Somebody Up There Hates You: A Novel

Somebody Up There Hates You: A Novel

4.5 6
by Hollis Seamon
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

“Chemo, radiation, a zillion surgeries, watching my mom age twenty years in twenty months . . . if that’s part of the Big Dude’splan, 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

…  See more details below

Overview

“Chemo, radiation, a zillion surgeries, watching my mom age twenty years in twenty months . . . if that’s part of the Big Dude’splan, 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.

Editorial Reviews

Reviews

“I read Somebody Up There Hates You in one great rush. This novel is funny, harrowing, and wildly profane. It had me crying with laughter on one page and then just plain crying on another.” --Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club

“This is not just another teen-dying-of-cancer story. Seamon has created a smart-mouthed, funny, occasionally raunchy, very typical teen boy narrating the final days of his life in a way that is unflinching, graphic, at times funny, and at times heartbreaking. Readers will alternate between shaking their heads at his self-centeredness, laughing at his smart mouth, and reaching for tissues as Richard really learns what it means to grow up . . . Emotions are raw and painful but the story is a powerful and life-affirming look at what it means to grow up as your life is ending.” --VOYA

“Even in hospice, a lot can happen in a short time . . . Being near death doesn’t mean abandoning hope for the life that remains.” --Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Each character is vividly drawn, with a sharp, memorable voice that readers will love and remember . . . A fresh, inspiring story.” --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Heartfelt . . . The language is raw and even profane at times, but hardly inappropriate given the circumstances . . . This novel is respectful of its serious subject matter, yet is an entertaining and heartening read.” --School Library Journal

“Seamon’s first young-adult novel is a tender, insightful, and unsentimental look at two teens in extremis. It brings light to a very dark place, and in so doing, does its readers a generous service.” --Booklist

“Here are some things Hollis Seamon knows: Life, for one, and the end of life, and how they are always partners. She knows what's sad, and she knows what's funny. And she knows what people need, and how it feels to be someone who worries he might not get to experience life fully before he goes. Knowing all that--and being able to write about it so simply, and beautifully, with such a lack of sentimentality--is already enough for one writer. That she is able to take this knowledge and, with it, inhabit a character--Richard, 17, in a hospice, paradoxically and wonderfully alive--is a kind of miracle.” --Richard Kramer, author of These Things Happen

From the Publisher
“I read Somebody Up There Hates You in one great rush. This novel is funny, harrowing, and wildly profane. It had me crying with laughter on one page and then just plain crying on another.” —Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club

“This is not just another teen-dying-of-cancer story. Seamon has created a smart-mouthed, funny, occasionally raunchy, very typical teen boy narrating the final days of his life in a way that is unflinching, graphic, at times funny, and at times heartbreaking. Readers will alternate between shaking their heads at his self-centeredness, laughing at his smart mouth, and reaching for tissues as Richard really learns what it means to grow up . . . Emotions are raw and painful but the story is a powerful and life-affirming look at what it means to grow up as your life is ending.” —VOYA

“Even in hospice, a lot can happen in a short time . . . Being near death doesn’t mean abandoning hope for the life that remains.”Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Each character is vividly drawn, with a sharp, memorable voice that readers will love and remember . . . A fresh, inspiring story.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Heartfelt . . . The language is raw and even profane at times, but hardly inappropriate given the circumstances . . . This novel is respectful of its serious subject matter, yet is an entertaining and heartening read.” —School Library Journal

“Seamon’s first young-adult novel is a tender, insightful, and unsentimental look at two teens in extremis. It brings light to a very dark place, and in so doing, does its readers a generous service.” —Booklist

“Here are some things Hollis Seamon knows: Life, for one, and the end of life, and how they are always partners. She knows what's sad, and she knows what's funny. And she knows what people need, and how it feels to be someone who worries he might not get to experience life fully before he goes. Knowing all that—and being able to write about it so simply, and beautifully, with such a lack of sentimentality—is already enough for one writer. That she is able to take this knowledge and, with it, inhabit a character—Richard, 17, in a hospice, paradoxically and wonderfully alive—is a kind of miracle.” —Richard Kramer, author of These Things Happen

“I read Somebody Up There Hates You in one great rush. This novel is funny, harrowing, and wildly profane. It had me crying with laughter on one page and then just plain crying on another.” —Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club

“This is not just another teen-dying-of-cancer story. Seamon has created a smart-mouthed, funny, occasionally raunchy, very typical teen boy narrating the final days of his life in a way that is unflinching, graphic, at times funny, and at times heartbreaking. Readers will alternate between shaking their heads at his self-centeredness, laughing at his smart mouth, and reaching for tissues as Richard really learns what it means to grow up . . . Emotions are raw and painful but the story is a powerful and life-affirming look at what it means to grow up as your life is ending.” —VOYA

