Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tim Tharp's "The Spectacular Now" + the Movie

When I heard that Shailene Woodley was in another YA book to movie adaptation, I knew I had to see it. Of course, like any good reader, I knew I had to read the book first, so I set off for the library to get a copy of this book:

Tim Tharp's "The Spectacular Now"

I started this book, and it wasn't very me - it definitely wasn't something I'd normally grab. But I tried to hang in there, and I found myself drawn in by Sutter Keely.

From Goodreads:

This National Book Award Finalist is now a major motion picture -- one of the most buzzed-about films at Sundance 2013, starring Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller.

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.

This book! When I started it I wasn't sure I'd like it, but it grew on me really quickly. I didn't know this book existed until I saw a trailer for the movie, and how could I not try a YA book connected to a Shailene Woodley movie? I had to do it.

Sutter is a supremely screwed up and incredibly likable guy, and I'm pretty sure I knew at least one Sutter in high school. He is lost, but he sees the beauty in everything around him. He likes girls, all girls, regardless of size or shape. 

I really recommend giving this book a try. HOWEVER, I'm going to caution you against the movie. If you judge Sutter in his actions alone, he seems like a huge jerk. The book lets you see inside his thoughts and feelings, and those are what give him his dimensionality and likability. It doesn't translate to film, and then you're just watching this jerk of a kid. No good.

I'm going to grab hold of this night and crack it open, eat the fruit right out of the middle, and throw away the rind.

Besides, it doesn't matter if it's real. It never does with dreams. They aren't anything anyway but lifesavers to cling to so you don't drown. Life is an ocean, and everyone's hanging on to some kind of dream to keep afloat.

We're not the Faster-than-the-Speed-of-Light Generation anymore. We're not even the Next-New-Thing Generation. We're the Soon-to-be-Obsolete Kids, and we've crowded in here to hide from the future and the past. We know what's up - the future looms straight ahead like a black wrought-iron gate and the past is charging after us like a badass Doberman, only this one doesn't have any letup in him.

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