Friday, January 3, 2014

Book Club Friday-- The Spectacular Now.

GoodReads Synopsis:  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.

My Thoughts:  Honestly, this book was incredibly disappointing after all the hype I had heard about it.  I read or attempted to read several Young Adult books last year only to be let down (see also The Fault in Our Stars, The Lying Game, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, etc...).  I think I just can't get into the heads of teenagers even when they're well written, which is definitely this case with this and The Fault in Our Stars.  Something about teenage narrators don't seem to click with me.  But that wasn't my biggest problem with this story...

*Warning: Spoilers Ahead*

This book was so frustrating.  It was definitely an easy read, but the main character started and ended the story same lousy, pseudo-philosophical drunk.  Maybe I just don't have a tolerance for alcoholics (which he clearly is...), but I didn't find him funny or charming at all like others in the story do.  I consistently found myself cringing at his behavior and wishing someone would just slap him.  The author does a great job of getting into the head of a raging alcoholic who thinks he has no problem, blames everyone else for the crap going on in his life, then gets angry when people try to help him, so I can't say that it's not well written.  But I have ZERO sympathy for this character.  Even when he goes to see his father and sees for himself the destination for this alcoholic, carefree lifestyle, nothing changes.  When he almost kills himself and Aimee because of his drunk driving, nothing changes.

I get that the author didn't want to tie up everything in a neat bow by having him wake up to his problem and sending him to rehab at the end of the book with a "cliche ending."  But, what we got was ridiculous-- basically just a story of his last year of high school.  No changes, no growth, no lessons learned, no real END.  Just here's what happened.  And he's still a drunk who thinks he's smarter than everyone else.

I really hate to write such a negative review, but even now weeks after I finished it, I still have the same level of hatred for this book.  Oh well-- onto the next book!


  1. What a bummer!! I loved the Lying Game and a couple other YA books I've tried, so I'm still slightly interested in this one...but it'll probably end up at the bottom of my list!

  2. I agree about The Boy in the Stripped Pj's and Fault in our Stars. Though, I do recommend watching the movie, the Boy in the Stripped Pajamas! It was a million times better than the book and I'm pretty sure I cried for hours after watching it.

  3. I didn't read the spoilers of this book because the synopsis sounds kinda good to me. So I may check it out.. didn't they make this into a movie?

  4. A protagonist who drives drunk and doesn't get any consequences for it? I'd probably want to beat this fictional character to death with his own hardcover.

    I loved 'The Fault in Our Stars,' though. Even my grandma liked it, and she's not a YA reader at all.

  5. I made it through maybe the first chapter of this one. Glad to hear I'm not alone!