Tacoma-native Megan Bostic's book, Never Eighteen, hits bookstores nationwide Jan. 17.
Never Eighteen tells the story of 17-year-old Austin Parker, who lives in Tacoma and is dying of leukemia. The book falls into the young adult genre, but Austin is a wise and believable character who appeals to older readers as well. His heartbreaking situation resonates with anyone who has lost a loved one to a chronic illness or cancer.
"He makes a bucket list of the things he wants to do and places he'd like to go, but there's more to it than that," says Bostic. "He also wants to show his loved ones that you only get one shot at life and it might get cut short, so it should not be taken for granted."
Austin must also work up the courage to tell his best friend, Kaylee, that he loves her before it's too late.
Never Eighteen sneaks up on you as you read - gradually pulling you in and, by the end, likely bringing on a tear or two.
Bostic began writing due to changes in her own life. After her mother-in-law was diagnosed with late-stage cancer, Bostic left her job and was prepared to provide hospice care in her home. Her mother-in-law was given six months to live, but lasted only three weeks.
"That's when I sat down to write my first novel," Bostic says. "I was fueled by time and grief. It filled my days when my daughters were in school and gave me an emotional outlet."
Bostic chose to write young-adult books for her two daughters. While she does not have a strong background in writing, she says, "After writing that first novel, and reading other YA novels, I was hooked."
Bostic has since become a veritable writing machine and works on several books each year. Never Eighteen is Bostic's first published book, but count on it not being her last.
What's especially cool about Never Eighteen is that it is set in Tacoma. Bostic was born and raised in Tacoma, as were her characters. Local readers will find many familiar landmarks - the Narrows Bridge, Frisko Freeze, Tacoma Dome, museums, Thea Foss Waterway, Point Defiance and more.
T-town is about to get some press.
"Austin and his friends live in Tacoma's North End, where I've lived most of my life," says Bostic. "I wanted to give the reader a vivid picture of the city, and hopefully I accomplished that."
Never Eighteen launches Jan. 17 at 5 p.m. at Wheelock Library in Tacoma. There will be a reading and a signing open to the public. If you can't make it, but want to meet Bostic or get a signed copy of her new book, there is another signing at JBLM Feb. 4 at 1 p.m.
Never Eighteen launch party and book signing
Tuesday, Jan. 17, reception, refreshments at 5 p.m.
book talk and signing 7 p.m., free
Wheelock Library, 3722 N. 26 St., Tacoma
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