Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Somebody Up There Hates You

Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon

Disclaimer: The narrator in this book is HORNY. In your face, uncomfortable amounts of horny. If you don't want to read about how much boys think about boobs/sex/awkward boners or whatever, I recommend skipping this book. That's just the built in attitude of the narrator.

Disclaimer: This book has some risky scenes and talks about lust/craving/urges, blow jobs, and sex; but it doesn't explicitly spell every little detail out. Just most of them.


Moving on.

I flat out don't understand how to read this book.

If I read it straight through like a 'normal' book, then it's just very angry about everything and weird and much like a stereotypical teenage boy. Eh...

If I read it as a satire, then it's just damn depressing.

By the way, did I mention this book is about a boy in hospice who has cancer?

...let's just jump to the amazon summary, ""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. His mother, his doctors, and the hospice staff are determined to keep Richie alive as long as possible. But 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, then tells Richie she has a few plans of her own. 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 they have left.

Making her young adult fiction debut, Hollis Seamon creates one of the most original voices to appear in young adult literature, narrating a story that is unflinching, graphic, heartbreaking, funny, and above all life-affirming in its depiction of what it really means to be a teenager dying of cancer." AMAZON LINK OF LONG SUMMARYYYY

The amazon summary definitely did enough. It can just do that.

First, I would like to clarify that Richard gets into funny situations but isn't really that funny. At least his sense of humor doesn't appeal to me. He mostly winds up in his 'funny' situations because he mouthed off to someone at some point and it winds around to him getting into a 'funny' situation. I say 'funny' because they seemed mostly bad to me.


Maybe this book was just offering a different perspective on the whole dying process.
Maybe it wanted to show a narcissistic kid who had trouble defining value in his life when he was about to lose it.
Maybe the value he did define was the rare moments where he could truly laugh or felt as if he had gotten into mischief.

MAYBE I could look at the book like that.

But if I did, I would have to try and ignore how much his character quaffles between personal growth and outright bull-headed idiocy.

However, there are many personal moments that just have such a ring of truth to them that it's hard to figure out what the narrator valued.

Oh Richie.

There are moments where Richie seems to have carpe diem written across his wrist and tries to punch into every moment of his life.

There are moments where Richie just seems to hide under the blankets and waits for life to pass.

Then there are the moments which would really reveal what was going on with Richie if the author had bothered to write them out. Yup, sometimes the author just glossed over bits that seemed very vital to Richie earlier in the book, and the book takes place over a couple of weeks (I believe), and there was a lot of potential character growth in those two weeks, but it was too quick to be believable? ARGH. THIS BOOK.

I don't understand what it wants, what it's trying to portray, and what the author is trying to get through.

Carpe diem? Fine. Seize all the days.
Sometimes teenage boys just have to act like teenage boys? Please define that in a less stereotypical manner.
Cancer sucks? ...well, duh.
Don't judge a person by their appearance? ...again-well, duh.
Don't make assumptions about the people around you before you try to walk in their shoes? I don't even know if that's a point that was trying to be made! WHAT. WHAT IS THIS.

It is very hard for me to sift through all the angry noised dribble that comes from Richie to understand what he was really after.

I get that he wants to LIVE. Most people do. Especially in all caps (or so I'd like to believe).
I get that he wants Slyvie to LIVE.

I don't get what I'm supposed to take away from this book.

I don't get what I'm supposed to like about this book even.

I basically understand that I'm a confused puddle of mess when it comes to this book.

Also, there did seem to be a lot of 'lazy writing' where some pivotal moments and scenes were glossed over. The defense could be made that the author wanted the reader to imagine something perfect to happen/be said/whatever, but really, it just seems lazy to me.

I will say the book was a fast read, peppered with unique characters, but mostly just seemed really angry.

I mean, who wouldn't be angry when they're dying young?

For all the adult characters in the story, they're well conceptualized with their own attitude issues; they felt a bit more realistic than either Richie or Slyvie did or even Marie (another lady who Richie runs into).

...I don't know.

I just don't know (CLEARLY).

...shutting up now.

Happy reading?

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