way more emotional, rooted in shared history and shared opinions and a whole lot of trust. It was nice to see a cute high school romance that didn’t have to deal with all sorts of sabotage or cheating or jealousy.Side note, while we’re on the topic of romance: remember how I mentioned earlier that this book skews toward the younger side of YA? Here’s a nice twist: there’s nothing about sex, not even any making out, not even a thought or a daydream, just things about kissing and slow-dancing. And there’s not much (if any) profanity, either, meaning this is a book that parents can really feel comfortable giving to their younger teens.But back to other nice side details. Jenna has a lot of really healthy relationships in this book. Her whole family is supportive of her (with the exception of the whole parents-keeping-secrets-and-not-giving-her-a-say-in-her-treatment piece), and they all do their best to take care of her, in ways ranging from the large/obvious–hospital visits, helping her in and out of the car, and so on–to the small and sweet. Heck, Jenna’s sister Rena decorates her wheelchair on a regular basis. How’s that for sisterhood? Also, no matter what goes on in Jenna’s life, her best friend Ben (who, incidentally, is casually gay) is by her side with encouragement and assistance and advice, and seriously I just like seeing a great friendship in a book that doesn’t have a random falling-out over stupid things like miscommunication.But, of course, there are flaws. There’s a major side plot with Jenna trying to file for medical independence from her parents, essentially barring them from making decisions about her treatment. Everything about that plot thread was kind of strange, from the fact that Jenna’s uncle was literally acting as her lawyer against her parents to the bizarre way in which the question is finally resolved. In fact, the whole reason that that particular conflict resolves the way it does–which I won’t go into, because spoilers–was just weird and came totally out of left field. And though, for the most part, I thought Jenna was an excellent depiction of a truly typical teenager, rather than the ultra-mature teens we see in a lot of YA these days, there were still some moments where things in her life felt like scenes out of a cheesy teen movie, rather than a plausible story. That said, she does end up maturing substantially over the course of the story, which helps negate that flaw somewhat.Basically, this is a book that is certainly worth a read, primarily for its representation and for its stellar protagonist. Though the book itself is a very quick read, Jenna’s story is simultaneously cute and memorable.TRIGGER/CONTENT WARNING: ableist language (from a truly terrible person, so it is strongly condemned by all the other characters)Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with an eARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Alison
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this in exchange for a review but, of course, all thoughts are my own.full video review here: https://youtu.be/3dDGJVTf464I am a sucker for romances where someone is messaging the other person anonymously, so this was right up my alley. I really enjoyed the romance and development. We get to see them as friends and see how their relationship grows without judgement with her disability. I thought the two did well together and I loved how he always stood up for her and made I received a copy of this in exchange for a review but, of course, all thoughts are my own.full video review here: https://youtu.be/3dDGJVTf464I am a sucker for romances where someone is messaging the other person anonymously, so this was right up my alley. I really enjoyed the romance and development. We get to see them as friends and see how their relationship grows without judgement with her disability. I thought the two did well together and I loved how he always stood up for her and made her feel wanted even when [it's claimed] he didn't know she was the one messaging him. I did have some issues with the romance side of the plot, mostly being that the reveal was quite a let down and the suspense created around the moment felt...off. We are led up to this moment only for something completely random to happen, which made little sense to the story. Then, there is an argument (this isn't spoiler as it's YA romance 101 lol) and it makes NO SENSE. Like why was anyone mad here? I have no clue. There was also the issue of how the heck wasn't it obviously he was into her and she just kept playing dumb? And even if he really didn't know she was the one texting him, why was he giving her so much attention in person? Felt kind of slimy to me. Other than that, it was a cute romance. NOW where this story really drops the ball is with the other "main" plot happening. This seems to have great representation for her disability, so I was so disappointed in how her medical emancipation plot was handled. It really goes NO WHERE and basically is used to beef up the plot and make it more about her disability. It creates tension between characters that lasts 10 whole sentences and then dissipates again. The reasoning also made little sense. If you're reading for the romance, it is enough to pull you into the story, but the rest is just sloppy and lackluster.
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  • Liza Wiemer
    January 1, 1970
    Stacie Ramey draws the reader in from page one. I immediately sympathized with Jenna Cohen, a Jewish girl who is proud to be Jewish and is dealing with medical issues that come along with having cerebral palsy. My heart went out for her and the suffering she's endured. We understand quickly that Jenna has struggled not only physically, but emotionally, and is working hard to figure out how this condition defines her life.I fell in love with Jenna's family. I read a lot—over 1200 books since Stacie Ramey draws the reader in from page one. I immediately sympathized with Jenna Cohen, a Jewish girl who is proud to be Jewish and is dealing with medical issues that come along with having cerebral palsy. My heart went out for her and the suffering she's endured. We understand quickly that Jenna has struggled not only physically, but emotionally, and is working hard to figure out how this condition defines her life.I fell in love with Jenna's family. I read a lot—over 1200 books since January 2010—and I have to say that Stacie's portrayal of a family stands out as one of the very best. They're not perfect, but their love for one another, the way they see Jenna and help her just be Jenna, captured my heart. Yes, her mother is a worrier. Yes, her dad wants to tell her what to do medically. But all of this was so relatable and done with so much love I felt it radiating off the page. The relationship with her younger sister Rena is also one I cherished—flawed, but close. Oh my heart! Then there is big brother Eric, who is away from college but present in so many ways. Truly beautiful and special. Uncle Steve also plays an important role. He's an attorney and advocate for Jenna. This could have been a hot mess, but again, Stacie handles some tough issues magnificently. Dealing with CP is a huge part of this novel, but Stacie also included a sweet romance that has its own complications. Julian has his own issues and I really cared about him and wanted the best for him.For me, this is a very memorable novel, and there is one scene in particular that left me breathless. I loved how the siblings were being siblings and it was so fun to see them come together, even though there were consequences for their actions.IT'S MY LIFE was a labor of love over a ten-year period for Stacie. That love really shows in the diverse representation and the respectful, eye-opening, thoughtful way she shows one person's struggle with CP. It's not everyone's, but it belongs to Jenna Cohen and she felt real to me!Highly recommend!
