Running Wide Open

Running Wide Open

4.5 22
by Lisa Nowak
     
 

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Cody Everett has a temper as hot as the flashpoint of racing fuel, and it's landed him at his uncle's trailer, a last-chance home before military school. But how can he take the guy seriously when he calls himself Race, eats Twinkies for breakfast, and pals around with rednecks who drive in circles every Saturday night?

What Cody doesn't expect is for the

Overview

Cody Everett has a temper as hot as the flashpoint of racing fuel, and it's landed him at his uncle's trailer, a last-chance home before military school. But how can he take the guy seriously when he calls himself Race, eats Twinkies for breakfast, and pals around with rednecks who drive in circles every Saturday night?

What Cody doesn't expect is for the arrangement to work. Or for Race to become the friend and mentor he's been looking for all his life. But just as Cody begins to settle in and get a handle on his supercharged temper, a crisis sends his life spinning out of control. Everything he's come to care about is threatened, and he has to choose between falling back on his old, familiar anger or stepping up to prove his loyalty to the only person he's ever dared to trust.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2015-09-11
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781937167004
Publisher:
Webfoot Publishing
Publication date:
06/13/2011
Pages:
330
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.74(d)
Age Range:
10 - 16 Years

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Running Wide Open 4.5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 22 reviews.
5coats More than 1 year ago
I just read the breakout book of a young author Lisa Nowak. This is a must read. I was reluctant at first because this is a book for Young Adults...and I am not...but it is truly a crossover. Characters are flawed but likable...no lovable. The book...RUNNING WIDE OPEN...is a racing novel. It is as appealing and sustainable as a Pippy Longstocking, and written with as much finesse and vision as To Kill A Mocking Bird. Book awards are given for less.
Arla More than 1 year ago
My first thought when I finished this book was, "Whoa! Lisa Nowak can WRITE!" One might think, from the the cover of this book, that it's about racing. Although there's racing in it, it's SOOO not about that. It's about relationships, acceptance and overcoming adversity. It's told from the point of view of a 15 yr. old troubled kid named Cody. This story takes place in Oregon in the 80's. Cody is sent to live with his uncle, who goes by Race, when he gets busted for vandalizing a zoo wall. His choice is either live with an uncle he hardly knows or go to military school. Who would choose military school? No one. What's Cody's story, why is he troubled? To say Cody's family life is messed up, would be an understatement. His mom, Saundra, is so self absorbed that she is completely out of touch with who Cody is and what he needs from her. She's recently walked out on him and his dad to pursue her dream of becoming a bartender. But, realistically she checked out of the mother role years ago. His dad is spineless and has never stood up for him. Both parents are pretty much useless. It's easy to see why Cody is lashing out, feeling angry, abandoned and full of resentment. His belief that ALL adults will eventually let you down, given enough time, is challenged when Race turns out to be the person to teach Cody the true meaning of family. This book is a good example of why I love to read, the story touched my heart. The characters were so well written, I became easily invested in them. I identified with Cody the most, having been an angry teen at one point myself. I felt like he was teenage me, but with a Y chromosome. I was touched by his journey to self-control and self worth, love being the catalyst, as in any good story. It was satisfying to witness his transformation as he was finally accepted for who he was and encouraged to embrace his talents, surrounded by people who genuinely loved him. But, Cody isn't the only one who is changed by circumstances. Unconditional love, acceptance and learning that who you were isn't who you always need to be, is the shared lesson. I enjoyed watching the relationships between Cody, Race and Kasey blossom. It's a beautiful example of how the distinction between family and friends can often blur. One of the surprising things to me was how the author describes things in such a way that anyone can enjoy the thrill of what's going on on the race track or learn to appreciate all the work that goes into preparing a car for such a thing. At the end of this book you might find yourself giving NASCAR a chance next time it's on, if you haven't already. In case you hadn't guessed, I highly recommend this book, because you don't have to know what's it's like to be an angry teenage boy or know a SINGLE THING about stock car racing to get something out of it, you just need a pulse.
CariJ More than 1 year ago
