Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Thomas Allen & Son Ltd for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book frSource: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Thomas Allen & Son Ltd for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
My rating: 3/5
Austin knows that he is nearing the end of his life. He is resigned to his fate, and wants to mend fences with those around him and he also wants to talk to those who have touched his life in various ways. His best friend, Kaylee, helps him out on his mission, and they also visit some places that have meaning for Austin. What starts out as a mission to mend fences and saying goodbye to those Austin loves, turns into a road trip of bittersweet memories which brings resolution and meaning to the remaining days of Austin's life. Many readers can relate to Austin as he reminisces over the past and his role in peoples lives. He doesn't have much time left due to being in the end stages of leukemia. He knows he won't live too much longer, so he decides to pay his respects to those around him, specifically everyone who has touched his life. His story has great bones, and would have been all the more bittersweet had I formed more of an emotional attachment to him. I ached for his situation, but didn't feel that his story was as fully developed and realized as it could have been. I commiserated with him as he made the rounds through his friends and acquaintances; however some of the interactions between the characters could have been fleshed out a little more. It would have been all the more poignant. Kaylee was a great sidekick and friend to Austin. She was there for him throughout and I enjoyed reading about her, and how she handled all of the requests Austin sent her way. She was unflappable and helped him meet everyone on his list, as well as helped him with some of his more unusual requests; such as eating the hottest chicken wings around, and conquering some rides at the fair. She was strong, especially knowing that this may have been one of the last times that Austin could walk around freely without being bedridden. She stood resolutely by Austin and I admired her for being so strong for him. It must not have been easy for her to stand by and watch as the leukemia stole her best friend's life from him. All in all, this is a bittersweet read. It would have been all the more poignant had it been fleshed out a little more. It does have amazing bones, and many unique individuals grace the pages of Never Eighteen. Austin's story is a sad one, but is also uplifting in the sense that he was able to touch all of those lives and leave behind so many fond memories. ...more
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Vimala from Penguin Canada for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book frSource: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Vimala from Penguin Canada for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
My rating: 4/5
Amy and Elder are from two very different walks of life. Amy was cryogenically frozen along with her parents, and placed on a spaceship headed for a new life on a new planet. Elder has only known life on the spaceship, Godspeed, and he is set to be the future leader of the crew and caretakers of the spaceship as they continue on the 300 year long journey to the new planet. Amy wakes up early from her slumber, 50 years too early, and realizes that she has been targeted by someone who wanted to murder her. Now it's a race against time before someone else is murdered. Amy and Elder must work together if they are going to find out who is responsible for nearly killing her. Hopefully they can find out who the attempted murderer is before he or she strikes again. Across the Universe is aptly named as Amy and Elder are travelling literally across the universe to find an inhabitable planet to settle and colonize. Amy is a sight to behold as she is classified as the odd one out amongst the population on the ship. Things wouldn't be so jarring if she wasn't the only one with pale skin and flaming red hair. It also doesn't help that she questions the routines and the very fabric of life on the spaceship. Everything around her seems so foreign and alien. Elder doesn't quite know what to say or do, but he can't help feeling captivated by Amy. Amy is a headstrong character, questioning everything, and is understandably upset when she realizes that she woke up 50 years ahead of schedule. With her awakening though, she needs new accommodations, and while she is exploring her newfound home, she realizes how small and claustrophobic the ship feels. Given her penchant for running, and her vocalized thoughts, she even had me looking around to see if the walls were closing in as the writing was that vivid and descriptive. Both Amy's and Elder's voices were quite different, and it was refreshing to read them and the book from two different perspectives. What one character didn't think of, the other did, and it was nice to see them crossing barriers and helping each other out when they could. They questioned everything, and everyone's involvement on the ship to see who would have the capabilities to pull off a murder of that nature. I must say, I had an inkling as to who was going to be found guilty, but I also noticed that for the most part, several characters were pegged as possibilities, and their involvement, or lack of involvement, wasn't cleared up until the end. I'm looking forward to finding out what repercussions certain events have on the ship and where Revis is taking the story next. I do want to mention that I liked Harley's inclusion in the book, as he added to the story and pulled our attention away from Amy and Elder when needed. He was an interesting, well-developed character and I really wished we had heard more from him than we did. The world-building was well developed and the detail taken to describe the spaceship was meticulous. I can't believe how fully detailed this world was, and found that I was almost uneasy with some of the situations that arose, because I was so well-versed in not only the history and the inner workings of the ship, but also because I could commiserate somewhat with how Elder and Eldest felt. That, in itself, is scary. All in all, an excellent and impressive debut, one that crosses genres with ease. I'm looking forward to the second installment in this trilogy as I want to know what happens next, and I'm not quite sure what Revis has in store for her characters. This will definitely be a re-read!...more