Monday, January 30, 2012

Megan Bostic's Never Eighteen (Pass it On!)

I have been looking forward to reading this book since I first heard about it, so when Megan asked who wanted to be a part of her promotional tour, I jumped at the chance. The theme is clever and fitting for the book, but I think I will give you more of that after a brief review:

Never Eighteen, currently resting in Ann Arbor, MI.
(from the back): Austin Parker is never going to see his eighteenth birthday. 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.

You see, Austin has Leukemia. He was a strong, popular athlete. But now he is somewhat shrunken, tires easily. And he's on a mission. He wants to right some wrongs—only one of which really seemed his fault, but he's been watching people. There is a soft undertone of jealousy—people who HAVE life ahead of them who are wasting it. But mostly there is just a need to make a difference. To leave the world around him just a little better than it was before.

Megan says the original title was Mending Fences. I like the new title better because it carries the darkness that underlies death. But Mending Fences is very fitting for what Austin is trying to do.

I loved this book. It was a wonderful mix of sadness and hope. The characters were very real—Austin is perhaps more introspective than most boys, but I think knowing you are dying will do that.

Austin's journey to get people to engage in their own lives again hits a ton of teen (and adult) issues, but briefly enough and softly enough that they don't drain us. I think for teens this offers a wonderful chance to talk about some big stuff, and whatever their situation, see... it could be worse... and even if it IS worse, they can handle it with grace.

So I thank Megan for giving me the chance to read!

As for the Pass It On...

The marketing campaign was to SHARE this book, even as Austin is trying to share in the futures of people who will still be around. I knew when I first heard the idea that I wanted to share it with one of my teacher friends, preferably someone who keeps BOOKS in the classroom, so teens can have a chance to read it to.

I scanned the list and the first to come to mind was Chary—she is a fellow Burrower who teaches at a High School in New York City. She said she did indeed keep a library in her classroom for students to read from and it was decided.

Headed to a classroom New York City
I decided to sweeten the pot, I would add another YA book I have loved recently. I am a hoarder, but isn't it really better to share books with people who will get them read by dozens than keep them in a stack on my shelves?

So today this pair, Never Eighteen and Gae Polisner's Pull of Gravity, will be shipped to New York City to share in Chary's High School classroom.

I will have Chary post a picture when the books make it to her, and I thank Megan and Gae for writing such amazing books that I want to share them like this!

Both of these are available to buy:

(I think the paperback for Gae is coming soon—I will give you a heads up)

I ALSO wanted to throw out a HUGE congratualtions to Jessica Bell who had a FABULOUS weekend for the popularity of her books. String Bridge spent a day as MOST POPULAR on Amazon's comtemporary fiction list and Twisted Velvet Chains made the top five for poetry—What a Saturday, eh? Contrats, Jessica!

Just FYI--I am regrouping, recovering, etc. But have two books to get edited in February, so I think I may be a 3 blogs a week girl for at least another month, just so you know what to expect...

Thank you all for your patience!


Rebecca Bradley said...

Never Eighteen sounds like a wonderful book and one I will need a box of tissues with me throughout! (I really am easily made emotional!)

Thanks for sharing this with us. I will add it to my TBR pile.

Old Kitty said...

Yay for Jessica!!

and thanks for the intro to the other books - great tha you enjoyed them too.

Have a most NAKED February!! Take care

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Great review, Hart! Thanks for the scoop on the book. Sounds like a thoughtful novel.

vic caswell said...

wow! sounds like an amazing book! and the idea of sharing it- brilliant!

Megan Bostic said...

Thank you for participating, Hart. It's much appreciated. :D

Colene Murphy said...

Sounds like a great book! Will definitely put it in my tbr list! Thanks for the heads up. Sweet of you to share it like that, too!

L.C. said...

Hart, sooo awesome about sending the books to the classroom. When I was in high school we didn't really have much of a was pretty much some obscure book from the 70s or Nancy Drew. I'm sure the students will love them!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sharing the book - now that's an awesome idea for a tour. And saw Jessica's post this morning. Awesome her books hit number one!

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

These kinds of books are great for children and young adults. I don't think it's my cup of tea though. I've read several leukemia kid books and they always end the same (with the kid dying).

Southpaw said...

That sounds like a powerful story and I love the idea of sharing the book.

Anonymous said...

3 blogs a week is awesome - I'm lucky to do 1 a week. Thanks for sharing your love of this book. I'll have to look for it. I'm trying ABNA this year for the first time. We can virtually hold each other's hands as 2/24 gets closer. Good luck!


Johanna Garth said...

Hooray for Megan and Gae! Both their books are on my TBR list!

LTM said...

I love that book-sharing-tour idea! Brilliant! And you're right. Super huge congrats to Jessica. Good stuff here~ :o) <3

Hart Johnson said...

Rebecca-you won't be sorry!

Jenny-I can't WAIT for naked February!!!

Elizabeth-thoughtful is a great word for it!


Megan-it is a great idea! I hope it's going well for you!


LC-I am largely from the same era--so many better choices for teens now!

Alex-isn't it!? I loved the pay it forward of it.

Michael-this was actually more hopeful than most of those.

Holly-very powerful!

Vicki-HA! Welcome to the madness that is ABNA!!!

Johanna-lucky you, still with them ahead of you!

Leigh-yup--brilliance there!

Sarah Ahiers said...

Did the book make you cry? Because it totally looks like a book that would make me cry

Hart Johnson said...

It did a little, but MUCH less than I would have expected for a dying protag... and I cry EASY. It just was less focused on the death exactly, and more on wanting to leave something good.

Helena said...

These books sound wonderful. And as for your 3 days a week blog -- that's still way better than my record, Hart, so you're doing just fine.

Tracy said...

Never Eighteen sounds like an awesome book Hart! I'm glad I was introduced to it.

Luanne G. Smith said...

Ooh, I think that book would make me cry. And I love the idea of sharing it and seeing it in a classroom.

Trisha said...

This book sounds awfully sad but also very meaningful. It's great that this and the other book are going to end up in a high school class room! Very cool!

That's awesome news for Jessica, somehow I missed it till now. :)

Hart Johnson said...

Helena-I think my hesitation on the 3 days is just the habit I've set up--I don't want people to give up on me. Best though, to just let everyone know, I suppose...

Tracy-it IS awesome!

LG-sad, but not as sad as you might think.

Trisha-I have big gaps when I miss everything. Don't feel too bad!

Dawn Ius said...

Never Eighteen is also on my TBR list.
And yes, YAY for Jessica.

TreeX said...

You know, that sounds like a book I would actually read... (And I don't read fiction).

Also, can I just say how JEALOUS I am of your book prices? Even paperbacks are €15-18 here, which is near-as-makes-no-difference $20... And with prices like that, I just can't afford to buy the amount I do new... :(