Monday, February 6, 2012

Never Eighteen, by Megan Bostic

Austin is a 17 year old boy; he will never be 18.  He knows this because he is battling a terminal illness.  As Austin comes to terms with his fate, he is determined to make a difference in the lives of those around him.  He decides to take time out to right some wrongs, accomplish some goals, and make sure those who love him know he loved them back.

Grab your tissues, because you are going to need them.  Perhaps it was the fatalistic beauty, or perhaps having a 17 year old nephew named Austin made this hit too close to home.  Whichever it was, this book was like a knife directly into my heart.  As I neared the end, I literally wept in my bed.  This book is so incredibly touching.

I absolutely loved Austin's character, and all the things he stood for.  Here is an incredibly brave, and beautifully flawed young man on a journey.  I really enjoyed learning about Austin through the visits he made and the goals he accomplished.  I felt like he was written in a very realistic manner.  I really enjoyed watching Austin complete his bucket list of sorts, and I found him to be very endearing.  While we meet many lesser characters through Austin's activities, I never felt overwhelmed with characters or storyline.  In the end, this is Austin's story.

I thought that this book handles some really tough topics adeptly.  Terminal illness, rape, divorce, teen death, drug addiction, teen sexuality... many authors will not touch one of these topics, let alone take them all on.  I feel like because this book did not shy away from the difficult topics, it will really resonate with teen readers.  These issues are real, and teens face them every day.

I was really moved by this book.  The writing is simple and straightforward, yet the story and characters are touching and poignant.  A really powerful read about making the most of the life you are given, this book will appeal to both teen and adult readers.

I received a review copy courtesy of the Amazon Vine program.

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