Seventeen Media

Shan Serafin $22.95

The ultimatum: Show me a reason to live or I’ll kill myself in seven days. When seventeen-year-old Sophia dares life to prove to her she should stay alive, her suffering is at its climax, her predicament at its worst, and her adolescence at its most difficult. Sophia is taking summer courses at a New York City college before her senior year of high school, lured to the program by Shauna, her best friend from California. Blessed with all that society considers attractive and intelligent, Shauna succeeds with guy after guy, course after course. Sophia, meanwhile, fails in every course, at every challenge (especially attracting date-worthy males), and with everything she touches . . . or so she thinks. Constantly reminded of her own perceived lack of beauty and brains, haunted by pangs of worthlessness, and noticed only by her lanky friend J.P., Sophia begs life for a single decent reason to stick around. Days slip by and she continues her silent countdown until. . .

The greatest hope she can find becomes the deepest threat imaginable. As she makes her final attempt to confront life among adults, this bold adolescent and feisty storyteller shreds the hypocrisy and inequities of the life she comes to know. Sophia’s plight is the plight of every girl or woman who’s ever felt substandard, who’s ever questioned her own value, indeed every person who’s ever wondered, “Is life worth the suffering?”

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