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The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
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The Spectacular Now

by Tim Tharp

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This was one of the saddest, most depressing books I've ever read. The story is just one example of how our experiences and decisions can bundle into one big ball of regret. I listened to the audio version, and recommend it highly. The reader absolutely nails the main character in voice. In my opinion, it enhanced the story. All that said, the point of this book, in my opinion has to be lost on the young. Teens just don't think this way. ( )
  SparklePonies | Mar 9, 2014 |
Not sure what the big deal is with this book or why someone felt compelled to make it into a movie. It felt like a series of vignettes that never coalesced into more than sound bites. ( )
  SparklePonies | Feb 27, 2014 |
This one grew on me after I closed the cover. A fantastically unreliable narrator, believable teen story lines, and one of the most realistic depictions of alcoholism at any age that I've seen in literature. ( )
  WiseYoungFools | Feb 24, 2014 |
‘Another spectacular afternoon. This weather is unbelievable. Of course, that probably means summer is going to be vicious again, but I’m not worried about that now. I was never big on the future. I admire people who are, but it just never was my thing.’

Sutter is spontaneous with a luring personality who lives life solely in the moment. Aimee is plagued by insecurity but has a mind that is saturated with dreams of the future. The two are an unlikely combination but Aimee is mesmerized by the lifestyle Sutter leads and Sutter is convinced he can do Aimee good by giving her the confidence she needs so badly.

“To hell with tomorrow. To hell with all problems and barriers. Nothing matters but the Spectacular Now.”

Oh, Sutter. His character is not portrayed solely as an addict or an alcoholic, instead he’s this extremely fun and charismatic person that everyone really can’t help but love… he just has a serious problem with alcohol. But that’s not his defining feature. There was a complete lack of character development in regards to Sutter; he simply maintained as he was first introduced. I definitely wished I had seen some alteration, even slight, especially since this is highly considered to be a coming of age tale and I require character development in order for that label to be fitting.

Considering this story is told from the point of view of Sutter, everything is glorified because that’s the mentality he projects on the world. Unfortunately, the same goes for his alcoholic tendencies. It’s reflected in such a glamorized and non-gritty light and I can’t help but take issue with that since this book is targeted towards children. Taken at face value I think it would be difficult for children to see past the facade and realize that Sutter has a serious issue. The ending sheds some light on the seriousness but not enough in my opinion. Sutter’s story is truly a tragedy, I can only hope that for those children that do read this have parents that are willing to sit down and discuss with them the ravaging effects of alcohol.

Despite his good intentions towards Aimee, their relationship is truly toxic. The effect Sutter had on her was initially beneficial, however, she ended up turning down the exact road as him as her grades began to slip and she began drinking (almost) as much as him. What astonished me most was the family members of both main characters and their complete absence in their lives. I understand being a parent myself and not being able to see issues all the time before they rear their ugly head but Sutter made the fact that he was on a downward spiral loud and clear.

My opinion is quite the unpopular one regarding this book. This was well written and an honest depiction of alcoholism, I just didn’t agree with the glamorized feel the book lent it, especially when you consider the target audience. ( )
  bonniemarjorie | Feb 13, 2014 |
the main character in this book reminds me of a modern holden caulfield! a book full of humor, teenage angst and truisms! ( )
  amanaceerdh | Jan 27, 2014 |
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In the last months of high school, charismatic eighteen-year-old Sutter Keely lives in the present, staying drunk or high most of the time, but that could change when starts working to boost the self-confidence of a classmate, Aimee.

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