Nowhere Fast

Nowhere Fast

3.5 2
by Kevin Waltman

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


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.

Editorial Reviews

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. (Oct.)
This book is okay. It gets off to a strange start, and I wasn't sure who Roverson was or why he was an outcast in town. As the story goes on, however, everything gets clearer. Teens will probably like this book because it is about a guy who hates a lot of things in his life but does not know what to do about it-many teens can relate to that dilemma. The ending is not good, though, because you don't know what happens to Gary. VOYA Codes: 3Q 4P S (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2002, Push/Scholastic, 202p,
— John Darby, Teen Reviewer
Gary Keeling is 15 and seems to be going nowhere fast. He spends time with his friend Wilson, who loves to tempt Gary to do things he shouldn't. He also enjoys time with his girlfriend Lauryn, but she is not thrilled with Wilson or the time Gary spends with him. When Wilson steals a car from a fired teacher in the community and gets Gary involved in the whole mess, things go from bad to worse. Gary finally makes a stand and must deal with his father's anger and Wilson's rejection. This coming-of-age story that will keep YAs turning the pages. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2002, Scholastic, Push, 202p.,
— Barbara Jo McKee
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Gary, 15, lives in small-town Indiana. He struggles between fulfilling his sexual urges and not pressuring his girlfriend. He battles to do what is right versus letting his friend Wilson talk him into one illegal and dangerous stunt after another. He tries to keep quiet and fly under the radar at home, where he lives with a docile mother and a verbally abusive alcoholic father. He forms a curious bond with Mr. Roverson, who lost his job as a teacher when an affair with an 18-year-old student became public knowledge. Gary becomes naively involved in reuniting Roverson and Lindy, but the ramifications of his actions remain unclear at the end of the book, as does his understanding of the severity of the event. Unfortunately, Gary has no self-confidence-he allows himself to be talked into anything and he refuses to take control of any situation. He continually allows himself to be molded and manipulated in order to be accepted by others, and never comes to grips with his own shortcomings. Waltman does not create one fully likable character-everyone has an ulterior motive or glaring fatal flaw. For a book with a character also in denial, but with a more satisfying plot and better character development, try Alex Flinn's Breathing Underwater (HarperCollins, 2001).-Delia Fritz, Mercersburg Academy, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.28(d)
780L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

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Nowhere Fast 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ENGLISH3B More than 1 year ago
Nowhere fast by Kevin Waltman. Has a variety of emotions throughout the book some great some bad with Gary and Wilson. Gary is the good kid and Wilson is the bad influence. Everything starts off when Wilson and Gary decide one night to take a joy ride around town with a stolen car from a former teacher that got fired for sleeping with a student Roverson. Roverson then finds out about there little fun at and has both of the kids doing his work but letting them off at night with the car by themselves at night. Gary has a girlfriend named Lauryn she helps Gary not to be influenced by Wilson's actions but does not listen. Gary also gets influenced by Roverson to help him get the girl back that he slept with Lindy. Every time Gary goes home he has to put up with his alcoholic dad listen to all his put downs toward him but does not know what to do with his life. "I jerk my leg in and pull the door shut Wilson turns the key and the engine roars into the night"(5) This matters because this is when Gary and Wilson at the begging are starting to take those little night joy rides. Gary is not the kind of person to this. For Gary this is the first time he gets in a stolen and also helps the delinquent take the which makes him one too but does not recognize what his is doing is that will hurt him later on in life. "He turns and looks at me, proud of himself for the comment. His eyes drop with alcohol, but it can't hide the pleasure in them. I swallow, everything tasting acidic. My limbs are cold, like they're not even part of my body, but in my gut I feel an intense burn" (199).This shows how Gary's dad makes him feel like he is a nobody in life does not give him support in life treats him bad. Pretty much he is mentally damaged cause of all he has put up with his father. He really wants to fight him but does not have the courage yet to put a hand on him. Gary's dad use to be a college football player but now he just gave up in life and gave Gary a bad influence also about his actions. '"Goddammit, man", Wilson says. This time his voice is full of anger, even more before. "Pick that back up and have a drink"' (140). Pretty much Gary is being bullied into something he does not want to do or have. Wilson has a little problem once it comes to drinking and he can not control his anger. Gary shouldn't even have any alcohol in the car because Roverson did not allow them to drink and drive and he know it's wrong. This book for the most part is a good book because it describes how much problem a teenager may have. Thinking everything in life comes around easy but doesn't realize what he or she has done and may affect them is wrong. Also this can show how some parents are not supportive with there children at all drinking in front of them cursing them out physically abusing the child and nowhere to go cause they don't have that much people in life makes even worse for that teen. I would recommend this book for the person who wants to know how people can trick you and how difficult it is to see what is wrong in your actions always has consequences in life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago