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A Need for Hope

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A Need for Hope
CountryUnited States
  • Young adult novel
  • Realistic fiction
Media typePrint (hardcover, paperback)
ISBN1079573968 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.

A Need for Hope is a 2015 young adult realistic fiction novel written by Griffin Kao. The novel was independently published on July 1, 2015 through Amazon.com and is a coming of age story told from the perspective of two troubled high school juniors. A Need for Hope explores themes of mental illness, sexuality, and extreme academic pressure and is meant to push back on the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope by affirming ideals of independence and self-derived happiness.[1]


Cooper Calendar is a junior at an uber-competitive high school balancing a difficult course load, multiple extracurriculars, and a social life. A loss of interest and joy in his life coincides with the realization that he's gay and he slowly begins to spiral. Jane Gallagher is a junior at a neighboring school dealing with an eating disorder and crumbling social structure. As pressure from family and friends mounts for Jane - as well as Cooper - both are driven to the edge. Cooper unsuccessfully attempts suicide while Jane suffers a total breakdown. Fate brings them together in the teen psych ward and they soon develop a friendship. As they spend more time together, Jane begins to develop feelings for Cooper, who is unable to reciprocate. Cooper meanwhile falls in love with another resident of the ward, Nate. In the end, Cooper is able to make a full recovery, but Jane originally believing Cooper was the solution to her mental illness, is hit hard by Cooper's rejection. She's left in a precarious state, where she forced to claw her own way back to happiness.


  1. "GK Writing: Books". Retrieved August 2, 2019.

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