Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Spectacular Now” as Want to Read:
The Spectacular Now
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Spectacular Now

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  33,490 Ratings  ·  3,804 Reviews
So, my girlfriend, Cassidy, is threatening to kick me to the curb again, my best friend suddenly wants to put the brakes on our lives of fabulous fun, my mom and big sister are plotting a future in which I turn into an atomic vampire, and my dad, well, my dad is a big fat question mark that I’m not sure I want the answer to.

Some people would let a senior year like this ge
Paperback, 294 pages
Published July 9th 2013 by Ember (first published October 20th 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Spectacular Now, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Natalia Perez i think this ending was soo realistic but i have to say i like the ending in the movie better, not because he went to see Aimee but because he like…morei think this ending was soo realistic but i have to say i like the ending in the movie better, not because he went to see Aimee but because he like learned about how living in the now wasn't always good and how he was vulnerable at the end (like the scene with his mom)(less)
Blythe It is not at all necessary to read the book first. Both the book and film have good things going for them; the book gives more insight into Sutter,…moreIt is not at all necessary to read the book first. Both the book and film have good things going for them; the book gives more insight into Sutter, but the film does a far better job of making Aimee a real full-fledged person. In the book she's rather flat. I saw the movie first and then read the book, and enjoyed that order.(less)
Divergent by Veronica RothThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsCity of Bones by Cassandra ClareMatched by Ally CondieFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
The Best Book Couples In YA Fiction
10th out of 43 books — 26 voters
The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenAllegiant by Veronica RothMockingjay by Suzanne CollinsThe Spectacular Now by Tim TharpBeautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
cried all night
4th out of 82 books — 14 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
On finishing The Spectacular Now I feel hollowed out and slightly sick – not because the ending was bad but because as much as I didn’t want it to, it ended in probably the most realistic way it could.

Part of me wants to gouge whatever scraps of hope I can from the close of Sutter’s story, hold onto the hints that things can and will eventually change, because not doing that hurts so much. I want to pretend that last chapter doesn’t exist, but in way, it’s that last chapter that makes this book
Emily May
Jan 09, 2014 Emily May rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Okay... so I've been putting off this review because I was unsure about my rating. My initial reaction was FIVE STARS!! FIVE STARS!! but then I got to thinking about my dislike for the ending and thought maybe I should round it down to four... and then I was like "but is my problem with the ending because it was bad - or because it didn't go the way I wanted it to?"... so I eventually kept my five stars because I am so completely in love with the amazingly complicated and wonderful character th
Jul 08, 2011 Catie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Catie by: Peep (Pop! Pop!)
Shelves: read-in-2011, ya, audio
I’m not sure if this book would have affected me quite as much if I didn’t know this boy. He is one of the people that I love the most on this planet, and he shares more DNA with me than anyone else. He’s intelligent, effortlessly popular, charming, kind, and entertaining. He has a big heart, fragile and exposed. We once spent hours in our backyard collecting slugs and setting them up in their very own tree stump castle. Once when he was facing a spanking, we schemed and plotted, arming ourselve ...more
"Life is a big, screwed-up joke with its ups and downs. The best way to deal with it is to live in the now, pursue all the pleasure and deal with none of the grief."

That's the message I get from Sutter Keely, protagonist of The Spectacular Now. He takes a purely hedonistic, somewhat philosophical world view throughout the book. Tharp gives Sutton a clear, blunt, narrative voice but when it comes to character development, Sutter stays the same person from point A to point B, even with inserting
Katrina Passick Lumsden
Holy crap, this is a good book.

A heavy book. This is one of those books that I went into thinking it was going to be a romance with a message, but pretty all-around feel-good.

