The Spectacular Now, by Tim Tharp, follows the interesting story of Sutter Keely. Sutter Keely, high school senior, life of the party, believer of “embracing the weird”. Does Sutter have any plans beyond high school? Maybe not, but he can sure throw a good party. You will never find Sutter Keely without his Big Gulp of 7-UP, or his big smile, and his even bigger personality. Sutter’s life has been a whirlwind of parties, drinking, love, and lies. Until the morning he finds himself completely passed out on Aimee Finecky’s lawn, does Sutter truly begin to embrace the weird. Aimee Finecky is what I like to call socially impaired. Aimee constantly lets people walk all over her and does not take control of her life, as Sutter believes she should. Soon after meeting, Sutter realizes Aimee needs all the help she can get. It is up to the Sutterman to build her confidence, and make her realize how valuable and strong she really is. Meeting Aimee gives Sutter the chance to give back to someone else and improve their life. What Sutter does not realize is that, eventually Aimee ends up helping Sutter in ways he couldn’t even imagine.
The Spectacular Now, I believe, is a very important book in the ways it dealt with hard-hitting subjects and issues that commonly occur in a teen’s life. Peer pressure, college plans, first loves, etc. This book was very honest, and that was one thing I really appreciated while I was reading. Getting the chance to get inside of Sutter’s head and walk through his decision making, his thoughts, really opens up your eyes to the type of person Sutter really is. It shows the difference between what people see, and what is really going on within a person.
The Spectacular Now makes you think, and at times it hits you hard about how you have dealt with previous issues in your life. As a teenager myself, I really appreciated how realistic it was with acceptance. In high school, it is no secret that everyone yearns to live up to a social norm and that being accepted is better than being who you are. Nobody likes that, and in this story Sutter tries to give Aimee a makeover within herself. Sutter does not try to change Aimee physically, but he is trying to change Aimee from within. It wasn’t your typical boy meets girl, turns her into this perfect person, and everyone loves her now. It was more about taking the driver’s seat in your life and overcoming simple victories to improve your confidence.
I recommend this book for teens, the messages and reality of this book are so important. I believe wholeheartedly that anyone can find something to relate to while reading. Finding your inner-confidence is the best makeover anyone can get.
Jocelyn Lancaster is the Teen Correspondent for Bookli. Scientists have also concluded that she is, in fact, the biggest book fan-girl in existence. After Jocelyn leaves high school, she plans on majoring in whatever allows her to do nothing but write and read books all day.