Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Spectacular Now By Tim Tharp

I put The Spectacular Now on my library library hold list after reading a review of the movie. It compared The Spectacular Now to John Hughes movies. That's the perfect comparison to get this 80's gal to read any book. While I could see some similarities, The Spectacular Now is in a class of its own and it was spectacular.
Sutter Keely is a senior in high school. He's the guy that everyone wants at their party. For Sutter, life is a party. He wakes up, gets his 7Up and whiskey and starts living. Sutter's got no plans. While his peers are talking college, Sutter's looking for the next party. He reminded me of Ferris Bueller and John Bender. At the beginning of The Spectacular Now, Sutter is with Cassidy, his fat beautiful girlfriend. I liked how Tharp talks about different people-fat, thin, lonely, boring. It's not about judgement but about acknowledgement that we are all different. Tharp's writing was so engaging that I couldn't put it down. I actually read The Spectacular Now in one day. Tharp's writing reminded me a lot of Rainbow Rowell's, quick, funny but thought provoking.
While I had a hard time with some of things Sutter does and some of the characters (who would do that?), I really enjoyed my time with Sutter. I would have loved to know him when I was 17. I loved Sutter's life philosophies "Embrace the weird" and enjoy the spectacular now. While I don't think you need to be drunk and high to get that, I understood why he did what he did.
All this talk about Sutter and I'm totally forgetting Aimee. Aimee is the adorably geeky girl who Sutter meets accidentally. Aimee's not like anyone else in Sutter's life. She's pure, sweet, and incredibly naive. Sutter thinks that he'll help her see that life is so much more than being an emotional punching bag for the losers in her life. But instead she helps Sutter see that there is more to him than he thinks. I loved Aimee. I was just like her in high school. My room was my space ship and books were my escape from my life. I wished I would have meet someone like Sutter when I was 17.
The only reason I didn't absolutely adore this book, insist everyone needs to read it is the ending. I'm fine with the no happy ending but that wasn't an ending, Tharp. I would have liked more than what we got. I read the end 3 times to make sure I didn't miss something and I didn't. It was a crappy ending to a great book.
Overall, I enjoyed The Spectacular Now. Expect for the not an ending, it was a wonderful book. Others who shared their thoughts on The Spectacular Now: What A Nerd Girl Says, Book Revels, Page Turners, I Know What You Should Read, and Tangled In Books.


  1. Thanks for the honest review! I hate when there's no ending! (Have you seen the new season of Arrested Development?!) Is the book YA?

  2. Thanks for the mention in your review!

  3. I've been curious about this one, especially with the movie. Both sound like the type I'd enjoy, but I'm guessing I'll probably wind up reading the book first, which in general, I think is the better plan.


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