by Megan Bostic
Publisher: HMH Children's Books
Source: Self Purchased
Available as of January 17, 2012
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Fishpond
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I had the dream again. The one where I’m running. I don’t know what from or where to, but I’m scared, terrified really.
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. But in the short time he has left there’s one thing he can do: He can try to help the people he loves live—even though he never will.
It’s probably hopeless.
But he has to try.
There have been a very select few books where I read not just the story, but every single page because I'm not ready to part with the characters or the feelings that have been stirred up. Never Eighteen is officially added to the few. Megan Bostic wrote a powerful, moving 200 page story of a boy in love with a girl that went above and beyond my wildest imagination.
Austin Parker will never live to be 18 because he was diagnosed with cancer and he's slowly dying. His best friend, Kaylee, agrees to help him accomplish an undisclosed set of things he needs to do before he dies, a bucket list of sorts. After 9 years he can only hope she returns his feelings so he can die happy.
After being told he only has so long to live, Austin sets out to accomplish a never-ending list of things he wants to do before his time ends. He feels insignificant and realizes some of the people he knows aren't living their lives, but squandering them away. His life has an expiration date and all he wants is to face his fears, have a teenage experience, and encourage those who aren't living their lives to the fullest, to do so. Austin was an amazing character. I have never met someone who was as down-to-Earth and selfless as he was. He spent time helping others instead of focusing completely on himself, even when he knew he didn't have much time left. Kaylee was his rock through it all. She put up with all of his shenanigans, even the most insane, without the slightest hesitation.
I absolutely loved Never Eighteen. When I ordered it I didn't realize how small the book was, but its size fooled me. So many emotions were brought to life in the few hours and half-a-box of tissues it took me to finish this heartbreakingly beautiful book. I was hopeful, happy, angry, and sad. I laughed and cried. Putting the book down was torture. It was everything I had hoped it would be and more.
Overall, this was one of the best books I've ever read and I highly recommend it. This small book packed a wicked punch.