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  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    Jenna was thrown for a loop, when she learned that her cerebral palsy was due to medical malfeasance. She began to withdraw from the real world, and settled into her imaginary one, where she was Jennifer, and she did not have CP. But, when her childhood crush returned to town, Jenna was reminded of who she used to be, and needed to decide who she wanted to be. While I was reading this book, I thought the main conflict was going to be Jenna seeking medical emancipation from her parents, but that Jenna was thrown for a loop, when she learned that her cerebral palsy was due to medical malfeasance. She began to withdraw from the real world, and settled into her imaginary one, where she was Jennifer, and she did not have CP. But, when her childhood crush returned to town, Jenna was reminded of who she used to be, and needed to decide who she wanted to be. While I was reading this book, I thought the main conflict was going to be Jenna seeking medical emancipation from her parents, but that was not the case. For me, this was a story of a young women, who sort of lost herself after uncovering a family secret, and then made a bunch of choices, which push her further and further away from who she was. The once bold and daring young woman began to close herself off from the world, but when Julian, her childhood crush, re-entered her life, she began to remember who she was. I make it sound like this was so smooth journey, but in reality, Jenna encountered a lot of bumps along the way, many of which, she created herself. She became bitter about her parents keeping this secret from her, and she lashed out in various ways, many of which were her attempt at taking back some control of her life. I won't say I agreed with the choices she made, but it was an important journey for her to take. She needed to make those mistakes, see the error of her ways, and come to terms with her past in order to be able to move forward. I know, it is starting to sound like Jenna was super angsty, but there were a lot of really fun and lovely moments in this book as well. Jenna was truly blessed with an amazing family. The bond and camaraderie she shared with her brother and sister made me so jealous. The love flowed freely between them, and they looked out for Jenna and cared for her without treating her like she was a porcelain doll. Her parents were also amazing. Her father was the one, who listened and understood Jenna, while her mother gave unending care and support to her. This was all acknowledged by Jenna, so she never seemed like an ingrate. I felt the drama with her parents was the sort to thing all kids experience with their parents. She was a teen trying to exercise her autonomy. Is that so unusual? I think not, and I guess that is why I was ok with the pushback she was giving her parents. Did I think her way of dealing with it was a bit extreme? Yes, but when the voice of reason spoke, she did listen. I found this an interesting and enjoyable story of one young woman's quest for autonomy, which featured a sweet romance, a fantastic family, and a rock solid friendship. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Kera (featherboundbooks)
    January 1, 1970
    If I could rate this higher than five stars, I would! This book made me ugly cry in the best, best way.I don't think that I have ever read a book with such an incredible representation of a disability. I honestly didn't know much about Cerebral Palsy, and this was incredibly eye opening.Jenna is a teenage girl with CP; spastic CP to be a little more specific. She has a wonderful family; supportive and loving parents and two siblings that she shares an incredible bond with. They all band around If I could rate this higher than five stars, I would! This book made me ugly cry in the best, best way.I don't think that I have ever read a book with such an incredible representation of a disability. I honestly didn't know much about Cerebral Palsy, and this was incredibly eye opening.Jenna is a teenage girl with CP; spastic CP to be a little more specific. She has a wonderful family; supportive and loving parents and two siblings that she shares an incredible bond with. They all band around her so wonderfully. But, Jenna recently discovered that there was someone to blame in her disability. There is a girl (a normal girl, in her words) she could have been had her doctor not made a mistake during her birth, and since discovering that bit of information, it changes her. She doesn't want to be dad's tough little girl anymore. She starts to believe that she needs more of a say in her medical treatments. All they do is casue her more pain and make her sick, but never really make her any better. So she decides to go forth with a medical emancipation to take her life into her own hands.There is so much more to this story. There are so many layers and levels of self discovery. At the same time as she is dealing with all this loathing, the boy she fell in love with as a child has just moved back to town after years of being away. This book is a journey of Jenna realizing who she is and finding out if she can get mack to that girl who believes in real magic.I cannot say enough good things about this book. It was so greatly written. I really do believe that this is a story that everyone should read. It isn't just some teenage girl coming of age fairy tale. This is a story about real, raw struggle and pain. About family and about what secrets and truths can do to relationships; what they can do to the way you see yourself and what you feel you deserve. Do yourself a favor and check this incredible story out!
