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Amanda Reviews… Better Nate Than Ever

Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle

Better Nate Than Ever


Published: 2013

Age Range: Middle Grade

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Awards: Stonewall Book Award Nominee, Odyssey Book Award Nominee

Amanda (Piper’s human) read Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle and this is what she thought…

A 13-year-old boy hops a bus to NYC to audition for a musical in an adventure that is full of ups and downs, laughs and tears, and self-discovery. I had heard good things about this book, so it has been on my radar for a while. Since we are reading books outside of our comfort zone, I decided to listen to this one as an audio book. Oh man! You feel all kinds of emotions reading this books. There are parts where you feel happy, there are parts where you feel sad, and there are parts where you are anxiously waiting to see if Nate gets a phone call. My favorite character is Nate’s best friend Libby. She is basically the mastermind behind all the friendship antics, which reminds me a lot of my best friend, who happens to share the name!

I know that there are more books in the series, but I couldn’t help thinking: why does the ending have to be so abrupt? I wanted to know if he got the part without having to jump right into the next book – I don’t have time for that! If I were to change the book, then I would give Aunt Heidi more “screen time.” She seems like a really fun character. The theme of Better Nate Than Ever is growing up, being brave, and pursuing your dreams. The author does a really good job at writing as if you are reading Nate’s diary which makes everything that more personable. You end up feeling so close to Nate. His determination through the book is really inspiring.

Who would you recommend this book to?

I would recommend this book to any musical theater geek (myself included) or someone who likes realistic fiction with a side of humor. I found this book to be relatable in a lot of ways. Sure I have never been a 13 year old boy, but I have been overwhelmed by NYC, terrified at an audition, and the target of bullying. The joy that Nate finds in the world of musical theater is a very real representation of the theater community as well as extremely relatable for me personally.

Check out the digital title (and the rest of the series!) on Overdrive/Libby


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