The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
Release Date: October 20th, 2008
Knopf Books for Young Readers, 294 Pages
Source: Bought the Audiobook
Age Group: Young Adult
Voice Actor: Macleod Andrews
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.
There are people in the world who have so much potential but just let everything go right down the drain. People who can’t help but make bad choices. And though they’re witty, kind, and charming – they have issues – they have problems. But they just can’t seem to help themselves. Have you ever known anyone like this? I haven’t and I think that may be why I felt both disconnected and connected with this book and with Sutter Keely. Disconnected in that I genuinely did not understand why he was doing what he was doing. And connected in that my heart ached for him – I wanted him to make the right choices for himself. I can’t recall how many times I wanted to jump into this book and scream at Sutter – tell him how he was going down the wrong path, suggest to him how to get help – that he needed help.
Addiction and substance abuse are scary – but these things real – and there are people out there battling them every day. To watch someone self-destruct is a painful and sad thing I think mostly because there is nothing you can do about it – the person is doing it to themselves. Even when loved ones and friends try to intervene, it doesn’t always work – the person doesn’t always listen. I enjoyed this book because it shows the pain and that sadness that accompany these types of situation. The Spectacular Now reminded me that these people are real and these things are happening to them. I think the saddest thing in the book is that Sutter doesn’t even realize what he’s doing to himself.
Though this book isn’t one I’d recommend to everyone, if you like books with a more serious tone to them, pick this one up.
PS – The movie trailer looks so good!