Saturday, May 3, 2014

Somebody Up There Hates You

Somebody Up There Hates You  by Hollis Seamon

Richie has cancer. 

At seventeen,  he knows that it is a matter of a couple of months, not years.  

He is now living in a Hospice unit, one of two teenagers.  The other teen is Sylvie, fifteen, who also has cancer, and also has a matter of months.  

When Sylvie announces to Richie that she does not want to die a virgin (and recruits him to help with this), there is a problem: her father alternates between hovering around his little girl as a protector, and drinking so much the staff is likely to throw him out of the unit. 

This is a reality-based book of teens dying; of teens not giving up; of those dying around them, and of elderly people whom we see in a different light.  With lots of plot twists inside a narrow story line, the entire cast of characters is simply wonderful, unusual, and not at all predictable.

While Richie’s mother is ill herself with a cough and cold, but not allowed into Hospice because of the germs she carries, Richie is entertained by his uncle and grandmother, characters you will love and cheer.  Then you will be glad they aren’t your relatives.  Richie’s uncle sneaks him out of the Hospice unit on Halloween, allows him way too much beer, pays a girl to pay attention to him, then disappears.  Richie’s grandmother is a gem of a smart-mouthed (wonder where Richie got his mouth?) blowsy woman who barges her way through situation.

Alternately sad, poignant, and hilarious, smart-mouthed Richie and SUTHY (Somebody Up There Hates You- the persona who is responsible for the cancer in his body) are impossible to forget.  A tough subject so very well handled, any teen will love it, although the parents might balk at the potty mouth on that kid!  Obviously ready to pair with Green’s Fault In Our Stars.  The parallels are impossible to ignore, although Somebody Up There Hates You easily stands on its own pedestal. 
Recommended 14 up. 

alcohol, bullying,(a lot of) cussing, death, drinking, gay friends, grieving, kissing, masturbation, nekkidness, prejudice, religious beliefs, sexual situations, Star Trek Sex, and violence.

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