Friday, March 25, 2011

My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger

My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger

Completion Date: March 11, 2011
Reason for Reading: Fun!
Best friends and unofficial brothers since they were six, ninth-graders T.C. and Augie have got the world figured out. But that all changes when both friends fall in love for the first time. Enter Alé. She's pretty, sassy, and on her way to Harvard. T.C. falls hard, but Alé is playing hard to get. Meanwhile, Augie realizes that he's got a crush on a boy. It's not so clear to him, but to his family and friends, it's totally obvious! Told in alternating perspectives, this is the hilarious and touching story of their most excellent year, where these three friends discover love, themselves, and how a little magic and Mary Poppins can go a long way.
If you are one of those few people, like me, that was slow to get around to reading this book... You have to read it now! I was having some issues reading in March, but I picked this book up on a whim and what an absolutely fun book! I was a little worried about the combination of ideas upon beginning, but Kluger entirely pulls it off. As the description above says, it does have its touching moments, but it still manages to have them and be fun at the same time. I have heard that all Kluger's books are really good, but this is the only one my library has.

This is the story of three students in their eleventh year of school who are assigned to write about their 'Most Excellent Year'. Then, in a diary-like style we hear the story of three students and their 9th year of school told in alternating perspectives. T.C. and Augie are such close friends that they call themselves brothers. This has been going on since they were rather young. Their parents and everyone at school accepts this, so it plays out very well. T.C. is in love with Ale, the other person that tells one of the three stories, but she is not interested back. Then, there is Augie who has found himself attracted to a boy. Everyone else just assumes that this is the natural course for him to take, but it takes him a while to come to it himself.

A lot happens in their year. You really feel like you know them by the end. Their personalities are presented very well, as the story is told in almost a scrapbook style at times. This means that it includes the diary entries, but it also includes tokens from key events, chat conversations, emails, etc. It also includes a little boy that is deaf and living in a foster home. T.C. is won over by him and the next thing you know, he has another brother that he looks out for. It is this little boy that brings Mary Poppins into the book. He thinks that she is real and these three friends go to amazing lengths to assure that the magic is not broken. After I read it, I immediately wanted to watch the movie because I was a little kid last time I saw it. The magic isn't quite there like it is for him, but it still a childhood favourite.

What more can I say other than you really should give this book a read. You will not be disappointed!

This book counts for the TwentyEleven Reading Challenge.


  1. \o/ I'm so glad you loved this book, Kelly :D It was really amazing, wasn't it??

  2. I've been having a bit of a slow reading month in March as well...maybe I should go request this book from the library. Great review!

  3. I skipped to the bottom of this one because I've got a copy, but "You really should give this book a read," was enough for me. :)

  4. *sigh* Why is there just not more time for reading?!!! I had totally forgotten how badly I wanted to read this. I suspect your reminder is going to end up making you shoulder a blame point in the near future.

  5. I do have this and it has been kicking around waiting to be read for a long time. Glad it's worth picking up.

  6. *Chris: Very much so!

    *Samantha: This is the perfect book, then!

    *Nancy: I hope you enjoy!!

    *Debi: I hope you do buy and love it. :)

    *April: Very worth it!

  7. OK, I'm adding this one to the list. Love the scrapbook style you mention, and the story sounds really good.

  8. *jenclair: I hope you enjoy it! I really did!

  9. I'm glad you liked it so much!
    I got a the hardcover of this in, I think, may when my cousin came to visit and I bought a few bargain books (I ship them to her house in TX and that way I don't have to pay international shipping).

    I've been putting it a little off because the hardback is massive. but you just got me pumped to read it! Plus, the girl has the same name as me!

    :D Awesome review.

  10. **Alex: I loved it! I hope you do, too!!


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