Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Book Review: Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon


Author: Hollis Seamon
Series: N/A
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: September 3rd 201
My Rating: 4 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):
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 30 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, me on one side, her on the other. 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, in whatever time we’ve got. We will pack in some living before we go, trust me.

If you follow my blog you know that I usually stay away from sad books. Sure, I might read books about tortured characters, but all in all my books end on a happy note. With a HEA for our main character(s). You know that I also like to experiment with my books once in a while, that I try to change things up a little. I'm trying to grow as a reader, is what I'm trying to say. So while I was looking at the books on my shelves trying to decide which one to read for a beach read, Somebody Up There Hates You stood out.

First, I have to say that I read this book over a period of three weeks. This is strange, because usually I read books kind of fast. The problem was that at some points, I had to stop reading. Mentally, I needed a break. The story would suck me in, and I'd forget where I was and then BAM! it reminded me that Richard was sick. And I don't do well with sick children, so I needed breaks.

The story broke my heart into tiny little pieces at times. At times it was like I was in the hospice room with Richard, seeing him. I liked his voice, I liked how he told the story. What broke my heart even more was the fact that he would try to assure people that he'd get better. Sylvie too, she'd talk about the future. Of course, they both knew that it couldn't happen, which is why it was so heartbreaking.

At times I understood the other characters' frustration with Richard and Sylvie. I really could put myself in their shoes and understand their perspective. It was strange, because usually with 1st person narration that doesn't happen to me.

Of course, I can't help but wonder if he and Sylvie would've still fell in love had they not been in hospice, had they been school mates. Makes me wonder if maybe that is why the ending was left as it was.

I loved the ending. I usually don't like books to be open-ended, but in this case I liked it. I don't think I would've been okay with a closed ending, with one of them dying. I'm sure one of them (maybe both) dies in the end, but it was better to not know for sure. Who knows, maybe they do get better and live happily ever after.

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