Published: January 17th 2012 by HMH Children's Books
Genre: Contemporary/ Y.A
Date Finished: 15th February 2012
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.
I was so excited to get this book in the mail. It is a small one, but I just loved the premise and I knew I would get around to reading it soon despite my overwhelming pile of books. After hearing about the Road Trio week hosted over at Reading Wishes that runs from 13th-17th of February it was all the nudge I needed to put everything aside and dig into Never Eighteen.
To be honest I didn’t really like Austin very much in the beginning, especially when he was going around and seeing all the people that he wanted to make amends with. The way he treated Kaylee in my eyes was just not on and while I understood he needed privacy to me it felt like he was using her. I don’t think it was intentional but it was something that bugged me and had me rolling my eyes. Sadly despite my hopes his personality didn’t change very much at all. I found him to just be a bully and insensitive and don’t get me wrong he had his redeeming moments and I don’t want to hate on a kid with Cancer but really- erk I wanted to punch him.
The minor characters in this book, and there were many had some interesting flaws, but for the most part were undeveloped and flat. I honestly did not care for any of them and it saddened me, the time to get to know them in any capacity was cut short my Austin’s journey and I didn’t really get the chance to see a balance.
The premise is what kept me reading, that and the hope that Austin might show some redeeming qualities. This book was nothing like I anticipated and was more of a weekend friend troll than a road trip.
There were parts of this journey that I did enjoy and for the most part I was able to laugh and was grateful for the small fortune of humor. I also liked Kaylee as a character, and her friendship and interaction with Austin was a major part of me continuing with the story. I also loved the names that she gave to her sexy mustang and the way that music was a big part in the story it gave some meaning to the characters and Austin’s past as well as his present and the impact it is causing for all those around him.
Megan Bostic’s writing style is simplistic & kudos for her Debut novel. I think for a first novel it was okay. I would like to read more of her work in the coming years as I think she has a lot of potential. I think my main concern was that it took too long to really begin and I think it began with his approaching death in the final chapters. [which is no spoiler] Despite myself I was tearing up and I really did feel for Austin, it didn’t change the way I thought of him, but it did make me compassionate and see all the good he was trying to achieve.
I would recommend this book to those who are looking for a more emotional read. Was it inspirational? No, I didn’t find it inspirational at all. I could commend Austin on his aim to help the people he cared about appreciate their own lives, but for me inspirational is something a little different to the way this book was portrayed. Still it was a really great.