Good MORNING! Yes, this post is reaching you bright and early. At least if you’re anywhere between EST and PST. This should be marked in your calendar as a miracle especially since it was in the high 80s here in Seattle, which means I’m practically sweating just sitting here. I’m bringing it back to the sexy days of old (aka six months ago) when we reviewed books and other literary mediums. I’ll be reviewing The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp. I’ve mentioned the movie adaptation in an older post. (You can click here if you want to read that later; it’s not too exciting) Plus I’ve watched the movie fairly recently, which you would know if you care about my Twitter game. But on to the review!
I would probably classify this book as one of those novels every teen should read as it can be seen as a coming-of-age type of book. But I think it’s just as relevant for an adult. It shows sides of human emotion that are pretty universal in coming to terms with love and the first time you find you love someone. And it’s the love with a big fat “L” for the special person you love besides your family and are physically attracted to.
The book follows high school senior Sutter Keely as he interacts with his hot ex-girlfriend Cassidy, his best friend Ricky, his family (particularly his mother, sister, and father), and maybe-attracted-to shy girl Aimee Finecky. Sutter and Aimee become friends and do learn from and with each other in the moments they are together.
Without spoiling the plot too much, I really enjoyed the fact that Sutter is such a likeable character. He is a person I would be jealous of since he seems to be a chameleon in social situations. He would be the class clown, but one who hides behind this character to hide his vulnerability and his intelligence in a way. You’ll love how he seems to be the life of the party, but want to scold him a little when things get out of hand. But regardless, you’ll feel like you could be Sutter as well and in general the feelings of being young and free. Being a teen.
In regards to reading difficulty, it felt like an easy ride and a fairly enjoyable one. There’s a tremendous amount of emotion, ones that are similar to the rollercoaster of emotions you might feel as a teen or recall feeling packed into a pretty tiny novel. The book is less than 300 pages.
Besides wanting to read the book, I actually saw the movie first. I honestly couldn’t wait and the movie was just sitting there at the Redbox, so I guess you can guess what ended up happening. If you plan on reading the book, you’ll want to see the movie too. This works vice versa as well. I personally think that the book could be read after the movie, but if you have a strong preference towards the opposite then that is absolutely fine as well. Both forms of the story complement each other very well.
There are different moments that are present in the book but not in the movie, but also additions to the movie that are not in the book. All of the collective moments still aid in telling the story of Sutter and his character development. There’s a great scene in the movie at the end where we see a greater connection between Sutter and his mom that seemed to be missing from the novel. In addition, the special/added features in the DVD helped to show how people can feel differently about being loved in the forms of Sutter and Aimee. It mentions how Aimee is open in her belief that no one loves her, whereas Sutter feels the same way but disguises it in his actions (you can find out about his actions when you see the movie/read the book).
In all, The Spectacular Now just reminds me of summer in its casualness but also with the constant reminder of the fall to follow. It feels like the type of drama/comedy that should be watched in the summer. Plus the summer will give you ample time to read through the novel as well. The combination of the two should definitely be added to your Summer To-Do List. Don’t forget the sunscreen and lemonade. Or maybe a whiskey seven (props if you get this reference). Embrace the weird (extra points if you get this too).