Back Roads

Tawni O'Dell
New American Library

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTUREFunny and heartbreaking, this New York Times bestselling debut perfectly captures the maddening confusion of adolescence and the prickly nature of family with irony and unerring.

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honesty.Harley Altmyer should be in college having the time of his life. He should be free from the backwards Pennsylvania coal town he calls home, with its lack of jobs and no sense of humor. Instead, hes constantly reminded of just how messed up everything is...Harleys mother is in prison for killing his father, so hes in charge of bringing up his younger sisters and working two jobs to pay the billsand that doesnt leave a lot of time for distractions. But lately, hes getting more and more sidetracked by lusting after Callie Mercer, hismiddle-aged neighbor. As he struggles to keep it together, things begin to spin out of control. Soon Harley finds that as shattered as his family is, there are still more crushing surprises in store.In Harley, ODell has created a hero whos heartbreakingly believable; like Holden Caulfield, he uses caustic humor to hide his pain. Readers will care very much about him and his future, if indeed he has one.St. Petersburg Times