Funny How Things Change
by Wyatt, Melissa
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School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-Following high school graduation, Remy Walker is working at a gas station in Dwyer, WV, a town that is limping along in the wake of its coal-mining past. Strong feelings for Lisa, his girlfriend who is going away to college, lead Remy to decide to leave Dwyer and the mountain that has been his family's home for more than 150 years, and go with her. Her parents don't support this plan, but his father, who is self-employed and without other resources, offers him the proceeds of selling Walker Mountain to the mining company, to allow access to other peaks where they are practicing mountaintop mining removal. To complicate matters, the earnest youthful passion that he feels for Lisa is shaken not only by his ties to the land and his dad, but also by Dana, an intriguing artist painting murals on water towers during her summer break from college. Good writing drives stellar characterization of this strong but introspective protagonist struggling with his own version of the universal questions of who he is and what matters most. Wyatt creates a vivid sense of place where nobody has much, but the land is an organic and awesome presence in the lives of people with ties to it. Kinship with Remy will come easily to readers facing similar decisions about growing up and leaving home, especially when it comes to leaving a small town or a place suffering a downward economic spiral.-Suzanne Gordon, Peachtree Ridge High School, Suwanee, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Remy's life in the West Virginian mountain town of Dwyer has always been the same: hard, quiet, and monotonous, and that's just how he likes it. But with graduation behind him, Remy agrees to go with his girlfriend, Lisa, to Pennsylvania as she begins college. It seems like a good idea after all, he can't live in a trailer with his dad forever yet the concept of going from an insider to an outsider scares him. His quandary finds a focal point with the unapologetically flirty Dana, an artist visiting Dwyer to paint a mural. Wyatt's plot is as understated as her protagonist, but what it lacks in action it makes up for in nuance. Remy is a careful creation, a good old boy who's not entirely good, and who must come to terms with the nature of teen romance as well as the mountain-size chip on his shoulder. Wyatt also adds a sense of urgency with Remy's dad's plan to sell the family land. Readers will identify with Remy and his feeling of being torn between a comfortable past and uncertain future.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.