No Right Turn

( 5 )

Overview

I heard the gunshot and I knew what had happened. Even before I made it downstairs to Dad's office, I knew what he'd done.

How do you live your life after catastrophe hits your family? How do you go back to football practice, or take a girl out on a date, or talk to your friends about normal stuff when nothing is normal anymore? Three years after his father's death, Jordan is still wondering.

But then, salvation comes—in the form of a '76 ...

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No Right Turn

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Overview

I heard the gunshot and I knew what had happened. Even before I made it downstairs to Dad's office, I knew what he'd done.

How do you live your life after catastrophe hits your family? How do you go back to football practice, or take a girl out on a date, or talk to your friends about normal stuff when nothing is normal anymore? Three years after his father's death, Jordan is still wondering.

But then, salvation comes—in the form of a '76 Corvette. It's gorgeous, it's beautiful, it's incredibly sexy. And so is the girl who suddenly takes notice of him.

Slowly Jordan realizes that maybe, just maybe, he can start living again. But the real question is: Does he want to?

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
When Jordan was thirteen years old, his father killed himself with a gunshot to the head. Jordan was the only other person in the house at the time. Three years later, the agony of that afternoon still resonates through every aspect of Jordan's life. He has given up most of his friends, he has lost interest in sports, and he keeps his mother at a distance. Then his mother blushingly introduces their new neighbor, Don, and Jordan falls in love-with Don's Corvette. Don takes Jordan out for a spin and even lets him drive the car, leaving Jordan gripped with a mighty lust for repeating the experience. Knowing that Don works on Wednesday nights, Jordan begins sneaking out in the 'Vette for exhilarating solo drives. On one of these clandestine excursions, he meets the most beautiful girl in his high school, and lets her think that the car belongs to him as complications ensue. Trueman has an instinct for the adolescent experience under difficult circumstances, as evidenced by earlier books, which have featured teenagers afflicted with cerebral palsy and schizophrenia in Stuck in Neutral (HarperCollins, 2000/VOYA December 2002) and Inside Out (2003/VOYA October 2003) respectively. He has also demonstrated a piercing understanding of damaged father-son relationships in Cruise Control (2004/VOYA October 2004), which is a central theme in this book, and the path to healing such relationships. The story is told in a dynamic, cut-the-crap narrative, making it a fast, compelling read. And Jordan's Corvette obsession makes it an excellent book to recommend to car-crazy teens. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2006, HarperCollins, 176p., and PLB Ages 11 to 18.
—Diane Emge
Children's Literature
Three years after his father's suicide, Jordan has no friends and no interests: he is alone and invisible at school. Then he discovers something wonderful—a 1976 Corvette and the girl of his dreams. Will Jordan finally start living again? Or will taking risky chances cause him to lose everything? In this riveting new story, Terry Trueman (who received the ALA Best Book for Young Adults for two previous novels) brings skill, style, and passion to the pages of this book, which will appeal to readers fourteen and up. 2006, HarperCollins Children's Books, Ages 14 up.
—Suzanna E. Henshon, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 8-10-Suicide is never pretty but Jordan has no qualms about describing the day his father shot himself three years earlier. Angry and traumatized, he is slow to heal, especially since he refuses to discuss his feelings. Now 16, the teen has isolated himself from everyone and all of his former interests. When his mom begins dating again, he is barely cordial to her new boyfriend, Don, but is nevertheless intrigued by the man's vintage Corvette. Jordan becomes hooked on the thrill of riding with Don and risks the budding friendship by borrowing the car without permission. Bolstered by the adrenaline rush and sense of freedom, his joyriding becomes addictive and rewarding when he catches the attention of the girl of his dreams. He continues taking the car at every opportunity, and readers fear what his friend Walt has warned all along: Jordan is finally busted after speeding. Reclaiming his girl's and Don's trust requires uncorking bottled emotions about his father's death. The first-person point of view works well here, as Jordan acts upon gut feelings, rationalizes his behavior, and waffles back and forth with guilt. The description of the suicide scene is realistic and powerful, and great dialogue and car details keep the plot moving for reluctant readers.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Jordan was 13 when his father killed himself with a shot to the head while they were home alone. It's three years later. Jordan doesn't talk about it, or much of anything else. He doesn't play sports or hang out, still locked inside his intense anger at his dad. But when his mother begins to date a man with a 1976 Corvette Stingray, Jordan can't help but be fascinated. He's so taken that he sneaks the car out, only to meet Becka, the local cheerleader goddess. Becka, despite her looks and popularity, is a lovely girl with a large family, a sibling with Down syndrome and a genuine interest in Jordan. He, of course, thinks she's only interested in the 'Vette. Told in the first person, Jordan's web of lies about the car leads to a rather scary climax and some tentative resolution about cars, girlfriends and life and death. Readers will be taken with Jordan's matter-of-factness about his sorrow and isolation, and how he locks himself up in lies. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060574932
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/8/2009
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 808,942
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Trueman grew up in the northern suburbs of Seattle, Washington. He attended the University of Washington, where he received his BA in creative writing. He also has an MS in applied psychology and an MFA in creative writing, both from Eastern Washington University.

