The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
Published: 10-20-2008 by Knopf Books
Get the book: Amazon
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.
Photo – Ericka O’Rourke Rating – 2/5
This is an ebook, so I’m actually not 100% sure which cover it has. When I checked it out of the library online it was the movie tie in cover, but when I opened the ebook it was the above cup cover, while it showed up in my ereader library as the movie tie in cover. I’m gonna go with the cup cover because it’s pretty decent. Content-wise it’s the best cover I’ve seen for the book, since Sutter is always going around with a gas station cup full of booze. So I like the idea of this cover, but execution-wise I’m not feeling it. The photo and colors and font are all fine. It’s the way the letters are set on the cup that bothers me. It looks like they wanted the author’s name to wrap around like it’s actually printed on the cup, which is fine, but 2 problems: They made it look titled and not wrapped around the cup. Also, why is the author’s name wrapped around the cup, but the title is not? I Photoshopped it so that the title is bigger and running off of the cup and into the background, and I adjusted the author name.
I was interested in reading this book because of the recent movie, and I like to read the book before seeing a movie based on a book. I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I don’t know how it compares, but I wasn’t a huge fan of this book. I think the story just wasn’t for me.
- realism – Characters like Aimee and Sutter seem to take one step forward and two steps back regarding the issues in their lives. It’s frustrating to read about at times, but it’s a lot more realistic than everyone fixing all of their problems. Real life problems like parents, relationships, and school are usually ongoing, tricky, and difficult to solve.
- Sutter’s boss – I don’t remember his name, but Sutter’s boss at the clothing store is a nice guy. He’s the kind of guy that Sutter needs in his life – a father figure that watches out for him even though Sutter comes in buzzed regularly (if not always). He gives Sutter some good advice and it feels like he genuinely wants Sutter to do well in life.
- ending – I thought that Sutter’s realization about how he would affect Aimee’s future was the most mature thing he did in the book. However, the way he avoided talking to her about that decision was horrible.
- drinking – Sutter drinks a lot. Not like “a lot” as in at parties. “A lot” as in all the time. Constantly. Day and night. I think Sutter’s only actually sober once in the entire book. He’s definitely addicted – he thinks he needs alcohol for everything. he drives drunk all the time. It’s just not something I can relate to, and it’s definitely not helping Sutter in life. He thinks he’s the life of the party because people love hanging out with him. I think he’s the life of the party because he’s always drunk and always willing to do something stupid and dangerous so they can laugh at him and feel better about themselves.
- Aimee – If you need a hard-working girl to change her entire personality for you, look no further than Aimee. She is crazy smart and awesome but she lets people walk all over her, and she just takes everyone’s crap while acting like she deserves it. So when Sutter comes along, he acts like he’s her personal hero while he’s really just making her more like him and calling it an improvement. Yes, Aimee needed to learn to stand up for herself, and maybe she did learn to, but maybe she only learned how to burn bridges and drink too much. We really don’t get to find out how Sutter actually affected her life. Aimee started to make some of her own choices, but most of them were things Sutter decided she should do – like telling off her best friend.
- Sutter – Sutter has no ambition, unless you count being the funniest, drunkest guy in the room as a life goal. It’s not like he’s not smart – he’s just given up on most useful things so he can spend more time and energy on partying. He’s just sort of wandering around aimless and the only thing he cares about is his deadbeat dad who doesn’t deserve his attention.
- I start calling her Captain and tell her to call me Special Agent Danger. Instead of having her point out which house to throw to by saying something boring like “here” or “this one,” I coax her into yelling, “Fire the torpedo, Special Agent Danger, fire the torpedo!” After a while, we’re zipping down the road at almost the speed limit and I never miss a yard. – Sutter + Aimee pg. 75
- Finally, she’s like, “I know it looks bad right now, but parents are just people. They don’t always know what to do. That doesn’t mean they don’t love you.” – Aimee pg. 272
Acquired: borrowed from library (ebook)