The Spectacular Now: Book Review

Book Details (10)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 review:

Rating: 3.75 stars

This was the most frustrating read I’ve encountered in a very, very long time. It wasn’t even the book itself that was frustrating. It was Sutter. I have never, ever hated a character in a book the way that I did Sutter.

This book is actually pretty good as far as the writing goes. I was a little intimidated by the page lengths on the Kindle version, but it’s not a very long book, so it’s OK. However, this being said, it still took me a really long time to finish this because every time I tried to go back to it, Sutter would just piss me off.

Sutter has the personality of a person who is incapable of taking absolutely anything in life seriously. He pretends that he is some soul saver and is merely taking an interest in Aimee, who by the way is a total sweetheart (albeit naive and very love-driven to the point of default), to “save” her and “give her confidence”. The thoughts he has about Aimee disgusted me because he was always acting like she was some charity case for him and he was sacrificing something by being nice to her (it’s called leading her on, you stupid meathead). While I know that everyone is free to make their own decisions, he brings a lot of alcohol and partying into her life which has the absolute worst influence on her. He is a toxic asshole who doesn’t know how to put anyone first or act like anything actually matters. Even up to very end, after doing his one and only selfless act, he has these thoughts that just completely shock my mind. I have never despised a character so much.

Other than him, I really liked the remaining characters. Because I’ve seen the movie about a billion times (I was obsessed with it when I was 16, but the movie gave me a far different impression than the book), I thought that Cassidy was going to be a character to hate. But she’s actually very sweet and, like Aimee, could and should do far better than someone like Sutter.

I absolutely loved the writing in this, which is why I can’t give it a bad rating even though it wasn’t an enjoyable read for me. There were a lot of sentences and paragraphs in this book that I just absolutely had to highlight because they took me back to high school and those emotions and just really made me feel something. For example:

“These are my people. We’re all dressed up and celebrating our common bond—youth. That’s what the prom is—St. Patrick’s Day for the young. Only we’re not toasting shamrocks or chasing snakes out of Ireland. We’re toasting the chlorophyll rising in our bodies, catching the energy from the universe. Nobody’s ever been young like we are right at this moment. We’re the Faster-than-the-Speed-of-Light Generation.”

Here, Sutter is thinking about prom, and it just really resonated with me because I remember feeling so invisible in high school, too. Maybe it’s a universal thing? Who knows.

Anyways, I can’t say I would recommend it. But that’s really because I hate Sutter and the entire book is written from his point of view, and that’s just too much for me. But the writing style is magnificent, so I do want to honor it for that.

Have you read this book? Or watched the movie? If not, did this review sway you in any certain direction? Talk to me 🙂

3 thoughts on “The Spectacular Now: Book Review

  1. I think I saw this movie a while back, but I can’t quite remember it! Sutter sounds really horrible. I probably won’t end up reading this because I hate it when characters are THAT unlikeable. Great review though, and I’m glad there were some redeeming qualities! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I honestly really do enjoy the movie! I used to rent it from my library ALL the time. I believe it’s on Netflix now. I just didn’t enjoy the book as much, but it really is because of Sutter. I think that the writing was immaculate and the other characters were great. I get that Sutter being the way that he was is what makes the book but he’s written to be TOO unlikable, as you said. But thank you so much! I did feel it still deserved a good rating. Sutter sucks, but I didn’t want that to ruin the book completely.

      Liked by 1 person

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