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Somebody Up There Hates Youby Hollis Seamon
Synopses & Reviews
Chemo, radiation, a zillion surgeries, watching my mom age twenty years in twenty months: if that's part of the Big Dude's plan, then it's pretty obvious, isn't it? Somebody up there hates you.
SUTHY has landed me here in this hospice, where we--that's me and Sylvie--are the only people under thirty in the whole place, sweartogod. But I'm not dead yet. I still need to keep things interesting. Sylvie, too. I mean, we're kids, hospice hostages or not. We freak out visitors; I get my uncle to sneak me out for one insane Halloween night. Stuff like that. And Sylvie wants to make things even more interesting. That girl's got big plans.
Only Sylvie's father is so nuclear-blasted by what's happened to his little girl, he glows orange, I swear. That's one scary man, and he's not real fond of me. So we got a major family feud going on, right here in hospice. DO NOT CROSS line running down the middle of the hall. It's crazy.
In the middle of all of this, really, there's just me and Sylvie, a guy and a girl. And we want to live, in our way, by our own rules, for whatever time we've got. We will pack in some living before we go. Trust me. So let's get to it.
"Dying's lousy at any age, but it's even worse if, like Richie Casey, you're 17. But even in hospice, a lot can happen in a short time, as Richie finds out. Indeed, an almost amazing amount: Richie's uncle takes him out for a night of partying; girls start paying attention to him (and not just Sylvie, the 15-year-old across the hall); there are pranks and fistfights; and Richie gets a chance to be a normal teenager — or as normal as possible, given that he's surrounded by nurses, never knows how he'll feel next, and the annoying harpist in the lobby just keeps playing. In her YA debut, adult author Seamon balances the grim reality of teenagers with terminal cancer with the fact that, cancer or not, they're still teens. Initially, Richie comes across as almost manic, but once readers settle deeper into the story, they will see Richie and Sylvie for who they are and understand that being near death doesn't mean abandoning hope for the life that remains. Ages 14 — up. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Chemo, radiation, a zillion surgeries, watching my mom age twenty years in twenty months . . . if that's part of the Big Dude's plan, then it's pretty obvious, isn't it? Enough said."
Smart-mouthed and funny, sometimes raunchy, Richard Casey is in most ways a typical seventeen-year-old boy. Except Richie has cancer, and he's spending his final days in a hospice unit. In this place where people go to die, Richie has plans to make the most of the life he has left. Sylvie, the only other hospice inmate under sixty, has a few plans of her own for Richie. What begins as camaraderie quickly blossoms into real love, and this star-crossed pair is determined to live on their own terms, in whatever time remains.
For ages 14 and up, grades 9 and up.
About the Author
Hollis Seamon is a recipient of a fiction fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She is a professor of English at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York, and also teaches in the MFA creative writing program at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut. This is her first novel for young adults.
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