Terry is also the author of Stuck in Neutral and its companion novel, Cruise Control; Hurricane; 7 Days at the Hot Corner; No Right Turn; and Inside Out.

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Read an Excerpt

No Right Turn


By Terry Trueman

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright ©2006 Terry Trueman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060574917

Chapter One

Three Years Ago . . .

I heard the gunshot and I knew what had happened. Even before I made it downstairs to Dad's office, I knew what he'd done.

The last time I ever talked to my dad, I didn't know it was going to be the last time, and I've wondered a million times since then if he knew.

I'd just gotten home from school; I was thirteen years old. Mom was still at work, and Dad was sitting in his office at our house, moving some papers around on his desk.

"Hey, Jordan," he said.

I answered, "Hi, Dad."

Then, out of the blue, Dad said, "I'm sorry."

I didn't know what he was talking about. I didn't know what to say back.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Nothing," Dad said, and kind of smiled.

He took a couple deep slow breaths and then said, in a low, calm voice, "It's all such bullshit."

I've thought about that a hundred times. It's so ironic that my dad, who was always so careful about not swearing in front of me, would leave me with that word; the last word he ever said to me: bullshit. It was only the second time I'd ever heard him say it.

A couple hours after we'd talked, I was in my room and he was still in his office. The shot wasn't that loud, really, just one pop, not even as loud as a bigfirecracker, but I knew instantly what it was, and I ran downstairs.

My father was there in his same chair, at his desk, slumped over, the gun still in his hand.

I could smell the gunpowder, a stink in the air, and see a haze of smoke over the top of Dad, like a little blue cloud.

I ran over to him. His face had a quiet look. I could see where he'd put the gun against his temple and pulled the trigger. There was a little black-and-red hole, small and horrible. I wanted to be sick.

I grabbed the phone on his desk and looked away from him so I could concentrate. I dialed for help.

"Nine-one-one. Please state your emergency."

"My dad shot himself."

"What is your location and who am I speaking to?"

It was like a TV show or a movie. We went back and forth, and it didn't even seem real until I looked at Dad again. "He's not breathing. I want to try CPR."

The lady on the phone said, "That's fine -- you go ahead and I'll send help right away. Leave the phone off the hook, and if you need me I'll be right here, okay?"

"Okay," I said.

I set the phone down and stood close to Dad. I honestly don't remember how I managed to get him out of the chair and onto the floor, but I did it. There was a lot of blood, but the bullet hole had stopped bleeding already; I wiped some blood away, but there was no blood on the front of his face or around his mouth.

I hadn't ever had any CPR training, but I'd seen it done on TV before, so I pinched Dad's nose and blew air into his mouth. I just kept blowing over and over again. His chest and belly kept rising and falling. I tried not to think about what I was doing. I tried to pretend that he was going to be all right, but the truth was that he'd shot himself in the head.

I knew my dad was dead, and that what I was doing couldn't save him, but I kept blowing air into his mouth anyway. It was like I was trying to keep him from leaving, even though he was already gone.

It's hard to remember it all now -- hard because it was so horrible. I was shaking and crying, trying not to throw up. Not wanting to look at Dad, hating him for what he'd done but wishing I could save him. . . . I don't know. You try to forget something like that, you hate remembering it, but it keeps coming back in nightmares; it keeps coming back other times too; it never really leaves your mind.

It felt like a long time before I finally heard sirens and then a lot longer before the firemen and the cops all came running into our house.

