Seriously? I Read That?

Posts Tagged ‘Tim Tharp

spectacularnow1I’ve learned that feeling unease and discomfort while reading a book is rarely a bad sign. The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp proves my theory: the uncomfortable books are the ones that stick with me. The characters that give me a creeping feeling of “something’s wrong here” are the ones that haunt me long after I put the book down.

Sutter Keeley, teenaged alcoholic, is one of those characters. When we first meet Sutter, he’s content spending time with his girlfriend Cassidy and getting (and staying drunk) every day. But then Cassidy dumps him. He’s a little lost (figuratively and literally) when he meets Aimee. Aimee is the type of girl that wears t-shirts with pictures of horses proudly displayed on the front, and Sutter sees her as someone he can change, someone he can save. Aimee becomes Sutter’s “project” as he drags her into his world.

You might not like or approve of what you find once you see what’s inside Sutter, but you will remember him. As he tries to save everyone but himself, as his life spirals away from him, you might have the urge to just look away and put the book down. But you must keep reading.

The Spectacular Now is such an honest book. And in this honesty, many contrasts present themselves. There is beauty here, but there is also ugly things. There is humor but there is also depressing, heartbreaking scenes.

“But just remember this— weird’s good. Embrace the weird, dude. Enjoy it because it’s never going away.”

Sutter’s philosophy on life pretty much sums up this book. It may be weird. It may be uncomfortable. It might not end the way you desperately hope it will. But all you can do is embrace it.

The Spectacular Now is a 2008 National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature

Rating: 5 hip flasks out of 5.

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
Published: November 11th 2008 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Binding: Hardcover, 304 pages
ISBN: 0375851798
Reading Level: Young Adult

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Books That Go Bump in the Night- Halloween and scary books for kids and teens. My other blog.


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