The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
“This National Book Award Finalist is now a major motion picture — one of the most buzzed-about films at Sundance 2013, starring Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller.
SUTTER KEELY. HE’S the guy you want at your party. He’ll get everyone dancing. He’ ll get everyone in your parents’ pool. Okay, so he’s not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men’s shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagram’s V.O., life’s pretty fabuloso, actually.
Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee’s clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it’s up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go forth and prosper. But Aimee’s not like other girls, and before long he’s in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever.”
Sorry, sorry. I couldn’t resist. But, really, The Spectacular Now was “fabuloso”. It lived up to all the hype of the recent media, and definitely lived up to my expectations. Author Tim Tharp infused a perfect blend of humor and drama, and created characters that were not only believable, but relatable. It’s one of those books that’s layered with hidden meanings and themes, and keeps you thinking about what those meanings and themes are the entire time. And, despite his downfalls and bad habits, you can’t help but want to experience the magic and wonder of the “Spectacular Now” with Sutter Keely, even if only for a moment.
My only complaint about this book would be the ending (don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil it for you; I despise spoilers!). I won’t say I was disappointed, per se. More like, “Hmm…”. I just can’t grasp why Tim Tharp finished Sutter Keely’s tale the way he did. However, I know there is a profound reason that’s eluding me at the moment, and I know if I went back and re-read it or discussed it with others who’ve read it, I’d get it and appreciate it. So, don’t let this part of my review scare you off from reading what was otherwise a wonderful book.
If you enjoyed YA contemporaries like Why We Broke Up, The Fault in our Stars, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, then chances are you’ll enjoy The Spectacular Now.
Read more about The Spectacular Now here.
- The Spectacular, “Spectacular Now” (thehudsucker.com)
- The Spectacular Now – A Review (uiowa.uloop.com)
- Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (jenspenden.wordpress.com)