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Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Most Excellent Year - a Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park - Steve Kluger

OK, granted, it's only the beginning of February, but this is one of my favorite books of the year so far, and it's going to be hard to beat. It's pretty much got it all going on. I mean, come on, Mary Poppins? How can you beat out a book with Mary Poppins in it? And a cute little kid? And a sweet, sweet older boy? Great storylines, funny voices, Plus, it's got some non-traditional formatting going on which gives it a plus one from me.

Three high school juniors (two boys, one girl) narrate this book which is supposedly an English assignment in which they chronicle their "most excellent" freshman year. There are a lot of storylines going on - some with each character's individual life, and many with their intertwined friendships. the two boys have been best friends forever, so much so that they consider themselves adopted brothers, and Alejandra, daughter of the Ambassador of Mexico.

There are love interests (both straight and gay), musicals, two boys longing for their mothers, and an obsession with baseball. Not to mention all the usual angst of high school. The three tell their story/stories in a mix of emails, IMs, class essays, theater reviews, letters, and more. It's a very interesting mix, and it works beautifully, although perhaps might be jarring for some readers.

This book will be best appreciated by mature readers with an open mind and a good sense of humor.

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