- File Size: 2428 KB
- Print Length: 330 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Webfoot Publishing; 1 edition (June 5, 2011)
- Publication Date: June 5, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0054KNJ4K
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,593,555 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$10.99|
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Running Wide Open (Full Throttle Book 1) Kindle Edition
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A coming-of-age story about a teenager who, despite a rough start, starts to find himself thanks to stock car racing and an uncle who actually cares.
Nowak's (Redline, 2013, etc.) novel centers on Cody, a sensitive, artistic 15-year-old kid from Portland, Oregon, whose mild rebellious streak has left his distant and uncompassionate parents extremely unenthused. At the start of the novel, Cody, who secretly wants to be a writer, gets caught by the police spraying graffiti at the zoo. Cody's father gives him two options: go to military school to get his act straight, or go live with his "black sheep" uncle Race, who lives a few hours away in Eugene. Cody chooses to move in with his uncle, and when he arrives, he is less than pleased with his new living situation--the "bedroom" of a trailer. While Cody and Race get off to a rocky start (e.g., Race catches Cody drinking some of his beers, then stealing a street sign), Cody grows to like his uncle when he introduces Cody to his passion--fixing and racing stock cars. The troubled teenager's life begins to rapidly improve, with new interests in things like cars and karate as well as new friends such as Race's mentor, Kasey. Then something unexpected happens: his uncle gets into a bad wreck on the racetrack, suffering a traumatic brain injury that lands him in the hospital. His future uncertain, Cody is left wondering if he'll be forced to return to live with his folks or grandmother or if he can find a way to stay in the new environment that has been making him happy. Nowak capably depicts a realistic, likable teenager with typical teenager flaws. Cody is moody and rebellious, disobeying his parents and uncle; yet he's also sweet and bright with a great sense of humor--and a great T-shirt collection. One reads: "I have animal magnetism. When I go outside squirrels stick to me." Nowak also paints a vivid, thrilling portrait of the stock car racing world, which will surely be enjoyed by racing enthusiasts.
An endearing story about a teenager, his mentor, and what a difference true, unselfish love can make.
I thoroughly enjoy Lisa Nowak's books and have especially enjoyed using her Full Throttle series in working with my students. The characters are all so believable and definitely relatable to adolescents. I find that the lessons they learn are valuable and at times similar to things my students are dealing with. In one student's case, I was able to draw from situations in the books to use as comparisons and possible solutions. It was great to not have to "lecture."
I really cannot put in words how much I enjoy Lisa's books. I'm constantly suggesting them to teachers in our school and always look forward to getting a student interested. The characters feel so real you can't wait to read the next book to stay involved with them. I am anxiously awaiting more books from Lisa!
~ Linda Ryan, School Counselor, Londonderry H.S.
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Cody is a teen boy who finds himself in constant trouble with his parents, especially his domineering mother, and the last straw comes when he and his friends vandalize a zoo. As a final alternative to military school, he's shipped off to live with his eccentric uncle Race, an artist and stock-car racer who eats Twinkies for breakfast and takes Cody's pranks, anger, and snark in uncharacteristic stride. Slowly, Cody finds himself warming up to his strange but laid-back uncle, and finding his own niche in Race's world... but when disaster strikes, threatening to shatter the world Cody's just managed to piece back together, can he hold his anger in check long enough to help his uncle and decide what's best for his family?
This is an unexpectedly powerful book, well-written and with well-developed characters. I enjoyed the complex cast of characters, each with their own flaws and strengths, and even those set up to be obvious villains are shown to not be entirely "evil" but do have positive aspects. Cody himself could have been an obnoxiously whiny protagonist, but even early on it's easy to see that despite his anger and resentment he's a sensitive and driven young man, and it's satisfying to watch his journey unfold over the course of the book.
On an aside note, I also enjoyed the book's setting. I grew up in the '80s and have spent quite a bit of time in Oregon, and so it was nice to see a book set in this era and this state. It also explains certain plot elements that otherwise can be jarring for the reader, such as "why don't the characters just e-mail each other or call on their mobile phones?" I don't know much about the world of amateur racing, but it was fun getting a glimpse of it via this book, and I imagine it was fun for the author to either share her love of the sport or to do the research needed to depict it realistically.
A powerful and highly enjoyable read, both for teens and for older readers who enjoy seeing a character's journey to a better self. Probably not for kids, as it does contain swearing, sexual references, and some frightening moments.
I can't imagine how many teens stumble all over themselves as they make the journey into adulthood. It turns out doing it with the throttle to the firewall, some REAL adult support, and the unshackling of their of their own values may not be as foolish, or as dangerous, as we adults view it.
I have added this series to my ToDo.List, and when my grandson is a little older I'll see to it that he reads it as well.
Thanks Lisa for a good.
And for the rest of you -- don't bypass this one. While rednecks may just drive in circles making only left turns, they understand every coin has two sides, and both shine when the sun hits 'em.