Tim Federle The Great American Whatever

ISBN 13: 9781481475464

The Great American Whatever

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9781481475464: The Great American Whatever

From the award-winning and New York Times bestselling 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 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 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.

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Tim Federle's Movie Song Playlist for The Great American Whatever

Do you ever wish your life had a soundtrack? You know, like for violins to come in as you're breaking up with somebody, or drums to thump when you're being chased down an alley? (OK, maybe that's just my life.) My lead character in The Great American Whatever is an aspiring filmmaker — his dream is to be the next Spielberg or Tarantino — so I thought it was only fitting that he'd punctuate his own "life soundtrack" with iconic songs from some of his favorite movies. Pop some popcorn and grab your earbuds.

  • The "Flying Theme" from E.T. - Probbbbably my #1 most-listened to song for writing inspiration. (I’m biased, because my first novel included E.T. as an entire fangirl subplot, but I promise these horns will send you over the moon.)
  • "Mrs. Robinson" from The Graduate - Filmmaker icon Mike Nichols famously rejected Paul Simon’s first two song efforts for the “Graduate” soundtrack, but three’s a charm with the first rock song ever to win a Grammy for Record of the Year.
  • "As Time Goes By" from Casablanca - “Nostalgia: the song,” basically. In “The Great American Whatever” Quinn looks back on his young life a lot, wondering how things could have gone differently. “As Time Goes By” is a sweet-sounding, slightly-sad song that Quinn would like, because he’s 17, and being 17 is all about sweetness and sadness.
  • "Everybody's Talkin" from Midnight Cowboy - This tune basically plays every time a young Jon “Angelina Jolie’s Dad” Voight enters a new scene in this movie, which makes me wish I had my own theme song for every time I visit the fridge during a writing session.
  • "Unchained Melody" from Ghost - Never has wet clay seemed so dirty. Leave it to a movie about a hot dead guy to bring this old Righteous Brothers song roaring back to haunt modern audiences. FYI if you don’t cry you’re a ghost.
  • "Goldfinger" from Goldfinger - Long is the legacy of a new James Bond theme song topping the charts, but it’s Shirley Bassey’s camp classic “Goldfinger” that leaves me shaken AND stirred.
  • "Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie - First of all, Kermit, ARE there “so many songs about rainbows”? Second of all, I forgive you because I’m SOBBING.
  • "9 to 5" from 9 to 5 - The only country singer with her own theme park, Dolly Parton knows a thing or two about putting in a days’ work. Blast this one in your corporate cubicle.
  • "Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz - The next time you’re full of doubt, just keep in mind that MGM wanted to cut “Over the Rainbow” from the song for fear it would go over the head of little ones, and I don’t mean munchkins.
  • "Let the River Run" from Working Girl - My favorite pop/choral mashup by none other than the daughter of Richard L. Simon: one half of Simon & Schuster, who publishes my books! (OK, “Simon’s daughter” is also known as Carly Simon.) I listen to her anthem when I have to face something daunting like cardio or my inbox.

About the Author:

Tim Federle is the award-winning author of the autobiographical novels Better Nate Than Ever and its sequel Five, Six, Seven, Nate! (Lambda Literary Award winner), which were named best books of the year by the New York Times and the American Booksellers Association, respectively, and was highly recommended by Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda, who called the series, "a wonderful evocation of what it's like to be a theater kid." The Great American Whatever was inspired by an accident near Tim's high school in Pittsburgh that changed the community forever. It is his first novel for young adults. Connect with the author on Instagram and Twitter at @TimFederle, and at TimFederle.com.

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