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Friday, January 3, 2014

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

A new year brings new books. I honestly cannot wait for all the new books of 2014 to be released. The first one being released? The Testing: Independent Study.  But that doesn't come out until Tuesday. For now, I will talk about a different book...

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
Sutter Keely is the life o the party. No matter who he's with or what he's doing, Sutter knows how to have a good time. When he wakes up on Aimee Finicky's lawn after a wild night of partying, Sutter is determined to help this loner girl have a good time and take her under his wing. Although at the end it seems as though Aimee taught Sutter a few things.

I first heard about this novel when I found out that Miles Tiller would play Sutter Keely in the movie version alongside Shailene Woodley as Aimee. Being a good little book nerd, I thought I would read the novel first before seeing the movie. And being one who is not into romance novels I put it on the back burner for as long as I possibly could. And I'm glad that I finally put my pride away and read this dang book. First of all, this is not a romance novel. I repeat, this is not a romance novel. It is almost written as a coming of age novel. It has a very Markus Zusak/John Green feel to it. (If you don't know who those authors are you have been living under a rock. Go read The Book Thief and The Fault In Our Stars immediately. I will be covering them soon.) Tim Tharp is an incredible author. He was able to capture two separate, and very different, teen spirits within the pages of his book. I applaud him.

Now where do I begin with Sutter Keeley. The life of the party. Not very reliable unless it involves, you guessed it, a party. And a slight alcoholic. Sutter is the kind of guy that is incredibly popular during high school but ends up in a dead end job that no is impressed with at the 10 year reunion. Even though you know that's in his future, you want more for him. He is a genuinely nice guy but he just takes too many stupid mistakes. Through the novel Aimee begins to change him. Aimee: this free spirit tied down by a not so reliable, deadbeat mom. By the end of the story you see something in Sutter that will break your heart. Because through everything that year, Sutter became a good guy. He became the type of guy that will remove himself from the equation because its the best thing for the other person, even if he himself so desperately wants to stay. Even though he said Aimee was a project and he just wanted to help her, you see at the end of the novel that he truly loves her. And it will break your heart.

Though heavy subjects such as teen alcoholism, abnormal sexual situations, and divorce are all covered in this novel, there are some non heavy moments. Sutter after all is the life of the party so his story does have some fun moments that the readers get to enjoy. This truly is a novel that  people of all ages will enjoy. Maybe not so much "all ages" as 15 and up. It is definitely worth it to read the novel before you watch the movie. And now that this review is finished, I will allow myself the pleasure of ordering The Spectacular Now, making a bucket of popcorn, and judging how true the movie is to Tim Tharp's novel. Now go read this book!

-Shawnee Smith

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