No. Nope. I mean, yeah, there's a message, all right, but this book isn't exactly a fluffy candy feel-good story. So don't go into it thinking it will be. It's funny and philosophical and introspective and reminiscent. Sutter's voice is so authentically teenager that it's obvious Tim Tharp never completely forgot that pha
Juliana Zapata
Jul 02, 2015 Juliana Zapata rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
La verdad es que este libro fue una desilusión absoluta, una historia corriente, aburrida y lenta de leer. No conecte con ningún personaje de la historia, el desenlace fue totalmente predecible, la verdad no tengo nada bueno que decir de este libro.

Reseña Completa:
Life’s a party for Sutter Keely because he’s the life of the party. He’s the guy who has friends from every social circle, can get people laughing in awkward situations, and has a smile every time you see him. He’s the definition of “happy drunk,” and since he’s drunk all the time, he’s just a happy guy all around. He lets nothing get him down, not even when his “beautiful fat girlfriend” Cassidy dumps him or when Ricky, his best friend, starts to follow the clean route. Nope, nothing, not even ...more
Jan 15, 2011 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a weird book. The book itself is pretty straight-forward, the narrator is a high school senior named Sutter who likes to drink and is the life of the party. The party to him though is all of life. He's always the life of the party even though most people probably don't realize the party is happening. He lives by the motto of 'embrace the weird', meaning just go with whatever happens and make the best of it. Part of his embracing whatever happens is knocking back enough whiskey to make th ...more
Here we go..

It would have been a 5stars book except for Aimee (I couldn't figure her out and she was a bit too naive for my taste; all that planning scared me to be honest.. and not telling anyone her secret? oh boy, that's just wrong) and the ending (which I still don't get, not really.. I might need to re-read the last page). Can I also have one more page please?

So.. a full review might follow - if I'll have some down time to write it *sigh* - but 'til then this is what I liked:

- Sutter - wit
Dec 30, 2013 Basuhi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 Stars

-It was a tad too predictable with no real closure to go with.
-I don't like Sutter, he's that guy I cannot stand being with morph into that guy I cannot stand believing in.
-I don't like Aimee. She is too naive(?) for a 17 year old and simply too dependent on Sutter for everything which is actually worse than the nerd believing in equestrian fantasies before.
-The ending ? Was there one ? Sutter's drinking problem (Alcoholism like his isn't some piece of cake to quit). Aimee turning into
Jun 08, 2015 Cari rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Every time I read a book that is popular I almost always end up hating it. What's wrong with me? Or maybe I should as what is wrong with everyone else?!

I wanted to read this book before I went to go see the movie, but I only want to go see the movie so I can scope out the acting of the two main characters since they are both casted for Divergent. As soon as I read the first sentence of the book I should have just put the book down and walked away.

I did't like the style in which this book was w
Jan 25, 2013 ALPHAreader rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Everyone knows that if you want a good time, you call Sutter Keely. He’s the guy with a bar in his boot, enough whisky in his flask to go round and he doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘embarrassment’. There’s no doubt that Sutter is the life of any party – but when it comes to relationships, he fizzes pretty quick. He’s accumulated a string of ex-girlfriends in his eighteen years, and remained friends with every single one of them. But right now he’s hoping to hold on to his current girlfrie ...more
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Wow. I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I'm going to sleep on it. Full review to come!
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
The Spectacular Now is a strange sort of book. I want to lecture it, to give it my own personal big-sister talking to. In some ways I wanted to hate it because the way it almost glorified teenage drinking and partying.

But I can't. Because even if I don't agree with Sutter's methods, he feels like a real believable teenager. Sometimes it's brave for a book to portray drinking (I would call Sutter a teenage alcoholic but I don't think he would) without ever getting preachy or putting on the parent
Marla Mei
My Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

The Spectacular Now is just so genuine that it hurts. It just hurts in the worst possible way ever.

What shattered me the most was the book's ending. Did it really have to end like that? As much as I want more and even if it tore me to pieces and left me wanting so much more - for Sutter to get better, for him to finally change - I think, yes. Because knowing that if these things happen it will just wash away the realness of this book. That's what life is. It's a mess.
Halle Watson
May 14, 2015 Halle Watson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: so-many-feels
We all know Sutter Keely. Maybe we don’t want to know him. Maybe we are ashamed that we knew him. Maybe we jumped on his bandwagon for a short time in high school, but we likely knew him in one form or another.

