Every once in a while a novel comes along that gut-punches you so hard you double over in pain. This is Hollis Seamon's heart-wrenching Somebody Up There Hates You.
Richard is just seventeen years old, but he has seen enough in his short time to know that sometimes life just isn't fair. His official diagnosis is cancer, but Richard prefers to call it SUTHY syndrome--Somebody Up There Hates You. He meets Sylvie, another teenager and the only other non-elderly person in hospice with him, and they fall in love. While they want to spend the last of their time together just being kids, they have to deal with nurses, medications, crazy family members, and everyone else that overtakes their lives in hospice. Only when Richard must face the music, also known as Sylvie's dad, does he understand the selflessness of true love.
Oh em geeee, you guys, my heart broke as I read the last words on the last page of this book that tore my heart out, stomped on it, then picked it back up and ripped it to pieces. And it was good. So, so good. It was Mr. Mellencamp that said it well when he said, "Hurts so good." I loved this book. It toyed with my emotions and left me to flounder in the wind with my pain and no morphine, but it was so.so.so. good.
I adored Richard as narrator. His character arc was so wide-ranging and profound, while everyone around him also grew throughout the course of the book. I yearned (and yes, I found myself yearning, you guys) for Richard and Sylvie to reach their goal, which was for Sylvie to lose her virginity before she died. Seamon has a superb way of channeling a seventeen year old boy (how does she do that???), and this book felt that it could just be true. And that made it hurt all the more.
Also, fair warning, although you might know how the book ends, you will still be sucker-punched. So just get ready. And get the book.
Kindle version on left, hard copy on right.