Better Nate Than Ever

ImageBooks excite me. There, I said it. I’m a book nerd.

I get especially excited by books that take me to new places, as well as books that introduce me to characters I really want to spend time with.

Enter 13-year-old Nate Foster in Tim Federle’s fantastic debut novel “Better Nate Than Ever,” which this weekend was featured in The New York Times (go, Tim!) From the first page, I knew I’d found a new friend.

The book follows Nate as he travels to New York City from Western Pennsylvania to audition for E.T., The Musical on Broadway. The fast-paced narrative will have you yearning to turn the page before you’re done reading, but hold back… you’ll want to savor each moment. You’ll mourn the final page, but the good news is that a sequel is coming.

I knew I wanted to read this book when I saw Tim’s bio on Amazon. It starts with, “Tim Federle is the author of over seven hundred emails.”

This novel reminded me quite a bit of a middle grade version of “How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship and Musical Theater.” (If you haven’t read this novel by Marc Acito, buy it and read it pronto). In both novels, the character’s sexuality takes a back seat to his bubbly personality. While there is an acknowledgement of Nate’s burgeoning sexuality during his trip to New York, it is not the highlight; when Nate sees two men kissing, he is awed to notice that no one punches them. Nate is Nate, and he is not surprised that he is Nate. I found this light touch refreshing.

If you want to laugh with and root for an underdog, read this book! I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel.

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2 Responses to Better Nate Than Ever

  1. First of all I want to say superb blog! I had a quick question which I’d like
    to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center
    yourself and clear your thoughts before writing. I
    have had difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas
    out. I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15
    minutes are wasted just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any suggestions or hints? Many thanks!

    • bkonigsberg says:

      My advice is not to think of the first 10-15 minutes as wasted time. Sometimes we need to clear our heads with that first 10 minutes of writing, and that’s just how it is. If we could all just start with the good stuff, this writing thing would be easy! 🙂 Keep going. You’ll learn what habits work best for you. I just give myself permission to write junk, knowing that the good stuff will come.

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