Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle. 

I always love a mixed media kind of book, and with the combination of regular text and film script, this book did not disappoint.

This is the story of 16 year old Quinn. He is struggling to live his life after the sudden death of his older sister and the loss of his father, after he walked out. Quinn has kind of been living in a bubble, not leaving his house, and he's ordered so many pizzas and take out, the delivery guys just let themselves in and bring it to his room. One day, Quinn's best friend Geoff comes over to help get Quinn out of his funk. They go to Geoff's older sister's college party, where Quinn meets Amir. Even though Quinn isn't out yet, it is clear to those close to him that he feels something with Amir. Something he hasn't felt since his sister died.

I am a sucker for a good coming of age story, and so I immediately enjoyed this book. Quinn struggles with his own self, as well as grieving his sister, but he is able to work through his pain.

I appreciated that LGBT+ elements within this story, we really need more books with these aspects in them. I also really liked how Quinn wasn't victimized for his sexuality. Having a gay main character, you can usually assume things will go one of two ways; the character will belabour their sexuality to the point of agony, or the character will recognize it as a part of themselves and move on from there. Quinn isn't a victim of his sexuality, and although he has many questions for himself, this element of his character never becomes a cutch to place the blame of his downfalls.

I do think there were a few things that were a little randomly placed, we don't learn a lot about Annabeth, his sister, and what we do learn is very disjointed and not really helpful or essential. I thought that the interactions between Geoff and Annabeth were unnecessary, and they are not really fleshed out so I guess I don't see the significance.

I really liked Quinn's voice, we get a first-person perspective, so we are in his head. He is sarcastic and snarky, I was laughing quite a bit throughout this book.

While I enjoyed the book overall, I can only give it 4 stars because it felt a little, I guess vanilla. There wasn't really any conflicts, the negative moments were resolved quickly and when things got intense, Quinn shut it down. I feel like this is a great story, but it could have been pushed a little bit further.

Overall, a great coming of age story.