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The Book Vortex

“Push yourself. Don't Settle. Just live well. Just LIVE.”

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

The Spectacular Now - Tim Tharp

What is The Spectacular Now about? Well I'll let Sutter tell you a bit about it.

So, my girlfriend, Cassidy, is threatening to kick me to the curb again, my best friend suddenly wants to put the brakes on our lives of fabulous fun, my mom and big sister are plotting a future in which I turn into an atomic vampire, and my dad, well, my dad is a big fat question mark that I’m not sure I want the answer to.

Some people would let a senior year like this get them down. Not me. I’m Sutter Keely, master of the party. But don’t mistake a midnight philosopher like me for nothing more than a shallow party boy. Just ask Aimee, the new girl in my life. She saw the depth in the Sutterman from that first moment when she found me passed out on the front lawn. Okay, so she’s a social disaster, but that’s where I come in.

Yes, life is weird, but I embrace the weird. Let everyone else go marching off into their great shining futures if they want. Me, I’ve always been more than content to tip my whisky bottle and take a ride straight into the heart of the spectacular now.


So, I've read it people and I can say with absolute confidence that I love and hate Sutter at the same time! It actually felt like the voice of a teenager and not that of an adult, everything Sutter did made sense to me - I may not have liked it, but it was what I would've done too. I'm a little pissed about not finding out what happened to Sutter after Aimee left, but I would like to believe everything turned out well for him, even though the ending may not suggest so. 


The truth is I can empathize with Sutter more because I've been where he is in this book and it's a hard place to crawl out from. His drinking just numbs out the reality of everything and he really does believe in living in the NOW. Sutter is afraid of growing up and becoming an adult, he doesn't want to but who in their right mind would really want that? Unfortunately it is unavoidable and that results in Sutter just deciding to forget about the future, it doesn't matter what's going to come. Why make plans for the future when you can just enjoy the now?



They really do, at least for Sutter.


His relationship with Aimee was just a little bit weird for me. He wants to save her by showing her how to live in the spectacular now. She is his little project, because he feels like he cannot save himself. He cannot help but fall in love with her, but in the end he still doesn't see how much Aimee loves him.


Their story brings back so many memories for me. I'm sure he wanted what's best for Aimee but didn't quite know how to provide it for her. Also, I loved the paper route scene...




And the way he just kissed her at their first party together. Everything just falls in place for him without ever planning it. Of course the ending is sad because he has to let her go, her wings are now strong enough to fly on her own. 


It was overall a great book, I've enjoyed reading Sutter's thoughts and I cannot wait to see this movie. (needles to say, I have a huge crush on Miles Teller)

Do I recommend this book? Definitely, this is the best contemporary coming of age book that I've read.