My Most Excellent Year
by Steve Kluger
Summary: My Most Excellent Year is, according to the title, about “love, Mary Poppins and Fenway Park”. The story follows the lives of three Boston teens: T.C, a baseball obsessed typical Bostonian; his bestfiend/brother Augie whose love for theatre shines through; and the new girl in town Alegandra, daughter of a Mexican ambassador. Told through each of their narratives from a collection of instant messages, school assignments, etc., the story reveals truths about family, identity, growing up, true friendship and the first time falling in love.
Review: I have very mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed the dialogue for its witty sarcasm, and thought that that the characters were quirky. There were times when I was laughing out loud, and some of the humour between the adults was especially well done. I also in some appreciated the story being told through emails, letters, assignments, etc., as it was not only a fresh way to tell a story, but it also included technologies that are very relevant to today’s teens. However, the different narratives and the mediums from which the characters communicated really broke up the story and made it hard to connect with any one person. I typically do not mind multi-character narrative stories, but this one left me more confused than excited. The book was also exceedingly long considering it is not really plot driven. However, just because I did not enjoy the book does not mean that other people won’t. It was very humorous and light to read which many people will find enjoyable. The characters, while stereotyped, are actually very interesting and fun to read. I would still recommend this book despite the fact that I did not really enjoy it.
If you enjoyed reading a book with different narrators you might also like: Scrambled Eggs at Midnight by Brad Barkley, Shift by Jennifer Bradbury, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, Black and White by Paul Volponi
Rating: 2.5Q 4P JS