I flew through The Great American Whatever in a single sitting, as it was one of those books that was so well executed, I didn't want to put it down. Tim Federle is an author that knows his characters well. I was immediately engaged and wanted to know more about them. On top of his wonderfully crafted characters, Federle's dialogue is as authentic and realistic as it gets. For fans of Perks of Being a Wallflower and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, The Great American Whatever is sure to strike a chord with anyone who reads it.— Heather H.
A beautiful, honest and hilarious novel about growing through your grief. Quinn Roberts loses his sister when she dies in a car accident. Now his ambitions and purpose in life has come to a standstill. If not for his best friend, Geoff, he might never leave the house. When Geoff convinces Quinn to go to a college party with him, Quinn meets a hot guy who jump-starts his heart again and encourages him to start taking part in his own life. I can't imagine losing my sisters. But I know what it's like to lose a family member without warning. Tim Federle deftly navigates the frustration and hopelessness of never getting to say goodbye, of experiencing guilt despite the circumstances, and feeling so singular in your grief. However, through all this, he shows us that it's okay to remember the person you lost and still look forward to your own future, while sharing a laugh, or two, or three, with current and new loved ones along the way. Whether you've lost someone or not, this novel will make you laugh and encourage you to follow your dreams.— Brandi
From the award-winning author of Five, Six, Seven, Nate! and Better Nate Than Ever comes “a Holden Caulfield for a new generation” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
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 the car accident that changed everything.
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—okay, a hot guy—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.
About the Author
Tim Federle is the showrunner and executive producer of High School Musical: the Musical: the Series, which he created for Disney+. His novels include the New York Times Notable Book Better Nate Than Ever and its Lambda Literature Award–winning sequel—which Lin-Manuel Miranda called “a wonderful evocation of what it’s like to be a theater kid” (New York Times). A film adaptation of Nate, written and directed by Federle, will premiere on Disney+ in spring 2022. The film stars Aria Brooks, Joshua Bassett, Lisa Kudrow, and Rueby Wood as Nate. Tim’s hit series of cocktail recipe books, including Tequila Mockingbird, have sold over half a million copies worldwide. He cowrote the Broadway musical adaptation of Tuck Everlastingand won the Humanitas Prize for cowriting the Golden Globe and Academy Award–nominated Best Animated Feature Ferdinand, starring John Cena and Kate McKinnon. A former Broadway dancer, Tim was born in San Francisco, grew up in Pittsburgh, and now divides his time between Los Angeles and the internet.
"The Great American Whatever knocked me out. Tim Federle writes with a rare voice — original, authentic, engaging."
— Rob Thomas, author of Rats Saw God and creator of Veronica Mars
"A raw nerve of a book—so perfectly tender and funny and true. My heart now belongs to The Great American Whatever. Officially. Completely."
— Becky Albertalli, author of Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
*"Federle’s first foray into YA is an accomplished effort, dramatic and distinguished by carefully developed, appealing characters... whimsical, wry, and unfailingly funny."
— Booklist, starred review
*"A Holden Caulfield for a new generation."
— Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"The mix of vulnerability, effervescence, and quick wit in Quinn’s narration will instantly endear him to readers."
— Publishers Weekly
*“Even under the weight of grief, Quinn’s conversational and charming narrative voice effervesces, mixing humor and vulnerability in typical Federle style."
— School Library Journal, starred review
"Recommended for mature teens who want to be inspired."
"Federle’s YA debut takes its place in the lineage of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and John Green’s coming-of-age tales."
— Horn Book Magazine
*"What sets this fantastic novel apart is Quinn's brilliantly realized, often hilarious first-person voice, from laugh-out-loud asides to heart-wrenching admissions...Charming and imaginative."
— Shelf Awareness, starred review
“Federle has triumphed. He’s written a moving tale about grief that’s also laugh-out-loud funny.”
— The New York Times Book Review