Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic
Published: January 17, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Austin Parker is on a journey to bring truth, beauty, and meaning to his life.
Austin Parker is never going to see his eighteenth birthday. At the rate he’s going, he probably won’t even see the end of the year. The doctors say his chances of surviving are slim to none even with treatment, so he’s decided it’s time to let go.
But before he goes, Austin wants to mend the broken fences in his life. So with the help of his best friend, Kaylee, Austin visits every person in his life who touched him in a special way. He journeys to places he’s loved and those he’s never seen. And what starts as a way to say goodbye turns into a personal journey that brings love, acceptance, and meaning to Austin’s life.
What do you do when you know that you are not going to live much longer? Austin visits people who he thinks needs help. He hopes that the things he has to say (that he wouldn't normally say if he wasn't dying) will somehow help them. During this weekend journey, he also does a few things he has always wanted to do but never has.
I have mixed feelings about this book, but I am reviewing it anyway because I signed up to be part of the traveling tour. On the back of the book I read (which was an ARC even though it has now been published), it says what is wrong with Austin, even though it is not on the blurb above. However, when you read the book, you don't know that he is dying until you are probably about 75% through with the book. It makes references to the fact that he is sick, but you don't know what is really going on until almost the end. Overall, Never Eighteen is very sad and makes you think about life and death. Megan Bostic powerfully portrayed the emotions of many of the characters throughout the book. I found myself wanting to keep reading so I could find out what happened to Austin as well as the people he went to visit. You may not enjoy this book if you do not like emotional reads.
It says this book is recommended for 12 and up; however, I would recommend it only for older YA or adults due to language, references to sex, alcohol and drugs, etc.
Reviewed as part of a traveling tour.
About the author:
Megan (that’s with a long “e”) Bostic is a mere human trying to find her place in the universe and an all-around great girl. Despite the rain and gray (she’s truly solar powered) making her extremely angsty, she’s lived in the Pacific Northwest her whole life, and still does, with her two crazy beautiful girls.
She thrives on the challenges faced in her journey to publication and has documented it vlog style. You can find her Chronicles of an Aspiring Writer on Youtube.
Her writing process she lovingly calls “organized chaos”. She writes on her laptop at the kitchen table next to the sliding glass door so she can absorb as much sun as she can. The “organized” part of the process mostly takes place in her head and involves the beginning and the end of her work in progress. The “chaos” part is pretty much how she sits down and writes with reckless abandon, not stopping to fix, revise, edit, or even breathe until she’s done.
When not writing, Megan is usually chauffeuring her teenage daughters and their friends, watching her girls play soccer, watching movies and TV shows on Netflix, hanging out with friends, spending time at the ocean, or walking the Narrows Bridge.
Megan loves the color black, monkeys, and is a notorious Facebook addict. She’s a proud member of The Class of 2K12 and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. You can also find her on Twitter, Goodreads, and anywhere else cool authors hang out.