Book Review: The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

The Spectacular NowThe Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published: October 20th 2008 by Knopf Books for Young Readers 
Review Copy Provided by: Library
Purchase: Amazon -- Barnes & Noble

Description from Goodreads:
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.
My review:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been trying to write a review for this book ever since I finished it yesterday, and honestly, I'm really not sure how to review this book.

I can see why people dislike this book (I mean, Sutter isn't the most likable character), but then again, I can also see how people really like this book (it is fairly realistic).

I liked it. A lot more than I expected to, honestly.

I can't really write a full blown review on this book, but I can list what I did and didn't like.

What I liked:
  • Tharp has perfected the teenage voice. There is no doubt about that. Sutter, though unlikeable at times, actually comes off as a teenager living in the now as opposed to worrying about the future.
  • The relationship between Sutter and Aimee. Okay, so their ending isn't necessarily a happy one, but it is the right one. It's a sad ending, but at the same time, it's perfect.
  • The humor. There is a lot of pain within both Sutter and Aimee, but Tharp manages to balance the pain and the humor rather well.
What I didn't like:
  • Sutter at times, honestly. I get that he is a bit of an alcoholic, I do, and at times you felt sorry for him, but some of his actions and some of his words really just made want to shake him - especially when it came to Aimee. Thankfully the ending redeemed him, somewhat.
  • The relationship between Sutter and Aimee. Yeah, I know I said I liked this, but there were also some issues I had with it. He wanted to save her, but there were times when others tried to show him that he was ruining her, and he just blew it off. She was such a broken character, and well, he definitely did take advantage of her at times, and I didn't care for that.

Would I recommend it? Sure. It is definitely worth a read, plus, the movie is getting rave reviews, just know that this book definitely isn't for everyone. I'd say it is more upper YA.

View all my reviews

For those unaware, The Spectacular Now movie adaption has recently received a wide release. The movie is getting excellent reviews, so even if you end up disliking the book, I still think the movie is worth checking out. Here's the trailer for those that have yet to see it:

Random thoughts on the trailer: There are some obvious differences between the book and the movie (as shown by the trailer above), but I'm actually okay with them. This book doesn't have to have every detail right, it's more of a character driven story, and if they can capture that well enough, I'm more than okay with some changes.

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