Wildman
“How can a total stranger understand you better than the people you’ve known your entire life?”When Lance’s ’93 Buick breaks down in the middle of nowhere, he tells himself Don’t panic. After all, he’s valedictorian of his class. First-chair trumpet player. Scholarship winner. Nothing can stop Lance Hendricks.But the locals don’t know that. They don’t even know his name. Stuck in a small town, Lance could be anyone: a delinquent, a traveler, a maniac. One of the townies calls him Wildman, and a new world opens up.He’s ordering drinks at a roadhouse. Jumping a train. Talking to an intriguing older girl who is asking about his future. And what he really wants. As one day blurs into the next, Lance finds himself drifting farther from home and closer to a girl who makes him feel a way he’s never felt before—like himself.

Wildman Details

TitleWildman
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 6th, 2017
PublisherDisney-Hyperion
ISBN148474957X
ISBN-139781484749579
Number of pages336 pages
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance

Wildman Review

  • Trin
    April 6, 2017
    Ahh, the joys of infidelity + manic pixie dream girl + daddy issues = oh my god, this is such a white male fantasy. And really not my cuppa.
  • Stacee
    May 27, 2017
    DNF on page 104. I loved the idea of this story, but I pretty much struggled through every single page I read. I couldn't connect to Lance. His inner monologue is weird and the story is more of a staccato than fluid. And that just added to the weird. There seemed to be a mystery or maybe a twist, but I don't know for sure and I couldn't be bothered to find out. **Huge thanks to Hyperion for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • April Henry
    June 5, 2017
    The writing was what really made this book stand out for me. Here are some examples: “Tow, he said, tasting the word’s weight. Three letters full of lost time.Waiting for Dakota felt like warming up in the orchestra pit on opening night. Everyone tuning up their instruments. That awful, giddy flutter before a show.All these words he'd been tossing out like candy from a parade float.Lance pictured Bend High School's football coach/guidance counselor hunching over his computer with bent little arm The writing was what really made this book stand out for me. Here are some examples: “Tow, he said, tasting the word’s weight. Three letters full of lost time.Waiting for Dakota felt like warming up in the orchestra pit on opening night. Everyone tuning up their instruments. That awful, giddy flutter before a show.All these words he'd been tossing out like candy from a parade float.Lance pictured Bend High School's football coach/guidance counselor hunching over his computer with bent little arms like a Tyrannosaurus rex on a tricycle.And the most amazing description of a first kiss:He's holding this glass, moving so slow, so careful-but now their foreheads are nearly touching. Frozen time thaws to a rush and they're running downhill, the ground tipping forward, still tipping, and Lance's feet pedal air, and his stomach drops and he loses the Earth and presses his lips to her. Their mouths open to receive each other and everything is spilling, everything, everywhere.
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  • Esther
    April 18, 2017
    Got a copy of this book via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.It's a nice quick read, not to hard to get through. I did feel myself wandering off all the time. I kept doing other things than reading this book. My attention was not really there, that's the reason I gave the book 3 stars.This review was first posted on BiteIntoBooks BlogProsCover and story: You think you've figured out the cover pretty quick, but you don't! It gets explained in the final chapter and that was beautiful. Got a copy of this book via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.It's a nice quick read, not to hard to get through. I did feel myself wandering off all the time. I kept doing other things than reading this book. My attention was not really there, that's the reason I gave the book 3 stars.This review was first posted on BiteIntoBooks BlogProsCover and story: You think you've figured out the cover pretty quick, but you don't! It gets explained in the final chapter and that was beautiful. I got a flutter in my heart because of the explanation, I really liked the aspect. The cover actually adds something to the story right now!Hidden message: Be yourself, make your own choices and live with the day. The hidden messages in this story are great. I feel like this could be a book for people struggling with choices in life.Transformation: I like the transformation Lance is undergoing in this book. He's so awesome the last few chapters, I like him a lot like that. I hope he'll stay that way!!ConsLance: Until the last part of the book I didn't really get Lance. It was so hard to understand for me that he wanted to go home, but was not taking any action to get home. I understand the fact that the Buick is important for him, that got clearer during the time he spent away from home. But the first few days he was stranded I was like; You had 20 opportunities to get home, do something! It's hard for me to understand somebody who doesn't really know what he wants..."Friendship?": So Lance gets to know a group of kids who call themselves friends. I don't get the conversations they have and the things they do with and to each other. I usually enjoy conversations in a book, but not with this book, I didn't really understand...Kept wandering off: Like I said before; I kept wandering off. It was hard at some parts to keep reading and I wasn't really excited to pick up the book again. The last few chapters really added something and made me more at peace with the book.If you like contemporary, I think this is a book for you. This book has such beautiful life lessons and you go on a trip with someone who is getting to know himself. Lance is finding himself is starting to make his own choices. Finally he is enjoying his freedom. That was the most exciting part about the book for me.
