Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite
The year William Bur celebrates his eighteenth birthday, he is full of realizations concerning his life, mainly that his future is one enormous pit of uncertainty. While the rest of his friends, affectionately known as the Group of Seven, seem to have their futures well-organized and are awaiting their new lives, Wil remains unsure of his purpose. Regardless of purpose, Wendy, Colin, Manjula, Victoria, Lesley, and Jed have all verbalized post-graduation plans, along with a very real sense of anxiety. College, jobs, and change surround the Group of Seven, leaving each of them alone in their thoughts regarding adulthood. Each friend carries his or her own secrets. Each sports the scars of things buried so deep that even the bond of the Group of Seven cannot unearth. But, no matter what, these seven friends share the belief that graduation cannot and will not sever the ties that secure their very sacred bond.
In this interesting dual perspective journey into one man’s adulthood, author Rich Chambers creates a surreal coming-of-age story that echoes the style of such literary greats as J.D. Salinger and John Knowles. Alternating between narrative from adult Wil and eighteen-year-old Wil, Chambers beautifully merges the “living in the moment” attitude of youth to the more retrospect realizations of a seasoned man. Rich Chambers's novel 18 falls into that revered category of the elusive “boy book” of which secondary school teachers are constantly in search, while also warming the shelf of the adult reader looking for an amazing reminder of their own youth. High praise for 18 by Rich Chambers!