Review: The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
Published: December 14, 2010
Format: purchased
Challenge: 2014 TBR Reading Challenge
Publisher: Knopf BYR
Rating: 5/5

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
I’ve been wanting to read this for some time now. When I saw that it was going to be made into a movie I knew I had to read the book first before I saw it. I know that when books are made into movies they have to change some things for the sake of time. However I’ve known a lot of movies that either butcher the book more than stay true. So I tried to go into this with an open mind and tried not to replay the book version in my head while I watch it. I can honestly say I loved the movie just as much as the book.
I loved the story of Sutter Keely, I think he is one the best characters I’ve read about in a long time. I liked how he is messed up and has some twisted views. While he has troubles in his life he meets Aimee a shy girl who is so sweet that everyone in her life takes advantage of her. At first glance you might think that they are polar opposites I actually like how they work together. I see them as mirror imagines of each other. Sutter is a jokester who masks his pain with alcohol and being the life of the party, Aimee needs that in her life she needs to have fun and loosen up. Sutter takes it upon himself to help Aimee but in the process he falls in love with her. At least I honestly believe he does. You see this is where you can take the story as you want it.
Some might take Sutter as an asshole who is just using Aimee to get back at his ex. I see him as a guy with problems and issues but with a huge heart. And while he claims he is “helping” Aimee I think it’s Aimee who is helping him. She comes into his life and gives him that unconditional love he needs. She loves him, all of him, flaws and all. She sees into his heart and sees him for who he can be, and not just as the party guy. I think this is one of those great YA books that really portray teens as they are today. It doesn’t sugar coat anything and while I didn’t really like how the book ended I was more satisfied with the ending of the movie. I like the closure and the possibility of more that the movie provided.

Tim Tharp wrote this amazing story of love, acceptance and coming of age that goes beyond teens. We can all reflect on the hardships of growing up. We all want to be accepted for who we are and hope that we find it. I highly recommend the book and movie, which doesn’t happen that often. Both well give you different takes on an awesome story that you will soon not forget. 


  1. Okay, I'm completely sold in this book! Now I just have to get a chippy and fit it into my reading schedule. .. ;)

  2. Yay! I hope you like it as much as I did.

  3. Wow. I had no idea this was a book. How did I not know that? I just watched the movie the other night. I could totally see how it would make a way better book. I'm glad you liked it so much, now I'm going to have to read it!

    Kim @ YA Asylum