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  • Lisa
    June 11, 2017
    Oh, that ending - loved it so much. It's a book that keeps you guessing and I loved that too. Great read!
  • Linda
    May 31, 2017
    Thanks to NetGalley for the arc. It's a chance auto breakdown that keeps high school valedictorian Lance from a weekend with friends and without parents. He's been waiting for this time with girlfriend Miriam for a long time. It's days before graduation, Lance has a full scholarship to Oregon State University to study Business, but he still auditioned for a music school in Seattle. If he dumps his car, Lance can return home in time to party with his girlfriend, but the old Buick is all Lance has Thanks to NetGalley for the arc. It's a chance auto breakdown that keeps high school valedictorian Lance from a weekend with friends and without parents. He's been waiting for this time with girlfriend Miriam for a long time. It's days before graduation, Lance has a full scholarship to Oregon State University to study Business, but he still auditioned for a music school in Seattle. If he dumps his car, Lance can return home in time to party with his girlfriend, but the old Buick is all Lance has left from his dad who left a while ago. It's teenage growing up, thrown into a strange rural area of drinkers at the only local bar in town, and from which he gets this new nickname, "Wildman". There was lots of drinking, lots of crazy in the bar and in a wooded area as well as in the odd places the car ended up being repaired. Yes, there was more than one. It ends up the way you might guess, Lance takes that "other" path, keeps the car, rejects his girl for another. He's become someone new, and so far, someone he likes. I suspect more than one teen about to leap away into life from high school will like this.
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  • Shannon
    June 25, 2017
    I liked this book's exploration of the way the stories we tell ourselves shape us. I also liked the mix of realistic fiction and chapters that read like dreams. The setting in small town Washington state was evocative and interesting. So why only three stars? There's nothing innovative or new about the overall plot, so parts of the book were predictable. Still, if you or your teen are looking for a quick, enjoyable read, you can certainly do worse than Wildman. It's a good companion for the pool I liked this book's exploration of the way the stories we tell ourselves shape us. I also liked the mix of realistic fiction and chapters that read like dreams. The setting in small town Washington state was evocative and interesting. So why only three stars? There's nothing innovative or new about the overall plot, so parts of the book were predictable. Still, if you or your teen are looking for a quick, enjoyable read, you can certainly do worse than Wildman. It's a good companion for the pool, beach or just a summer day.
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  • Sarah (Books Before Bandaids)
    May 17, 2017
    A coming of age story, Lance’s car trip takes him through a series of life experiences that he never expected. Mystery and a hint of romance add to this debut novel, as Lance’s inner struggles help him grow from an angst-ridden boy to the man he wants to be. The predictable plot contained beautiful life lessons. Until the end of the book, the slow pacing and the two-dimensional nature of the of the characters made it difficult for me to stay engaged with the story. Hidden within this narrative a A coming of age story, Lance’s car trip takes him through a series of life experiences that he never expected. Mystery and a hint of romance add to this debut novel, as Lance’s inner struggles help him grow from an angst-ridden boy to the man he wants to be. The predictable plot contained beautiful life lessons. Until the end of the book, the slow pacing and the two-dimensional nature of the of the characters made it difficult for me to stay engaged with the story. Hidden within this narrative are lessons about friendship, growing up, and finding yourself. Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
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  • Judy
    June 18, 2017
    What is like to be 17, male, valedictorian, first chair trumpet with a scholarship when your car breaks down in a small town and graduation is only 4 days away? Poignant and real, this coming-of-age story drives you nuts and breaks your heart. Author is from Eugene, Oregon.