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  • Dylan
    January 1, 1970
    2 stars.I've only read one other book with a main character with Cerebal Palsy (Brigid Kemmerer's A Curse So Dark & Lonely), which (coming from someone without the condition), had pretty well done representation and I think that this one had it as well, I just had a problem with just about everything else in this book.The entire premise of it all was just so unrealistic. Our main character, Jenna, is seeking medical emancipation from her parents so that she can have the end decision on all 2 stars.I've only read one other book with a main character with Cerebal Palsy (Brigid Kemmerer's A Curse So Dark & Lonely), which (coming from someone without the condition), had pretty well done representation and I think that this one had it as well, I just had a problem with just about everything else in this book.The entire premise of it all was just so unrealistic. Our main character, Jenna, is seeking medical emancipation from her parents so that she can have the end decision on all medical decisions. Sounds like a decent plotline, right? But no, not the way it was handled in this story. I mean...her "lawyer" is her UNCLE??? And she expects him to keep it a secret from his own brother and sister-in-law?? (he does keep it a secret, but the reveal lasts maybe a page and the entire family seems to forget that this happened, even though it's supposedly the main plot??).Can we just talk about the romance? One of my favorite tropes is "we're talking online anonymously but we actually know each other irl and in the end we fall for each other's real selves and we live happily ever after", so that was also a selling point of this book for me, but there was hardly any backstory about Julian which made me not care for him as much, and the reveal for this was again, unmoving. I know, I know, it sounds like I don't like this book, and while I didn't love love love it, I can appreciate the representation and what it could potentially do for teens with CP.*Thanks so much to Sourcebooks Fire for allowing me to read a copy of this early so I can review it before it's release!*
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  • trufflebooks
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5 STARS.Overall I enjoyed this book. It had a lot great representation for CP and I think really embodied the perspective of someone with CP. The cute texts with the love interest reminded me a lot of Tweet Cute and I thought it was such a great addition to the story. Towards the end, I couldn't really connect with the protagonist as much and her decisions just seemed stupid for someone who's apparently so smart. Her need to be heard seemed to constantly waver throughout the plot and her 3.5/5 STARS.Overall I enjoyed this book. It had a lot great representation for CP and I think really embodied the perspective of someone with CP. The cute texts with the love interest reminded me a lot of Tweet Cute and I thought it was such a great addition to the story. Towards the end, I couldn't really connect with the protagonist as much and her decisions just seemed stupid for someone who's apparently so smart. Her need to be heard seemed to constantly waver throughout the plot and her parents infuriated me a lot - props to the author for making me feel such rage and annoyance, however. It would've been great to see more character development in her sister, her parents and just more of her cool uncle. More backstory with the love-interest would've added more depth too. At the end of the day, this book was an enjoyable contemporary that tugged at your heartstrings in many instances but held more potential than anything else.
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  • Isaiah
    January 1, 1970
    To see more reviews check out MI Book Reviews.I got an ARC of this book.This book was something that sounded perfect for me. There was angst. There was romance. There was angst that got in the way of romance. Maybe even a tragic backstory I am a sucker for a tragic backstory.The good: I was super excited to read a story about a teenage girl with CP. I can't say if the representation was any bit good. I have no experience with CP, outside of watching a netflix show about a gay man with CP. So To see more reviews check out MI Book Reviews.I got an ARC of this book.This book was something that sounded perfect for me. There was angst. There was romance. There was angst that got in the way of romance. Maybe even a tragic backstory I am a sucker for a tragic backstory.The good: I was super excited to read a story about a teenage girl with CP. I can't say if the representation was any bit good. I have no experience with CP, outside of watching a netflix show about a gay man with CP. So please do not expect me to be able to do this topic any justice. The part that I really liked was how complicated everything was emotionally. The parents and Jenna had a complicated relationship, because of the medical decisions. It was a relationship filled with love, but there was more to it. I loved that there was representation of someone wanting more control of their body. Body autonomy is something I want to see more of in life and in literature. I want the idea that people should control their own body and choices that impact their bodies. The bad: the characters were pretty flat. The best friend was a GBF. The sister was just a sister. The brother was a hockey player. The dad was a dad. There really was not depth to them. Jenna's depth came all from reacting to medical decisions and obsessing over a boy. This obsession brings me to my biggest problems with the book. The romance and the romance. I know I just said the same thing twice, but I meant two different things. The actual relationship was weak. Two people who haven't seen each other in years are head over heels for each other in a Boy Meets World sort of back story way? I wanted to ship it, but they have been apart for years. They don't even know each other. The way that Jenna was about Julian was obsession, not love. It wasn't healthy. The romance, meaning the way they wooed each other, was also creepy. Seriously? Texting someone and refusing to say who you are, because you know what you are doing is wrong. Jenna had taken Julian's number without his consent and memorized it, she had it in her phone. If a man did this, it would read as creepy immediately. The conflict and resolution of the conflict for the romance was lackluster. The resolution for a lot of stuff was lackluster. The good: I liked the flow of the story. I liked how Jenna had an internal voice she used to help her get through pain and complications. I liked how Jenna made bad decisions. I like how she tried to take control of something, but did so in a way that wasn't exactly healthy. I liked how Jenna wasn't perfect, I especially liked it after she told the story of the saints. So overall, it was ok. It wasn't a great romance. It wasn't a great story of triumph. It was just ok. The romance could have been cut entirely and I would have liked the book more. It is pretty rare when I don't ship something. I ship EVERYTHING. So I wouldn't recommend this book as a romance, but as I would as a teen drama. 
