The Great American Whatever
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Henry "Monty" Montague doesn't care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family's estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy. Jude and her brother, Noah, are incredibly close twins.
At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude surfs and cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and divisive ways…until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as an unpredictable new mentor.
OCD-afflicted Griffin has just lost his first love, Theo, in a drowning accident. In an attempt to hold on to every piece of the past, he forges a friendship with Theo's last boyfriend, Jackson. When Jackson begins to exhibit signs of guilt, Griffin suspects he's hiding something and will stop at nothing to get to the truth about Theo's death. But as the grieving pair grows closer, listeners will question Griffin's own version of the truth - in terms of both what he's willing to hide and what true love means.
Seventeen-year-old Evan Panos doesn't know where he fits in. His strict immigrant Greek mother refuses to see him as anything but a disappointment. His quiet, workaholic father is a staunch believer in avoiding any kind of conflict. And his best friend, Henry, has somehow become distractingly attractive over the summer.
From the star of Broadway's The Book of Mormon and HBO's Girls , the heartfelt and hilarious coming-of-age memoir of a Midwestern boy surviving bad auditions, bad relationships, and some really bad highlights as he chases his dreams in New York City. The hot Texas nights were lonely for Ben before his heart began beating to the rhythm of two words; Tim Wyman. By all appearances, Tim had the perfect body and ideal life, but when a not-so-accidental collision brings them together, Ben discovers that the truth is rarely so simple.
If winning Tim's heart was an impossible quest, keeping it would prove even harder as family, society, and emotion threaten to tear them apart. Something Like Summer is a love story spanning a decade and beyond as two boys discover what it means to be friends, lovers, and sometimes even enemies. Seventeen-year-old Aidan Lockwood lives in the sleepy farming community of Temperance, Ohio - known for its cattle ranches and not much else.
That is, until Jarrod, a friend he hasn't seen in five years, moves back to town and opens Aidan's eyes in startling ways: to Aidan's ability to see the spirit world; to the red-bearded specter of Death; to a family curse that has claimed the lives of the Lockwood men one by one Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they're both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There's an app for that.
The Great American Whatever | Teenreads
It's called The Last Friend, and through it Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure - to live a lifetime in a single day. College sophomore Ethan Follett never says what's on his mind and never wants to rock the boat. Out in the open, things couldn't be better, but secretly Ethan yearns for some real excitement in his life. He finds it in cocky frat boy Greg Sanderson, who challenges every rigid, preconceived notion Ethan lives by. Soon, their sparring relationship turns sexual, and these enemies-with-benefits "get their freak on" all over campus.
Yet the more Ethan comes out of his shell, the more Greg retreats into his, working overtime to keep his ladies' man public persona intact. When it first gets announced, the Leteo Institute's memory-alteration procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto; miracle cure-alls don't tend to pop up in the Bronx projects.
Aaron can't forget how he's grown up poor, how his friends all seem to shrug him off, and how his father committed suicide in their one-bedroom apartment. Then Thomas shows up. The love Aaron discovers may cost him what's left of his life. But since Aaron can't suddenly stop being gay, Leteo may be the only way out. Quinn Roberts is a 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 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. He puts listeners squarely into Quinn's point of view A lovely, winning match of novel and performance.
THE GREAT AMERICAN WHATEVER
A must listen for anyone who's ever felt lost after loss. Although, I suppose, primarily a "Gay YA" book, there is nothing about this story that is I relatable to anyone. I am particularly inspired by the compassionately written characters of Quinn's Mom and best friend. Tim Federle is a true treasure. Also the parts of the story that act as anchors to past and struggles [ lemonade stand and AC ] was awesome.
I have see it in many books I read or at least not this blunt but the fact that I found it it was a treat to keep finding it. Another heart felt book by TIm Federle that not only tackles tough subjects but also sweet moments in a life.
