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"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.read more
Dying's lousy at any age, but it's even worse if, like Richie Casey, you're 17. But even in hospice, a lot can happen in a short time, as Richie finds out. Indeed, an almost amazing amount: Richie's uncle takes him out for a night of partying; girls start paying attention to him (and not just Sylvie, the 15-year-old across the hall); there are pranks and fistfights; and Richie gets a chance to be a normal teenager-or as normal as possible, given that he's surrounded by nurses, never knows how he'll feel next, and the annoying harpist in the lobby just keeps playing. In her YA debut, adult author Seamon balances the grim reality of teenagers with terminal cancer with the fact that, cancer or not, they're still teens. Initially, Richie comes across as almost manic, but once readers settle deeper into the story, they will see Richie and Sylvie for who they are and understand that being near death doesn't mean abandoning hope for the life that remains. Ages 14-up. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.