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  • Madison
    January 1, 1970
    It’s My Life is a story about growing up, finding your voice and asserting control over your life, while also learning to accept others for the choices they make. Unfortunately, an awkward text-based romance drives what should be a sweet story of first love, but overall It’s My Life is about empowerment and family.When Jenna discovered that her Cerebral Palsy was caused rather than just happened, it changed how she views her parents, the medical system, her lack of say in the decisions happening It’s My Life is a story about growing up, finding your voice and asserting control over your life, while also learning to accept others for the choices they make. Unfortunately, an awkward text-based romance drives what should be a sweet story of first love, but overall It’s My Life is about empowerment and family.When Jenna discovered that her Cerebral Palsy was caused rather than just happened, it changed how she views her parents, the medical system, her lack of say in the decisions happening about her body, even her body’s limits. When an old friend—and longtime crush— returns to town, Jenna is torn between avoiding the inevitable rejection and a chance to get close to him. She starts chatting with him via text, refusing to reveal her identity. Meanwhile, as her parents discuss yet another surgery, Jenna considers medical emancipation. I know this is just one girl’s story and every person with Cerebral Palsy and a disability is different, prefers different terms, has a different approach to their abilities, life, etc, but I know that the perspective in this story is a powerful message about abilities and empowerment, control and strength. Jenna, at times, refuses to let her CP stop her. Ice skating? No problem. Sneaking out? If her siblings can, she can too. But on the other hand, how she views herself—as something that boys will not want to date— is negative and destructive. This negativity extends outside her disability and into body image as well.While I personally didn’t love Jenna’s voice, hers is perhaps an authentic teen voice (very happy for teens to disagree with me on that) - experiencing first love, navigating high school dramas, fighting with parents and all the struggles that come with growing up. She has a lot of learning and growing up to do, and she does learn and does grow up in the book. While it might be clear to the reader that she is being unfair to those around her, her concerns with control over her body and decisions about her body were completely understandable. Jenna struggles between accepting her body for what it is and can do and experimenting with treatments that could make her or her life ‘better’. No right answer is given and Jenna herself isn’t really sure. But this book is more about the journey of making decisions rather than having all the answers.She has a great relationship with her siblings and very supportive parents, who while they annoy Jenna with their overprotectiveness and overpowering assertiveness, genuinely care for her and support her. Jenna’s sister, Rena is particularly supportive of Jenna and they have a great relationship. However, as the book is written in first person perspective, we don’t get to see this relationship outside of Jenna’s thoughts and how it works for her. Jenna is a strong and clever young lady. She is book smart but her social skills need a little work. She engages with the boy she has long loved via secret text messages, flirting with him via text but avoiding him in real life. He takes it very well, interestingly. I’d love to have the discussion with teens about this sort of technology-driven social interactions and the power imbalance and how this relationship might be received if it was gender switched. Not so cute and flirty but creepy, instead? Well worth a discussion. Jenna’s best-friend is your standard YA gay best-friend character—ready to offer relationship and lifestyle advice, but we readers learn nothing more about him outside of his interactions with Jenna.An easy read with an important message, It’s My Life is a book that will need to be unpacked with teen readers do discuss the undertone messages on body image, abilities and relationships. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library
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  • Kasey Giard
    January 1, 1970
    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’ 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.
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  • Joyce Sweeney
    January 1, 1970
    I am a huge fan of Stacie Ramey's work, but I think this book just might be my new favorite. Jenna Cohen has always battled her cerebral palsy with achievement. Stellar grades. Warrior spirit. But when she learns her parents may have lied to her about the origins of her condition, something snaps. Jenna begins to wonder how much of who she is is really a creation of her parents and she sets out to live her life, right or wrong, the way she wants it. In the midst of this, comes Julian, childhood I am a huge fan of Stacie Ramey's work, but I think this book just might be my new favorite. Jenna Cohen has always battled her cerebral palsy with achievement. Stellar grades. Warrior spirit. But when she learns her parents may have lied to her about the origins of her condition, something snaps. Jenna begins to wonder how much of who she is is really a creation of her parents and she sets out to live her life, right or wrong, the way she wants it. In the midst of this, comes Julian, childhood friend and now potential boyfriend. When he gets in trouble for defending Jenna, her first reaction is to rage at him. This is more of the same, someone else calling the shots. What's worse, his decisions have landed her just where she dreads being the most, helpless in the hospital. Jenna knows she is ready to hear the whole truth about herself, her birth and her family and only in that truth, does she finally find the strength to craft the life she really wants. All hers. This book has heart, compassion and truth and reminds us that people are not their disability in the strongest, most dramatic way I have ever read.
