K's Reviews > My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park

My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger
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's review
Nov 22, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: library, i-bought-it, comfort-read

THIS is the definition of a feel good book.

TC, Augie, and Ale are juniors writing about their Most Excellent Year, which happens to be their freshman year for all three. That was the year TC fell in love and had his world changed by a six-year-old, Augie fell in love and surprised himself (but no one else) when it turned out to be with a boy, and Ale went from being a world-traveler diplomat’s daughter with a Secret Service agent best friend to being the seemingly-snooty new girl with irrelevant stories about Hillary Clinton.

TC (short for Tony Conigliaro) knows all there is to know about Red Sox history. He lives with his builder father and it’s been just the two of them since TC’s mother died when he was six. That was the year he and Augie adopted each other. The two of them have beds, closets, and parents in two houses—Pop at TC’s and Mom and Dad at Augie’s. They’ve been brothers ever since. Ale is the opinionated black sheep of her family (after telling North Korea what she thought of them at a dinner party) and shares Augie’s love of dance and the stage. When TC lets it be known that he’d like her for his girlfriend, she shoots down that idea and keeps him on his toes the harder he tries to woo her. These three are smart and funny and keep each other honest. It was great spending time with them.

The story is told in three alternating POVs with diary entries, emails, and instant messages. It’s Jaclyn Moriarty’s The Year of Secret Assignments with baseball, musicals, and politics. And as adorable as this book was, it was never syrupy or obnoxious. I want to know these kids with their huge hearts and their amazing and involved parents—I’d even put up with Red Sox and Broadway factoids.

It’s the book equivalent of Mary Poppins with the ability turn a bad day good. I’m just bummed that I waited so long to pull it from my TBR. I’ll be buying my own copy on my next trip to the bookstore to have on hand when I need cheering up.
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