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  • Keith Chappelow
    July 1, 2017
    I really liked this story and it has a great message about what's really important in our lives.
  • Robbie Cusella
    June 24, 2017
    A heartfelt journey. Andrew Smith's "Winger" meets John Green's "Looking for Alaska." What shines the most is Geiger's portrait of male tenderness and thoughtfulness.
  • Sarah Laurence
    May 1, 2017
    In Wildman by J.C. Geiger an auto breakdown strands a valedictorian in rural Washington days before graduation. Lance has a full scholarship to Oregon State University to study Business, but he still auditioned for a music school in Seattle. If he dumps his car, Lance can return home in time to party with his girlfriend, but the old Buick is all Lance has left from his deadbeat dad. In a classic teen boy dilemma, Lance must choose between his car and his girl.What makes this young adult novel sp In Wildman by J.C. Geiger an auto breakdown strands a valedictorian in rural Washington days before graduation. Lance has a full scholarship to Oregon State University to study Business, but he still auditioned for a music school in Seattle. If he dumps his car, Lance can return home in time to party with his girlfriend, but the old Buick is all Lance has left from his deadbeat dad. In a classic teen boy dilemma, Lance must choose between his car and his girl.What makes this young adult novel special is the strong sense of place. Inside the gorgeous cover, the story is scented with fragrant pines, motel mildew, and cheap beer. Every night a cargo train blasts through Trainsong at two in the morning. Lance is warned to get out while he still can, but waiting at a dive bar, he bonds with hard-luck young adults who jump trains for fun. A quirky young woman makes Lance question his life choices. Wildman reminded me of the TV series Northern Exposure, set in Alaska.The setting enhanced the menacing drama:"The road got darker, more remote. Like they weren't travelling across the wilderness so much as tunneling into it."Although the writing was often lyrical, the voice and imagery were true to a teenage boy:"He rifled through his stories like a deck of old baseball cards. What had he ever done?"The unfiltered teen boy perspective was pitch perfect for its intended audience but might offend other readers. Although Lance cares the most about personality, female characters were rated by their sexual allure and a fat woman enjoying her food was observed with disgust. There was underage drinking, infidelity, barroom violence, and false testimony to the police with few consequences. From the limits of Lance's point-of-view, the ending was a bit confusing, but I loved the final imagery. Wildman is a fast and fun read, which teenage boys will enjoy. After this impressive debut, I'm eager to see what J.C. Geiger writes next.Disclosure: I received a galley from the publisher. The author and I share an agent.Full review on my blog: http://blog.sarahlaurence.com/2017/05...
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  • Bryan
    December 29, 2016
    J.C. Geiger's WILDMAN is notable for many reasons. First, it doesn't fall victim to they hyper-realism that plagues so many contemporary realistic young adult novels. You're not going to find any models in these pages. No internet celebrities. No brooding dudes who look like they were plucked from an Urban Outfitters ad.No!These are real kids living real lives and goddamn it's refreshing.Then there's the writing. It's flawless. It's restrained and subtle... until it isn't. And in those moments, J.C. Geiger's WILDMAN is notable for many reasons. First, it doesn't fall victim to they hyper-realism that plagues so many contemporary realistic young adult novels. You're not going to find any models in these pages. No internet celebrities. No brooding dudes who look like they were plucked from an Urban Outfitters ad.No!These are real kids living real lives and goddamn it's refreshing.Then there's the writing. It's flawless. It's restrained and subtle... until it isn't. And in those moments, the book breaks open like the best chorus from the best song. Geiger is a talented writer who tells this story with enough skill and confidence that it makes you wonder how it could possibly be his first published novel.
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  • Ms.Kim
    January 9, 2017
    This book had an eerie vibe in that I always thought something scary *might* *could* happen...just wasn't sure, you know? But then it was sort of haunting and beautiful at the same time. Evocative might be a word to describe it. It ended so sadly...hopeful amidst such sadness. That is perhaps my favorite kind of ending. I think I'm going to add another star actually!