Running Wide Open is a captivating story about a developing relationship between a rebellious teen boy "Cody" and his uncle "Race". Cody was sent to his uncle Race as a last ditch effort on the part of his parents to turn around their angry, delinquent son. Unlike any other adult Cody has known in his life, Race shows Cody an unconditional love that Cody has a hard time trusting and accepting at first. Race (as his name would impart) is a hobbyist stock car driver at a small track and Cody is slowly drawn into & educated about the world of racing. Throughout the book, the bond between Cody and Race becomes stronger just as Race's track "family" comes to love Cody as another one of their own. This book is a captivating read even if you know nothing about the world of racing. It is so much more about the forged bond between uncle and nephew, than it is about racing, although the racing setting gives the book a unique and original twist. As a person who has grown up in the racing world, I found it especially touching. I read the book in one day and I am eagerly anticipating the sequel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Running Wide Open was one of the best book's I have read in a long time. The characters jump off the pages and into your heart. I thought that my son's would love a book about racing to find out that I loved it just as much. Great book! You don't want to pass this one by.
ARLB-5 More than 1 year ago
From the first page to the last, I was captivated by Cody Everett's struggle to make his way in a world that revolves around his uncle Race and stock car racing. This witty, perceptive, and realistic story kept me up long past my bedtime. While listed as young adult, this book will appeal to a more mature audience as well. Don't pass it up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I passed this book up several times before deciding to give it a try. So glad i did. A very moving story. Well done
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was a dirt tracker myself and i enjoyed the complete story well written al jackson
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book. I plan on getting the mother books in the series, as I now have to know what becomes of Cody and I hope he turns into a clean race car driver like his uncle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book but it had alot of swearing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KikkitRocks More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. Lisa Nowak is refreshing.  This story of hard luck and courage completely warmed my heart.  It is interesting,  fast paced, well written and totally believable.  I signed up for your newsletter and have purchased Book 2 in the series.  Thank you Lisa for sharing your imagination with us.  I definitely would recommend this book and Lisa Nowak as an author to look for.   In fact, I just did. 
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Golfersis More than 1 year ago
Boys will especially enjoy this book with its focus on racing. The dysfunctional family dynamics drag a bit in places, but overall, it's a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having driven stock cars in a little no name track I can totally relate. The writer must have had or been involved with racing at some time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Life can be hard for a person who has a mother that has not one good bone in her body, a dad that doesn't support them when being verbally attacked, and an anger problem that has you left living with a guy with a weird name. Cody's life is about to be changed and though it may start off bad it turn bright in the end. I could never do what Cody has done, I would be too afraid to go home and face my parents. Also his mom, I swear that she needs to show a little more loving support to her son. Constantly throughout the beginning of the book I felt bad for Cody. Than we move onto Race...I really would love to have a parent like him. He is laid back and a person that one could go up and talk too. However, I believe he needs to get the guts to ask out the person who he really cares about, and not take no for an answer. The plot was one that I could follow and not once did I lose sight of it. This book was one that contained adventure, love, some action, and a feeling that one can never forget. I recommend that all readers take a chance in their reading life and open this book. I give this book 4 souls
MaryFilmaker More than 1 year ago
This is the sort of book that a parent wants their teen to read and it is so readable and relatable that teens will want to read it. It shows the power of a good mentor. I read it in two days. It's a great book!
MamaLee1983 More than 1 year ago
Ok, like most of the readers that have reviewed this book, I too am not into racing. I just never got it. I guess maybe if I was the one in the car, but I couldn't care less about watching it on tv. So I didnt really relate to any of that part of the book. BUT it was really a great book dispite all of the racing and car lingo (that to me is a foreign language) lol. But I really enjoyed getting to know Cody and his uncle Race. I especially enjoyed "watching" them grow together and become a family. My heart stopped right along with the crew as Jims car slammed into Race. And it ached for Cody and Kasey as they waited for news. This book was very entertaining to say the least. It played with your emotions like any good book should do. There were parts that I wanted to cry, parts that made me want to scream (yes, I am talking about Cody's mom and Grandfather), parts when I laughed out loud. It was just a really good book all around. So let me be the first to admit that even though I was skeptical because of the cars and racing, I will be the first to admit that I was wrong. I truely enjoyed it! Thank you Lisa for the opportunity to read it!
Maxci More than 1 year ago
In this story you will meet characters that really do seem real. You will laugh and cry as you turn the pages of their lives woven together with a stock car, a dirt track and an audience of appreciation for speed. We race stock cars during the summer and even though this is a recommended read for Young Adults, we are seniors and enjoyed every page. We can hardly wait for the sequel to come out. MUST READING!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He is such a bad guy.