This Ordinary Life (Giveaway, Review & Tour!)

This Ordinary Life (Giveaway, Review & Tour!)
Hi there!

Title: This Ordinary Life

Author:  Jennifer
Publisher:  Luminis Books
Published Date: 1st October 2015
Rating: 5 stars
*Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for the review
Synopsis:  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.

Review: When
it comes down to it, this book just makes me incredibly happy.
Jennifer Walkup managed to bring the characters to life
in her second novel, This Ordinary Life which
addresses many themes such as romance, epilepsy and alcohol addiction.
We first meet the character Jasmine when her life is
falling apart. She’s very much into radio producing and wants to be a radio
host, so she is looking forward to her school trip to a famous studio that was
supposed to happen on the day. She goes to her boyfriend’s house for her
customary lift to school, only to find him cheating on her. And then, as if
things couldn’t get any worse, her seven year old little brother has an
epileptic fit. Jasmine rushes to hospital to be with him, missing the once in a
life time trip to score an internship as well as having to deal with her
alcohol addicted mother when she gets there.
I felt like I could really connect with Jasmine. I don’t
have a sibling with epilepsy but I do have a younger sister who is physically
disabled. Although I don’t have to do everything
like Jasmine does because I have parents who are involved and really do
care for her – hospital appointments and everything, I do a big part to help. I
think I would just about do anything for my little sister and help take care of
her in and around the house, as well as look out for her at school we both go
to quite a bit. I love it, and I felt like I could understand what Jasmine felt
when she wouldn’t mind putting everything aside to look after her brother first
and foremost.
One thing I also love about reading is that books can
teach you things. This book did teach me a lot about epilepsy because although
I knew about seizures and so on – I had no idea that something called ‘absent’
seizures existed and now I have something new added to my knowledge. In fact, I
even learned a bit about how epilepsy actually works which I didn’t know
Another thing I really liked about Jasmine’s character
was her ambition. She really wanted this radio internship and loved that hobby
of hers, knowing she wanted it to be a profession of hers. It’s kind of how I
feel about writing, so I could definitely understand her working so hard and
striving for that interview. Again, it just reminded me how realistic her
character was and how much I loved reading this!
Jasmine’s mother, Elena is addicted to alcohol ever since
her husband left her. Elena did make some dumb decisions and she did have the
problem of sometimes endangering Danny (Jasmine’s epileptic little brother)
because she would be passed out and not watching him. I understood that she had
a lot to manage being a single mother, and then financial issues on top of
that. But I did want to shake her sometimes. I also wanted Jasmine to go a bit
easier on her too. She hated her mum, but I don’t think she understood that
alcoholism is just as much a disease as anything else sometimes.
I loved Wes, the love interest! He did have epilepsy too
(you can see how Jasmine would be a bit reluctant about starting this
relationship now) but he was so good to her! Just what she needed after her
previous boyfriend. He was so loyal, funny, sweet… I think every girl needs a
Wes in their lives. I also liked that Wes was confident, just like Jasmine. In
YA books we have a lot of confident guys showing interest in girls who don’t
think they are beautiful, or are all about their insecurities. But it was nice
to have two confident-ish characters this time.
Frankie was Jasmine’s best friend, but I felt like her
character was shoved a bit to the side. I would have liked a bit more detail on
her in the story or some more focus on their friendship. She was the only one I
felt needed development.
As you can see, this book was very character driven. The
romance was sweet (and be warned, this is mostly a romance!) but there was mix
about epilepsy creating important decisions, striving after your dreams and
family as well. I loved it. Maybe the book had one or two flaws, but for me it
still gets the five star rating because in the end this book made me so HAPPY!
Links: Find it on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble or the Book Depository!
Check out Jennifer Walkup’s website, Goodreads, Twitter or Facebook page! Also, This Ordinary Life even has its own Pinterest Board!
About the Author: 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.
To hear about Jennifer’s upcoming books, sign up for her newsletter!
Giveaway Time! Win (1) hardcopy of SECOND VERSE by Jennifer Walkup and a swag pack (INT) or Win (1) of (2) swag packs (INT)!


