Monday, January 16, 2012
Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic
Austin is seventeen, but he's never going to be eighteen. He's dying. But he's determined to also make the most of the time that he has left; he doesn't want his life to have been lived in vain. Over the course of one momentous weekend, he will do things he's never done before, visit favourite places one last time, reach out to old friends (and old enemies), and do everything in his power to make sure that he when he does pass away, he will have no regrets.
It took awhile for me to get into the story. I warmed to Austin almost immediately, but his relationship with Kaylee confused me. She was so angry with him most of the time, pissed off at his behaviour. Then, once Austin started making his rounds, the issues that he was confronting were almost at Degrassi High-levels: death, grief, homosexuality, rape, abortion, divorce, bullying, drugs, abuse. But somewhere for me, the story clicked. The story never lagged; time was at a premium and, just like in Austin's life, every moment counted. Kaylee wasn't there to be be Austin's yes-girl; she had emotions that she was dealing with regarding Austin that left her conflicted. It also clicked on a personal level. It had me reflecting on what what I would do if I was in Austin's position, who I'd want to see, what I want to do. By the end of the book I cared enough about the characters to be deeply moved by Austin's death and how the other characters reacted. There are readers who love books that make them sad, and this is exactly the kind of book that I would put in their hands.
(One minor quibble, based on the way that the cover looks before publication: so much is made out of the redness of the car, I would have loved to have seen that shown on the cover image.)
Don't miss checking out Megan Bostic's website.
Find it at IndieBound.
Read it with:
Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Deadline by Chris Crutcher