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  • Rabiah Lumbard
    January 1, 1970
    Compassionately written with a wonderful author's note that lends insight and authenticity to the narrative, It's My Life is a story about Jennifer Cohen and her struggle with the realization that all of her life she's been lied to. About her CP. As a result, we go on a journey with this vulnerable, honest, likable Jenna who begins to doubt herself and the way she sees the world. This affects her relationships with secondary and tertiary characters in an accessible manner. I love how the author Compassionately written with a wonderful author's note that lends insight and authenticity to the narrative, It's My Life is a story about Jennifer Cohen and her struggle with the realization that all of her life she's been lied to. About her CP. As a result, we go on a journey with this vulnerable, honest, likable Jenna who begins to doubt herself and the way she sees the world. This affects her relationships with secondary and tertiary characters in an accessible manner. I love how the author weaves in Jewish mysticism, wholesome romance, and sibling dynamics. To quote from the book, "the words on those pages got inside me, into that place that wanted magic." A book for those that want to find the magic in self-love. Can't wait to read other books by Ramey. Mabruk!
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  • Aida Alberto
    January 1, 1970
    What a wonderful story filled with ups and downs. Lows and highs. Yes it is a YA book but the subject matter is one that will appeal to anyone no matter what age you are because we've all messed up. We've all thought things about ourselves that aren't true. And yes sometimes we even give up on ourselves but this wonderfully well written book will show you what happens when you finally take that flying leap. Pick up this gem of a book and prepare to loose chunks of time as you loose your self in What a wonderful story filled with ups and downs. Lows and highs. Yes it is a YA book but the subject matter is one that will appeal to anyone no matter what age you are because we've all messed up. We've all thought things about ourselves that aren't true. And yes sometimes we even give up on ourselves but this wonderfully well written book will show you what happens when you finally take that flying leap. Pick up this gem of a book and prepare to loose chunks of time as you loose your self in the story. Happy reading!
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  • Audra
    January 1, 1970
    I found It’s My Life choppy and disorganized. First person perspective can be challenging for authors. In this case Jenna’s thoughts come through as pressured, fast-paced, and highly disorganized. The plot contained significant jump points with weak transitions. I often found myself wondering, “How did we get here?” or “Would this really happen?” I mean, would someone’s uncle really randomly help them complete lal the paperwork for medical emancipation out of nowhere? The text message I found It’s My Life choppy and disorganized. First person perspective can be challenging for authors. In this case Jenna’s thoughts come through as pressured, fast-paced, and highly disorganized. The plot contained significant jump points with weak transitions. I often found myself wondering, “How did we get here?” or “Would this really happen?” I mean, would someone’s uncle really randomly help them complete lal the paperwork for medical emancipation out of nowhere? The text message conversations between Jenna and her crush are especially choppy, as was the whole “cat-fishing” scheme. Jenna spends so much of the novel as her alter-ego that I honestly forgot her name several times.I wanted to love this book. I did. I think there is a real dearth of coming of age novels for teens with disabilities. They face the same struggles as any teen, but with the added stress of a society that doesn’t often accommodate them. I think that following Jenna’s struggle for medical autonomy, the constant decision-making, the risk/benefit analysis of “is this treatment worth it? are these side effects worth it? for what purpose?” would have yielded a whole depth of emotions and plot to explore. I would have loved for that to be at the forefront. Instead, I struggled to understand whether this book was about Jenna’s understanding of her disability (which was very, very negative), about her struggle to have a “normal” life, about her depression, about her friendships… I just don’t even know.I will say that I very much thing that Ramey wanted to portray to the world that Jenna is capable and brilliant and perfect, as she is. I do not think that Ramey herself has a negative view of cerebral palsy. She especially portrayed Jenna’s family beautifully. There’s a moment between Jenna and Jenna’s dad, towards the end of the book. Jenna asks if he ever had to grieve the diagnosis of cerebral palsy. He talks about how, from the beginning, he saw what a fighter she was and how beautiful and perfect she was, as herself, completely. It was a heart cracking moment — and an unconditional love that I wish more people had the privilege to experience.So, no, I don’t think that Ramey is intentionally ableist. I don’t think she believes the world would be better without Jenna, or that Jenna would be better without her disability. The ableism in this novel is the subtle stuff, the “I don’t like the word disability” stuff. Late in the novel, when Jenna meets another person with a disability, the other person says she runs a club at her college for students with disabilities. The other person, though, talks about how she prefers the term “differently abled” or something (and I rolled my eyes). Similarly, of course the happy ending for this novel is that Jenna gets a baclofen pump, the baclofen pump works beautifully, and Jenna’s whole life is changed! She is less physically impacted! Hurray! (Sense the sarcasm.)I do think this is a risk when well-meaning professionals write from the perspective of a disability. We have to really spend a lot of time analyzing what we are writing to see if we are unintentionally reflecting the ableist culture we live in, or if we are using our writing to subvert that oppression. I think that It’s My Life could have done with a lot more subversion.