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  • Jaclyn
    January 28, 2017
    Broody teen angst book about finding yourself and following your heart despite what your parents think you should do and who your friends think you are.
  • Rachel
    June 6, 2017
    J.C. Geiger’s WILDMAN is interesting and thought-provoking and strangely compelling. With a remote setting, an unusual cast of characters, a melodic, dreamlike quality to the writing, an unhurried pace, and an uncertain destination, it is a story that will draw you in, pique your curiosity, and make you think about choices and possibilities and friendships and labels and open roads and roads not taken.Lance Hendricks had his near future mapped out for him. He would give his valedictory speech. H J.C. Geiger’s WILDMAN is interesting and thought-provoking and strangely compelling. With a remote setting, an unusual cast of characters, a melodic, dreamlike quality to the writing, an unhurried pace, and an uncertain destination, it is a story that will draw you in, pique your curiosity, and make you think about choices and possibilities and friendships and labels and open roads and roads not taken.Lance Hendricks had his near future mapped out for him. He would give his valedictory speech. He would spend his summer working at the bank. He would use his full ride at OSU to get a degree in business that would guarantee him a good paying job. He would earn enough money so that someday he would have the freedom to do what made him happy.He did not plan for his car to break down hundreds of miles from home in the middle of nowhere. He did not plan to miss the party that would finally give him and his girlfriend, Miriam, some time alone. He did not plan to blow off his mom, his friends, his job, his school, his future.But then again he hadn’t planned on saving a life, losing a bet, getting into a fight, making new friends, getting a nickname or a few, having an adventure. And he certainly did not plan on Dakota.Author J.C. Geiger offers up a lot of food for thought throughout his story. He’ll make you think about luck and chance and what if. He’ll make you wonder about how much of a hand you’ve really had in the decisions you’ve made, how many clues the universe has given you that you might have missed, how often you’ve delayed gratification for the possibility of a better future instead of opting for the guarantee of a better now.The author introduces a character who isn’t the easiest to get a read on or to connect with but who is captivating and intriguing. Lance is both predictable and a bit of a mystery. He is definable and indefinable. He is different things to different people. He knows what he wants and yet doesn’t have the first clue about what he wants. His thoughts are shifting, fluid, wavering, wandering, his moods mercurial, his actions unreliable. And still he is immensely likable.WILDMAN is a beautiful and bittersweet and haunting and hopeful debut that will make you fall in love with the quirky inhabitants of the town, the middle of the night call of the train, a ’93 Buick, a boy who won’t be defined by stereotype, and the possibility that nothing is set in stone. It is a memorable and original and offbeat and outstanding summer must must read.
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  • Nannette Demmler
    June 1, 2017
    ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.This one starts out like an episode of the Twilight Zone. Lance finds himself stuck in a small town with some interesting characters, who on the surface seem pleasant and helpful enough. But there is something not so likable about them as Lance spends more time stuck at the Trainsong Motel.I admired Lance, he knew where he was going with his life. He had a plan. But you can tell he isn’t totally happy with that plan, especially as ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.This one starts out like an episode of the Twilight Zone. Lance finds himself stuck in a small town with some interesting characters, who on the surface seem pleasant and helpful enough. But there is something not so likable about them as Lance spends more time stuck at the Trainsong Motel.I admired Lance, he knew where he was going with his life. He had a plan. But you can tell he isn’t totally happy with that plan, especially as the story progressed. At first I couldn’t figure out how his trip to Seattle at the start of the story fit in with his plan. But eventually you see how unhappy he is with his life and that he wants something different, he just doesn’t know how to go about it. Enter Dakota, she too is stuck in this small town in the middle of no where and doesn’t know how to get herself out of her life plan either. They both help each other figure it out, with some interesting adventures along the way.The town, Baring, WA is full of interesting and somewhat helpful people. They all seem distrustful of Lance at first, but eventually they do end up helping him. The young men that he hangs out with through out most of the book are an eclectic group. On the surface, after an initial altercation between Lance and a couple of them, they seem nice enough. But eventually you come to see them as the unpleasant bullies that they really are. They are really mean to one character in particular, Stone, which on the surface seemed like good natured ribbing, but it really wasn’t. Lance really connects with Stone by the end of the story, and I think it was him more than anyone else that helped Lance on his journey.Most of the book is a series of small adventures that Lance takes that are totally different than his life had been before. The story of why his car really stopped working, was amusing, and the reasons why he wouldn’t abandon it like his mom wanted him to was heartbreaking. The ending is a little sad, there is a tragedy involving one of the group of friends. But it is also uplifting, when Lance finally realizes that he doesn’t really want the life that everyone expects him to have, but something different. I loved his graduation speech he gives at the end of the book. This was a very satisfying read that I found hard to put down.
