The Spectacular Now By Tim Tharp

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.

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

Sutter Keely will tell you that he doesn't have a problem with alcohol, he just lives for the buzz to get through his day. Sutter is a high school senior on the verge of graduating, provided he can boost his average before then. But going to college is the furthest thing from Sutter's mind. Besides, he always had community college to fall back on. All Sutter needs is his voluptuous girlfriend Cassidy, his spiked convenience store lemonade and his wheels to get to the next party.

Cassidy is a strong willed activist with a sassy attitude... And she's furious. Sutter always has a drink in his hand, he's always looking for a party and treats life like one carnival ride after another, and Cassidy's had just about enough. The problem is, she can't resist him... And he's dragging her down with him. Sutter has no idea what it means to be in a relationship. Best friend Ricky isn't able to offer any advice, he's never been in a relationship. Ricky is cute, super smart and absolutely hilarious, but he's convinced himself that the opposite sex only see him as a friend, and drowns his sorrows by smoking pot, in the same vain that Sutter uses the alcoholic buzz to get through life.

The night that Ricky and Sutter stumble across Tara and Bethany, Sutter's life crumbles. All he wanted to do was to see best friend Ricky with a girl, any girl, and the mildly attractive softball girls like to party. Ricky and Bethany hit it off, the two shy and introverted teens finding a kindred spirit in one another, but that leaves Sutter awkwardly stuck with Tara, who's emotional and needs a shoulder to lean on. But Sutter's shoulder becomes a friendly hug... But it isn't as innocent to Cassidy, who has been following the car of teens on their adventure. All Cassidy ever asked was that Sutter consider her feelings, believing that Sutter claims of innocence are typical of the party boy... And she's had enough.

Sutter's drinking spirals out of control, Cassidy is already dating someone else, basketball star and most likely to save the world, Marcus. But when Sutter wakes up in the middle of a suburban front lawn by fellow student and meek nerd Aimee, on her way to her paper route. Having no idea where he's left his car, Sutter tags along while the two teens chat. Aimee lacks the confidence that Sutter has in bounds, and allows her family and friends to take advantage of her sweet, kind heart nature. Sutter makes it his mission to flee Aimee from the confines of her life, and teach her how to party... While pining for ex girlfriend Cassidy.

But when their friendship develops into an intense relationship, partners in crime, Sutter is yet again only thinking of his own feelings, and not the girl who has clearly fallen in love with him. Aimee begins drinking, coming out of her shell and standing up for herself. Gone is the meek girl, now being labelled a lush. Another victim fallen to the misery that is Sutter Keely. But when Aimee starts planning a future together, pushing Sutter to battle his demons, does he have the strength to commit to a future he doesn't envision, or bring the aspiring and intelligent girl down with him?

The Spectacular Now isn't a romantic comedy, it's dark, brooding and the story of Sutter, problem drinker, party boy and life changer. He uses alcohol as a crutch to dull the ache of his mother, who only cares about appearances, his sister and husband, the golden couple and his father. But Sutter isn't willing to change, he enjoys the flighty lifestyle, but sadly drags everyone down with him. This is his tale of finding himself and faced with the prospect of wanting to be a better person, verses sinking even further into his depressive state.

Be warned, most readers will feel frustrated by the ending. Another perfect example why I enforce my self imposed John Green hiatus. It also applies to The Spectacular Now.

The Spectacular Now
Written By Tim Tharp
Published 20 / 10 / 2008
266 Pages

Post a Comment

© Diva Booknerd. Design by Fearne.