Review

My Life After Now

by Jessica Verdi

Imagine yourself as a pretty and talented teen who has everything organized and planned out. You always get the lead in the school play, and you've been dating the guy who always gets the male lead. You do well in school and are on track to become a Broadway sensation. It's perfect. This is Lucy's life at the beginning of MY LIFE AFTER NOW, and after the worst week of her life, everything in her life unravels.

"Jessica Verdi expresses Lucy’s vulnerability so well, you can’t help but root for her as she finds her path toward hope."

The downward spiral begins when her main acting rival transfers to her school and actually gets the role of Juliet in her high school production of "Romeo & Juliet" --- naturally, Lucy's boyfriend, Ty, gets Romeo. Lucy's role? Yeah, it's Mercutio...a MAN'S role. To make matters worse, it looks like running lines with each other may have sparked a romance between Romeo and Juliet, and Lucy is left boyfriendless. Oh right, AND her mom (the addict who left Lucy when she was younger) decided to move back into the house with her and her dads. This is all too much for Lucy, so she grabs her two best friends, heads to NYC and looks for trouble.

The worst thing is that she found it. After a few too many drinks (bought with her fake ID that was handed down through the drama department) and a bold fliration with a member of the band she danced to all night, Lucy wakes up in a dirty apartment, cluttered with booze bottles and hypodermic needles, without remembering how she got there or what had happened. Did they have sex? Was it protected? Could she have an STI? Being quite type A, Lucy gathers up her courage and gets over to the clinic for testing --- just in case. What she finds out is beyond her comprehension. How could she, the good girl with everything together, have contracted HIV?

MY LIFE AFTER NOW is about one mistake changing the rest of a teenager's life and is incredibly powerful. Jessica Verdi expresses Lucy’s vulnerability so well, you can’t help but root for her as she finds her path toward hope. Even if you have never made a choice this life-altering, you will still recognize the despair Lucy faces, which makes her actions all the easier to empathize with. It's amazing to watch Lucy go through the steps of realizing her own situation, and slowly letting her friends and family in. 

Reviewed by Liz Kossnar on April 19, 2013

My Life After Now
by Jessica Verdi