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  • Elisha
    June 11, 2017
    WILDMAN is J.C. Geiger’s debut novel about a graduating senior, Lance Hendricks, who has his entire, boring life planned out. He will graduate high school as the valedictorian, and then will study business on a full scholarship with his vanilla girlfriend, Miriam. Though he is not particularly excited about any of these prospects, he follows this path without much resistance. As fate would have it, on the eve of losing his virginity, perhaps the only interesting night of his life thus far, his c WILDMAN is J.C. Geiger’s debut novel about a graduating senior, Lance Hendricks, who has his entire, boring life planned out. He will graduate high school as the valedictorian, and then will study business on a full scholarship with his vanilla girlfriend, Miriam. Though he is not particularly excited about any of these prospects, he follows this path without much resistance. As fate would have it, on the eve of losing his virginity, perhaps the only interesting night of his life thus far, his car breaks down in the Washington wilderness. In a matter of days, Lance’s whole world changes. J.C. Geiger’s writing style is really fun. I love the way he describes the simplest details, such as a speedometer needle, with irony, sarcasm, and a bit of magic. This technique and Geiger’s mastery of language reminds me of John Green’s writing, particularly in THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. However, Geiger’s tone is a little less sardonic than Green’s, which makes the characters feel like everyday people. We all, along the way, will meet a Breanna, a Dakota, and a Stone. Geiger, however, has painted them so vibrantly and with multiple layers of nuance that they finally have the opportunity to be understood. The themes of this novel include following your heart, doing the unpredictable, and learning that what you need most can come from unexpected places. This message is crucial for teenagers transitioning to college, but it is also relevant for anyone of any age. The book tells us not to accept the narrative we are given. In other words, just because someone thinks we are smart, stupid, pretty, or ugly, does not mean that it is true. We must forge our own paths and be honest with ourselves as making “safe” and expected choices will not bring us closer to our goals. Geiger himself has “eaten the beating heart of a snake, been deported from a full-moon party, and spent a short time locked in a Bolivan prison.” He has been out there living, and through his character, Lance, he will encourage many readers to do the same. WILDMAN is an incredible novel, chalk full of life lessons and heart. Fans of John Green will rejoice over J.C. Geiger, but if Geiger is anything like he seems, he will have no trouble carving out his own unique space in the literary world. Review originally posted on YA Books Central: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yaficti...
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  • Ms. Warchol
    June 25, 2017
    NetGalley ARCLance is driving home from a trumpet audition at a Seattle college when his car breaks down. His mom wants to scrap the Buick, but for Lance it holds sentimental value since his dad left it to him when he abandoned their family. So Lance insists on staying until it's fixed - eating at a place called "The Float", sleeping at a place called "Trainsong." Here he meets a cast of memorable characters. For Lance, his time here feels like a dream. But in reality, time is running out. He ne NetGalley ARCLance is driving home from a trumpet audition at a Seattle college when his car breaks down. His mom wants to scrap the Buick, but for Lance it holds sentimental value since his dad left it to him when he abandoned their family. So Lance insists on staying until it's fixed - eating at a place called "The Float", sleeping at a place called "Trainsong." Here he meets a cast of memorable characters. For Lance, his time here feels like a dream. But in reality, time is running out. He needs to get back to Oregon. So he can give his valedictorian speech, so he can work at a bank this summer, so he can go to OSU in the fall on scholarship, so he can maybe sleep with his girlfriend Miriam for the first time. The book unfolds over a few days but during this time everything in Lance's life seems to shift. The story itself wasn't anything revolutionary but there were some completely beautiful and impressive moments in the writing. "His eyes too wide and too small at the same time, straining to peel back the skin of the place and get down to where the notes were humming. He could sense music, quivering along the edges of skyscrapers, cutting long, clean lines against the sky. Solos hiding on street corners. Symphonies in the sewer."