Olivia’s Question: Do you know anyone who has epilepsy?
Do you know much about the condition?
Olivia-Savannah x

28 thoughts on “This Ordinary Life (Giveaway, Review & Tour!)”

  • Isn’ the cover for this book awesome? The art is just gorgeous. And the typography. And the colour scheme… I liked your picture of the book with headphones on. I did that for a tag, too *laughs*- it’s a neat idea, and a nice representation of the cover.
    I heard about this book a little while ago, but honestly I don’t think it’s for me. I’m not a huge fan of romance taking over other elements of the plot, and it does sound like that tends towards happening here, but I’m glad it had important aspects about mental health, too. Not necessarily for me, but I’m happy it’s out there- and was a good read for you. xx

    • I thought the headphones went so well with it because of the theme of radio. But yes, that cover is wonderful ^.^
      I think that the romance is a lot of it because it's about Jasmine being open to having someone else with epilepsy in her life as well, and how that might be hard for her. But there is a lot more to it than the romance as well.

  • I saw the glorious cover for this book first at BEA because one of my bloggy friends is also a designer and point it out to me as one of hers. I had no idea what the book was about and now I really miss having the chance to have got a signed copy of it!

    Being a nurse I know quite a bit about epilepsy, and also I had a form of infatile epilepsy myself that was treated and resolved when I was a child. One of my co-workers is epileptic and her seizures are usually the absent kind, but she still manages to have a fully fantastic life, her only real limitation is not driving.

    Fantastic review Olivia and thank you for the giveaway!!

  • I've been seeing this book everywhere! I'm most definitely adding this to my TBR. It sounds so good and I think I'll be able to connect with the characters a lot since I also have a brother who has a health condition. Great review!

  • So far from the overview it seem as if this book is interesting and a good read. It appears as if it straddles the line between teen and young adult fiction, but it may be possible for someone even older to enjoy.

  • Oh wow! I really need to read this one. To answer your question, yes I someone with epilepsy. My childhood friend has it and still suffers from it to this day. She can't get a drivers license because of how often a seizure can happen. As you know, my sister was diagnosed with epilepsy from birth until she was around 11 yrs old. The seizures just stopped. The doctors were mystified and my mom was just grateful. Here we are 19 yrs later and she has an autoimmune disease that attacks her nervous system. Coincidence? No, I don't think it is. I just think that there wasn't enough testing done on her back when she was having those seizures. I'm pretty sure I can relate to the character in this book because I have watched what those seizures did to my sister, and the effect they had on my family. Great review!

    • The book did touch on how it can restrict you from doing certain things, like the drivers license for example. I am really sorry to hear that the seizures haven't been able to ease up on her 🙁 And as for your sister – yes I do know this. I guess sometimes things can be misjudged and medical mistakes can be made. I am still praying for her to be feeling better at this current moment, and I am sure this is a novel you can relate to a lot in that case.

  • I've seen a few bloggers reviewing this and it sounds good. I know a few stuff about epilepsy because I had to study it at college and its effect and what not and one of my uncles suffers from it but I've never seen him have a seizure. My father, on the other hand, did and said it was really scary. One of the scary stuff is the possibility of the person biting his own tongue and so my father put one of his finger into my uncle's mouth and it was painful. Thank goodness someone gave him a spoon. I feel like everybody knows about epilepsy but not really a lot and it's such an scary disease. I'm glad you enjoyed this and any character named Wes is always welcomed! (that's how much I love the name after reading The Archived & The Unbound by Victoria Schwab hahahaha)

    • I have never seen anyone who has had a seizure too, but I do believe it is a condition I need to learn more about because it is something as you said, everyone knows about but not enough about. I would want to know how to help someone if they ever ended up having a seizure nearby me, and it is something we need to be understanding of. Wes is wonderful <3

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