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  • noah
    January 1, 1970
    the best thing about this book is its cover.going into this the extent of my knowledge of cerebral palsy came entirely from the netflix show Special. Jenna's experience with CP was different than what was shown in that show. it's much heavier on the medical treatments. It was interesting to see that side of CP and I learnt a few things and researched things this book touched on that i wanted to know more about.what really sucked about this book was the romance. jenna has been in love with julian the best thing about this book is its cover.going into this the extent of my knowledge of cerebral palsy came entirely from the netflix show Special. Jenna's experience with CP was different than what was shown in that show. it's much heavier on the medical treatments. It was interesting to see that side of CP and I learnt a few things and researched things this book touched on that i wanted to know more about.what really sucked about this book was the romance. jenna has been in love with julian forever. she hasnt seen him in a while since he moved away, but he's back and she freaks out. now comes the annoying part.. jenna is totally obsessed with julian, but.. won't talk to him? when she goes to school and sees him there for the first time she avoids him. then when he finally sees her, he seems pleased to see her, but she sort of blows him off? more than once? but then she starts anonymously texting him and they start flirting in text. i really just cant convey how obnoxious jenna's obsessive thoughts about him were.the sad thing about jenna is that she's got so much internalized hatred of her disability that she doesn't think she can have a "normal" life. she doesn't think anyone would want to date her, and she drops out of AP classes because what's the point? i'm pleased to say by the end of the book she starts accepting herself and her disability more. (view spoiler)[the acceptance is made easier by a medical treatment that makes her more able-bodied but i think it's still a win (hide spoiler)]the best relationship jenna has is with her sister rena. rena is so supportive and the just have regular sisterly fun. jenna also has a good relationship with her brother, but it wasn't as prominent as the bond with her sister. both siblings treat her like an equal and they all love and respect each other. she also has a best friend named ben who is basically her own personal cheerleader. all we know about him is he is gay and president of DECA or something?? i dont know what deca is.. but good for him? i wish the author had explained a couple of the acronyms in the book. maybe they're common knowledge for americans? but anyway, back to ben.. he was basically your standard one-dimensional gay best friend who's there only to make the MC feel good about herself. at least thats how i saw it.most of all though? this book was just plain boring. sorry.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    The Secrets We Bury by Stacie Ramey is one of my favorite books so I was thrilled to have the chance to read this arc in exchange for my honest opinion. I finished reading this new novel by Stacie Ramey last night and I have been thinking about it as an educator ever since. This is the quite possibly the first book I have ever read that is focused on a character who has cerebral palsy and I really find that surprising. As an educator of almost 20 years, I have had a handful of students who have The Secrets We Bury by Stacie Ramey is one of my favorite books so I was thrilled to have the chance to read this arc in exchange for my honest opinion. I finished reading this new novel by Stacie Ramey last night and I have been thinking about it as an educator ever since. This is the quite possibly the first book I have ever read that is focused on a character who has cerebral palsy and I really find that surprising. As an educator of almost 20 years, I have had a handful of students who have CP and I found it refreshing to read a novel where CP was discussed in so much detail, including treatment. CP impacts every body differently and in Jenna's case, she is alternating between wheel chair and crutches for mobility. As the reader meets Jenna she is struggling to get over the revelation of how her CP may have been caused. She has recently discovered some information about herself that she didn't know before and she is struggling to handle it and continue to balance her life. Jenna has dropped her advanced classes and is starting to doubt her parents ability to make the best medical choices for her. She is looking at more testing and the possibility of new treatment when suddenly, her childhood crush returns to her town and high school. Jenna hides her identity from Julian as she begins to text him and attempt to help him readjust to high school. Overall, I really enjoyed this story because it was more than a YA romance (thought the romance was delightful in it's development). Jenna was a character who was dealing with many different physical issues due to her CP, as well as attempting to find her way back to who she was before she realized that her parents had been keeping things from her. I felt that Jenna was an authentic character and I loved the relationships she had with her siblings. I also feel the struggles she felt with her parents were very typical teenage issues, with the additional stress of the medical unknown. I do with there had been a bit more development between Jenna and her best friend, Ben. He was a great character but I felt like I left the book knowing him the least. I am glad that Ramey wrote this book because of the way she discussed CP, the medical treatments and issues that can be faced. Thank you netgalley for this arc in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • Claudio Rodrigo
    January 1, 1970
    4.75/5 stars Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for providing an e-arc for me to read in exchange for an honest review. Let's be honest. I went into this book with low expectations. The only other book that i've read featuring a character with CP was "I'm special and all the other lies we tell ourselves". This made me a bit nervous as i found the author to be arrogant and annoying. This shouldn't be worrysome considering having the same condition won't make you have the same personality 4.75/5 stars Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for providing an e-arc for me to read in exchange for an honest review. Let's be honest. I went into this book with low expectations. The only other book that i've read featuring a character with CP was "I'm special and all the other lies we tell ourselves". This made me a bit nervous as i found the author to be arrogant and annoying. This shouldn't be worrysome considering having the same condition won't make you have the same personality traits but nonetheless i felt worried. I. Loved. It. Jenna Cohen was an interesting main character. She wasn't flat either. Shes not the most lovable character yet you'll still get frustrated at her at times. For christ' sake she's even secretly talking to a lawyer. It was her uncle though so it wasn't that intense. Now let's talk about Van Beck. Didn't like him at first. I don't know why did but i just hated him. Probably how he reacted to the "That's what she said" joke. Thankfully though it was slightfully talked about by Jenna's father towards the end. On the note of the "That's what she said" joke, let's get onto the reason why i didn't give this 5 stars. The amount of pop culture references. There were so many references that it felt timed and timeless at the same time. Timed in a sense how a person reading this in about 20 years wouldn't understand the majority of the references. I didn't either to be honest! Then it felt timeless, some references are extracted from 2018 and some are from 2012. As my last thoughts, i'll just rapidly list the things that i loved in this book: The semi-slow burn romance, CP rep, Dyslexia rep, how Jenna handled his Dyslexia and how she was considerate about it, Present parents and last but not the least, the ending!
