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The Great American Whatever

Narrated by: Tim Federle
Length: 6 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (120 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the award-winning and New York Times best-selling author of Five, Six, Seven, Nate! and Better Nate than Ever comes a laugh-out-loud, sad YA debut that's a wry and winning testament to the power of old movies and new memories - one unscripted moment at a time.

Quinn Roberts is a 16-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.

©2016 Nottingham Lane, LLC. (P)2016 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"Author Tim Federle's genuine narration is just right - self-deprecating, heartfelt, a little snarky, and always authentic. He puts listeners squarely into Quinn's point of view.... A lovely, winning match of novel and performance." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Must Listen

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.

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Crunch Crunch Perfect!

100% a great book. I truly believe if your facial expressions change to the face of the character you listening too you are reading/ listening to a great book. 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. so in short if you want your heart to have feeling and you want to scream on the inside cause "you did that too" then read this book. again 10 out of 10

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  • BN
  • Los Angeles CA, US
  • 11-28-18

Tim Federle has done it again! This time tackling slightly deeper issues but with his same humor and depth combined

Another heart felt book by TIm Federle that not only tackles tough subjects but also sweet moments in a life. Tim is a marvel at describing feelings through these “growing” moments in a persons life. In THE GREAT AMERICAN WHATEVER he takes us on the journey of a boy named Quinn who is different than many of the boys his age because of his love of classic films and his desire to be a writer of films. When his director/collaborator and older sister is killed when she runs a red light just outside school, Quinn gives up his dreams and passions as his mother gives up on life as well. 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. Quinn’s coming of age is also filled with excitement and sometimes disappointment when he meets the cute college boy Amir at a party and they begin to discover each other. I don’t think I have any spoilers here, but hopefully just give you an idea of the story you will enjoy so much in reading this first YA novel by this wonderful writer.

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Unique Narration Angle

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.

What about Tim Federle’s performance did you like?

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.