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It's My Life

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  56 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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

Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 1st 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire
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Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  56 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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The Nerd Daily
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Nathalie DeFelice

I’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
Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)

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
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2019
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
Kathryn Speckels (Metaphors and Miscellanea)
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
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this in exchange for a review but, of course, all thoughts are my own.
full video review here:

I 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
Samantha (WLABB)
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
Kera (featherboundbooks)
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
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
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
Dec 24, 2019 rated it liked it
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
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
Joyce Sweeney
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Rabiah Lumbard
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Aida Alberto
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jun 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, arc
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
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
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 ...more
Kasey Giard
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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’
Claudio Rodrigo
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Azzurra Nox
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was not my favorite. I really wanted to like this book because the main character has cerebral palsy and I love to see that kind of representation in books, and there aren’t a lot of them out there. I can of course not speak of the representation in this book since I personally don’t have CP but I didn’t have a problem with that aspect of the book. I did, however, find pretty much everything else annoying and in the end, I was just powering through. The whole plot seems pretty unlikely ...more
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 04, 2019 rated it liked it
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
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-read
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 ...more
Jill Nadler
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Aug 24, 2019 rated it liked it
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.
Jennie Seaman
Jan 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-releases, dnf
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 ...more
Alexis Stankewitz
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 ...more
Gwen Schmidt
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it
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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I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Was a clap from the sidelines kind of girl.

The first person to say they loved my writing was a boy in my 10th grade English class. (So I dated him).

I write every book with one person in mind. My reader.

Maybe this next book will be for you.

Hope so.
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