A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

Monday, March 7, 2016

Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle

Hello, everyone!  To the newer readers of the blog, I'm "the guy" from the title of the blog.  To the more long-term readers, I still exist.  I've spent the last 20ish months in a rigorous Ph.D. program, and I can happily say I'm over halfway finished!  For the past few days, I've been lucky to enjoy a much-needed Spring Break, during which I actually got to read a book with characters and plot and humor.  And because it was so great, I had to share my review of it with you all.

Title: Better Nate Than Ever
Author: Tim Federle
Pages: 275
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781442446915 
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
AR Levels: Book Level - 5.9, Interest Level - 4th-8th grades, Points - 9.0
Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13414183-better-nate-than-ever

In a nutshell:  Nate Foster, a 13-year old misfit from unexciting Jankburg, PA, decides to leave behind his lackluster bully-filled life and run away to The Big Apple in search of stardom.  With his best friend Libby covering for him, Nate takes his passion for Broadway to the Great White Way itself, where he plans to try out for E.T.: The Musical.  Along the way, he learns about the realities of showbiz, reconnects with a long lost relative, makes some new friends, and has an adventure that changes his life.  But...Will he get the role he's waited a lifetime for, or is he destined for the role he's played for a lifetime?  Is E.T.: The Musical his ticket to fame or his ticket back to Jankburg?  Read to find out!

I'd recommend it to grades:  This book was written with middle school students in mind, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, as well (and I haven't been a middle school student for quite some time).

I'd recommend it to:  First and foremost, I'd recommend this book to all the Nate Fosters out there--the young guys and gals struggling to fit in where you are because you're obviously destined for bigger things.  Secondly, the book features a main character who's still coming to terms with whether he's gay, straight, or somewhere in between (and even what those really mean); as such, this book might be refreshing to those tweens and teens in the same boat, wishing that young adult literature featured more characters like you.  Thirdly, Broadway nerds will love this book.

What I liked most about this book:  This. Book. Is. Hilarious.  If there was a Tony category for "Funniest YA Novel About Broadway," Tim Federle would be a shoo-in.   

Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): Nate and his best friend Libby rehearsed a monologue to deliver any time someone questions whether he is traveling alone.  Let's just say it involves a hypothetical mother and digestive issues, and it comes in handy quite a few unexpected times.

Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 5++!  I'm looking forward to reading the sequel Five, Six, Seven, Nate!

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