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  • Kristina (Gone Pecan)
    June 6, 2017
    Full review can be found at:https://gonepecanla.wordpress.com/201...Overall Thoughts:When this one was compared to The Serpent King I knew this would go on my TBR list. Then there was a line in the description/blurb that hooked me and I knew I needed to read it sooner rather than later. ‘This debut novel by a remarkable new talent explores the relationship between identity and place’ This hit me in the gut. I struggle with who I am in relation to where I live versus who I feel like I am truly al Full review can be found at:https://gonepecanla.wordpress.com/201...Overall Thoughts:When this one was compared to The Serpent King I knew this would go on my TBR list. Then there was a line in the description/blurb that hooked me and I knew I needed to read it sooner rather than later. ‘This debut novel by a remarkable new talent explores the relationship between identity and place’ This hit me in the gut. I struggle with who I am in relation to where I live versus who I feel like I am truly all the time. I’m not going to get too heavy on this front. My struggle is living in a conservative south with liberal opinions, nothing that I can’t deal with or even comparable to others struggles with serious issues but non the less this phrase hit me.Lance’s journey through town and how each person influenced his next step while trying to balance communication with his life back home was complex and meaningful. He met what I’d call classic small town characters that were spot on and then some out of the box free thinkers, again spot on though a rare site in small towns. Overall a great debut.3.5/5
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  • Laura Mauro
    June 14, 2017
    *I got this book as a free arc from comic con 2016 these thoughts are my own*I really enjoyed the fact that a contempory book was told only from a guys POV and I have so rarely seen it I loved the strong focus on self discovery that was presence in the novel. I did not mind the love triangle aspects. I thought the characters other then lance lack complication as characters go. I felt like it was harder to get to know them. I did like the setting of the story and also the car as being a constant *I got this book as a free arc from comic con 2016 these thoughts are my own*I really enjoyed the fact that a contempory book was told only from a guys POV and I have so rarely seen it I loved the strong focus on self discovery that was presence in the novel. I did not mind the love triangle aspects. I thought the characters other then lance lack complication as characters go. I felt like it was harder to get to know them. I did like the setting of the story and also the car as being a constant element in the story. I thought the author is was trying to play with elements of magical realism but did not go all the way. Overall, I really love the character of lance and his path in this novel. It was great to see a story were romance was second fiddle. I wanted more complex characters overall but I really loved the story and the setting.
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  • Jeremy Cohen
    June 17, 2017
    This book is a glorious ride from the first page through the last--no buick needed to travel the experience Lance has when his past, present and future collide in the middle of nowhere (or everywhere...) The characters are at times loveable, frustrating, predictable and unexpected--just like we are in real life, and in the end I couldn't help but to root for the ending that most matches my own world view. Geiger's writing is clear and direct with just enough flourish to create a beautiful turn o This book is a glorious ride from the first page through the last--no buick needed to travel the experience Lance has when his past, present and future collide in the middle of nowhere (or everywhere...) The characters are at times loveable, frustrating, predictable and unexpected--just like we are in real life, and in the end I couldn't help but to root for the ending that most matches my own world view. Geiger's writing is clear and direct with just enough flourish to create a beautiful turn of phrase without feeling overwritten, and the plot serves as perfect vehicle (pun intended) to deliver the internal experience of the characters. Hard to believe this is a first novel, and I can't wait for the next!
