Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016
Audience: Older Teens
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.
I expected this book to be more like the Nate books. Happily, The Great American Whatever was its own beautiful story. I loved it. The characters were interesting and the ending was fantastic. In general, this book wasn’t a big sweeping romance, and it easily could have been. The tone was realistic, but not too melancholy and not too fairy tale-ish. It was a book about healing, but not putting all of that healing on someone else and making it his or her responsibility. I hope other people appreciate this book as much as I did.