Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top 10 before 2010: Funny How Things Change

Funny How Things Change
-- Melissa Wyatt

If you've read a lot of YA fiction, Funny How Things Change seems really easy to figure out. It stars Remy, a senior from middle-0f-nowhere West Virginia with decent grades and a girlfriend who's heading to college. He's clearly going to head for bigger and better things. Right?

What makes this book special is that things aren't so cut and dry. And Dwyer, West Virginia isn't just the middle-of-nowhere, it's the only place Remy has ever known and it is a place that he loves. This novel doesn't work the way a lot of YA fiction does: no one is swooping in with scholarships or solutions for Remy. Instead, he is on his own and needs to make some serious decisions about what he wants to do with the rest of his life.

This one's a quiet read that gets you with its characters and its sense of place. This is not a book where everyone in town seems like they just left the set of the Beverly Hillbillies and that is very refreshing. Remy loves the mountains and his dad has worked hard in the coal mines his entire life. When a new artist moves into town and shakes up Remy's routine, those decisions he's been mulling over really come into play.

Read Funny How Things Change and you'll be left wondering if you'd have made the same calls that Remy does if you were in his shoes.

Bonus: Since this is a book about loving West Virginia, here's a little tribute:

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