Friday, August 5, 2011

Running Wide Open by Lisa Nowak

Running Wide OpenI rarely read books with male leads or narrators, but this one has a female mechanic in it so I decided to give it a go. Though it was a bit too much testosterone for me at times, it is an enjoyable read.

Cody is 15 and a juvie... and he is an ungrateful brat. I didn't like him at first.. but as the story unfolds, I could see WHY he is the way he is.. full of anger, insolent, disrespectful, ungrateful, bitter. His family has made him that way. His mother is a nightmare, his father a wuss, and his grandparents are no better. So when the you know what hits the fan, nobody wants him and he goes to live with his uncle, Race, who's very into stock car racing. (He's got the lady mechanic.)

Funny thing I noticed.. When Cody gets his life together, his mom decides she wants him back. Hmph.

I'm not going to go on and on about the plot, but I will say there is more to this than appears at first glance. It's the story of a boy and his teenage angst and anger (I did get a bit tired of this at times. Simply not my thing.) and about family learning to accept each other and also about admitting you love someone and even allowing yourself to love someone. And then there is a story of determination, an injured man who wants to race again.. It's about pulling yourself up from the dirt, brushing yourself off, and getting back on that horse.

Four stars. It was very well written and thought I didn't always like Cody and his attitude, I did appreciate his sarcasm and sense of humor. He's a funny kid.

Favorite quote: "Everyone makes a bad decision now and again. Only time it gets to be a problem is when you don't admit to it and set things right."

I received this from the author.

Lots of car stuff in this book and and just for fun. 


  1. It's always interesting to read a review from someone whose preferred genre is different than the book's. I've read Running Wide Open and although I'm far past my teen years or those of my sons, I found Lisa Nowak's voice and her characters compelling. I believe Running Wide Open has real cross-over value and that adults, not just YA's, will enjoy the trip.

  2. Thanks for the excellent review. I just bought Running Wide Open, but haven't' had the chance to have a go at it yet. She's a funny lady though. She's also very open and willing to help others.

    Lisa contacted me for some help on another book she's working on. She found me through my trucking blog at and had some questions about a the trucking life. I, in turn, had a trucking book that needed critiquing. She jumped right on it and gave me valuable insight that improved my book.

    Like I said, she's a great lady. So just go and buy her book instead of giving your hard-earned cash to some pompous best-selling author.

    Todd McCann