Funny How Things Change is very much a character study. It is not a plot driven novel, but a story of one teen boy, recently graduated, that must choose whether to stay in the small mountain town he loves or leave to follow his girlfriend while she attends college. It is relatively quiet, there are no major plot twists, no explosions, nothing to shake up the reader and it is all the more beautiful for that.
Remy is a solidly drawn, believable, and totally likable character. His girlfriend Lisa is a little less well-rounded, but I thought that fit. We really see Lisa through Remy's lens and so since he is somewhat blinded by his feelings she comes off nice, but a little flat. Dana, the visiting artist, in contrast is much more robust. More interesting, more compelling, and so she should be, as we're also viewing her through Remy's eyes. And as an "outsider" naturally she would be more interesting, more exotic than the people he's known his whole life.
This is also the story of a beloved dying coal mining town. Remy's family have lived there for generations. There is history, there is community, there is little opportunity to make a living. The choices Remy is facing are the same choices everyone in the town has to make.
If I have one complaint, it is that the resolution with Remy's girlfriend was handled a little awkwardly. It wasn't what happened, but rather how it happened. The reader sees it coming, it isn't a surprise, it just could have been smoother. On the whole, a small complaint for a very beautifully written book.