My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park

Steve Kluger, March 2008. Kluger’s second epistolary novel for younger teens features diary entries, emails and online chat transcripts written by its three protagonists: T.C., an amorous athlete recovering from the loss of his mother; Augie, T.C.’s theatrical quasi-brother, closeted only to himself; and Alejandra (Alé), a new student whose father’s career as a diplomat means she’s met all the teen idols her classmates have only seen on TV. During their junior year in high school, T.C. plays matchmaker with his father and his advisor while ardently courting Alé. She, in turn, rebels against her parents’ expectation that she’ll major in foreign relations and follow her father’s footsteps into a government career; she throws herself into the performance arts with a vengeance and becomes close friends with Augie. Augie himself discovers his sexuality and falls in love with cute jock Andy, but tragically, Andy is uncomfortable with Augie’s rather fabulous self-presentation, encouraging him to go out for sports and tone himself down. This tale of coming out into the surprisingly welcome world of a suburban high school has David Levithan to thank for setting the gay-utopia standard in his instant classic Boy Meets Boy (2003). Kluger lives up to his predecessor, creating memorable characters who keep the reader rooting for them throughout their triumps, mistakes, and exploits. Recommended for all libraries with young adult collections; the sexuality doesn’t go beyond kissing, so it would be appropriate for middle-school libraries as well.

This entry was posted in 2008, epistolary, gay male, gaytopia, high school, queer protagonist, Steve Kluger. Bookmark the permalink.

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