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  • Azzurra Nox
    January 1, 1970
    I really appreciated this book in regard of enlightening teens on what it means to live with a chronic illness. The tone of the book, although it illustrates how it feels to live with cerebral palsy, is still a light one in the way any rom-com would be. In a way, this book is still a rom-com since the main focus of the book is how Jenna loves Julian (a childhood friend who moved away but has returned to town and is now in her English class). She’s trying to be a normal teen by getting to know I really appreciated this book in regard of enlightening teens on what it means to live with a chronic illness. The tone of the book, although it illustrates how it feels to live with cerebral palsy, is still a light one in the way any rom-com would be. In a way, this book is still a rom-com since the main focus of the book is how Jenna loves Julian (a childhood friend who moved away but has returned to town and is now in her English class). She’s trying to be a normal teen by getting to know him on a more intimate level through texting, but at the same time keeps her identity concealed because she feels that no boy could possibly fall in love with her damaged body.I really liked Jenna, so reading the story from her perspective was fun, plus there were a lot of likable side characters as well, such as her best friend Ben and sister Rena. The flirting between Jenna and Julian was totally adorable and appropriate for their age.I know that some of the premises in the book may seem unreasonable (such as Jenna wanting to legally emancipate herself from her family so that she could make her own decisions in regards to her health when it comes to surgeries and tests). But since the rest of the book was good I could overlook that minor lapse of judgment.I recommend this book for anyone who’s wanting to learn more about living with a chronic illness and if you’re in the mood for a quick light romantic read.*Thank you so much to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Jodi
    January 1, 1970
    It’s My Life’s main character is Jenna Cohen. Jenna has a great family, a fabulous bestie, and a severe crush on her just-returned-to-town next door neighbor (who no longer lives next door).Oh, yeah, and Jenna has Cerebral Palsy.In Stacie Ramey's newest masterpiece, she takes the reader on a journey through Jenna's world - a place where she escapes to a fantasy life where she feels she's the Jennifer she's really meant to be - and its trials and tribulations. Her parents don't seem to want to It’s My Life’s main character is Jenna Cohen. Jenna has a great family, a fabulous bestie, and a severe crush on her just-returned-to-town next door neighbor (who no longer lives next door).Oh, yeah, and Jenna has Cerebral Palsy.In Stacie Ramey's newest masterpiece, she takes the reader on a journey through Jenna's world - a place where she escapes to a fantasy life where she feels she's the Jennifer she's really meant to be - and its trials and tribulations. Her parents don't seem to want to listen to her when she wants to be included in her medical decisions, prompting her to talk to her attorney uncle about filing for medical emancipation. When Julian - the boy next door who moved away in seventh grade - returns, Jenna finds herself still seriously crushing on him. But instead of talking to him in the real world, she engages anonymously with Julian through texting.Ramey paints strong pictures of the challenges of Jenna's life while still showing that being differently abled doesn't change the angst of a teenage girl. Jenna still has to deal with her crush, her best friend, and her family, with the added challenge of her CP, a condition that makes her parents even more overprotective of her.The plot is well-drawn and engaging throughout, and even if Ramey weren't a member of my writing circle, I would praise this book to the heavens. It's a wonderful book with a realistic depiction of living with a potentially crippling medical condition. A must read for 2020.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    This book grabbed my attention as soon as I read 'Cerebral Palsy'. I often feel like disabilities are underrepresented in YA and as someone with CP themselves, this book was super important and impactful. Speaking from my own experience, this is a very accurate depiction of CP that I could really connect with. I could really empathise with Jenna's struggles and appreciated the author shedding light to everyday tasks that able-bodied people would take for granted.My only small gripe was the This book grabbed my attention as soon as I read 'Cerebral Palsy'. I often feel like disabilities are underrepresented in YA and as someone with CP themselves, this book was super important and impactful. Speaking from my own experience, this is a very accurate depiction of CP that I could really connect with. I could really empathise with Jenna's struggles and appreciated the author shedding light to everyday tasks that able-bodied people would take for granted.My only small gripe was the medical emancipation plot line - something about 'blaming' your CP on someone else took me back at first. Saying that, fifteen year old me would have probably felt the same way. I think this could really help young people with CP embrace their condition. I wish this was around when I was younger.note: this is not own voices but the author's note specifies that they have worked extensively as a speech pathologist with children who have CP
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  • Alexina
    January 1, 1970
    Jenna is a high school student who's simply going through the motions of life with cerebral palsy. She's lost her zeal to dictate her own life and has let her CP dictate the show. She's dropped all her AP classes in lieu of regular Ed classes and, truly, is in her head about what she can and cannot do, which is the only part that bothered me about the story. There were times where it felt a touch repetitive but, alas, when we give up on ourselves, the constant negative thoughts are present and Jenna is a high school student who's simply going through the motions of life with cerebral palsy. She's lost her zeal to dictate her own life and has let her CP dictate the show. She's dropped all her AP classes in lieu of regular Ed classes and, truly, is in her head about what she can and cannot do, which is the only part that bothered me about the story. There were times where it felt a touch repetitive but, alas, when we give up on ourselves, the constant negative thoughts are present and recurring right? One day her childhood best friend and crush, Julian, moves back into town and Jenna decides she's going to catfish him because she's too scared to talk to him in person. The texts are the sweetest and they'll probably melt your heart.So thus begins a sweet story of a girl finding herself when she hasn't even realized that she's lost herself. A story about relationships and realizing who exactly is a part of your support system because we sometimes take them for granted.
