October 11, 2014

Better Nate than Ever - Tim Federle

Better Nate than Ever book cover
Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle
Series: Better Nate Than Ever #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Source/Format: Gifted by Estelle (Thanks!) || Hardcover

Nate Foster has big dreams. His whole life, he’s wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he'd settle for *seeing* a Broadway show.) But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby’s help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. There's an open casting call for E.T.: The Musical, and Nate knows this could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time stardom. (from Goodreads)

I knew I was going to be entertained by Better Nate than Ever, but I didn’t expect to also be moved by Nate and his story! It focuses mostly on Nate’s solo journey to New York City to audition for E.T. the Musical, sprinkled with humorous anecdotes. But there’s also a surprising amount of seriousness, with a particular focus on family and friendship in Nate’s life.

I really liked Nate! He’s funny, and has this charming, if slightly na├»ve way of looking at the world. His optimism and his easygoing personality really came across with every chapter. I admired the lengths he was willing to go to in order to be at this audition, and giggled at all the shenanigans that ensued too. Of course, he also goes through a couple of obstacles, but I think they just add some color to his experience (though they were undoubtedly no fun to go through). The way he tells his story in Better Nate than Ever feels like Nate is already older, and just relating his first experiences with Broadway life with his fans.

Obviously, the story of Better Nate than Ever toes the line between actually possible and seemingly far-fetched – but it works! (After all, if you ask me, all great stories get embellished a little in their retelling.) Nate’s tale of high and lows as he tries to make his Broadway dream a reality was really fun, and I’m glad I was finally able to read and enjoy it.


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