Rummanah Aasi
I would like to introduce you today to Austin, the protagonist of Megan Bostic's debut novel, Never Eighteen, which will be released next year. Austin is here to chat about his very important deadline and answer a few of my questions. Be sure to look for my review of the book tomorrow. 

 Thank you so much for being here, Austin. I know that you are on a very strict deadline and what to make the best out of the time you have left. What type of illness did your doctors diagnose you with? 

Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

What were the first thoughts that popped into your head when the doctors told you about your disease?
I felt numb and trapped in a nightmare from which I couldn’t wake up.

Did you ever have a bucket list of things you wanted to do before you got sick? Has it changed since and if so, how? 
I never really thought about death before. I mean, what teenager does? Even when Jake died, I never considered that it could happen to me. So, no, no bucket list. I was just enjoying life.
Everything has changed since I got sick. Having a terminal disease makes you see the world differently. I did end up making a bucket list. I wanted to do things I’d never done, visit places I’d never been, or that had meant a lot to me at some point in my life. I wanted to face my deepest fears.
Most importantly, the disease opened my eyes to the people that were standing still while life moved on without them. I wanted them to see the value of their lives, to show them that you only get one shot and it shouldn’t be taken for granted.

What does the common phrase carpe diem mean to you? 

To me it means to live every day as if it were your last.

What does the meaning to life and beauty mean to you? 

Life is a gift and beauty is what’s earned by living it. You know the saying, stop and smell the roses? That’s what I’m talking about. Enjoy life, the big things and the small. Breathe them in, embrace them; let them wrap themselves around you. If you do that, beauty will surround you. But, if you speed through life or become stagnant letting it pass you by you will inevitably miss the beauty within it.

Do you have any regrets? 

The only regret I have is not seeking those people out before the cancer. We shouldn’t wait until life hands us tragedies to help those around us. The sooner we step in, perhaps the sooner a resolution will be found.

What was your favorite journey with Kaylee? 

Definitely Mount Rainier. To share with her a place that meant so much to me felt profoundly eternal.

If you could give us one piece of advice about living, what would it be? 

Live it like you mean it. You never know when it will be taken from you.

Austin Parker is on a journey to bring truth, beauty, and meaning to his life.
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. The doctors say his chances of surviving are slim to none even with treatment, so he’s decided it’s time to let go.
    But before he goes, Austin wants to mend the broken fences in his life. So with the help of his best friend, Kaylee, Austin visits every person in his life who touched him in a special way. He journeys to places he’s loved and those he’s never seen. And what starts as a way to say goodbye turns into a personal journey that brings love, acceptance, and meaning to Austin’s life.

7 Responses
  1. I've heard about this one. I'm interested and also a little worried that it's going to be terribly sad. I do love the cover though. I think I would like to read it. Great questions, Rummanah. Life is so much different when you think there isn't much left to live.

  2. What a touching interview. I'm on the book tour but still haven't received my ARC :-( even though I'm supposed to post a review on Wednesday. Guess that won't be happening. I do want to read it soon.
    My friend's little brother (who is 29) was diagnosed with leukemia in July. He's really struggling. His heart has already stopped once and he's spent most of the past 5 months in the hospital, which has been very hard on his 5 year old son. So I think this book may affect me more than it would have a year ago.

  3. Jenny Says:

    Well, now I'm all choked up for poor Austin! This sounds like it's going to be an extremely emotional story, and seeing as I got all blubbery just reading the interview, I think I'm going to have to invest in some kleenex before tackling the book itself. Thanks for the interview Austin and Rummanah!

  4. Interviews like this always makes me tear up! It's like a harsh light on how unfair life can be.

    Thanks for sharing such thoughtful advice Austin. It's true that you hear these type of things all the time, not to take advantage of your blessings, but never act on them until it's too late.

  5. Oh this looks like such a good read but also one that will tear out my heart. Thanks so much for the post. Although I'm torn my heart already goes out to Austin.

  6. Lauren M Says:

    Oh, man. I'd probably feel the exact same way if I received a diagnosis like that. It's great that Austin kept a positive attitude, though! I'm eager to see what was on his bucket list. :)

  7. I'm really looking forward to reading this one. The character's voice is so honest and real. Love it. Fabulous interview, Rummanah :)

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