by Steve Kluger
Review by Emma Shacochis
My Most Excellent Year, by Steve Kluger doesn’t feature the typical elements of a coming-of-age story. While there are the typical struggles of fitting into high school, new friendships, and romance, MMEY focuses on the performing arts, Boston baseball, and Mary Poppins.
MMEY is also unique because it features no scenes of strict dialogue – the story is told through journal entries, text messages, letters, and the like. This is one of my favorite storytelling techniques, and the voices of the three main characters – Anthony “T.C.”, Alejandra, and Augie – are distinct no matter how they’re narrating.
The friendship between the three main freshmen is so sweet and wholesome. T.C. and Augie are close as brothers, and refer to one another as such. Their support of each other, especially their equally inexperienced romantic advice, is naturalistic and charming. However, worldly new girl Alejandra steals the book with her sarcasm and longing to participate in musical theatre.
While knowledge of theatre – especially Mary Poppins, since Julie Andrews is a presence in the plot – or baseball will make reading My Most Excellent Year even more enjoyable, it’s a most excellent novel to read no matter what.