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1 Burnside Children's Young Adult- General

The Last Exit to Normal

by

The Last Exit to Normal Cover

ISBN13: 9780375840982
ISBN10: 0375840982
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Its true: After 17-year-old Bens father announces hes gay and the family splits apart, Ben does everything he can to tick him off: skip school, smoke pot, skateboard nonstop, get arrested. But he never thinks hell end up yanked out of his city life and plunked down into a small Montana town with his dad and Edward, The Boyfriend. As if its not painful enough living in a hick town with spiked hair, a skateboard habit, and two dads, he soon realizes somethings not quite right with Billy, the boy next door. Hes hiding a secret about his family, and Ben is determined to uncover it and set things right. In an authentic, unaffected, and mordantly funny voice, Michael Harmon tells the wrenching story of an uprooted and uncomfortable teenaged guy trying to fix the lives around him-while figuring out his own.

Review:

"Two gay men struggling against prejudices in the rural West may conjure images from Brokeback Mountain, but this novel has less to do with unconventional romance than a teenager dealing with unwelcome changes. Bitter about the dissolution of his 'normal' family after his father came out three years ago (an announcement that made his mother leave for good), 17-year-old Ben dreads moving from Spokane, Wash., to rural Montana, where his father's partner, Edward, grew up. Starting over in a small town 'where gay dudes and their boyfriends don't go over well' looks impossible to Ben. Tracking Ben's transformation from rebellious city boy to hard-working cowboy, Harmon (Skate) digs beneath the stereotypes of gays and rednecks to tackle issues emerging when conservative and liberal values clash. Some of Ben's prejudices about the West prove to be true: Miss Mae, Edward's mother, makes Ben live in the woodshed until he starts obeying her; the Pentecostal next-door neighbor believes Ben's family is going to hell. But Miss Mae has surprising complexities to her character, and Ben, itching to save the neighbor's son from obvious abuse and what seems to be local indifference, has a lot to learn about appearances. Harmon coaxes readers past some far-fetched plotting (Ben saves lives and rockets to hero status) with skillful, often witty insights into human nature; because his take on people is convincing, audiences will want to believe in his story, too. Ages 14-up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

Michael Harmon is the author of Skate, “a remarkable first novel,” according to Kirkus Reviews. He lives in Spokane, Washington, where he is at work on his next novel for Knopf.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Beverly B, August 4, 2013 (view all comments by Beverly B)
Coming of age novels with an interesting, original and realistic male protagonist are hard to find. The Last Exit to Normal has a great one. Ben Campbell is a hard teen to like. Ben is angry and resentful. He is also funny in a cynical, snarky and sometimes very wise way. Like a lot of teens, he is unable to see beyond his anger to realize that he is creating his own misery. He has devoted the last three years to blaming his father for his unhappiness and getting revenge on his father for ruining his life. In a last desperate attempt to save his son, Ben's father moves the family to a tiny ranch town in Eastern Montana. For hipster street urban Ben, it is punishment. But to his dismay, small town Montana is not as terrible as Ben expected. As much as he hates it, there are some people he appreciates and activities he enjoys. There are also small town cultural rules he is determined to change - especially the one about staying out of others' business even when you suspect something horrible is going on next door. Slowly, with a lot of missteps and a lot of help from his new friends and neighbors, Ben finds his way back from bitter rebellious teen to a semi-happy decent human being.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780375840982
Author:
Harmon, Michael
Publisher:
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Subject:
Fathers and sons
Subject:
Interpersonal Relations
Subject:
General
Subject:
Family - Alternative Family
Subject:
Social Issues - Emotions & Feelings
Subject:
Humorous Stories
Subject:
Homosexuality
Subject:
General Juvenile Fiction
Subject:
General-General
Subject:
Family - Parents
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20080331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 9
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.33x5.97x1.03 in. .87 lbs.
Age Level:
14-17

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Related Subjects

Children's » Family » Alternative Family
Children's » Humor
Children's » Situations » Physical and Emotional Abuse
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Emotions and Feelings
Young Adult » General

The Last Exit to Normal Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - English 9780375840982 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Two gay men struggling against prejudices in the rural West may conjure images from Brokeback Mountain, but this novel has less to do with unconventional romance than a teenager dealing with unwelcome changes. Bitter about the dissolution of his 'normal' family after his father came out three years ago (an announcement that made his mother leave for good), 17-year-old Ben dreads moving from Spokane, Wash., to rural Montana, where his father's partner, Edward, grew up. Starting over in a small town 'where gay dudes and their boyfriends don't go over well' looks impossible to Ben. Tracking Ben's transformation from rebellious city boy to hard-working cowboy, Harmon (Skate) digs beneath the stereotypes of gays and rednecks to tackle issues emerging when conservative and liberal values clash. Some of Ben's prejudices about the West prove to be true: Miss Mae, Edward's mother, makes Ben live in the woodshed until he starts obeying her; the Pentecostal next-door neighbor believes Ben's family is going to hell. But Miss Mae has surprising complexities to her character, and Ben, itching to save the neighbor's son from obvious abuse and what seems to be local indifference, has a lot to learn about appearances. Harmon coaxes readers past some far-fetched plotting (Ben saves lives and rockets to hero status) with skillful, often witty insights into human nature; because his take on people is convincing, audiences will want to believe in his story, too. Ages 14-up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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