Monday, 20 August 2012

Review: Never Eighteen

Title: Never Eighteen
Author: Megan Bostic
Publisher: HMH Children’s Books
Publication Date: January 17th, 2012
Genre: YA, Contemporary

There are so many things that Austin Parker will never get to do, from going to college to turning eighteen. One weekend, he and his best friend Kaylee spend two days doing things Austin wants to do while he still can. Austin has people he wants to talk to, in efforts to help them. He tries to experience things he’s always wanted to do, help the people he knows, and right wrongs he’s made in the past. He’s also trying to make the world better for the people he’s leaving behind. Austin just wants to help his friends and family do what he can’t do for much longer: live.

This novella touches on a lot of serious issues in a short time. At first, I thought it was sort of going to be like I Am The Messenger with cancer. Maybe this assumption set my expectations too high, but I felt a bit let down by this book. At first I found it difficult to get into, perhaps because of the present tense narration. Perhaps because all the things Austin had to do were things he had to check off on his mental to-do list, and it just felt like he was going through the motions in helping these people. Around the third person he visited it just felt unrealistic, since there was so many major issues touched upon with the different characters. I also expected him to help people in a more creative way than just talking to him. Dialogue is a big part of this book, and I thought something was off about the characters’ conversations with each other. At the same time, this book was an emotional read that got to me at some points. At times the writing was descriptive and well phrased. Never Eighteen was moving at the end and I liked the playlist at the end of the book. This book was thought provoking and will appeal to people who like sentimental books about life and death.


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