A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{April 21, 2010}   My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger

Plot: T.C. and Augie are so close that even their parents acknowledge them as brothers. But when Alejandra, the daughter of a diplomat, comes to their school, their worlds are turned upside down. T.C. is desperate to get her attention but she doesn’t fall for him as easily as all the other girls. Meanwhile Augie is gay and he is the only one who doesn’t realize it, until he starts getting feelings for another boy at school.

You can probably tell from my choice of books that I tend towards fantasy tales. I’m very picky when it comes to straight-forward high school romances. I mainly picked this book in my campaign to find good queer fiction for teens. So I was blown away by just how much fun it was. I was laughing out loud while I read and I couldn’t put it down until I was done. It is written in a diary style with letters, emails and instant messages interspersed. This makes it very personal. Each of the characters has a unique and quirky perspective on the world which is perfectly expressed in their writings.  It is also extremely touching. I was less drawn to the romances than to the relationship between T.C. and Augie and later the deaf child who becomes their third brother. But I think my favorite characters were actually the parents, as peripheral as they might seem at first glance. Whether it be Mom’s vicious theater reviews, Pop’s silly but charming attempts to woo the school guidance counselor or Dad’s bumbling attempts to make Augie understand that it is ok to be gay, I was charmed.


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