Review: The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
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Author: Tim Tharp
Release date: December 14th 2010
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Series: N/A
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Add to your library: Goodreads

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. (via Goodreads)

It wasn't my plan to buy this book. It wasn't on my list that day. But whenever I saw a book wherein I THOUGHT for sure won't be available again soon, I'd grab and buy it. Yes, impulsive me. Though I was glad I did. I learned about this obviously because of the movie. Since the movie looked so pretty good in the trailer, I cannot just ignore it. As usual, I didn't know whether to read the book or watch the movie first. I made it one-third of the book when my friend told me to watch the movie first. Good thing she said that because I might have not liked the movie at all. But this isn't a review of the movie so I'll focus with the book.

It's clear-cut that this is a funny YA novel. And not just funny but also uplifting and sad and depressing in many ways. Most people would probably think that it's the usual YA novel about a messed up guy and the goody-goody girl. It totally was. I won't argue with that. But what set this apart was the writing (seriously, loved the writing by the way) and the way things turned out for Sutter. Or actually, how Sutter managed to find a way despite the circumstances around him.

I love Sutter but I hate how much he is of a drunkard. You can say I'm overreacting. But really? Would you keep spiking up your drink every time you are drinking something? Or even wherever whenever you are? He drinks when he's at work, at school, seriously, all the freaking time. Somehow, I cannot relate with him in that manner. I know he's a guy but come on. So other than that, I loved him. He was funny, thoughtful, considerate and just about selfless. Even if he was going out with Aimee but he kept on seeing Cassidy, I knew he was being friends with Cassidy. The guy knew heartbreak and reconciliation. It made me sad that the people around Sutter only thought of him as the fun guy. Never was he the one who can be serious enough for some stuff. It's actually irritating because really, why can't some people take you seriously? That was one thing that made Aimee different from the others. She took him for who he is. With all the good and the bad.

As much as I appreciate Aimee's goodness, she was one hell of a martyr. No. Really. She just keeps on agreeing on things. I believe there's a fine line between being good and being naive. Aimee, for me, was on the latter group. She doesn't give a damn even if people took advantage of her. Oh, yes. Maybe she did changed a bit when she knew Sutter. She was able to stand up for herself when it comes to other people. But it was otherwise when it comes to Sutter. It was like Sutter became the center of her world. Literally. But I love the girl, don't get me wrong. I just felt like she was being hard on herself sometimes.

The thing I loved about this novel is the humor and the reality it was trying to stretch out to its readers. It wasn't even a romance novel totally. Sort of, yes. But it was all about how to live life to its fullest. Yes, sounds cliche yet it was just so true. In the end, I feel for Sutter because no matter what, he was always on that roller coaster ride. He never really seemed to realize how much there is around him. He knew there are things worthwhile but he cannot wrap his mind around it. He was so lost, so so so lost.

Oh yes, the writing. The writing made it more easier to read because it felt personal to me. I don't know why. Maybe because it was not that formal. It was written in a way that will make you feel like you weren't reading a book but just a retelling of one's experiences. 

OKAAAAAY. I cannot end this without comparing it to the movie. Sorry for that. But it was kinda different especially with the ending. I was a little disappointed that the movie didn't use the ending of the novel. I know they are independent of each other. Yet I somehow felt that the movie betrayed the book. It ended up like a chick-flick movie and not a story about life. Anyway, that's my own observation.

The Spectacular Now will definitely give you the feels of how to live in the now. It will make you laugh, angry, grumpy but most of all, it will make you be thankful, just thankful for the life that you have.



About the Author
Tim Tharp was born in Henryetta, Oklahoma, a small town in the eastern part of the state. At seven, when his father landed a job as associate editor of a big city newspaper, he moved to Midwest City, a suburb of Oklahoma City. While in grade school, he created two comic strips, Monster Mag and Bush Miller, the latter being the continuing saga of a hapless bush-league baseball player. In fifth grade, he fell in love with fiction writing, and vowed that one day, in addition to becoming the greatest professional football player to ever play the game, he would be a writer.Presently Tharp continues to enjoy teaching at Rose State College where he is also the co-chairman of the Write of Spring High School Writing Workshop. This annual event attracts high-school students from all over central Oklahoma to hear readings and advice from guest authors as well as to practice their own poetry and fiction writing. He has also made appearances at various high schools and other writing events around the state. He is currently at work on another novel for young adults.

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