Frank, Lucy Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling, 257 pgs. Schwartz and Wade Books (Random House), 2014. $16.99 Content: Language: R (49 swears; 10 “F”); Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: G.
Chess gets admitted to the hospital because her stomach hurts. She is put in a room with a girl, Shannon, who is very vocal and unpleasant with all of the hospital staff, but overtime Chess and Shannon become friends. They both have Chron’s disease and Shannon at times seems to be on the brink of death, but fights the disease because she wants to raise her daughter. Chess doesn’t want to admit that she is sick and wonders what kind of life she can really have when she has a disease.
This book is written in prose with a line down the middle of the page to indicate the hospital curtain that separates Shannon and Chess’s beds. It explores the idea of what it means to have a chronic illness when you are a teenager and the fears that come with illness. The prose is stream of conscience at times and the disjointed confusion was hard to get into at first, but the feelings and exploration of the illness felt real. The “F” word felt forced and didn’t add to the story.
HS-OPTIONAL. Reviewer, C. Peterson.