Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Book Review & Giveaway: Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon

Release Date: 9/3/13
Author: Hollis Seamon
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Provided by: The Publisher at Book Expo America
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.


Seamon's short stories have recently appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Fiction International, The Greensboro Review, The Nebraska Review, Persimmon Tree, and The Chicago Review. 
Her work has been included in anthologies such as The Best of the Bellevue Literary Review (Bellevue Literary Press, 2008), Celestial Electric Set (Emrys Foundation, 2008), and The Strange History of Suzanne LaFleshe and Other Stories of Women and Fatness (The Feminist Press, 2003). 
Her short story “Death is the New Sleep” won the 2009 Al Blanchard Award for Short Crime Fiction and was included in Quarry: Crime Stories by New England Writiers (Level Best Books, 2010). 
A recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fiction Fellowship, Hollis is Professor of English at the College of Saint Rose in Albany NY and teaches for the Fairfield University MFA in Creative Writing Program.  She lives in Kinderhook NY.

Richard Casey has terminal cancer. He’s living in hospice, but one thing sets him apart from the other patients there. He’s only seventeen. Somebody Up There Hates You could have turned into the typical heart-breaking tale of a dying boy, but it didn’t. Richard was the comic relief as a main character. He is determined to live every day to the fullest even as his health deteriorates.  
Somebody Up There Hates You takes you through Richard losing his virginity, getting drunk for the first time, and growing up in a place where no kid should have to grow up. Richard focuses on falling in love, making memories with his family, and being a normal teenager.  
I really enjoyed reading Somebody Up There Hates You. It was heart-warming and yes, sad, but not so sad that I needed to lay in my bed and cry all day. This novel was a great story of overcoming your problems and staying positive even in the worst of situations. Seamon created a very original story out of a topic that has been written about time and time again. I think that shows real talent as a writer.

Algonquin has provided Steph's Stacks with some extra scoop in the form of an article by Hollis Seamon adding extra insight into the story behind Somebody Up There Hates You and it's hero, Richie.

We ended up with an extra ARC* of Somebody Up There Hates You at BEA and would love to give it to YOU.
So, easy-peasy, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below to win!
(U.S. and Canadian residents only. Contest ends 9/24/13 at 11:59 PM)

*Advance Review Copy - Bear in mind, this copy is intended to get the word out about a novel. This copy may differ from the final version in terms of formatting, plot points and cover. ARC's are uncorrected proofs and not intended to sell. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. My favorite read so far this year has been The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman.

  2. I've read over 30 books the past 2 months, and I can confidently say that the Delirium series was definitely my favorite read!

  3. Difficult choice for favourite read, I would have to say The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corsanti.



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