Seventeen by Shan Serafin
A Novel

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The ultimatum: Show me a reason to live or I 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 crescendo.

Sophia is taking summer courses at a New York City college between her junior and senior years 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 attractive 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 adult world she yearns to inhabit.

Sophia’s plight is the plight of every girl or woman who’s ever felt substandard, every girl or woman who’s ever questioned her own value, indeed every person who’s ever wondered, “Is life worth the suffering?”

Author Shan Serafin has written as a story-developer and dialogue-sweetener for film and television. He taught high school English before becoming a college entrance counselor, eventually serving as national leader for the teenage division of Soka Gakkai International-USA as well as editor of its national youth newspaper, Seize the Day. He has written and directed numerous stage plays—for both young and old. He also has directed several TV documentaries on adolescent issues.

Seventeen is his first novel. He is currently completing his second, called Conquest, about the dating habits of 20-something males.

Serafin lives in Los Angeles, California.

About Shan Serafin

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Shan Serafin was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and raised in northern and southern California. During an extremely varied career, he has worked as a story developer and a dialogue sweetener for both film and television, including work for ABC-TV, Disney, BBC, Imagination Arts, HBO, and Sawai, Inc. He has written six episodes of a television documentary on adolescent issues. He has written and directed several plays, including The Essential Bond, which dramatizes the life of famed chemist Linus Pauling, the only person to win two unshared Nobel Prizesone for chemistry, the other for peace. Prior to his career in writing, he taught high school English, history, and math for several years in Los Angeles. Prior to that, he served as a college admissions counselor at UCLA, his alma mater, where he obtained an undergraduate degree in English and math. He was a national leader for the teenage division of Soka Gakkai International-USA as well as editor of its national youth gazette, Seize the Day, and frequent contributor to its newspaper, World Tribune. Seventeen is his first novel, which he wrote, in part, because of a dearth of similar stories for the high school audience. He is currently working on his second, tentatively titled Conquest. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.
Published March 5, 2012 by Bancroft Press. 271 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

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