by: Hollis Seamon
4.5 of 5 stars
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.
The story is very simple. The main character is Richard Casey, a seventeen-years-old boy that has terminal cancer. He lives in a hospice with other “less than a month of life” people, including Sylvia. That girl is the other main character. Those two teens were admitted in the hospice in the same year and month, but just days apart. They became friends instantly, just being the only two kids in a hospice made them already friends. Those two did a lot of mischief. They were not supposed to, because of their conditions, but they still did them.
The story occurs between October 30 to November 8 and its divide in three parts. Part I is October 31 – 31; Part II is November 1 – 3; and Part II is November 4 – 8. In those few days things were rough and strange. If they (Richard and Sylvia) were not causing trouble, they were between life and dead. Like Richard would say “same old”. Basically the favorite excuse of Richard to make trouble is that he is going to die soon, so why not make the poor dying kid make everything he wants? But when some of those things become fall in love and make love to Sylvia, things get rough. Not that he forced her, on the contrary she asks him. Not playing dumb, he accepts, but that “exercise” almost killed her.
Let’s talk about characters, because I love to analyze them:
- Richard Casey (aka Richie-Man or Richie Rich) – like all main character he was the most hard to understand. I really didn’t know what he wanted until the end. He loved. He loved so much everybody. He loved so much Sylvie that, for me, he gave his life for her (**I got something to say about this, but later**). He loved so much his mom, that he let her grandma and uncle to dig some info about his long lost dad to get some money from him, so her mom got something when he, in the future, dies.
- Sylvia (aka Sylvie) – this one was easy as pie. She wants to live and no matter what she does and she will. Thanks to her father and his boyfriend, Richie.
- Sylvia’s Father (aka the Devil or the Dragon) – a really interesting character, because in which book you could say that a character is neither good nor evil, but it’s the antagonist? Or at least, he is in almost the entire book, not until the end that Richie goes in his favor just to “save” her. I admire his strength, no matter how bad his little girl was, he fought just like any dragon would for the princess.
- Christine Casey (Richie’s mom, aka Sisco) – I really don’t know what to say about this character. It doesn’t appear too much, not until almost the end of the book. What can I say? She is a single mom of a dying boy. Always fighting, but not prepare for the outcome, but whose mother is?
- Phil Casey (aka Uncle Phil)– here, this character is not easy nor hard, but deep. At first, I thought he was just decoration and to make the story more funny, but no. He draws and through those drawings, you could watch either the future or how the things are for real.
Let’s talk about this point that its making my head hurts. I don’t know if the author, Hollis Seamon, wants me to figure out the end like I would like (an open end) or that just is, no imagination. Well, I don’t get it and I don’t want to imagine my end. We see so many things that tell us the future in the book, that I don’t know what its true and what’s not. Did he die? Richard last line was: “Over and out”. What that supposed to mean for me? That he gave up his life for Sylvia through this strange game of Poker. I cannot believe that. I’m against that. What about all those dreams? And Phil’s drawing about Sylvia with a baby saying Little Richard, is that not true? My head is thinking so many things that I may explode. I will call a “peace out”.