Monday, March 12, 2012

Never Eighteen ~ Megan Bostic


Never Eighteen
Author: Megan Bostic
Publication: January 17, 2012
By: HMH Children's Books
4 Stars! 

Warning: Tissues required!

I like the cover but the mustang should be red considering it's red in the book. I'm not sure why that bothers me but it does a little.

This book isn't very big but packs a huge punch, right to the heart.  Seventeen year old Austin has terminal cancer and most likely won't live to see his eighteenth birthday.  There's still so much life left in him and even though he won't get the chance to live it, he wants to make sure those around him do.  In this heartbreaking book about love, loss and learning to let go, Megan Bostic shows us just how precious life really is. 

Austin doesn't have much time left so he wants to make it count not only for himself but for the people he cares about.  With the help of his long time BFF Kaylee, he sets out for the weekend to check a few things off his bucket list, things like, overcoming his fear of heights, atoning for a mistake he made years ago and finally working up the nerve to tell the only person he's ever loved exactly how he feels before it's too late.  *sighs*  They stop along the way so Austin can pay visits to various people and share with them his feelings about how they've affected his life over the years. Each of these people are dealing with their own issues and Austin wants so badly for them to be able to move on, to see that life is short and shouldn't be wasted.  

Austin struggles at times with the reality that his own life will soon be over and the jealousy that goes with it, yet he has the need to make sure those he's leaving behind will be okay once he's gone.  Your heart can't help breaking for his character who won't get to do all the things his friends will, go to college, get married, have kids, etc. (let the sobfest begin...) 

True to his selflessness, Austin even attempts to care for those he loves after he's gone.  He plans out his memorial service in a letter he leaves that will have you laughing one minute and will rip.your.heart.out the next. (I went into the "ugly cry" by the end) I wanted so badly for this story to end a different way even though I knew from the start it wouldn't. *sobs* 

Yeah, it's sad and it was SNOTFEST2012 by the time I was finished reading (about 2 hrs) but it has such a good message - life is short!  None of us are promised a long and healthy life so we should make whatever life we have count and not just for ourselves.  Love fully, forgive completely (and quickly) and live as if tomorrow depends on it.

Author Megan Bostic has set up a nevereighteen.com with lots of cool stuff like Austin's playlist. 

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