Book Review | The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

4.5/5 stars

How does one describe Sutter Keely? Where would you even begin? He’s the guy you want at parties. He’s fun, he’s spontaneous, and he’ll do anything to liven it up. Sure he doesn’t have any plans for college, but who needs them when you can live in the moment? His perspective changes dramatically when he ends up on Aimee’s lawn after getting smashed. Aimee’s just different from every other girl he knows. She doesn’t expect him to read her mind. She’s shy. She’s quiet. What begins as a mission to break her shell grows in to something more, and Sutter doesn’t know whether he’s prepared for that.

Let me start off by saying that this book is not your typical YA novel. I don’t know whether it’s because of Tharp’s wonderful writing style or the plot or dialogue or characters, but this book will definitely stick with me. I’m not even sure why I like this book so much, I just know that I do. It kept me hooked, and I was never bored, not even one page.

I’ll first start with the characters. I loved Sutter’s character so much. There’s been a lot of “bad/party boy” characters that blossom into deep philosophical beings after they meet the “nice girl” in YA novels lately. However, Sutter is a lot deeper than that, and has different sides to him. We see that he is genuinely kind, and his little project of getting Aimee to open more was for her benefit. I felt I could relate to him in the college aspect, because although I do know where and what I want to do, I’m not sure what to major in, and whether to continue my hobbies. To be completely honest, I didn’t like Aimee as a character. She was too meek, and even when she broke out of her shell, her whole world was built around Sutter. She wasn’t independent. However this is just how I saw her, and if you have any comments to add, feel free to do so!

Next, the plot. Oh god, the plot was magnificently paced. Never tired of it, not for a minute. There were many things that I wasn’t expecting at all. I’m actually really not sure why I found this book so fascinating, but I just loved the plot. I loved it. So much, I can’t even describe it, I’m sorry, just go read it, you won’t regret it.

Another thing I loved; Tharp’s writing style. Holy crap his writing just draws you in right in to Sutter’s mind. I feel like he is definitely able to capture the teenage mind. It doesn’t sound forced, it sounds genuine, raw, and relatable.

Definitely recommend this book if you haven’t read it, and I am definitely watching the movie soon! I hope it doesn’t disappoint… I’ll post a review as soon as I watch it.

PS – I don’t know why, but Ever After by Mariana’s Trench reminds me of Sutter and Aimee…

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