Jan 17, 2012
Review - Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic +Giveaway
January 17th, 2012 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The title really says it all. Austin is a 17-year-old boy who will never see his 18th birthday. He has decided to spend one of his last weekends mending fences with others and laying his heart on the line. Sickness has taken over his body and he feels that the time to make things right is running out. Old friends, acquaintances, and family members get paid a visit. All the while, Austin works up the nerve to tell his best friend, Kaylee, that he loves her; that he has loved her since the first day they met in third grade.
You know by the synopsis that this one will be a tear jerker, but this story is wrapped in a warm blanket of hope and optimism. Austin isn't struggling to find a cure or begging God to be miraculously healed. He takes a mature approach to his impending death even when others aren't ready to face the truth. Austin is only looking to right some wrongs and find out a few answers along the way before his time runs out. Things don't always go according to plan, but Austin is steadfast and commits to seeing his plan out. Watching him go through this journey is truly inspiring. You can't help but count your blessings and question what might have gone wrong with a few relationships in your life.
His friendship with Kaylee is endearing and although you feel for Austin's parents and their soon-to-be loss of their only child, it is Kaylee who you empathize with more. They have already suffered the loss of a mutual friend, and together they seem to be able to rise above everything. Except for this one thing - Austin's illness. As the story progresses, I was anxiously awaiting for Austin to confesses his love for Kaylee. It takes him quite some time and more than one attempt before the words finally come. Not all predictable and I am pleased with how the bow was tied on at the end.
The epilogue is told in the third person as Kaylee goes through a box that Austin left her after he passes. I dare anyone not to shed a tear when you read the moving letter he writes her. "I'm so sorry we didn't have more time together. Nine years just didn't seem like enough, right?" If soul mates truly exist, surely they are a pair. Simply beautiful...
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