Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle
Published by: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 21st, 2014
Series: Better Nate Than Ever, #2
Genres: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Humour, LGBTQIAP+
Date Read: 29/09/2017
Links: Goodreads|Booktopia| Book Depository| B&N
Nate Foster’s Broadway dreams are finally coming true. Armed with a one-way ticket to New York City, small-town theater geek Nate is off to start rehearsals for E.T.: The Broadway Musical . It’s everything he ever practiced his autograph for! But as thrilling as Broadway is, rehearsals are nothing like Nate expects: full of intimidating child stars, cutthroat understudies, and a director who can’t even remember Nate’s name.
Now, as the countdown to opening night is starting to feel more like a time bomb, Nate is going to need more than his lucky rabbit’s foot if he ever wants to see his name in lights. He may even need a showbiz miracle
Nate Foster, a young teenage boy, finally made it to Broadway and all he wants is to be a big Broadway star, But when he goes to his first E.T. : The Musical rehearsal, everything is not as he expected, he has to deal with bratty child movie stars, annoying understudies and a director that can’t even remember his name!
Nate has made it to Broadway in Better Nate Than Ever! He’s the second understudy for ET in ET: The Musical, and he’s anxiously awaiting opening night even though he’s definitely in the back of the background!
The humour remains hilarious and effective, but none of the events in the novel are actually built up in a plausible way, and there’s a lot of telling going on where showing is necessary. Federle has a habit of skipping over important plot points and just telling us about them afterward, and it happens far too often to be an effective stylistic choice.
But the two things that are addressed somewhat in both novels are the parents lack of interest in their son and Nate’s sexuality. Nate’s parents just are not there for him. When he calls his mom’s flower shop to send flowers to Libby, his father makes him pay for them out of his first pay check. And, as Nate points out, his father may never miss one of his brother’s sporting events, but neither of Nate’s parents are there for opening night.
In Better Nate Than Ever!, Federle introduced Nate beginning to think about his sexuality. The implication is the Nate is probably gay. Nate’s sexuality is explored more in this novel, but it is done very much the way things are at 13 – more crushy than anything.
All in all it was sweet and entertaining, The book is adorable, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the first book or is simply craving more fun, optimistic middle grades books with queer themes.
That’s it for this review! Have you read this book? If so, What did you think of it? Is it on your TBR? Tell me in the comments if you agree or disagree with any of this. I’d love to know your opinion.