[Book Review]: The Great American Whatever

 

Cover image for The Great American Whatever

Favorite Quote: “It’s time to finally do it. To finish the damn screenplay.”

Forget format, I’m just going to write. Usually it’s hard for me to write reviews on great books because I feel like I can’t do the book justice, but I’m challenging that today. This book was one of the most beautiful books I have read in a while. So, this story follows a boy named Quinn who’s 16 turning 17 years old and who has just lost his sister, Annabeth, and his healing and growth. This book had excellent character development, plot, and was a seriously compelling book for me.

I loved Quinn because he was humorous and throughout the books, his wit keeps you smiling through what some would call a dark story due to his sister’s death but it definitely has a comedic factor. The darkness of this story isn’t a bad thing, though, because it gives you ALL THE FEELS and it really takes a chunk out of your heart and then connects it with Quinn’s somehow as if Quinn is giving you life or you are giving him life and it’s amazing to see how the tragedy impacts Quinn and his mother throughout the story. Quinn is a developing screenwriter, and his creativity, like, completely stops when Annabeth dies, and he sort of becomes a hermit but throughout the story, we get to see snippets of who Annabeth was and how Quinn grows as he is dragged to a party with his best friend, Geoff who I also feel was well developed because he is funny and the imperfectly perfect  authentic best friend, and I think the romance that is present in this story is beautiful because it is natural and it doesn’t overshadow Quinn’s personal growth and who he is, n=and Quinn is a funny boy who jokes, makes movie references, knows movie dates by heart, and makes movie recommendations. I love Quinn because he’s so authentic it’s as if he could remind me of people in my life now.

This book  has shown me the beauty of what can be done from true effort, this book has inspired me to finish the stories I want to tell and to go after that story and dream no matter the tragic circumstances I face. I’m writing now, but often I feel like I can’t truly write…and I don’t mean in terms of talent, but more like I’m not sure if I can really finish sometimes or if I could survive the process, the countless revisions, the stress, the countless query letters, that it takes to become an author and to publish I have friends, in and outside of the community, who believe in me and my ability to one day publish and that talk like one day they will actually be at one of my signings or launch parties, and I…due to circumstances, although not nearly as tragic as within the book, I have felt discouraged from really committing. Yes, I continue to handwrite in notebooks and I talk about really going into a long term project but part of me has felt like even when I finish, I wouldn’t have the strength to really continue and persevere like hundreds if not thousands of fellow teen and young adult writers and fresh debuts have done. Tim Federle and his lovely young adult debut, The Great American Whatever, has told me otherwise. It has told me to ignore those voices in and outside of my head that want to discourage me from telling the stories I have always wanted to tell and have been writing since I was younger and telling now in my artwork. It has encouraged me in ways that similar quotations have been doing all year long, to chase after that moonlight, and to not give up on my stories but to tell them in the way only I can. To finish the damn screenplay, and to Tim Federle— although let’s be honest, he won’t read this—I want to say thank you and I will.

 

 

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