Saturday, December 19, 2009

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

Wow. This book was good. I was looking on for a book to listen to, and saw this title and without reading a description knew I had to read it. Then I read the description and knew this book was perfect.

Boston natives T.C (short for Tony Conigliaro) Keller and Augie Hwong are now juniors in high school and one of their assignments was to write about their most excellent year. For them, and one other friend, it is their freshmen year where all of their lives change forever. First Alejandra, the daughter of a Mexican ambassador, moves from Washington D.C to Boston after her father takes a job at Harvard. Second, T.C falls in love with Alejandra, though she hates him (at least she pretends she hates him). Third, Augie discovers he is gay, which T.C knew for years. And fourth, a deaf child brings them all together in ways they never imagined when they try to grant his wish.

Baseball, love and musical theater make this a good book from the start. But it was cleverly written, switching perspectives and means of communication. A lot of it is written in diary form, some is narrated, other parts are emails or instant messaging and some are homework assignments. Augie and T.C have been best friends since T.C's mother died, they are so close that they call each other brothers. The characters were extremely well created in this novel, I especially liked the connection Augie and T.C had as brothers. I listened to this book on my iPod and I could not have thought of a better way to read it. This book was seriously meant to be read aloud. The actors reading for each of the characters didn't just read the book, they acted it out. For example, T.C has a very heavy Boston accent and the actor read it with one. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes musical theater, Mary Poppins or the Red Sox.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Along for the Ride

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Auden, an 18 year old insomniac, decides to spend her last summer before college with her father, his new 26 year old wife and her newborn sister Thisbee in the small beach town they live in. At first she just wants an escape from her mother and a change of pace, but soon she finds herself making friends, something she has never really done before. She also meets Eli, a loner and fellow insomniac. Together they  embark on a "quest" to help Auden experience the childhood she never had.

This is now one of my favorite Sarah Dessen books. It was extremely well written, but I expected that because of the author, and the characters had depth, but that was expected. What I didn't expect was how real the story was. Sarah Dessen's books are all things that could happen and do happen, but this one I feel more people can relate to than Just Listen for instance. Many of Sarah Dessen's books deal with difficult topics such as teen pregnancy, the death of a loved one or rape. While there was death in Along for the Ride it was not the main topic. This is a must read book. So read it. Really, go out get a copy and sit down and read it.  

A-Z Book Challenge

So today I realized I failed my A-Z Book Challenge miserably. The biggest problem was not being able to find the books, so I am going to try again starting now. So look for reviews of these books and the list being posted soon.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Book Recommendations and Comments

Hi everyone. I'm looking for book recommendations, so if you have any please leave a comment. And also please don't leave comments that are advertisements, I hate to say it but I will delete them. Please have comments relate to the blog or the post. Thanks!