Seventeen Praise

Seventeen
Shan Serafin $22.95

“Seventeen is a powerful story that does service to the term ‘YA literature,’ for it reinforces the fact that books written for the young can indeed be works of literary value. Complete with a marvelously powerful, complex protagonist and writing that’s both artistic and to the point, Seventeen is an inspired piece of work by a first-time novelist whose effort should definitely make some noise.”
—Jonathon Scott Fuqua, Alex Award-winning author of The Reappearance of Sam Webber, Darby, and The Willoughby Spit Wonder

“Serafin’s irresistible Sophia is a smart, honest, attractive survivor who knows none of this about herself. Hers is a classic coming-of-age story set in the edgy, anxious youth culture of today’s metropolis. Seventeen’s dark comedy maps the erratic physics of self-discovery in a social world hostile to authenticity. Here’s a sardonic but ethically serious how-to guide for navigating that world’s shallow but treacherous waters. I immensely enjoyed Seventeen. I used to devour this kind of fiction in my own misspent girlhood, and am most admiring of what the author has done. I found Sophia enthralling as an appropriately named character; oddly but quite productively detached from her parents and California life, a wonderful satiric voice whose courage and vulnerability are conveyed with tremendous wit and empathy. Indeed, it is amazing to me that the author (a male) could have so completely found his way into the mind and body of a very young woman. The book (whose title keeps bringing to mind the old Stevie Nicks song, “The Edge of Seventeen” and is a nice dig at the glossy hypocrisies of the magazine) is also damn funny, in something of the manner of the 18th-century philosophes, and just a very humane and humanizing treatment of an all too recognizable
world.”
—Jayne Lewis, UCLA Adjunct professor of English, and author of three books

“Shan Serafin invites readers to walk in the shoes of a young woman searching for meaning in a material world—a road many young people travel. His Seventeen provides them an entertaining guide—in part, because so much of the story is told through dialogue. Kids will read it for pleasure, and leave it with understanding.”
—Carol Jago, Director, California Reading and Literature Project at UCLA; Editor, California English; and English Department Chairman, Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, CA

”When asked through the years how to improve SAT verbal and reading scores, I’ve consistently offered students the same advice: build your vocabularies! By happening to include more than 700 SAT words in the text of Seventeen, Shan Serafin exposes his readers to a plethora of SAT words. To the author’s credit, this vocabulary is interspersed in a natural way that doesn’t interfere with the reader’s enjoyment of the book. On the contrary, the mature language enriches the story by demonstrating the sophistication of the protagonist’s intellect and the intensity of her struggle to find a reason to live. Because Sophia repeats many words throughout her journey, students learn the meaning of this vocabulary in context—something that’s extremely difficult to accomplish through the rote memorization of word lists. As a result, I strongly recommend Shan Serafin’s Seventeen to any student who’s interested in a compelling story, an enhanced vocabulary, and higher SAT scores.”
—Phil Pine, Founder and Director, Capital Educators, LLC

“Beset by the angst of adolescence, Serafin’s female protagonist in Seventeen is more than disturbingly real. This emerging young writer crafts tight dialogue and sharp characterization to reveal doubts that temp and torment youth. His book is both compelling and haunting.”
— Barbara Keller, Teacher of English Literature, Woodside HighSchool, San Mateo, CA

“Seventeen is well done. I couldn’t put it down . . . The characters are so real—so similar to kids I know . . . The book helps readers know what’s important in life.”
—Gayane Khechoomian, Los Angeles, CA, 22 at time of reading

“Intriguing and well-written.”
—Lisa Morales, Creative Executive, John Wells Productions

“Serafin’s Seventeen takes up a difficult, truly daunting, subject area. Teenage girls are difficult enough, much less those contemplating suicide. But despite the difficult task, the novel is a delight to read. All the characters are well etched, but Sophia is a wonder—she’s like so many young women I’ve known, and yet, she’s utterly unique. Like most girls her age, she can be so exasperating and so full of late adolescent angst that I just want to shake her. She’s a woman so sad and so thoughtful, I want to hold her through her pain. And in the end, she makes me want to pick her up and carry her in celebration. Sophia is a finely drawn, remarkable character. Seventeen is a remarkable book.”
—Ken Saragosa, Assistant Professor of English Literature, Soka University

“Seventeen is both really cool and really sad . . . There’s no other book like it.”
—Jessica Gomez, New York, NY, 18 at time of reading

“Seventeen, an entertaining account of what teens face finding their true identity,shows that both girls and guys can easily get caught up in self-judgments. I’d recommend it to any woman . . . and to all guys who want to understand women . . . This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long, long time.”
—Kim Mitchell, Florence, Italy, 19 at time of reading

“Serafin’s skillfully crafted ride on the mercurial roller coaster of adolescent uncertainty
leaves the reader wanting more, yet fearing an uncertain destination. Sometimes brutally frank,
Seventeen’s chapters are a validation of self worth. Read, remember, and learn.”
—Hale Keller, Former San Mateo County Teacher of the Year, English Literature, and Head of the English Department, Woodside High School, San Mateo, CA
“Seventeen made me feel empowered and exposed. It was like someone got inside my head and opened me up . . . It shows that girls who are down on themselves can appear stuck-up, but actually are just struggling to figure themselves out . . . I’d recommend it to any young female age 15 to 22!”
—Gisselle Acuna, Culver City, CA, 22 at time of reading

“Seventeen is a page-turner. Every chapter, my jaw kept dropping further and further.”

—Antonella Nistorescu, Sherman Oaks, CA
“A beautiful and insightful journey into and through the spirit of a teenager, Seventeen reflects the author’s understanding of an important fact of human development: the latter half of a teenager’s years are often full of troubles, full of questions, and full of joy.”
—José Ramón Montero, High School Teacher, Culver City, CA

“I’d recommend this book to any young women ages 15 to 25, although at age 28 it affected me, too . . . Author Shan Serafin did a fantastic job!!!”
—Jessica Bogard, Hollywood, CA

“Seventeen addresses the insecurities and suicidal tendencies that prevail among adolescents . . . It realistically portrays a woman’s inner dialogue and makes you think. I really, really loved it.”
—Tatiana Allen, Santa Monica, CA

“The plot of Seventeen rings true—I could imagine all of it happening. The novel also portrays all the women’s thoughts well. And it dealt with many issues that are very real to adolescent girls. Every girl feels a bit like Sophia, the novel’s protagonist—like an ugly duckling weighed down by ugly duckling attitudes. Insecurity touches us all. I was excited that Sophia chose against suicide, opting for the harder road—to live. Full of memorable and emotional passages, Seventeen is a book I’ll recommend to all my girlfriends.”
—Angela Asmus, Phoenix, AZ

“Seventeen encourages readers to be true to themselves.”
—Leigh Jordan, Los Angeles, CA

“Though a cautionary tale targeting young adults who feel forlorn enough to contemplate suicide, older readers will also appreciate this deep look at a teen in trouble. The storyline is told from Sophia’s perspective as she wonders why she’s invisible to males and a failure in every other aspect of life. Shauna (her best friend), the pharmacist (from whom she seeks information about pharmaceuticals to end her life), and others remain oblivious to Sophia’s painful belief she’s a non-person unworthy of life. After setting the stage for Sophia’s disenchantment with the world, the countdown begins, and author Shan Serafin grips readers, who pray for a Prince Charming climax while knowing this is not a fairy tale.”
—Harriet Klausner, America’s number one reviewer, who gives the book 10 out of 10 stars

“This book changed my life . . . I’d recommend it to all women.”
—Terri Mathieson, Beverly Hills, CA

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