title: Better Nate Than Ever
author: Tim Federle
publisher: Walker Books
publication date: February 5th, 2013
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.
It’s only been weeks since I’ve heard of Tim Federle for the very first time. It was Summer Days and Summer Nights, the summer short story collection by Stephanie Perkins which introduced me to him and made me fall head over heels in love with his writing. So of course I had to buy all his other books as well and Better Nate Than Ever was one of them. I know this may sound a little over exaggerated but honestly this book is one of my favorites now even though it’s more like a childrens book.
Since it’s rather rare that we follow a male main character on his adventures I enjoyed it so much that here we have a 13 year old boy, who wants nothing more than to go to New York, audition for E.T. The Musical and become a famous Broadway Musical star.
Just like Nate, our main protagonist, this book is abosolutely charming and innocent, it’s impossible not to love it. I’m sure that readers of all ages will find something in this book they can relate to may it be Nate himself, his dream to become a star; his best friend Libby, who’s all charming, lovely but also crazy, or even Aunt Heidi who’s definitely one of my favorite characters in this book or Freckles, this one person Nate can actually relate to himself. This book is about dreams, innocence, family, friendship, hope – it’s about so many different and important things and also so much fun to read – I think it’s also a perfect read you want to read to your children.
Another reason I wanted to read this book, besides the fact that I absolutely fell in love with Tim Federles writing, is that I’ve been obsessing pretty hard over the Hamilton Musical lately so this book was actually everything I was looking for. A fun, hilarious, innocent read intertwined of Broadway’s awesomeness. This book also made me feel like I was back in New York again and it was great. I could picture everything, like all the stores and restaurants, the streets he walked and even the Port Authority Bus Terminal. It was just great and I do feel the urge to reread it very soon already.
Nate is so funny, sarcastic even sometimes and kind, but not perfect and seeing New York through his eyes is hilarious and just like I see it. Most people think of New York as a dirty, expensive, smelly, noisy and hectic place – he sees New York through his teenage eyes and that is what makes it so special. He just loves everything about the city; he’s awed at the simplest things, from the $ 1 pizza slices which actually don’t taste really good, to the million Cupcake shops on every corner.
The book was also kind of exciting, always wondering if Nate gets caught by his parents or if he makes it to the next level of the audition. This book was such a fast and cute read, it was impossible to put it down. It took me only like two days to finish the book and I immediately ordered the second book because I’m so excited to find out how this is all going to work out for Nate.
Tim Federle for sure is the newest add to my auto-buy author list and I absolutely plan to read everything he writes next. His writing is so amazing and if you still haven’t read any of his books yet, change that. Buy his books now – you can thank me later! I’m so much in love with his writing and his books I’m sure I will rate anything he writes 5 stars. There’s just no other way.