Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp


I've been reading reviews of this book all year. It was nominated for the National Book Award and the Michael L. Printz award. I read it last weekend and I almost forgot to post, but here it is:

This is essentially a sad, albeit funny, story about a high school senior who spends most of his time in what he calls "the spectacular now." A few chapters into the book I wanted to give him a hug and send him to a residential alcohol treatment center; it was hard to watch him drinking in the early hours of the morning and forgetting where he'd parked his car the night before. Sutter is always the life of the party and doesn't get it when his best friend and girlfriend both (gently) abandon him for the company of more forward thinking friends. He takes an interest in Aimee, a shy girl with a tragic home life, and the two of them set off on an alcohol-induced collision course with the future. I enjoyed this book but it was painful to read at times - as I said, I wanted to pull Sutter out of his relationship with alcohol and clean him up. If you like humourous but sad stories, you'll love this book.