He is the life of the party; the one who is okay with destroying people's houses when he parties. The kid that you know has alcohol in the back of his car and can’t seem to knock any sense into himself. He is drunk before, during, and after school (if he doesn’t skip) and is set on enjoyin
Aug 31, 2013 Keertana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd have never picked up this novel in a million years if it weren't for the fact that the screen writers of "500 Days of Summer" wrote the screenplay for the movie version of this novel. And Shailene Woodley, of course. It seems a little shallow to admit that, but it's the truth. I'm not a fan of Contemporary YA and I'm especially not a fan of novels about teenagers partying and drinking - which is, admittedly, a lot of what this book is.

Yet, the narration throughout this story is superb. Sutt
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Source: Library Checkout

'Another spectacular afternoon. This weather is unbelievable. Of course, that probably means summer is going to be vicious again, but I'm not worried about that now. I was never big on the future. I admire people who are, but it just never was my thing.'

Sutter is spontaneous with a luring personality who lives life solely in the moment. Aimee is plagued by insecurity but has a mind that is saturated with dreams of the future. The two are an unlikely
May 20, 2015 TL rated it it was ok
Recommended to TL by: birthday gift
*Minor editing sorry*

There were moments I liked but overall I didn't care much for this book overall. The only people here I felt attached to were Amy and after awhile, Cassidy.

Sutter.. well,

He was alright in the beginning, grew on me some after awhile but then he just got annoying after awhile. I tried to give him a break but at a certain point I just stopped caring. I kept hoping he would turn himself around but mentally I broke away from him and was just waiting to see if he was going to do
Marcela M.
Mar 26, 2015 Marcela M. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
¿Y qué puedo decir?...
Sutter es un completo patético, y Aimee una idiota.
A pasar de que los personajes no me gustaron, para nada desde un principio, albergue esperanzas de que el libro fuera bueno al final. ¿Pero qué creen? Es un completo fiasco. Respeto y valoro las diferentes opiniones, pero, en serio, no logro entender como varias personas me recomendaron este libro con tanta emoción, y jurando que es una obra maestra.
Maria Espadinha
May 31, 2016 Maria Espadinha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Porque O Presente É Vida...

Esta é a estória de Sutter, um jovem que embora negligenciado pelos pais recusa afogar-se nas águas da tristeza.
Sempre de copo na mão , ele é a Alma de qualquer festa!

É o Jesus Cristo que bebe whiskey com 7Up, sempre pronto a auxiliar quem precisa mas incapaz de se ajudar a si mesmo.

É o folião irresponsável de quem todos gostam mas que ninguém ama.
Vive mergulhado num Mar de Sensações onde lentamente se afunda.

Até que conhece Amie! Uma jovem que arrisca amá-lo apesar da
Sep 28, 2013 kb rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cringe-festival
A teenage guy's longing to save everyone and everything except himself.

Wow, what happened to this? Everything seemed like a recipe for success - the plot, the issues, the messed-up realities, only that my appetite was not up for it. Sutter Keely started out like a dream character, troubled yet hopeful, but as the pages went by, he sounded more and more like an ass. I should have seen this coming since right off from the first chapter, he displayed a savior complex, which just annoyed me. I felt
Jackie "the Librarian"
May 15, 2009 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youngadult
Sutter Keely is a lot of fun. The life of the party! All his girlfriends have the greatest time with him. So, why do they all break up with him? Don't they LIKE having fun? So, he enjoys drinking - what's wrong with that? It's not like he's a mean drunk, at all.

