Author: Megan Bostic
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Graphia Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Format: Paperback, 200 Pages
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Summary: I had the dream again. The one where I'm running. I don't know what from or where to, but I'm scared, terrified really.
Austin Parker is never going to see his eighteenth birthday. He probably won't even see the end of the year. But in the short time he has left, there's one thing he can do: He can try to help the people he loves live--even though he never will.
It's probably hopeless.
But he has to try.
Never Eighteen is about life and what it really means to live it to the fullest; and it's about death and how to accept it with honor and dignity. Austin Parker only has a short time left to live before the cancer eventually takes over. Seeing the world through new eyes, Austin notices how the people he loves most are barely living their lives. With his life coming to an end, Austin wishes for his loved ones not to waste the life they have that he'll never get to experience himself. Whether touched by addiction, loss, or violence, Austin with Kaylee, his best friend and love of his life, sets out on a journey to change the lives around him and show what it means to really live life while facing death himself.
To use a few words from Never Eighteen, this book has "so much feeling, so much meaning, it cries out for attention." Forgiveness, memories, love: these are all the things Austin searches out for on his weekend journey, for himself and those who have left their mark on his life. He saw that they were barely living, given up in a sense; whether they were touched my addiction, loss, or violence; and he wanted to do something to help.
"I want them to feel peace, joy, and happiness. I want for them what I no longer have myself. Life."
Austin is so selfless in the face of his death. He wants his loved ones to LIVE life to the fullest. He wants them to reach out, to move on, to forgive, and to HOPE. Austin leaves his mark on the lives of those he visited on his journey just as much as they left their mark on his life. And when death finally comes, Austin faces it with honor and dignity to the very end.
Never Eighteen is thought provoking and bittersweet. You will laugh at times and definitely cry snot-tears of sadness. The message of this book, at its very core, is to LIVE. Because there are those who, like Austin, will never be eighteen, never get married, never have children, never really LIVE. So laugh, love, cry, and just live life to the fullest, because there are those who never will. And never forget those who left their mark on your life. Austin has definitely left his mark on my life and he will never be forgotten.
About this 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, Jacketflap, and anywhere else cool authors hang out.
(isn't it awkward when people talk about themselves in third person?)
Never Eighteen was read during the Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon