Elizabeth’s Book Review: My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger

How Excited Were We to Read This?: 8. The subtitle is “A novel of love, Mary Poppins, & Fenway Park,” what more could you ask for? In other words, you had me at Mary Poppins. I once bought a book called How Nancy Drew Saved My Life based on the title alone. Unfortunately, I didn’t love the book, though I can’t remember whether it was because the book wasn’t great or if it was okay but didn’t live up to its awesome title. Not the point…


How Excited Are We Now?; 10!!!! I adored this book!!!!


Elizabeth’s Book Rating: 10!!!


Mary’s Book Rating: 10 too!


Book Jacket:

Dear Anthony:
I appreciate your recent interest, but I’m not accepting applications at this time. Your letter will be kept in our files and someone will get back to you if there is an opening. Thank you for thinking of me.

Alejandra Perez
P.S. It’s not “Allie.” It’s “Ale.”

Meet T.C., who is valiantly attempting to get Alejandra to fall in love with him; Alejandra, who is playing hard to get and is busy trying to sashay out from under the responsibilities of being a diplomat’s daughter; and T.C.’s brother Augie, who is gay and in love and everyone knows it but him.


Review: I must reiterate that I adore this book! I think it is quite possibly my favorite book in fact. The story is told in journal entries, IM conversations, memos and more between a whole slew of characters documenting the 9th grade year of T.C, Keller Augie Hwong, and Alejandra Perez, also known at Alé. T.C. and Augie have been best friends since first grade to the point that they actually consider themselves brothers and refer to their parents as Pop, Mom, and Dad (T.C.’s mother died when he was four). Augie is all that is dramatic and unapologetic about it. He dedicates each of his journal entries to a star, from Liza Minnelli to Natalie Wood. He’s got all the lines to the musical All About Eve memorized, but that can’t help him as he deals with his realization that he is gay.  T.C. is cool but genuinely does not seem to notice or care. What he does notice, however, is Alé. Alé is the new girl in school. The daughter of diplomats, she is much more comfortable talking to adults, including her former secret service agent (!), and isn’t quite sure how to navigate attending a public high school for the first time. And she certainly isn’t sure how to deal with the, admittedly cute, boy with a thick Boston accent who refuses to accept her dismissal of him. However, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis never let anything bring her down, and neither will she! Also joining the cast is Hucky, a six-year-old deaf orphan who is waiting for Mary Poppins to come and live with him.


I wish I had this book in front of me but I gave it to my best friend to read who gave it to another one of our friends, who gave it to another one of our friends and so on. At this point, I’m just crossing my fingers that it will be returned to me eventually.


Side note, T.C. shares Mary’s birthday, so that makes him extra cool.


Sister-Factor: 0. None of the three main characters has a sister! Alas, T.C. and Augie are only children, while Alé has an older brother.


Re-Readability: 10. Loved it and keep loving it J.


Recommended For: Anyone with a heart!