Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Never Eighteen [Review]

Title: Never Eighteen
Author: Megan Bostic

Publisher: HMH Children's Books
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Hardcover: 200 pages
Average Star Rating: 3.79

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.

My Thoughts:
This book was so bittersweet. From the title (and the synopsis) it is apparent that Austin will not be turning 18. And, despite the fact that I knew this book would make me tear up, be sad, and/or cry, I still read it. And, boy, am I glad I did. I read this book for the intention of spotlighting it in my Road Trip Challenge. Now, many will ask, why? Even though it's not a cross country roadtrip, however, Austin and Kaylee do a lot of driving around the state of Washington and Austin let's us in to the fun as well.

This book is told from a male perspective and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it as told by Austin. I thought it was a very different thing to come across. I'm used to listening to a girl's perspective but it was very nice reading a guy's perspective from a woman writer.

I do feel that it could have been a bit sadder at the end. In fact, I was expecting a bit more from the ending. For some reason I didn't cry. Don't get me wrong, I totally teared up, but I was expecting a full out sob like I did with My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult.

Despite the fact that I didn't cry as much as expected and that it is a very bittersweet story. I still enjoyed reading every word. I'm definitely going to be on the lookout for other books by Megan Bostic.

My Rating:
4 / 5 Stars

Now, since this book is being featured in my Road Trip Challenge I interviewed the lovely Megan Bostic and here it is! I hope you enjoy!

--What inspired you to write a novel featuring a road trip?

Austin’s road trip is a little different from others, as his is part of a bucket list he creates when he realizes he may never see his 18th birthday. The inspiration behind the particular novel came from my own experience of taking care of my mother-in-law when she had cancer. I think when we are face to face with death; it makes us contemplate our own mortality. What would I do if I had a short time left? Sure, I’d want the party, I’d want to travel, but I do think I’d want to make a difference in people’s lives, to make a mark, even if only a small one, and that’s what Austin tried to do on his weekend road trip.

--How much research did you do and what kind of research was done?

As far as the road trip is concerned, most of it takes place in my back yard, per say, so there wasn’t too much research needed. Austin and Kaylee do take a hike up to Mount Rainier, a hike I’d done a few times, though a handful of years ago, so I decided to make the trek again. I’m glad I did because in the first draft I didn’t do it justice. So many beautiful details would have been left out had I not gone on that hike again.  Also, and this is pathetic, I know, having lived in the area my entire life, I’d never been to the Space Needle. So, I went and had lunch and went to the viewing area of the Space Needle to see what it was like. I wasn’t disappointed.

--Would you ever consider writing another book that features a road trip? Why or why not?

I would definitely write another road trip book. I’d started one a while back, but put it aside, I will probably pick it back up again someday. I think there’s a lot to be said for road trip books. I love reading them, number one. Also, you can really dig deep into not only interpersonal relationships, but internalizations of the characters. They are in such a tightly enclosed space, we can really get to know them as well as their relationship to one another, but also, there is always some quiet reflective time when it’s possible to get into the character’s head and explore their thoughts and emotions.

--In your opinion what makes the road trip?

A road trip is simply a vehicle, at least one good friend, good music, and the open road. You don’t even have to have a destination in mind.

--What are your ideal stops for your road trip?

We used to travel a lot when I was a kid, and took many road trips across the country, but since graduating high school, I’ve always wanted to drive cross country and go to the places I’ve never been and see things I’ve never seen (or maybe go places I’ve been but don’t remember too well because I was young). A couple places that would definitely be on my list would be Mount Rushmore, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I’d go up to the New England are, way up northeast because I’ve never been. A couple other places would be Graceland, New Orleans, and some sunny California beaches.

--What are your favorite road trip snacks?

Have to start with coffee from Starbucks. I like to fill the cooler with fruits that you can eat with your fingers and aren’t too messy, like grapes and blueberries. I’d have some Greek Yogurt and Coke Zero, nacho cheese Doritos, and a couple bags of Gummy Worms.

--In your opinion, what are some road trip necessities?

Music is the most important. GPS definitely. Water bottle, emergency kit, first aid kit, magazines and books, pillows and blankets.

--And finally, what’s your road trip playlist?

Very difficult question. My taste in music is very eclectic. I’ve thought about this before and I’d have to have different music genres for different stretches of the trip.

For the first leg of a trip, I like to listen to upbeat pump-you-up music:
  • These Days by the Foo Fighters
  • Mr. Brightside by The Killers
  • Get Some by Lykke Li
  • I Write Sins not Tragedies by Panic! At The Disco
  • Misery Business by Paramore
  • Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
  • Alives by Pearl Jam
  • Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger
  • This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race by Fall Out Boy
  • Last Night by the Strokes
  • Fat Lip by Sum 41
  • Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine
  • Just about anything by the Beastie Boys

Second leg of the trip, hip-hop and rap to keep you going:
  • Airplanes part II by B.O.B. feat. Haley Williams and Eminem
  • In the Dark by Dev feat. Flo Rida
  • Forever by Drake, Kanye West, Li’l Wayne, and Eminem
  • No Love by Eminem feat. Li’l Wayne
  • Good Feeling by Flo Rida
  • Remember the Name by Fort Minor
  • Superbass by Nicki Minaj
  • Single Ladies by Beyonce
  • Bottoms Up Trey Songz feat. Nicki Minaj
  • Look at Me Now by Chris Brown feat. Li’l Wayne and Busta Rhymes
  • Rude Boy by Rihanna

On the last leg of the trip, I like to take it down a notch with a little punchy indie and rock as I prepare to reach my destination:
  • Loser by Beck
  • Going the Distance by Cake
  • Yellow by Cold Play
  • Stay Young Go Dancing by Death Cab for Cutie
  • Calamity Song by the Decemberists
  • Criminal by Fiona Apple
  • How We Operate by Gomez
  • Gold on the Ceiling by the Black Keys
  • The District Sleeps Tonight by The Postal Service
  • Sail by AWOLNATION
  • Short Skirt Long Jacket by Cake

I hope you enjoyed the review and the interview. Definitely check this book out if you haven't already!

xo Stephanie


  1. Man, this book really calls to me, but I'm not really ready for anything sad. Might have to check it out anyway. Great review!

    1. definitely check it out. you might be surprised. :] I really enjoyed it!

  2. I never really considered having different playlists based on where you are in the road trip. I'm usually just a put it on shuffle kind of girl and hope that nothing too depressing comes on.

    This book definitely sounds like it's up my alley and I'll have to check it out :)

  3. Awesome review! This seem like such an interesting story and i love the playlist segments.

    Thanks for the follow. Back at cha!