As a reader, I felt like one of Sutter's girlfriends. At first, yeah, it was fun, if a little appalling, to read about Sutter's drunken adventures, giving a runaway kid a ride home while skipping school himself, meeting a shy newspaper de
Jan 23, 2014 Zoë rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book started out so well but ended unresolved in my eyes. I was expecting a fabulous ending but it fell a bit short. Also, I disliked how Sutter believed that Aimee needed him to change her but didn't fully acknowledge how he needed her to change him too. Don't get me wrong, I really liked the book, but it lacked that certain something that would warrant 5 stars.
Aug 26, 2014 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult-lit
There's that old literary saw that says if the main character of a book doesn't change, the book is a failure. But what if the unchanging main character is the catalyst by which others are allowed to change? That's the fascinating issue at the heart of The Spectacular Now, a book whose protagonist is a drunken – but charismatically drunken – high school senior named Sutter Keely. He's the life of the party, a barely-functioning teenage alcoholic who's so filled with love for his fellow man that ...more
Cristiana de Sousa
Apesar de não estar com expectativas muito altas, acabei por me desiludir mais do que estava a contar. Acho que o livro teria funcionado muito melhor se fosse contado pela 3pessoa. Sutter como narrador e protagonista e pouco empático, o que se tornou um problema para mim. Apesar de ser um adolescente com problemas gravas de alcoolismo, solidão e falta de afectos; e de ser uma pessoa super bem intencionada nas acções do dia a dia, não me consegui importar com ele e com a falta de rumo da sua v
I just can't review this book without starting by saying, okay. The main character is a present-day teenager who thinks he's Jack Kerouac, although I seriously doubt he's ever read Kerouac, because basically, the kid is a loser. Except, of course, he thinks that he is amazing and fun and deep; in actuality, he's an alcoholic flake.

The entire time I was reading this book, I was irritated. By the main character, by his mother, by his sister, by his friends. I have to say, though, that the book wa
Did it have to end like that? :o(
Despite the fact that The Spectacular Now is also a movie, I’d heard of neither the book nor the movie when I randomly came across it whilst looking for new YA realistic fiction books. And it was only when I heard that it touched on teenage alcoholism that it actually got my attention. I’m always on the look out for realistic fiction that covers different or less often written about subjects and that’s the main reason why I picked it up.

Sutter Keely is apparently the life of the party. And this
Jun 12, 2014 Jonathan rated it liked it
Shelves: gritty-reads

The Spectacular Now is usually the type of book I'd hate. It has drugs, alcohol and plenty of cursing, necessary or otherwise. There is, however, one thing about this book that stops me from loathing it - the fact that the narrator is charming and humorous. The kind of guy who hides behind his bottle of whisky more than anything.

It's a book that has a very existentialistic vibe behind it, and it's essentially about young adult problems. Hence the drugs, alcohol and swearing. Yet all these issues
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Good Oil
  • Friday Brown
  • Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets
  • Flash Burnout
  • 100 Sideways Miles
  • Winter Town
  • The Last Exit to Normal
  • We Are the Goldens
  • Touching Snow
  • Zac and Mia
  • Everything Left Unsaid
  • Girl Defective
  • Now Playing: Stoner & Spaz II
  • The Piper's Son
  • Crash and Burn
  • Reality Boy
  • OCD, the Dude, and Me
  • The Disenchantments
Tim Tharp lives in Oklahoma where he writes novels and teaches in the Humanities Department at Rose State College. In addition to earning a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and an M.F.A. from Brown University, Tim Tharp has been a factory hand, construction laborer, psychiatric aid, long-distance hitchhiker, and record store clerk. His first novel, Falling Dark (Milkweed Press), was awarded th ...more
More about Tim Tharp...

Share This Book

“Besides, it doesn't matter if it's real. It never does with dreams. They aren't anything anyway but lifesavers to cling to so you don't drown. Life is an ocean, and most everyone's hanging on to some kind of dream to keep afloat.” 389 likes
“Life is spectacular. Forget the dark things. Take a drink and let time wash them away to where ever time washes away to.” 295 likes
More quotes…