The Plot: When three high school juniors - T.C. Keller, Augie Hwong and Alejandra Perez - are tasked to describe their "Most Excellent Year", they go back to their freshman year, when Alé (a diplomat's daughter whom has managed to offend almost 20 major countries in her short 14 years of life), transferred to Augie and T.C.'s school in Boston.
In alternating voices they all tell the story of that year, when T.C. fell in love with Alé, but she wasn't ready to like him back, and how Augie fell in love with another boy and everyone knew before him; and how they helped Alé find her own voice, too.
First Date: All right, this is going so well. T.C. you're adorable in your fourteen-year old way. Alé is feisty without falling into any 'latina' stereotypes - big props for that, seriously - and Augie, he puts the F on Fabulous! (and the exclamation sign too!). I love these kids.
Second Date: I keep falling in love with this people. Now I also love Andy and Lee and Hucky - even if he's a bit surly. Also, I love the parents in this book! particularly the Dads, here is a book where grown ups act like grown ups and care for their kids. Imagine that!
Third Date: For a moment there, I wasn't loving Andy so much, but he came around. Same with Alé's dad, though her Mom is OK. Also, I can't decide if I wanna date T.C. or want him for a big brother, because the things he does for Hucky are so sweet and amazing.
Relationship Status: So In Love With You Am I
My Most Excellent Year made me happy in a way no book had made me in a while. These were kids were so easy to relate to, I got a quick education of musicals courtesy of Augie, and of Red Sox history and Mary Poppins.
I loved how fiercely everyone loved in this book and how they weren't afraid to show it, how they had fears and likes and causes without ever going completely over the top, I loved how they thought about stuff other than tv shows and cellphones and brands.
They were extremely interesting people that I just wanted to hang out with, that I wished would have gone to my school - though then I really would have had no chance with T.C. - so we could have all been friends.
Also, the musicale stuff was great!!
I love this book, is one of those rare types that really does live up to the hype, probably more than any other I've ever read.
(made of awesome sauce)
What's a Book Speed Date, you ask? It's a quickie review--about 150 words or so--of any genre book (variety is the spice of life, after all).
If you want to join in or just read other speed date reviews, check out The Book Swarm