Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Finding Your Place Among the Stars

Every person no matter their religion must at some point go through some sort of rite of passage. Mormons are no different. Part of being human is questioning things around us and trying to find our place in the universe. Kyle in Will Wonder’s Never Cease is a perfect example of this occurring in young people which I feel was very accurately portrayed since I was able to connect with and relate to his thoughts and experiences.

Right off the bat Thayer has names, and not titles which would be more expected, flying around for anyone and everything. The most startling of which is that Kyle even thinks of his parents by their first names. This shows that he feels out of place, or isn’t quite sure where he fits in and at times he feels others don’t give him enough credit for what he knows and what he is capable of. He is smart enough not to actually call them by their first names to their faces, but you can tell a lot about who someone really is when you can get in their head which is a advantage of works of fiction.

However is all of this truly fiction? I feel that despite the fact that the actual events of this story never happened, all of the other aspects have elements of truth in them that we can all connect with on different levels. Whether Thayer had similar experiences, had them form from his imagination, or has had others share their similar experiences with him, the feelings and thoughts that are discussed and felt as a result in this novel are real to any human being, especially during our coming of age phase. So despite Thayer having Kyle in a Mormon culture, with lots of discussions surrounding Mormon life, I feel that this larger theme of coming of age is more of a universal human experience and not one that is mutually exclusive to Mormons or even Mormon teenage boys.


  1. I like that Thayer is able to go through the "coming of age" experience through Kyle. Since he's able to do that, he's able to talk more openly about the different church topics that people don't always talk about.

  2. I agree that this novel was connectable because of the rite of passage theme. I understood the questioning, and not feeling like I fit in to my family at times. The feelings were realistic as well, they seemed to be real (even though I don't know how a young teenage boy thinks) thoughts from a real Kyle Hooper.
    I kept feeling like where he lived was a real place too, so maybe it was a fictional place based off of a real one.

  3. At times I wondered if Thayer was primarily trying to reach a Mormon audience or a larger audience, and I think if he was asked he would say both. He wanted to write a book about the Mormon teenage boy experience, for Mormon families, but would be happy to find non-members finding things to relate to in the narrative. Coming of age is a common theme among stories of any kind, so there's plenty of mileage to get out of it for Mormons.