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  • Rhetta Akamatsu
    June 4, 2017
    This book is an amazing train ride, a stunning coming-of-age story, a parable of how one incident, like your car breaking down in the middle of nowhere, can change your life. Lance (short for Lancelot) is on a carefully thought-out, straight and narrow path. He is a week from graduation, is first-chair trumpet in the band, valedictorian of his class , on the way to college with his girlfriend of 2 years. But when his car dies in a place that is nearly uninhabited, with nothing around but a seedy This book is an amazing train ride, a stunning coming-of-age story, a parable of how one incident, like your car breaking down in the middle of nowhere, can change your life. Lance (short for Lancelot) is on a carefully thought-out, straight and narrow path. He is a week from graduation, is first-chair trumpet in the band, valedictorian of his class , on the way to college with his girlfriend of 2 years. But when his car dies in a place that is nearly uninhabited, with nothing around but a seedy hotel and a bar, he meets some characters, and a girl, who change everything.This book grabbed my heart and won't let go. I really hope there will be more of Lance's story in a later book.
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  • Kristin Runyon
    May 31, 2017
    I gave the book 3 stars because I think my students will like it, but this epitomizes everything I don't like about YA lit. Main character has everything going for him (remember, only one person can be valedictorian or first chair trumpet, so main character isn't very relatable), goes on an unrealistic adventure, and life gets even better. I feel like the valedictorian speech at the end was written first and then a sorry crafted around it Side note to the author: 18 year olds absolutely can NOT I gave the book 3 stars because I think my students will like it, but this epitomizes everything I don't like about YA lit. Main character has everything going for him (remember, only one person can be valedictorian or first chair trumpet, so main character isn't very relatable), goes on an unrealistic adventure, and life gets even better. I feel like the valedictorian speech at the end was written first and then a sorry crafted around it Side note to the author: 18 year olds absolutely can NOT rent hotel rooms.I received an ARC from Disney/Hyperion at NCTE 2016.
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  • Sarah
    May 19, 2017
    Sometimes when we get lost in life we find ourselves. That is the theme of this story and it is a good one. The novel reads well and starts off with a boy who has lost his way due to life and the fact that his car won't work. After ending up in the middle of nowhere he discovers that his perfect, ordered life isn't necessarily what he wants. The focus on love and friendship and acceptance of who you are were tackled well in this story and I really enjoyed reading about "Wildman" (the better of t Sometimes when we get lost in life we find ourselves. That is the theme of this story and it is a good one. The novel reads well and starts off with a boy who has lost his way due to life and the fact that his car won't work. After ending up in the middle of nowhere he discovers that his perfect, ordered life isn't necessarily what he wants. The focus on love and friendship and acceptance of who you are were tackled well in this story and I really enjoyed reading about "Wildman" (the better of the two nicknames :-) )
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  • Natalie {I'd So Rather Be Reading}
    June 30, 2017
    Lance Hendricks has it all, a bright future all laid out, but he is dissatisfied, unsettled, stuck. He feels that a direct path has been laid out for him, and he doesn't have any say in his future. When his car breaks down on his way home from an audition, he is left stranded in a sketchy town in the middle of nowhere. And that's where things tried to get interesting.Read Maryn's full review HERE
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  • Debbie Macdonald
    June 11, 2017
    This book resonated with me because I took that trip, 3000 miles away to CA on a vacation after college and never went back. It changed the course of my life and I often wonder what if ... I hadn't gone, if I went back, if in my travels across the country in a friend's van, I had stayed somewhere different , hadn't met my husband of 37 years. One defining decision in my youth .... what crossroad did you take or not?
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  • Deb
    June 21, 2017
    The language and descriptions were amazing. This is a book that makes you think about your decisions. Lance seems to have his life mapped out until he breaks down in a remote part of Oregon where he meets a number of characters who seem stuck in a rut. But he finally "sees" them as they show him their side of life. Great story.
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  • Amy
    June 24, 2017
    The descriptions. The humor. The subtle but profound switch from past tense to present at a crucial, life-defining juncture. Makes me want to hop in a junker and drive away to parts unknown. Makes me want to observe and feel everything and challenge all my current life trajectory decisions. Just read it.
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  • Joanne
    June 1, 2017
    Interesting unique plot line. Didn't seem plausible to me but really made you think!
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