BOOK DISCUSSION: THE SPECTACULAR NOW BY TIM THARP

During the month of September myself, Maria, Marissa and Mackenzie decided to make an online book club. We chose the book The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp and we had our discussion through the kik app. We mostly just chirped out random things here and there but I decided to put our discussion together into a post.

CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD!

Click here to find it on Goodreads
17620971Title: The Spectacular Now
Author: Tim Tharp
Published: 2008 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
304 pages

“To hell with tomorrow. To hell with all problems and barriers. Nothing matters now but the Spectacular Now.”

First question. What did you think before going into the book? Before you even read page one what were your thoughts?
Mackenzie: I had kinda high expectations because I had seen the trailer for the movie and I thought it would be something I was really going to like.
Mallory: I completely thought I was going into a cheesy love story.
Maria: Before reading the book I didn’t have any idea what the story was about. And when I read the first few pages about the day time drinking and such, I was really surprised! But after reading it, it wasn’t really what I had expected.
Marissa: I cheated a little bit because I had watched the movie prior to reading it, but I was very excited with high expectations for it.

So what did you think of the ending?
Mackenzie: It wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I wanted more to happen. It stopped at the weirdest place and it never answered any questions.
Mallory: I was so upset with that ending I literally wanted to throw my book at the wall.
Maria: I thought it would end differently. I was really waiting for that happy ending.
Marissa: The ending was so abrupt, I had to read it like twice.

What did you think of Sutter?
Mackenzie: I didn’t like him as a character, I wasn’t a big fan of his attitude and the drinking thing. I feel like none of his problems got solved either, he had no growth as a character which was disappointing. I did enjoying reading from his point of view and how it was so different from anything I’ve read but I just thought he didn’t learn anything through out the story,
Mallory: It was refreshing to have a character that is full of flaws. And the whole time I was pissed that it wasn’t a love story ending when I think the concept was more so that no one is perfect and we are probably all going to make mistakes and end up doing the wrong thing most of the time. And I loved his care free drinking attitude. He would definitely be an interesting person to hang out with.
Maria: I found his personality, as much as it was out there and dick-ish (I can’t think of any other way to put it) really made the story entertaining. His careless, bad attitude kind of drew me in. I thought he was really funny too. But I know where Mackenzie is coming from because it is hard to read and connect with a character when you are against the way he acts. He really disappointed me in the end because I felt like he had so much potential. As much as he made the story entertaining, he also made it very very frustrating because he could have learned but just didn’t. I wouldn’t mind having a drink with him.
Marissa: I liked him because he was a real character with flaws and attitude. I really liked that he always had a witty comeback. But there are some parts that made me cringe about him, like with any character. But overall, I agree with Maria and the bad boy attitude drawing me in. And I agree with Mallory, I loved his 7up and whiskey, the only thing you could count on him for.

What did you think of Sutter and Aimee’s relationship?
Mackenzie: I hated how he changed Aimee and lead her on, it was so frustrating! She was such a nice person and I didn’t want her to get hurt.
Mallory: I really just wanted things between them to work out. I think they made a great couple because they were so opposite. 
Maria: The entire time I felt like he was using Aimee and that I didn’t like.
Marissa: I was hoping he would end up going with her in the end.

What did you think of Aimee?
Mackenzie: I didn’t connect with Aimee but I felt bad for her. I did like that she reads. She just agreed with what everyone told her. She wasn’t very independent or spoke for herself. And she was peer pressured a lot.
Mallory: I felt sad for Aimee. She is definitely the type you could see getting cheated on and that made me really sad.
Maria: I had a harder time connecting with Aimee for some reason, I ended up liking his ex girlfriend better. It isn’t that I didn’t like her and I wanted to connect with her more, but she kind of annoyed me and I can’t pinpoint why. I felt bad with her but he just had more chemistry with his ex.
Marissa: I felt bad for Aimee since Sutter was all over the place with “oh I’m not gonna date her” and then turns around and takes her to prom and everything. And she was none the wiser so she just went along with it and really, truly loved him.

What did you think of Sutter hanging out with his ex while he was “with” Aimee?
Mackenzie: I didn’t like it but I did like his relationship with the ex he kept seeing at parties where they talked like Italian mobsters.
Mallory: Well I would not be letting my boyfriend hang out with his ex. I didn’t like that he was seeing her behind Aimee’s back. But I did love the parts with Cassidy and I loved that she was fat. You never really get a fat character in books.
Maria: I have two different opinions for that one. In a way I thought that it was good for them to develop trust. But in a way I was so mad because I couldn’t imagine being in Aimee’s shoes. I wouldn’t like it. Plus the girls are so different. I liked Cassidy a lot and she was fun to read about for sure. And I liked how she was so sure of herself, compared to reading about Aimee. I liked that she wasn’t a stick and she had confidence. I was happy that Sutter had a friend like her and that she supported his relationship with Aimee, but it would have been better if they hadn’t dated in the past and they wouldn’t have to hide their relationship from Aimee.
Marissa: I felt so bad for Aimee but I really admired Cassidy’s wisdom that she brought to the book. She was insightful and a break from Sutter’s attitude. I liked that she was fat as well.

What did you think of Sutter finding his dad?
Mackenzie: I expected more but they had no contact for so long that it wasn’t really a big shock that it didn’t work out.
Mallory: I kind of expected hi, to be just the way he was and I knew it wasn’t going to turn out well at all. It was a big deal for a few pages and then it was done.
Maria: I had a bad feeling about it. I wasn’t expecting it to work out either but I was hoping Sutter would learn something from it. It could have easily been left out of the story.
Marissa: I did not like the dad part. It didn’t add much to the story for me and I would have rather a relationship between his mom or his sister. It just annoyed me more than anything.

Did you like the way it was written?
Mackenzie: I really loved the way it was written. I just with I connected more to the characters.
Mallory: I loved the way it was written and found myself loling quite a bit. Everything feeling realistic was a major plus for me.
Maria: I liked that humour was thrown in there and found myself laughing out loud at times. I also liked that it was very realistic. The author clearly tried speaking to teenagers. Drinking is bad and it pretty much painted a picture of what its like to lose control and the consequences that it would bring.
Marissa: I like that the author made them seem like I was listening in on two real people having a conversation and not just characters written on paper. And there were a few really nice quotes that I found myself highlighting so thats always nice.

What did you rate in on Goodreads?
Mackenzie: ★★★★
Mallory: ★★★★
Maria: ★★★
Marissa: ★★★★

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