Book Review: My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger


Taken from my Goodreads review:

This is another random find while searching Goodreads. Fortunately, there was a copy readily available at the library.

The book follows 3 teens telling the story of their “most excellent year” through alternating chapters of IM conversations, school journals, emails and more.

I won’t go into great detail, as you can glean enough from the synopsis, but here are the basics:

T.C. is one of the cool kids who has taken to obsessing over Alejandra, the daughter of a foreign dignitary. He makes it his mission to convince her that he’s the perfect man for her. Meanwhile, Ale wants nothing more to do with him beyond a classmate. But it isn’t long before she begins to crack under the pressure.

At the same time, Augie, the sporty, but flamboyantly gay theater-loving best friend and “brother” to T.C. is the man in the middle, who soon discovers he has a crush of his own on fellow jock Andy. Fortunately for him, it’s mutual, but the world of homo-dating is all too new for them both.

So here are my thoughts:
The book is really cute, bordering on overly sentimental at times, but remains humorous and light throughout. You won’t find the whole “Mom, Dad, I’m gay. Please don’t kick me out!” shtick here. In fact, it’s everyone else, including Augie’s parents, who knows he’s gay before Augie does.

The story has plenty of mush, especially after T.C. befriends a 6-year-old deaf boy living in a local orphanage of sorts. He takes it upon himself to be the family the boy, Huckey, never had, pulling his own friends and family right along for the ride.

There’s no angsty teen drama going on in these pages, as everyone here seems to be a 30-year-old trapped in a pubescent body. A sure sign that it was written by an older author, but don’t let me fool you into thinking that Steve Kluger missed the mark here. He’s done a great job that’s a nice step away from the Gossip Girl fare.

If you’re looking for something with a little depth, you might want to try Nick Burd’s The Vast Fields of Ordinary, or Martin Wilson’s What They Always Tell Us. This one is more a bit of fluff, but good fun.

I give it 3 stars because it wasn’t particularly exceptional in any way, nor was it at all unenjoyable. A good middle ground that I do recommend.


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