Audiobook Review: Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon

Audiobook Review: Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis SeamonSomebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon
Narrator: Noah Galvin
Length: 6 hrs, 19 mins
Published by HighBridge Company on September 3, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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three-stars

Smart-mouthed, funny, and sometimes crude, Richard Casey is in most ways a typical seventeen-year-old boy. Except Ritchie 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 Ritchie 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.Fifteen-year-old Sylvie, the only other hospice inmate under sixty, has plans of her own. What begins as camaraderie soon blossoms into love, and the star-crossed pair determine together to live life on their own terms in whatever time they have.Hollis Season has created one of the most original voices in young adult literature, narrating a story that is unflinching, graphic, heart-breaking, funny, and above all, life-affirming.

I’ve got to admit that I started this book laughing for totally childish reasons. Apparently this author’s last name is pronounced “semen” and I’ve got the humor of a preteen in the first health class that gets into sex. Still, Hollis Seamon’s name sort of sets a nice stage for the audiobook of Somebody Up There Hates You, because there’s a whole lot of humor of that sort, juxtaposed with the seriousness of dying young.

Likely following in the trend of The Fault in Our Stars, Somebody Up There Hates You is about a romance between two teens in hospice. In case, like me, you didn’t actually know what a hospice is, I’ve learned that it’s where people are sent when they have less than a month to live. The main character is a seventeen-year-old boy named Richard Casey. He’s obviously not too happy with his life, since he’s dying of cancer. Still, he’s got a pretty good sense of humor in the face of his impending demise.

Also in hospice is Sylvie, younger than him at fifteen, but more popular than he ever was. The two strike up a romance rather quickly. Frankly, it’s a bit instalovey, but that really didn’t bother me, because, were I going to be dying immediately for sure, I would probably try to eke out as much life in what time remained to me. I honestly didn’t feel the connection between them, but I was sympathetic to their need for that attachment.

The best part of Somebody Up There Hates You is the dark humor. For example, the title refers to what Richard likes to tell people he’s dying of: SUTHY disease. What other reason is there for a teen to die of cancer? The humor’s definitely off-the-wall. The narrator Noah Galvin does a really good job capturing Ritchie’s voice, which really helped me enjoy Somebody Up There Hates You.

While Seamon does get into the uncomfortable realities of hospice life (the assisted showers, the weakness, not eating), Somebody Up There Hates You still feels way too wish fulfillment-y. Like, I get the whole carpe diem element, but I did not expect a dying teen in hospice to get so much action View Spoiler ». Plus, I feel like he got away with a lot more stuff then would ever be allowed in an actually hospice. I don’t really know, but it didn’t strike me as particularly believable.

Somebody Up There Hates You was an entertaining listen, but its similarity to The Fault in Our Stars and Cold Hands, Warm Heart kept it from being particularly impressed.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

not afraid of dying

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