Hello there, and welcome to Rhea’s Neon Journal! I’m so glad to be kicking off the This Ordinary Life blog tour! This book is adorable and so, so special. And if you’re an ice-cream lover, then you’re definitely in for a treat with this one 🙂 Don’t forget to enter the international giveaway for swag packs and a copy of SECOND VERSE by Jennifer Walkup! Follow the rest of the tour here!
This Ordinary Life by Jennifer Walkup
Sometimes Hope is the Most Extraordinary Gift of All.
High-school radio host Jasmine Torres’s life is full of family dysfunction, but if she can score the internship of her dreams with a New York City radio station, she knows she can turn things around.
That is, until her brother Danny’s latest seizure forces her to miss the interview, and she’s back to the endless loop of missing school for his doctor appointments, picking up the pieces of her mother’s booze-soaked life, and stressing about Danny’s future.
Then she meets Wes. He’s the perfect combination of smart, cute, and funny. He also happens to have epilepsy like her brother. Wes is living a normal life despite his medical issues, which gives Jasmine hope for Danny. But memories of her cheating ex-boyfriend keep her from going on a real date with Wes, no matter how many times he asks her.
Jasmine can’t control everything. Not who wins the internship, not her mother’s addiction, not her brother’s health–not even where her heart will lead her. She wishes she could just have an ordinary life, but maybe what she already has is pretty extraordinary after all.
Can we all just take a moment to appreciate that beauty of a cover? I think This Ordinary Life has the most ridiculously attractive cover I have ever seen and if the premise doesn’t make you want to read the book, I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that the cover surely will. It has this beautiful colourful silhouette (is that what it’s called?) of NYC and of course, our MC, Jasmine Torres, is an aspiring RJ, so it has the LP on the other side. The complete picture kind of gives it the Middle Grade book effect, but I, personally, wouldn’t want to change a single thing about the cover. Kudos to the designer!
This Ordinary Life is one of the most unique books I’ve read—in the sense where a high school student pursues her ambition of wanting to be a radio jockey. In all honesty, radio is really not my thing. I prefer to listen to my songs, the way I want them, when I want them. But I, being the control freak that I am, even I can’t deny that sometimes, you put the radio on just to be surprised.
Jasmine was honestly my favourite character in the book. She is strong and smart and independent. Her mother is alcoholic and so to escape CPS, she takes care of her epileptic brother Danny in a way that would rival how most of us care for our younger siblings. She’s just as much as a teenager as any one else, but Jasmine constantly ditches classes, misses a trip to NY to go to her dream radio station and almost forgoes the guy she may love, all because of her unconditional love for her brother. Sibling love always melts me down to my bones, but this book just touched me in a way no other could.
Wesley was the male lead (although in all honesty, Danny was so cute, he’s going to be the one you love the most) in the book, and he’s ADORABLE. The guy took Jasmine on a non-date to a frigging junk yard, for heaven’s sake! It was dorky and cute and omg made me wish that I was there with them! He’s terribly self-confident in a way that makes you want to hug him, and his cheesy lines and their corny delivery was the best part of the book! Jasmine tries really, really hard to resist his charm but really—resistance is futile. And the first time they kiss gave me butterflies in my stomach!
I do think that the secondary characters—especially Sebastian (Jasmine’s ex) and Frankie (Jasmine’s best friend)—needed more depth. They were paper-thin, flying in and out of the plot as convenient. That was a bummer, especially since they contributed to Jasmine’s life A LOT. I’d have also liked to see Danny and Wes’s epilepsy explained a bit, and the book was definitely too small for my liking. I wanted more Jasmine and Wes! Nonetheless, the book is a sweet, small story about hope, swoons and keeping your dream alive 🙂
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Up for Grabs!
Win (1) hardcopy of SECOND VERSE by Jennifer Walkup and a swag pack (INT)
Win (1) of (2) swag packs (INT)
Award-winning author Jennifer Walkup is most often found writing, reading, and spending time with her husband and young sons. A member of SCBWI and RWA, Jennifer also works as an editor and creative writing instructor, and is an advocate for Epilepsy awareness. This Ordinary Life is her second novel.
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