Lots of kids at school didn't have a dad in their lives anymore. That wasn't what you'd call a real exclusive club -- but having your old man blow his brains out in the den when he knew you were the only other person in the house -- having him not care enough about you to wait until some other time or maybe not even do it at all -- well, I wasn't going to find anybody else whose dad hated them enough to do something like that. I know that sounds harsh, but that's how I see it -- Dad waited until I was there, all alone with him, then shot himself -- great, huh?

I left the football team the week after Dad died. I didn't say anything to the coach or anybody else -- I just stopped going to practice, then I quit. I couldn't face my teammates. Football is a game for tough guys, and I'd been a pretty good first-string wide receiver, but I wasn't tough anymore. Somehow, I wasn't . . . anything . . . just a loser with a dead father. I felt embarrassed and humiliated.

"Hey, James." Our team captain, Joey Mender, called to me in the hallway; we always called each other by our last names. I was trying to look invisible, standing at my locker.

I ignored him, and he called to me again as he walked toward me. "Jordan, hey man, what's up?"

I looked at him and shrugged my shoulders.

"Sorry about your dad," he said more softly. "Really, I'm sorry." He hesitated a second and kept standing there. I glanced at him, then away, real quick. What else was there to say? Nothing . . .

Continues...


Excerpted from No Right Turn by Terry Trueman Copyright ©2006 by Terry Trueman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 15, 2012

    I think this book is a very good one. In the begging t

    I think this book is a very good one. In the begging the main character (Jordan James's) dad shoots himself. After 3 years the mother, starts to date again. The man she dates lives just up the street. The mans name is Don Lugar. After the first couple times he meets him, he shows him his 76' Corvette, Jordan is facinated by it. After a month or so Jordan figures out what time Don gets home and when he is away. The days he is away his mom gets home late, he also find out the passcode to his garage. Since Jordan loves the Corvette so much he is dieing to take it for a ride. The first time he steals the corvette he is sweating when it is cold out. He doesnt get caught. He becomes nervous until the 4th time he steals it. The "hottest" girl in his class is haveing car troubles. Jordan figures out that the car is out of gas. So they get gas. He gets her number after he helps pour the gas. He is surprised to see that she notices him. Jordan also lies and says the corvette is his. She asks him why she hasn't seen him around, he also lies that he has been out of the country . He says he was in France. He was really just not talking to anybody. Later, he tells her on their first date he tells her that he hasnt been out of the country. He ask "How did u know?" She says " I have my sources". He doesnt tell her that the Corvette. After a week or so, he is a judge in a car show. Becka Thorson, the girl he is dating, shows up there. She immediately askes to see the Corvette. So they go. She asks who is the guy the guy sitting next to it. He says Don Lugar. He needed him to help enter in the contest, even thought he is the real owner of the car. they go see the car when Don Lugar leaves. Then later Becka leaves. He is happy noting bad happened like Don coming and Becka saying its Jordan's car. Then he is going to tell Becka its not his car.
    Now Becka and Jordan are going on their second date and he doesn't tell her. Then he picks her up at her house. They go to arligton Park. They make-out. The next day Don replaces the old radio with a new one that looks just like the old one. He takes Becka on a few more dates. He takes her on a date and floors it. Later on Beka and him brake up.
    Then he takes her in the corvette after there done there is a policeman at Don Lugars house. Ater a minute or so he gets a ticket. Then him and Don talk in the morning.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 5, 2010

    No Right Turn

    This book was very good. It showed that even if bad things happen you can make it better. Jordans dad killed himself and after that he thought life was hopeless until his moms boyfriend came and he and Don(the boyfriend) had one thing in common. They both loved the car the corvette stingray. thats what got jordans dads death off his mind. But then one day he was so interested in the car he decided to steal it. after that day people thought he was cool because they thought the corvette stingray was his.

    I recommend this book because at the end of each chapter it leaves you with a cliff hanger and you wont stop reading. YOU WILL LOVE THIS BOOK!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2009

    This book is very thrilling

    I loved this book. It was fo much fun to read!!

