Somehow I completely missed this title when it was published, but the cover of the paperback (pictured below) caught my attention in a Spring 2009 catalog, and I'm very glad it did.
My Most Excellent Year is the story of three high school freshmen, Augie, T.C., and Alejandra. T.C. and Augie have been best friends since they were six years old (soon after T.C.'s mother died), and are such good friends that they call each other brothers and have become permanent fixtures in each other's households. Alejandra, the daughter of a Mexican diplomat, is the new girl in town and the object of T.C.'s affections. Augie is coming to terms with his sexuality and his new crush on his friend Andy.
This may sound a bit complicated, and it is (and more), but that's really what makes this novel great. Kluger seems to be making the point that life is complicated, and that family is more than just the people you happen to be related to by blood. The novel is written primarily in journal entries with IM conversations, e-mails, and other random methods of correspondence interspersed here and there, and this style works perfectly for portraying the intricacies of the relationships between the characters. I would definitely recommend this novel to teens (and adults), even if they're not particularly interested in baseball!
Readers may also enjoy...
- Other epistolary novels like Jaclyn Moriarty's Feeling Sorry for Celia, The Year of Secret Assignments , and The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie , and Mark Dunn's Ella Minnow Pea (which is a bit more absurd, but still one of my favorite novels)
- Other novels about sports, like Dairy Queen and The Off-Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (and here's hoping for a third one soon!)
- And other novels about teens and politics (the Kennedy Family plays a rather large role in this one), Wide Awake by David Levithan, Born to Rock by Gordon Korman, and First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover by Mitali Perkins.
Reviewer X, The YA YA YAs, Librarilly Blonde, Emily Reads, Bookshelves of Doom, Jen Robinson, Book Dweeb, A Hundred Visions and Revisions, Midwestern Lodestar, Park Ridge Library Children's Staff, Through a Glass, Darkly, worducopia, Snarky Title Not Included, WSU reading now, Erin Reads.