American Youth, by Phil LaMarche
(New York: Random House, 2007)
"American Youth is a controlled, essential, and powerful tale of a teenager in southern New England who is confronted by a terrible moral dilemma following a firearms accident in his home. This tragedy earns him the admiration of a sinister gang of boys at his school and a girl associated with them. Set in a town riven by social and ideological tensions an old rural culture in conflict with newcomers this is a classic portrait of a young man struggling with the idea of identity and responsibility in an America ill at ease with itself."
"The two boys walked the high ridge at the center of the wood road, avoiding the muddy ruts along the sides."
As far as I remember, I liked it well enough and appreciated that it was well-written. Didn't absolutely love it or have a tough time putting it down, though.