Thursday, August 1, 2013

BR: The Spectacular Now

by Tim Tharp

This book is being turned into a movie, and I watched the trailer a month or so ago and thought "I need to watch this so bad." But I thought it'd be nice to read the book first.

I'm not the biggest fan of movie
tie-in covers either. 
Summary (goodreads):

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.


My Thoughts

There's something endearing and beautiful about a boy who wants to save someone yet desperately needs his own saviour.

There's something thoughtful and realistic about writing about imperfect people trying to do their best in life and life nonchalantly swatting them back.

There's something sad about books that portray lives as less than ideal we hope for and trick ourselves into believing.

There's something that makes me smile and tugs at my heart when characters are flawed and real and drink too much, who crave people and love and passion, who think about futures and think about nows, and there's something so deeply wonderful about books that can assure you that life isn't a fairy tale but there are individuals in life who make it worth living. 

I loved the ending. I loved the writing, Sutter's narration (his character will be a hit-or-miss for readers), and Aimee's portrayal. The dialogue is sharp and Tharp really excelled in showing not telling, especially when it came to Sutter Keely. Readers are able to end up forming a clearer picture of Sutter than even he can fathom, and I think that is the heart of the story and that is the reason why this book was so moving. We see the insecure, lonely boy that he cannot bear to face.  

I'll just leave you with a few quotes. 

"...Let me repeat, she is not a girl I'm interested in having sex with. Not now or any time in the future. I will not have sex with her in a car. I will not have sex with her in a bar. I will not have sex with her in a tree. I will not have sex with her in a lavator-ee. I will not have sex with her in a chair. I will not have sex with her anywhere." 
"Oh right, I forgot. You're out to save her soul. Give me a hallelujah for Brother Sutter and his messianic complex."
"My what?"
"Messianic complex. That means you think you have to go around trying to save everybody."
"Not everybody. Just this one girl."


"Yeah," she says. I'm beginning to see that her "yeahs" are almost always two syllables, one for "yes" and the other for "but I don't know if anything will ever come out of it."


"...But I don't want just Thursday afternoons either. I don't want just moments. I want a whole life."


Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: people who enjoy movies like (500) Days of Summer
Acknowledgements: 3/5

8.7/10 - because it speaks about quiet truths and complex characters. I adored the character dynamics and the dialogue. I can't really think of a drawback, only that I'm not head-over-heels in love with this book. However, it definitely struck a chord with me and I'm looking forward to this movie now more than ever. Give this book a shot. I can't stop thinking about it.


  1. I saw the trailer for this movie not too along and was intrigued, even more so when I found out it was based on a book. Anyhow, this one sounds really good! I love the quotes you shared, and I also like it when books write about imperfect people. Great review!

  2. Complex characters? Sharp dialogue? I need to read this book! Also because I love (500) Days of Summer. :)

    Sara at The Page Sage

    1. I adooore that movie too, I hope the movie is just as good.

  3. Wow. This sounds excellent. Weird that I hadn't heard of it before. It sounds like something I'd love, but I have one question: What's the language like, profanity-wise?

    1. There are a few curse words, but there wasn't a lot (to my memory) and it wasn't very forced or offensive.

  4. I've been hearing more about this book lately because of the film! I'm so curious. It sounds like a really lovely book and this is a lovely review.

    1. Thanks Elena, I really wish the movie was released already!

  5. Interesting book over here and I love the way you caught our attention about the ending. It's definitely something that I'll read ASAP.


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