I’ve been a fan of Lucy Frank’s writing ever since I read her YA novels I Am an Artichoke and Will You Be My Brussels Sprout? back in my librarian trainee days. Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling is also an excellent book, told in a unique writing style (as a poem-format novel, with poems in each girl’s voice on different sides of the page) and with powerful themes of friendship and overcoming odds.
This would be a great choice for books about death and grief as well as survivor stories (because yes, this story includes a range of possibilities). Do you know teens who finished The Fault in Our Stars and are looking for more books that will make them contemplate their own mortality? Share this book with them!
Francesca was sick for a long time, but she didn’t know it.
Well, that’s not entirely true. She knew that something was wrong, and that some days she felt so sick that she didn’t want to move, or walk, or get out of bed. But she just figured that she ate the wrong thing … or maybe she was imagining it … or maybe it was real, but if she just ignored it, it would go away. Well, ignoring it didn’t work. And one of the most romantic nights of her life quickly turned into one of the most EMBARASSING nights of her life when she got so sick that she wound up in the hospital. Where she got a roommate named Shannon who’d been sick for a VERY long time.
Shannon tells her what it’s like to live when your body is full of steroids and painkillers. What it’s like to live with a chronic disease that isn’t fatal … unless, of course, you die from it. What it’s like to live when everybody you know is either lying to you or feeling sorry for you.
Francesca and Shannon are two girls lying next to each other in a hospital room. Two girls separated by a thin curtain that hangs between them. Two girls staring at the ceiling.