“Even in hospice, a lot can happen in a short time . . . Being near death doesn’t mean abandoning hope for the life that remains.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Each character is vividly drawn, with a sharp, memorable voice that readers will love and remember . . . A fresh, inspiring story.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Heartfelt . . . The language is raw and even profane at times, but hardly inappropriate given the circumstances . . . This novel is respectful of its serious subject matter, yet is an entertaining and heartening read.” —School Library Journal

“Seamon’s first young-adult novel is a tender, insightful, and unsentimental look at two teens in extremis. It brings light to a very dark place, and in so doing, does its readers a generous service.” —Booklist

“Here are some things Hollis Seamon knows: Life, for one, and the end of life, and how they are always partners. She knows what's sad, and she knows what's funny. And she knows what people need, and how it feels to be someone who worries he might not get to experience life fully before he goes. Knowing all that—and being able to write about it so simply, and beautifully, with such a lack of sentimentality—is already enough for one writer. That she is able to take this knowledge and, with it, inhabit a character—Richard, 17, in a hospice, paradoxically and wonderfully alive—is a kind of miracle.” —Richard Kramer, author of These Things Happen

Kirkus Reviews
When you're surrounded by death, anything can look like a good opportunity. Death is all around 17-year-old Richie Casey. Diagnosed with cancer, he's spending his final days in hospice care in upstate New York. He's weak. He can't eat. He's also a wiseass with a biting sense of humor, and he's persuasive enough to convince even the toughest nurse to let him do what he wants. Seamon's debut for teens follows Richie over 10 days leading up to his 18th birthday. His ne'er-do-well uncle breaks him out for a wild, cathartic, drunken, lust-filled night on the town in a wheelchair to celebrate Cabbage Night (the night before Halloween). He pursues his girlfriend down the hall, Sylvie, who is also dying from cancer. Each character is vividly drawn, with a sharp, memorable voice that readers will love and remember. While there is plenty of death to go around, the novel's tone shifts from dark to light when opportunity presents itself to narrator Richie. Both the characters and readers empathize with his urge to break out and experience life despite his constraints and the consequences that might befall him. His ups and downs are what power the plot, and readers come to learn that Ritchie isn't full of joie de vivre. Instead, he's full of fight, and that's what makes him so admirable and memorable. A fresh, inspiring story about death and determination. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616204549
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date:
09/02/2014
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
606,413
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet 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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Somebody Up There Hates You: A Novel 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
KimballSK More than 1 year ago
Richard Casey has terminal cancer. He’s living in hospice, but one thing sets him apart from the other patients there. He’s only seventeen. Somebody Up There Hates You could have turned into the typical heart-breaking tale of a dying boy, but it didn’t. Richard was the comic relief as a main character. He is determined to live every day to the fullest even as his health deteriorates. Somebody Up There Hates You takes you through Richard losing his virginity, getting drunk for the first time, and growing up in a place where no kid should have to grow up. Richard focuses on falling in love, making memories with his family, and being a normal teenager. I really enjoyed reading Somebody Up There Hates You. It was heart-warming and yes, sad, but not so sad that I needed to lay in my bed and cry all day. This novel was a great story of overcoming your problems and staying positive even in the worst of situations. Seamon created a very original story out of a topic that has been written about time and time again. I think that shows real talent as a writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For a book about teenagers dying, it is not morbid or overly sad. Rather it is about teenagers acting like teenagers even under difficult circumstances.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. It is a good,short read. It is a bittersweet story. I highly recomend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We meet Richard in hospice where he can joke with visitors about the science geniuses toiling away behind the scenes, coming up with the cure-all for what ails him and the other residents on his floor. But he knows the truth, that you check into hospice when you're terminal date is 30 days. Will he make it to his 18th birthday? He and the only other child resident of the ward, Sylvie, certainly hope to liven up the time they have left, living and loving with a fierce dedication to the days, hours, minutes remaining. The book is full of little adventures, big-hearted nurses, and parents holding on, estranged relatives reclaiming family ties in the face of grief, and the lulling sounds of the trains and the Hudson River in the background like a calming lullaby. I loved Richard's self-knowledge in the face of his disease, the wasting of his body in direct contrast to his expanding heart and consciousness of what his loss will mean to others. I really enjoyed the book and will seek out others by Hollis.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love sharing funny parts wuth my guy friends and we all laugh. Y'all will love thus book.