Review: ‘The Great American Whatever’ by Tim Federle #COYER #SRC

The Great American Whatever by Tim FederleI love it when you can tell that a book is going to be great right away. Such is the case here, with wonderful writing and a fresh approach.

Quinn Roberts has basically been in his bedroom for six months. When his sister and movie-making partner, Annabeth, is killed in a car accident, he has no idea who he is or what he’s supposed to do with his life. Luckily, his best friend, Geoff, has had enough and rescues him from disappearing altogether.

He blames himself for Annabeth’s death. She’s been ignoring one of their film projects while she works on applications for college and getting ready for graduation. They fight about it, and that’s the last time Quinn sees her. He won’t even use his phone because he can’t bear to see the last thing he texted to her.

The themes of redemption and forgiveness run rampant throughout the book. Not only does Quinn need to forgive himself, but Annabeth, too. It’s about saying things out loud – sometimes we think that we are the only ones who see our faults, our problems, our secrets, when others are just waiting for us to reach out and speak first. Quinn’s attraction to and pursuit of Amir is sweet and just what you’d think someone’s first relationship would be like.

The movie references add a touch of realism to Quinn, as does the explanation about his writing style. Seemingly tough subjects are told in an honest but often amusing way. The characters and the relationships they have are, at the same time, simple and complex. And the more they reveal, the more real they get.

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle was published March 29, 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for young Readers. Ink and Page picked this book up from the library for review.

Rating: 4

Genre: Young Adult Realistic Contemporary Fiction LGBTQ+ Romance


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