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  • Posted November 6, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for TeensReadToo.com

    Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Terry Trueman's books, so I won't waste time praising his virtues. Although come to think of it, he might appreciate that. Still, the story of sixteen-year old Jordan, the main character of NO RIGHT TURN, should hopefully be praise enough. <BR/><BR/>Suicide is never pretty. But when you're a teen, and the last thing your father says to you before he shoots himself is "it's all such bullshit," suicide becomes something bigger than a simple death. It's the thing you think about all the time, and yet never talk about. You wonder, almost constantly, why your father would apologize, then take himself out of your life forever. You wonder which part of life was bullshit--the fact that he was married to your mother?; that he had you as a son?; that his life was boring and predictable with a job and bills and a family to weigh him down? <BR/><BR/>Several years later, Jordan still doesn't have any answers. All he knows is that his dad is dead, and by his own hand, and that there's no joy in his life. Actually, Jordan doesn't have much of a life at all. All of that changes, though, when his mom starts dating Don Lugar, a guy who owns something that Jordan suddenly can't live without--a 1976 Corvette, a Stingray with a custom paint job, tinted windows, big tires, and a cool canister of nitrous that will really make that baby go. <BR/><BR/>The first time he goes for a ride in the 'Vette with Don, Jordan realizes that going 110 mph in that car is the first time in a very long while that he can remember feeling alive. The first time, in fact, that he doesn't feel like a walking zombie. So Jordan comes up with the brilliant idea of taking the 'Vette for a drive--by himself--one Wednesday night when Don is out of town. Just one time, one drive by himself, is all he needs to recapture that feeling of being part of the world. <BR/><BR/>But one time isn't enough, of course, and it doesn't help matters when he meets cheerleader Becka Thorson, one of the most popular girls in school, during one of his clandestine drives. Now the girl of his dreams thinks he's some cool guy with a custom 'Vette, and Jordan's desperate to keep up the image he's created. Once wasn't enough with the car, and he doesn't know what will have to happen to come clean to Becka--and to Don and his mother. <BR/><BR/>NO RIGHT TURN is another winer from Terry Trueman. Heartfelt, emotional, and full of true-to-life characters, this is a story for anyone who has ever felt like their world has been turned upside down--and for those who don't know how to put it back right-side-up. Definitely a recommended read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2006

    Courtesy of Teens Read Too

    Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Terry Trueman's books, so I won't waste time praising his virtues. Although come to think of it, he might appreciate that. Still, the story of sixteen-year-old Jordan, the main character of NO RIGHT TURN, should hopefully be praise enough. Suicide is never pretty. But when you're a teen, and the last thing your father says to you before he shoots himself is 'it's all such bullshit,' suicide becomes something bigger than a simple death. It's the thing you think about all the time, and yet never talk about. You wonder, almost constantly, why your father would apologize, then take himself out of your life forever. You wonder which part of life was bullshit--the fact that he was married to your mother? that he had you as a son? that his life was boring and predictable with a job and bills and a family to weigh him down? Several years later, Jordan still doesn't have any answers. All he knows is that his dad is dead, and by his own hand, and that there's no joy in his life. Actually, Jordan doesn't have much of a life at all. All of that changes, though, when his mom starts dating Don Lugar, a guy who owns something that Jordan suddenly can't live without--a 1976 Corvette, a Stingray with a custom paint job, tinted windows, big tires, and a cool canister of nitrous that will really make that baby go. The first time he goes for a ride in the 'Vette with Don, Jordan realizes that going 110 mph in that car is the first time in a very long while that he can remember feeling alive. The first time, in fact, that he doesn't feel like a walking zombie. So Jordan comes up with the brilliant idea of taking the 'Vette for a drive--by himself--one Wednesday night when Don is out of town. Just one time, one drive by himself, is all he needs to recapture that feeling of being part of the world. But one time isn't enough, of course, and it doesn't help matters when he meets cheerleader Becka Thorson, one of the most popular girls in school, during one of his clandestine drives. Now the girl of his dreams thinks he's some cool guy with a custom 'Vette, and Jordan's desperate to keep up the image he's created. Once wasn't enough with the car, and he doesn't know what will have to happen to come clean to Becka--and to Don and his mother. NO RIGHT TURN is another winer from Terry Trueman. Heartfelt, emotional, and full of true-to-life characters, this is a story for anyone who has ever felt like their world has been turned upside down--and for those who don't know how to put it back right-side-up. Definitely a recommended read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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