The Spectacular Now

Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 8:37 am

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The Spectacular Now

Tim Tharp

2008

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In brief

4

If you're looking for a good dose of realistic fiction with a Holden Caulfield-esque main character, take a chance on "The Spectacular Now."

Sutter Keely is about to graduate from high school, if he can stop partying long enough to get his math grades up. A real social conquistador, Sutter is the self-described life of every party, and he likes it that way.

He's got a list of former girlfriends turned buddies, and he's the first to say he has no faith in long-term relationships, especially after growing up in a single-parent home. But everything starts to change when he meets Aimee. Aimee has gone to school with Sutter for years, but he never noticed her before now, when she's throwing papers at the crack of dawn as Sutter is just getting in from an all-night party.

Sutter makes Aimee his humanitarian project for the year; he sees that she's really sweet and smart, but social skills aren't on her list of talents. Aimee is thrilled to hang out with one of the coolest kids in her school, so Sutter thinks helping expand her social circle will be a piece of cake. As it turns out, Aimee has some things to teach Sutter, too.

The Spectacular Now is a quick read, and you can't help but love Sutter and want to help him at the same time. The book was a National Book Award finalist and was made into a 2013 film, so if you have a soft spot for award winners or books that have been made into movies, put this one on your list!