Review: The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle

the-great-american-whatever

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release date: April 21, 2016
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Pages: 288
Goodreads || Book Depository

Quinn Roberts is a sixteen-year-old smart aleck and Hollywood hopeful whose only worry “used “to be writing convincing dialogue for the movies he made with his sister Annabeth. Of course, that was all before before Quinn stopped going to school, before his mom started sleeping on the sofa and before Annabeth was killed in a car accident.

Enter Geoff, Quinn s best friend who insists it s time that Quinn came out at least from hibernation. One haircut later, Geoff drags Quinn to his first college party, where instead of nursing his pain, he meets a guy a hot one and falls hard. What follows is an upside-down week in which Quinn begins imagining his future as a screenplay that might actually have a happily-ever-after ending if, that is, he can finally step back into the starring role of his own life story.

MY THOUGHTS

4 stars

On paper, The Great American Whatever is exactly my kind of book. Grief, LGBTQIA+ elements and a coming of age story is exactly what I like in a contemporary novel. And while I did enjoy it, I didn’t really connect with it as much as I thought I would.

This novel is about Quinn, who’s been struggling for the last six month since the death of his sister and the abandonment by his father. When his best friend tries to pull him out of his funk, he finds romance and discovers things about himself and his sister that he never knew before. As a coming of age story, it was enjoyable and contained lots of great character growth. The development of Quinn’s character throughout the novel was nicely paced and done quite seamlessly. However, I have to say that I felt a little bit bored at times. I thoroughly enjoyed the first 75 pages and the last 100 or so pages but the middle section felt like a bit of a drag. There wasn’t really much happening and I just didn’t really connect with the book for quite a bit of the middle section.

This was probably in part due to the romance. I wasn’t a huge fan of it but didn’t hate it either. It was just a little bit average and I suppose that was exactly the point of it… so maybe this isn’t really a criticism but more of a pat on the back for Tim Federle? I just didn’t really feel anything from the romance and I think that was what made the book seem a bit boring and draggy for me in the middle. Having said that, I did like the role that the romance played in the book and appreciated how it played out.

Even though I didn’t connect with the romance, I did really like Quinn as a main character. I connected with his sense of humour and loved his snarky tone. His voice and his personality were fantastic and I just really enjoyed how realistic he came across as a character. He just seemed like a really normal boy (who’s obviously been through some rough times) and I could see him being someone from my everyday life. His reactions were genuine and I never felt like he was just a fictional character.

Overall, I did enjoy The Great American Whatever. I had a little bit of trouble connecting with the story, especially in the middle section of the book, but I thought the beginning and end were really strong. It’s a quick read and I thought it was a successful YA debut for Tim Federle.

#ReadThemAllThon TBR Pile

readthemallthon

I’m so excited to be participating in the #ReadThemAllThon, created and hosted by the brilliant Aentee @ Read at Midnight. This readathon celebrates our love of books and our newfound obsession with Pokemon Go! To find out more about the challenges and rules, check out Aentee’s sign up post and her TBR pile!

All graphics in this post were made by Aentee except the trainer card that I made below.

trainer-card

I’m a pretty fast reader so I think I can handle having Magikarp as my chosen Pokemon. Even though it’s kind of useless, it evolves into the fiercest and most wonderful Pokemon there is, Gyarados. In this readathon, Magikarp doesn’t evolve until it reaches 450CP, so I have lots of work and reading ahead of me!


TBR Pile

ReadThemAllThonTBR

So my TBR for this readathon is actually made up of books that I’ve been meaning to read for a very long time. They’re all super popular and I’m finally getting to them now. To break things up, I’ve included one new release but I’m hoping to use these three weeks to finally catch up on some books that I should have read ages ago.
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It’s been a long time coming but I’m hoping to finally read The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. The Mistborn series has been sitting on my shelf for far too long and I’m finally going to conquer it next month!

647 pages, potential +64CP

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I’m not sure if Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys will make me cry, but I’ve read so many rave reviews that have said that it’s emotional and heartbreaking. I’m a book cryer… I cry super easily so I’m sure this one will fit the category.

400 pages, potential +40CP

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For this one, I’ve gone with Vicious by V.E. Schwab. I’ve heard countless good things about it and everyone says it’s their favourite Schwab book so I’m going to trust the hype and dive in.

340 pages, potential +34CP

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The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle is the only newish release in my TBR stack but I’ve been dying to read this book! In fact I want to read it right now but I have too many other books that I need to read first T_T. This will probably be the first book I’m going to pick up for the readathon.

288 pages, potential +28CP

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I’m going to be meeting Rainbow Rowell at the end of August and early September so I’m going to finally read Eleanor & Park this month. It was the first Rainbow Rowell book I ever bought and I actually started it as soon as I bought it… but somehow it remains the only book of hers I haven’t completed. I’ve heard that Eleanor and Park are great together in this book so I’m looking forward to what the romance has to offer 🙂

325 pages, potential +32CP

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For this challenge, I’ll be reading one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I’ve had All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders for months but still haven’t found the time to pick it up. This one has a really interesting synopsis with lots of cool fantasy elements. I’m excited!

432 pages, potential +43CP

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I had a hard time choosing a book for this. I couldn’t really find an unread book on my shelf that had a cover that was entirely red. Until I remembered that I still haven’t read A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. The UK cover for this book is red!

508 pages, potential +50CP

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Everyone’s going to yell at me in the comments about this one… but I’ve never read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Yup. But I do plan on reading at least the first book for this readathon.

374 pages, potential +37CP


There is a +20CP bonus for each gym badge/book I complete, so if I finish all 8 books, my potential total is 488CP!

And since my Magikarp can evolve into Gyarados (+120CP) when it reaches 450CP, I should have a grand total of 608CP before Twitter and review bonuses. BRING IT ON!