Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic

By: Megan Bostic
Publisher: HMH Children’s Books
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Genre/Age: YA Contemporary
Pages: 204
Source: Library

“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 love tearjerkers, and I wanted to love this book, but for some reason I just wasn't connecting. We're thrown so quickly into Austin's quest to make everyone else's life better, and I felt like I didn't really get to know him at all. Everything just felt very rushed, and I wasn't invested enough to actually be upset when the story reached the inevitable conclusion. I cry at everything (seriously, everything), but I didn’t feel the urge even once.

In addition, every single situation Austin was trying to "fix" was completely clichĂ©d. The gay friend, the rape victim, the mom who stopped living after her son’s death, the friend in an abusive relationship, the estranged mother and daughter… I know listing them out like this makes it feel very dry, but that’s pretty much how it felt in the story to me. Don’t get me wrong, I think these are all extremely serious and important issues to deal with and address, I just didn’t feel like Never Eighteen really addressed them effectively. It was trying to do much. And it seemed presumptuous for Austin to even be interfering in these people's lives in the first place. 

I also had trouble understanding why he and Kaylee supposedly loved each other. I saw no evidence (other than the fact that she was willing to drive him around for two whole days while he made her wait in the car and gave her no explanation as to what he was doing). And then when they finally did admit their feelings to each other 
(VERY SMALL SPOILER!!) they’re laying on a football field and end up having sex right then and there. Dude, I get that you’re dying and time’s limited, but a football field? Really? You couldn’t even wait to get inside somewhere? It felt so rushed. (END SPOILER!)

I really hate writing such a negative review, but Never Eighteen just completely missed the mark for me. I know a lot of people who loved it, but I wouldn’t personally recommend it.

1 comment:

  1. good honest review. I don't think it was that negative. You just gave your opinion.


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