Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Most Excellent Book

My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park Steve Kluger

Letters, texts, journal entries, emails, IM Conversations, fliers and other ephemera make up the narrative of this most fantastic book.

I do love a story told in "stuff." That's what I wrote my final paper on when I took YA lit in library school. Stuff is how we live the stories of our lives, it's how life happens, so it makes sense to tell a story with it. Interestingly enough, books in stuff tend to appeal to your reluctant readers because it's seen as less stuffy than traditional narrative. BUT! Telling a story in stuff means the reader has to connect dots that narrative usually connects for you, making it actually a harder read, you just don't notice it, because it's just like connecting the dots of our day-to-day lives.

This novel tells the story of the freshman year of Augie, TC, and Ale. Augie and TC are more than best friends, they're brothers. Augie doesn't know he's gay, even though everyone else does. TC loves the new girl, Ale, who thinks she can't stand him. She's more concerned about hiding her love and talent for musical theater from her diplomat father. Along the way, they fall in and out of love, create new families, and stalk Julie Andrews.

Everyone gets a say as the story unfolds. Mostly laugh-at-loud funny, there was one spot where I just cried and then cried for the next week as I thought about. Parts of the plot are over-the-top, but I loved it and just want to read it over and over and over again.

I don't want to say that it's heartwarming (even though it totally is) because I think that will send the wrong impression because it's more like a comedic romp with deeper layers.

I especially loved that Augie and TC's parents got their say as well and were totally believable while doing it.

Book Provided by... my local library

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The Old Professor said...

Book reviewers are a dime a dozen, but GOOD reviewers are a priceless asset. Well Done.
One tiny caution; easy on the "totally".

Jennie said...

Thanks for the heads up. It's hard to see our personal writing quirks-- I'll be sure to keep an eye on it in the future.

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

I loved this one-such a great read. I too like books written in "stuff"!

M. Molly said...

I can't believe I spent so much time obsessing about the perfect ending for my book, when clearly it was Julie ex Machina all along!