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  • Lucsbooks
    January 1, 1970
    This is a very sweet story and although the writing and plot did not amaze me, I did like that I got to read a book in which the main character is a teenage girl living with a disability.Seeing Jenna going through the same problems every other teenager goes through and learn about the ones that most of the readers,(able-bodied people) never had to think about was one of the best parts of the book.Something else I enjoyed as well as the author did not rely on the bad kid's stereotype: everyone in This is a very sweet story and although the writing and plot did not amaze me, I did like that I got to read a book in which the main character is a teenage girl living with a disability.Seeing Jenna going through the same problems every other teenager goes through and learn about the ones that most of the readers,(able-bodied people) never had to think about was one of the best parts of the book.Something else I enjoyed as well as the author did not rely on the bad kid's stereotype: everyone in Jenna’s school was really nice, their rare blunders due to ignorance rather than maliciousness, the adults often being the ones that lacked awareness.Although I did not love this book in its entirety, I loved that this story exists and that a lot of people will get to know Jenna and having their world view adjusted by her experience.Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Sourcebooks Fire for this DRC.
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  • Jill Nadler
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVED this book! Stacie Ramey is a master storyteller with an amazing ability to get deep inside her characters' hearts and minds. On the surface, this is a story about a girl with cerebral palsy coming to terms with the knowledge that her condition was caused by medical malfeasance. But really, it's about family and friendship and strength and love. There's also a romance that made me swoon! Jenna's voice is observant, smart, sharp, and incredibly funny (especially in the text message I LOVED this book! Stacie Ramey is a master storyteller with an amazing ability to get deep inside her characters' hearts and minds. On the surface, this is a story about a girl with cerebral palsy coming to terms with the knowledge that her condition was caused by medical malfeasance. But really, it's about family and friendship and strength and love. There's also a romance that made me swoon! Jenna's voice is observant, smart, sharp, and incredibly funny (especially in the text message scenes). This isn't a comedy, but I often found myself laughing out loud (in the best possible way). I'm a huge fan of Stacie Ramey's work and she just gets better and better with each book. I can't wait to see what comes next.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    My full review can be found on the Epilie Aspie Chick blog!Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.Jenna has cerebral palsy, but cerebral palsy doesn't have her. Although it's been a been a constant struggle in her life, she's never let it stop her from succeeding in school or whatever stands in her way. Unfortunately, it all comes crashing down when she finds out the reason why she has CP around the same time her childhood crush moves back to town. My full review can be found on the Epilie Aspie Chick blog!Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.Jenna has cerebral palsy, but cerebral palsy doesn't have her. Although it's been a been a constant struggle in her life, she's never let it stop her from succeeding in school or whatever stands in her way. Unfortunately, it all comes crashing down when she finds out the reason why she has CP around the same time her childhood crush moves back to town. Can she overcome the past to get the man of her dreams? 
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  • Jennie Seaman
    January 1, 1970
    I really was excited about reading this one. I loved the concept and the idea of this story. The main character being disabled and having cerebral palsy is a different spin on the traditional YA contemporary. I enjoyed the characters and seeing Jenna learn and grow. I just couldn't make myself finish this book. It felt super slow and it just wasn't gripping me. It also used a plot device that I really hate and I just couldn't continue much after that. Maybe at 28 I'm just the wrong audience for I really was excited about reading this one. I loved the concept and the idea of this story. The main character being disabled and having cerebral palsy is a different spin on the traditional YA contemporary. I enjoyed the characters and seeing Jenna learn and grow. I just couldn't make myself finish this book. It felt super slow and it just wasn't gripping me. It also used a plot device that I really hate and I just couldn't continue much after that. Maybe at 28 I'm just the wrong audience for this book, but I just wasn't enjoying the book.
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  • Alexis Stankewitz
    January 1, 1970
    This was a great read. I normally don't really contemporary YA, but I have a weakness for CP rep. (Since I happen to have CP.) This was so cute! I loved Julian and Jenna and I was invested in their relationship. While CP happens to be on a spectrum and Jenna's CP didn't reflect my experience, I definitely appreciate the rep. Also, hallelujah that a character named Julian did NOT give me sad,distraught emotional feels! (Lookin @ you,Forbidden Game.) Kudos to Sourcebook Fire for publishing "It's This was a great read. I normally don't really contemporary YA, but I have a weakness for CP rep. (Since I happen to have CP.) This was so cute! I loved Julian and Jenna and I was invested in their relationship. While CP happens to be on a spectrum and Jenna's CP didn't reflect my experience, I definitely appreciate the rep. Also, hallelujah that a character named Julian did NOT give me sad,distraught emotional feels! (Lookin @ you,Forbidden Game.) Kudos to Sourcebook Fire for publishing "It's My Life" as it's the second book I've read from the publisher that has YA CP rep in it ! Yay!
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  • Gwen Schmidt
    January 1, 1970
    overall cute but had some spelling/grammar issues that bugged me and characters did not have solid personality types/would not react the way you would expect them to based off of previous characterizing. the romance wasn't bad but felt like it was saved for the end for no reason. would recommend to fans of YA romance.
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