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Book Review: Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic

Never EighteenTitle: Never Eighteen 
Author: Megan Bostic
Series: Standalone
Pages: 204
Publisher: HMH Children's Books
Date of Publication: 17th January 2012
Source: netGalley*
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.

My Thoughts:
I've had Never Eighteen for ages, since April 2011. I'd been meaning to read it shortly after I got it, but I just never got around to it. Which is a shame, because I really enjoyed it! It was short and quick and cute and sad and I cried. And I'm not a crier. I don't EVER cry, but with this book, I did. It's about cancer, and at any mention of cancer killing people, I turn into a little crying ball of mess... Okay, yeah, I *might* have exaggerated there.

Anyway, don't let that put you off! It was good, I promise! :D The book is about a guy called Austin who is dying of cancer, and he decides he has to go out and make good with everyone he felt he needed to - whether he'd wronged them in the past, or whether he felt that they had a chance to live and they should live it because they never know when it might get taken away from them. I found that at each stop he went to, each person he went to see, I got to know him even more. I loved meeting each new person, and I loved hearing what he had to say to them, and trying to work out what happened to them and how Austin was trying to make it better.

I especially loved that Austin wasn't always successful. He didn't always get through to the person he was talking to, yet even though sometimes doing what he did made the situation even worse, I still kind of got a sense of fulfilment from it - because I knew that he'd done all he could to make things right, and he couldn't regret not doing more because there was nothing more that he could do.

But I also felt that there was more to the book then him just seeing these people and tying up any loose ends. I think the book was also about Austin coming to terms with the fact that he was actually, literally going to die in the very near future. I don't know about you, but I'd be bloody terrified, yet not once throughout the whole book did I get a sense that Austin wasn't ready. I felt that he handled it in a very calm and controlled way, and while I find it difficult to imagine that I could ever cope as well as he did, it was completely believable that that was the way in which he would have reacted to his dying, had he been a real person.

Kaylee, was awesome. I quickly found myself loving her and the amazing friendship she had with Austin. She gets annoyed, offended, upset, angry... She goes through so many bad emotions for Austin, yet she's ALWAYS there, ready to drive him to the next place and wait for him in the car, just because she's an amazing friend. And it's SO obvious that she's in love with him, and it's adorable, but also infuriating because she won't admit it. It broke my heart so many times that they couldn't be together as a couple, but I know why Bostic wrote it that way, and I'm SO glad she did. It wouldn't nearly be the awesome book that it was, had Bostic written them together as a couple for the entirety of the book.

The last thing I'll talk about is the end. Oh. My. Word. The end, awww, it was both the best and worst ending it could possibly have had. I won't spoil it, but it involves a letter, and the whole way through said letter, I had to keep wiping my eyes because I literally couldn't see the words on my Kindle because of my tears. Seriously, it's adorable and sad and just wow. It was amazing. Incredible. Wow. I'd have a mental breakdown if someone wrote that letter to me... So - the best because it made me feel SO MUCH, and the worst for the same reason - it broke my heart. (as a lot of things in this book did, it seems... ;P )

Overall though, I really, really enjoyed Never Eighteen. It's cute and sad and a quick, awesome read, even if it is a little rushed at times (which is the ONLY reason I gave it 4 feet - because sometimes it REALLY annoyed me that I didn't get those extra pages that I think would have made it perfect). It made me think and it made me cry. I'd definitely recommend it to any fans of YA contemporary fiction because it's awesome, and I can't believe it's a debut! I'll most definitely make sure to read anything else that Megan Bostic writes in the future, because I love her writing style - short and simple, and very, very emotive. Read it!

*Huge thanks to HMH and netGalley for allowing me access to this title in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the novel. 

My Rating:
I give it 4 stars!

Comments

  1. Okay, now I really feel like I need to read this book - already wanted to but now I very much want to!! Great review

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  2. Just added it to my TBR! Thanks so much for the review.

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  3. I've had it from netgalley forever as well. Now I have to go read it!

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  4. Okay, you've moved this from 'probable' to 'must read' on my list - awesome review!

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  5. THE EENNNNDDDD :(

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  6. Bahahaha this sounds exactly like my review. I'm not a cryer either but I was totally in tears at the end. The ending just killed me. It was like a stab to the heart. :( But still, SUCH a good book!

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