Review by Sarah
October 2008 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Amazon + Good Reads
"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."
Whenever a book is becoming a movie, I’m intrigued. I figure if it’s worthy of the cinematic screen, the book must also be awesome. This is definitely the case with The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp. Upon my first viewing of the trailer, I knew it was a movie I wanted to see. And when I found out it was a book I was even more excited.
This book is awesome. Or as Sutter Keely, our protagonist, might say, “awesometastic.” Speaking of awesometastic, something I had to get used to in this book was the vernacular of the characters. The fact is, they speak like what they are – teenagers. At first I wasn't sure I liked it, but it quickly grew on me and made me reminisce of high school dialect. I guess I’m used to John Green’s style of perfect prose coming out of teenagers’ mouths. But, in reality, teens are more likely to speak in the way Tim Tharp writes. (I still love you John.)
A classic boy-helps-girl-then-takes-off-her-glasses-and-winds-up-falling-in-love story, this book had another dimension. Sutter Keely is trying to help Aimee Finecky, but in turn, she ends up helping him. She helps to find his dad and slow down his drinking problem. They help each other in the most genuine and beautiful way – void of selfishness and ulterior motive.
The only criticism I have of the book is the ending. I’m usually a fan of open-ended books, but with this one I wanted some closure. Hopefully that is something the movie will provide, which I can’t wait to see. Fans of young love and coming of age stories, do like Sutter would do – grab a large 7UP and definitely check this one out.
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