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The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp | Review

I’ve been waiting so long to read this book and I can happily say I was not disappointed!


The Spectacular Now is a 2008 young adult novel by author Tim Tharp.

It follows the story of high school senior Sutter Keely, who provided the narration for the novel, who is so care-free that he doesn’t care about the future, he just cares about the spectacular now.

Cassidy, Sutter’s girlfriend is threatening to dump him again, his best friend Ricky is too preoccupied with his new girlfriend Bethany (it’s always so strange reading a book when a character shares your name!) to spend time with him, his mom and sister are planning a future for him, and his dad, well, his dad is a question mark in Sutter’s life.

All of this would seem very overwhelming for a young 18-year-old senior, but not Sutter Keely. Sutter meets Aimee Finecky when she finds him passed out in someones yard after a night of heavy drinking. Sutter is drawn to Aimee’s introverted nature and is determined to make her his new special project with a little help from the Sutterman – yes he does refer to himself as the Sutterman.

Overall I found this a very enjoyable book to read. I actually read it pretty quickly too because I found myself not being able to put it down!

It’s a story about a boy who is pretty much all over the place as far as life plans go. He is immature, care-free, and somewhat of an alcoholic (though he doesn’t seem to think so).

It doesn’t have any hard-gripping storylines per say, BUT, it is a really beautiful story. It is enthralling watching the development of Sutter and Aimee’s relationship; with Sutter wanting Aimee to become more confident and independent, and Aimee learning to open up and trust Sutter.

This book is definitely worth reading for all you YA enthusiasts out there.

Superb book, beautiful story.

– Bee

PS, I am SO excited to see the movie adaptation. I love Shailene Woodley (who plays Aimee), and although I had never heard of Miles Teller (who plays Sutter) before, from the trailer he looks like he was the perfect person to play Sutter.

I’m going to leave the trailer below – just incase you need extra enticement to read the book.

PPS, I know the movie is out in the US now (but it’s not here in Ireland sadface) so if you have seen it let me know if it was good. But no spoilers please…even though I have read the book but others might not have 🙂


2 responses »

  1. How’s this compared to “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” from both a plot and an enjoyment point of view?

    • Well both protagonists are definitely troubled, only in very different ways.
      I think deep down Sutter knows his problems, he is just using alcohol to forget about them. Whereas in Perks Charlie is writing a journal so its very much more personal and he talks about things openly.
      As far as the plot goes, I can definitely see similarities, I mean Sutter is all about living in ‘the spectacular now’ and in Perks, Charlie, Sam and Patrick are all about feeling infinite. And both stories are coming of age and everything.
      I think if you enjoyed Perks, you will probably enjoy The Spectacular Now. Personally, I liked Perks a lot more but I think that’s down to fickle Sutter is compared to how vulnerale a character Charlie is. Also Perks is one of my favourite books ever. But yes if you liked Perks, I would give The Spectacular Now a read!


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