Gary Paulsen writes the best novels for teenage boys. They are very direct and straightforward, and usually packed with action.
Transall Saga doesn’t waste any time setting up back stories that won’t actually hold any bearing on the events of the story at hand. It’s a survival story, and in a survival situation, it doesn’t matter where you are from or what your family situation is back at home. You’re trapped or stuck somewhere, and the present is the only time that matters. The action in Transall Saga starts on page 3.
Transall Saga is about a teenage boy named Mark who was hiking across the desert in Nevada, I think, when he falls into a bizarre column of blue light. He’s transported to a different time and place, where the grass is a deep red and the sky is yellow. Mark discovers all kinds of new things, creatures, peoples, etc. and develops and evolves as a character as he meets them.
If you want to have a wild adventure, Transall Saga is your book. If you want to have an emotional adventure, you’d best just avoid anything by Gary Paulsen.