This novel-in-verse—at once literary and emotionally gripping—follows the unfolding friendship between two very different teenage girls who share a hospital room and an illness.
Chess, the narrator, is sick, but with what exactly, she isn’t sure. And to make matters worse, she must share a hospital room with Shannon, her polar opposite. Where Chess is polite, Shannon is rude. Where Chess tolerates pain silently, Shannon screams bloody murder. Where Chess seems to be getting slowly better, Shannon seems to be getting worse. How these teenagers become friends, helping each other come to terms with their illness, makes for a dramatic and deeply moving read.
"An emotional and innovative novel.... There is so much pathos and humor in these two hospital beds." —E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars
"A story told with the utmost economy of language—intense, compelling, and satisfying." —Susan Patron, author of the Newbery Medal winner The Higher Power of Lucky
"Riveting, humanizing and real." —Kirkus Reviews, Starred
"A raw, unsentimental perspective on the fight to keep an illness from overpowering one's identity." —Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Lucy Frank won a PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship for her work on Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling. The author of eight novels for young adults and middle graders, she divides her time between New York City and upstate New York. Learn more at lucyfrank.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I don't read much novel-in-verse, but this was great. Really appreciated the thoughtful and respectful chronic illness representation with not one, but two main characters. I don't have Chrohn's, specifically, but some of the lines especially about being young and ill, or about not being able to trust your body really resonated with me.