Review: My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: February 19th 2009
Publisher: Speak
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Diary, High School, Love, LGBT, Friendship, Family, Humour


There are only three great loves in T.C. Keller’s life: the Red Sox, his father, and his best friend and unofficial “brother,” Augie. But ninth grade is the year when he falls head-over-cleats in love with Ale Perez. She’s pretty, sassy, smart, and a great dancer. Ale is so busy playing hard to get that she doesn’t realize that she just might be falling head-over-tap shoes for T.C.’s Boston accent, too. Meanwhile, T.C.’s best friend, Augie, is falling in love as well, but with a boy? It may not be so clear to him; but to the rest of his family and friends, it’s totally obvious that Augie, who loves musicals and old school screen sirens such as Judy Garland, is head-over-heels in love with Andy Wexler.

Told in alternating perspectives, this is the story of their most excellent year, where these three friends discover themselves, love, and that a little magic and Mary Poppins can go a long way.


I ❤️ this book.

From the very first chapter, I knew I was going to have fun reading this and do so with relish. The story was a fantastic medley of different characters from different age groups and with different personalities and dreams. Key word being ‘‘different.’’ It was enjoyable because of its originality and the author’s pleasant way of telling the story – he included instant messages, e-mails exchanged, quotes, lists, etc. All of those things crafted lifelike, spontaneous and animated narrators: T.C., Augie (his best friend) and Alejandra (T.C.’s love interest).

T.C., he was a quirky (in a sweet way), too mature for his fourteen years of age, determined, very intelligent, modest, caring and so endearing guy. In fact, there are plenty of more adjectives existing that I could use to describe him, but I’ll leave it to that; you might want to uncloak him a little by yourself. I had NO IDEA I was going to fall in love with this character. I was actually expecting to care a lot more the gay one, but T.C. was exceedingly boyfriend material. When he first saw Alejandra, he sent her a horribly formal letter asking her out. Obviously, his letter was spurned. Still, he persisted. Meanwhile, between baseball games, he met this deaf little kid that helped him out a great couple of times with his pitching and whom he tried to befriend. I guess what endeared me so much about him was his relationships. With his dad, the kid, his best friend (he referred of him as his ‘brother’ – know what I’m saying?) and definitely Alejandro whom he didn’t want to give up on.

Do you like reading novels written as diaries? Because that was how this story was told. The three main characters shared all their full thoughts with us and what I found most appealing was the fact that they also talked about others and not just themselves and their feelings, states of mind. Sometimes diaries can make book characters look self-centered or melodramatic but it definitely wasn’t the case with the bits of diaries in this book. We could see so much about their beautiful personalities through the characters’ entries.

Augie made me think of Tiny from Will Grayson, Will Grayson to an unbelievable point. Because they were both very spirited, organizing a play and trying to find love, although I did think Augie to be less, hm, ‘‘look at me!’’ So it took my mind trying to separate those characters and consider them as two distinct human beings a great couple of times, but they could have been twins (or dating) by how similar they striked me as being. His affinity for Andy was however so fantastically cute. Things didn’t go as expected between them but first love scenarios never missed to make me smile.

Overall, My Most Excellent Year was an authentic family, friendship story with enchanting bonds shimmering with throughout entertaining and witty dialogs/situations… and such cute scenes… I dare you to resist its charm.

11 thoughts on “Review: My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger

  1. I so love books written in a different format, I think it’s easier to get into the story and to understand the characters not that it’s always well done but it’s nice. It’s the first time I hear about this book but it’s great to see you enjoyed it so much, it makes me curious. thanks for the review!


  2. Novels written in diary, letter, text, whatever form can be so hit and miss, especially because I think you lost something when you don’t have the actual conversation and facial expressions from it. They usually lack emotion for me and I have a hard time connecting to the story.
    It sounds like though this was a great mix of both entries and dialogue that made it fun to read. So glad you liked this! 🙂


  3. Wow FOUR stars?? I haven’t heard of this one yet, but I do feel that novels in diary format are a fail for me – I’m glad you had fun with this book though, fantastic review<3


  4. Fantastic review Lola! I haven’t read many books in diary form, I believe. One of those was Dracula and I had a very hard time with that book and the other was The Perks of Being a Wallflower and THAT ONE I DID LOVE WITH ALL MY HEART… so, as of right now, my feelings towards diary form are 50/50 xD


  5. This one seems to cute Lola! It’s from 2009 so i’m not surprised it wasn’t on my radar but it seems like a book i’d love to read. I can’t remember the last time I read a book in diary form (maybe when I read MG in middle school?) but I cannot resist this time around! Lovely review 🙂


  6. Original! That’s what I’ve been looking for. I’m stuck in same old patterns and stories that I really need something to pull me out of this. This one seems really different and what’s more funny! I need that. Great review, Lola 🙂


  7. Pingback: DNF Review: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum | Hit or Miss Books

  8. Pingback: Best Young Adult Books with Mild LGBT Themes | Hit or Miss Books

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