The Spectacular Now

Book review by Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
The Spectacular Now Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 15+

Teen drunk's tragic story best for mature readers.

Parents say

age 16+

Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+

Based on 6 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Community Reviews

age 16+

perfect for anyone, unless your parents dont like the scene it is in

I Love this book, its so true to a lot of people that can be catagorized as a Sutter Keeley themselves

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value
age 15+

Great writing, worth discussing

I think the reviewer missed by a bit here. In the end Sutter sees everyone who is important to him heading off to begin their adult life while he is still stuck in his pattern of drinking and going no where. He tries to quit drinking but can't and he is beginning to realize the hopelessness of his own life. I think Tharp is a terrific writer and there is much to discuss in this sharp, sad novel. Don't sell it short. Bookshop Mom

Book Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • Lush Poster Image


    Heartfelt look at drinking's impact on families.

    age 14+
  • Rehab Poster Image


    Teen star's struggle gives families lots to talk about.

    age 15+
  • Go Ask Alice Poster Image

    Go Ask Alice

    Authentic, tragic tale of teen drug addiction -- a classic.

    age 15+

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon hands high fiving
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a high school letterman's jacket
    High School
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate