Insta Review: The Great American Whatever, by Tim Federle

Insta Review gives you a new book recommendation in under a minute. Go ahead, time it! 

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This modern Catcher in the Rye takes Holden Caufield and gives him a video camera and a subscription to Final Cut Pro. Quinn’s sister is dead. His father his gone. He is self-absorbed, self-pitying, and totally stuck in the closet in his miserable Western Pennsylvania high school life, with no drive to look past what he’ll have for lunch that day. But #yalit lovers know that in great novels, stagnant characters never stay stagnant for long. And The Great American whatever is truly great. With the same endearing, infuriating conversational tone as his middle grade novels (Better Nate than Never; 5, 6, 7, Nate), author Tim Federle creates an underdog that you will make you want to pull your hair out and stand up and cheer at the same time (character writing doesn’t get much better than this). While I personally didn’t love The Catcher in the Rye, I recognize its place as a beloved heavy hitter in the field of young adult literature, and Quinn’s insane rants and reluctant self-discovery are so Caulfield-like, fans of the Salinger classic are sure to be satisfied. I also loved that this relatable novel with such deep connections into the masculine, bro-y world of filmmaking stars a gay character, and that figuring out how to come out to his family and friends is just one of his worries. Quinn is the unwilling hero that we all kind of hate, but love anyway. Solidly young adult: contains lots of cursing, sexual content, some drinking and drug use, and frank discussion of mental health. Funny, heartbreaking, eye-opening, and inspiring. Read it. #ireadya #youngadult #bookreview #tweneeddiversebooks #lgbtq #bookstagram

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One thought on “Insta Review: The Great American Whatever, by Tim Federle

  1. I’m a little bit interested in reading this book, but overall people’s responses to it seem to be pretty negative. I have depression and OCD so I might be able to relate to the behavior of a character with mental problems who other readers find infuriating. I also want to read ‘The Catcher in the Rye,’ it definitely seems like a ‘love it or hate it’ book but it almost seems like some kind of literary blasphemy to not read it when everyone else in the world already has. Cool review! 🙂

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