Fiction Kevin Waltman Nowhere Fast

ISBN 13: 9780439414241

Nowhere Fast

3.55 avg rating
( 69 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780439414241: Nowhere Fast

The latest from PUSH: a startling first novel about guy friendship, difficult choices, and life in the middle of nowhere.

This startling debut novel is about both the velocity and the inertia of being a teenage boy in America. It's about Gary, who drives around aimlessly with his best friend Wilson in a stolen car, looking for something to do but only finding trouble or boredom. It's about Gary's attempts to be a good boyfriend and a good son, even though his girlfriend is on to his issues and his dad has a tornado temper. It's about living in a town that you've known your whole life but doesn't know you at all. It's about looking for escape, and the price you sometimes have to pay to get free.

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Review:

"It's like my life is composed of all these separate parts that refuse to stay together, and the more I try to secure them, the more they repel each other, revealing the fragility of my plan."

During a stifling hot Midwestern summer, Gary, 15, feels trapped by the suffocating limitations of his small Indiana town. His life is a turmoil of conflicting lies and allegiances, of forces pushing and pulling. His best friend, Wilson, constantly challenges him to drink and shoplift, and Gary always gives in, fearful of losing the relationship. His girlfriend, Lauryn, who disapproves of Wilson's influence, keeps Gary at arm's length, but he always gets carried away and tries to go further--and then they fight about it. His father is a drunken lout who refers to Lauryn as a "negrita," and Gary suppresses his anger and submits to his father's shoving and taunting. His life gets even more complicated when he and Wilson begin nightly joy rides in the big black Lincoln belonging to Mr. Roverson, a teacher who has been ostracized by the town for his affair with a student--and a man that Lauryn and his family despise, that Wilson scorns, and that Gary finds to be a helpful counselor.

In this troubled novel, first-time author Kevin Waltman vividly captures the pain of adolescence, but offers no wise solutions--a pattern that has been characteristic of Push, a Scholastic paperback imprint that publishes the work of very new and very young authors. (Ages 14 and older) --Patty Campbell

From Publishers Weekly:

In his first novel, Waltman captures the complicated world of 15-year-old Gary, who spends his summer in his hometown of Dearborn Springs, Ind., working at the Dairy Castle, hanging out with Lauryn, his prudish girlfriend, and taking joyrides with wild best friend, Wilson. The car belongs to an ex-teacher (he "got busted for sleeping with one of his students"), who leaves a spare set of keys in the glove box. Though not all the plotting is convincing, readers will empathize with narrator Gary, who feels as if "Sometimes it's like I don't have a will of my own," as he's pushed and pulled among his friends and abusive father. When the teacher, Mr. Roverson, catches on to the theft, he offers Gary and Wilson the use of the car in exchange for doing work around his house. While Wilson soon becomes bored with the situation, Gary bonds with Roverson, who offers him advice for dealing with Lauryn and listens to him talk about his dad (the teacher's own confession to the teen about his love for Lindy, his former student, stretches credibility). But when Gary agrees to help Roverson bring Lindy back to him, finally believing that he's making a choice of his own, he sets off an unfortunate chain of events. The prose becomes overwrought in places, but Waltman credibly builds the pressures facing Gary, not shying away from graphic language or violence as those pressures begin to boil over. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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