The friends and realizations that help Quinn and his family to care again are thoughtful, funny and real. As usual Mr. Federle breaths wonderful life into his characters and we all learn things along the way with them. How he tackles some of the subjects he tackles with the humor he does is impressive. He finds a way, as we all should to lift up the the heavy rocks of life and find the wisdom hiding underneath. He is able to find the quirky side to these moments while never discounting the pain.
What did you like best about this story? The point of view was quite unique, with the main character seeing his life as a screenplay complete with stage direction and scene setups. The focus on a death in the family dragged a little but it WAS the driving force in the inner life of the character so that focus was not entirely unjustified. It just got old after a while and made you want to tell him to snap out of it. Excellent work probably made easier for him since he would know better than anyone what the tone was supposed to be.
Tim Federle is pretty easy to listen to. And then, the biggest autobiographical element of this book is the fact that I lost an acquaintance. Ellie was not a friend but she was an acquaintance at my school who was killed in a car accident blocks away from the entrance of our high school in Pittsburgh, and I never forgot anything about it. I never forgot her open casket funeral.
I never forgot the Spanish teacher at school talking to her parents at the funeral. There are so many things that were so impactful, in part because, like many teenagers, my concept of adulthood and life felt forever away.
Like, the shortest way to say it would be I could start acting like a grownup and acting focused when I became an adult. I think Ellie's death gave me my adulthood, in a way, because it took away all the innocence I had left, which wasn't much at that point, and made me realize that I wasn't going to live forever. That's when I started auditioning more, fully, and committing to my first passion, which was theater. Quinn knows so many movies. Did you have to do a lot of research for that?
Yes, I did.
I would say that every twelve pages I tried to reference something, even if it was really sly, because that's sort of the lense he uses. But at the same time that I was writing this book, I was also writing Gone with the Gin, which is my movie cocktail book. So I was literally watching movies to research them for that book and sometimes I thought 'This would be a good one for Quinn.
One thing I tried to do, is that I try to be subtly referential in all of my fiction, as if it's all part of the same world. So Quinn lives in the same district that Nate is from. ET is Quinn's sister's favorite movie.
I want to believe, a la Hitchcock casting himself in small parts of his movies, that there will be some reader who sees a larger world in the smaller world. Do you think that the car accident impacted you or your community more? I don't know, because I actually moved to New York shortly after to dance. But I did keep in touch with Ellie's older sister, Annie, who is a high school English teacher now, and she called me a couple of weeks ago after reading the ARC [Advanced Reader's Copy. We talked about what it means to lose somebody really young and the taboo nature of no longer talking about it because it's so sad for families.
I hope it means that a few more people are going to know Ellie's name. I dedicated it to her in part because I hope somebody learns a little about her. I don't know why you're drawn to write, but for me, there's some deep thing that has to do with being heard, particularly as somebody who as a kid felt marginalized and not heard and different. It kind of breaks my heart to think that someone like Ellie, who was such a bright light and artist. Who knows what she would've become? You said that this originally started off as an adult novel. Quinn Victorious was this , word contemporary fiction grownup novel that got me my agent, who said I can't sell this, but if you ever write a kid's book let me know, so I wrote Nate.
All these years later I had a contract with Simon and Schuster and I really wanted to write another book for them and to take a break from Nate and someone said why not young adult?
Rather than be a retrospective novel - the original was set ten years after his sister's accident - it was about going to the present and trying to make it more vital. Trait wise, it was fun to get back into who I was as a teenager. I kept diaries and journals and I was able to look at it and realize I'm the exact same. You're writing Tuck Everlasting on Broadway!
How did you make the journey to writing musicals, and how has the process been? Books are this largely solitary pursuit where you have an editor very late in the process. Musicals are a collaborative process, your co-writers look at it, you bounce off the lyricists, the director has an opinion, the producers have an opinion. Musical theater is largely dialogue driven because, unlike films which are so visual, usually musicals are fairly stationary in setting.