. Athena's Books: Totally YA Tuesday...The Spectacular Now...Is Now!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Totally YA Tuesday...The Spectacular Now...Is Now!

Here are some of my favorite quotes from The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp. I bold-printed the part of the quote I absolutely love.


Scandinavian blond hair, eyes as blue as fiords, skin like vanilla ice cream or flower petals or sugar frosting--or really not like anything else but just her skin. It makes my hair ache. Of course, she does believe in astrology, but I don't even care about that. It's a girl thing. I think of it like she has constellations and fortunes whirling around insider her. (Ch 3)

A first the houses aren't bad, but then they get scuzzier and scuzzier, until I'm surrounded by these little lopsided houses that look like they're made out of shingles. Swaybacked roors, stark concrete porches, scabby trees, bald lawns. Here and there, tricycles or something like a faded plastic pony with wheels leaning sideways in weedy , flowerless flowerbeds. There are families pinched into these flimsy boxes--just like me and my family used to be back in the day.
These are people I understand. These are people I love. (ch 15)

She's cute, too, in a nerdy sort of way. You know the look--glasses that ride down on the nose, pale skin from staying inside too much, mouth hanging slightly open in that classic nerd mouth-breather style. But she has full lips and sweet, liitle blond eyebrows and a nice, slender neck. Her hair isn't pure Scandinavian blond like Cassidy's--it's more dirty blond and sort of lank. And she doesn't have the fjord-blue eyes either--hers ar paler, more like a public swimming pool. Still, she has a way about her that makes me want to do something for her. Not to her. For her. (Ch 17)

"Then what are you having lunch with her for?"
"Moral support. This girl needs it. She lets her family run all over her. You can see it in her eyes. It's like she doesn't think she's important enought to even stand up for herself."
"So what are you gonna do, give her a makeover like in the movies where they turn the nerd girl into a raging hottie?"
"No. It's not about trying to turn her into a hottie. She could never be a hottie. She doesn't have the attitude--that inner positive charge. You can tell by just looking at her slouchy little duck-footed walk." (Ch 18)

Still it's not nearly cold enough for the kind of jacket Aimee's sporting. It's this huge, down-filled purple monster that makes her look like a giant billiard ball. She might be the only girl I've ever met who still hasn't learned to sacrifice bodily comfort for fashion's sake. She did paint on the lipstick again, but putting lipstick on a billiard barll still doesn't give it sex appeal. (Ch 29)

She laughs at something Cody says about a rocket-powered llama, and he reaches over and touches the sleeve of the giant purple coat. She leans a little toward him, her face still beaming. It's stupid, but I want to step in between tehm, maybe even lead her away somewhere. But just then, Cassidy appears in the clearing on the far side, looking like a beautiful fat goddess, and I'm transported to a new sparking warm glaaxy, far, far from Solar Bull and llamas. (Ch 30)

This potential husband dude--I don't know--he seems about like a cross betwen Peter Parker from Spider-man and Han Solo from Star Wars, with a little bit of one of those old, dead romantic poets thrown if for good measure. (Ch 39)

She exudes purity of heart, dude. (Ch 41)

It's strange being on her bed in the middle of a room full of sci-fi novels and drawings of Commander Amanda Gallico on horseboack. You might think it would be the least sexy place in the world, but that's not the case. Instead, it's mega-intimate, like we're alone togehter in our own little, wierd space capsule, hurtling through the universe. ( ch 45)

Aimee's mom opens the door, her fabulous she-mullet glinting in the TV glow. (ch 50)

Aimee brings something beautiful up from the depths of my insides. (ch 50)

She's drenched and dedraggled, but I've never loved anyone as much as I love her right now. That's how I know I'll have to give her up. (Ch 62)

When I take her home, I have a hard time letting her go. Sure, it's awkward trying to hug her with that huge cast in the way, but I really can't kiss her enough. ( Ch 64)

I stare into her eyes, shooting conficence beams into her. (Ch 64)

Of course, I'm also thinking that she'll find the perfect guy, too, a splendiferous equestrian scientist who'll see her as fantastic new planet, full of miraculous wonders. (Ch 64)

Outside, the streelight shines on the gravel parking lot. I feel like I'm on the surface of the moon. With painted palm trees in the background. (Ch 66)

To break the dank silence, I crank up every Jimmy Buffet song on the jukebox and go into the tale of Casidy and Aimme and my long-lost dad. Everyone's entrhalled. They've been there, a long time ago. (Ch 66)

I say, goodbye, as I disappear little by little into the middle of the middle of my own spectacular now (Ch 66)

Brief Review:

I won't give you a complete review, but I think the quotes tell you a little something about the book. Sutter's voice and point of view is fresh and interesting and humorous. He is a good-natured person although many people don't see this. They see him as some typical, slacker teenager who likes to have a good time and drink whisky. And the girls in his life, always want to change him and take more from him than what he can give--committment. He's used to girls dumping him for that reason. Mixed into all that is his long-lost father who he hasn't seen since he was kid. He has a made up world of a father who is successful and just too busy to see his son, but this fantasy is more unrealistic than Aimee's sci-fi dreams and hopes for the future. In the end, the one thing Sutter hasn't been able to do--stick around in a relationship and give more of himself than he wants to give--is the one thing he wants to do and the one thing he has to give away. But, love makes you do the opposite, especially when you the person you love will benefit the most.

And, some great news...there may be a film adaptation very soon by the director of "500 Days of Summer." Read the link--Movie Adaptation

"It's a really fantastic novel about a 17 year old charm monger who drinks too much. And it's about how he's negotiating the world of growing up."