Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope

Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope
by Jenna Bush
304 pages
High School+

Ana has HIV, and she insists that she is not dying from HIV, but rather she is bravely living with HIV.  Instead of letting it determine her life, she makes her own decisions and lives life as full as she can.  Even though she is a teen-aged mother, she wants to live life and experience as much as she can.

The story starts with Ana's earliest memories- including the memory of her baby sister's death.  Unknown to her at the time, her mother and the baby both had HIV, which is where Ana inherited it from.  Told from a young age that she must never tell anyone, her life becomes full of secrets- not just about HIV but of abuse and sadness.

Follow Ana as she deals from the youngest age with HIV, family tragedies, abuse and loneliness.  Her life is not easy, but she changes, grows and handles every new trial that comes her way.

This was a book I found just browsing through my library's collection of ebooks, and was ended up enjoying it a lot.  It was a quick read- very short, concise chapters with a few pictures interspersed.  Because the chapters are so short, it moved quickly, never got boring.

This book was almost brutal with the truth at times.  Her life was hard.  She was abused in different ways, had a child at 16, and just struggled through so many trials.  While it might be read quickly and it's not complicated, this book is hard hitting and straight forward.  I put it as high school aged mostly because of how honest and blunt it is.  I hope that by reading this, teens can realize how easy some of them have it compared to her, and also realize that their choices have consequences.  Ana slept with a guy once without using protection and became pregnant from it.  She had to live with the result of what she did. 

While it's not the typical thing I enjoy, I did find myself really drawn into the story.  I read it in a just a few hours, and it really drew me in.  Ana's life is so different than mine, and helped give me a different perspective on life.  Good book to help gain a new outlook, and help teens see that decisions have consequences.  I will definitely recommend it as a good non-fiction!

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