The friendship between Showtune-singing Gay Boy (Augie) and Not-so-tough Boston Baseball Fanatic (T.C.) should have been right up my alley but something was missing. It was just too easy between them, I think. I wanted some conflict or tension, something more than the feel-good complete understanding and mutual adoration between these two so-different characters. Without that, I never quite managed to get past the cliches and into their hearts.
The highlight of the book is the deaf 6-year-old Hucky, who's grittier than all the other characters combined, and whose relationship with his unlikely hero, T.C., would make a great book if it wasn't overshadowed by saccharin-sweet romances between teens. And, I'm sorry: nobody learns sign language that fast.
I read My Most Excellent Year for the Mock Printz Awards. It's a fine book and you'll probably like it a lot better than I did, if the adoring reviews by Reviewer X or The YaYaYas are any indication. If in doubt, go to the book's promo site and see for yourself just how loveable it is, or go to Steve Kluger's website and see what an awesome guy he is. Sigh. How could I not love this book? Clearly I'm deranged.
Soundtrack: Click on the playlist in my sidebar to hear Ella Fitzgerald sing the song Augie uses to win back his sweetheart Andy: Always True to You in My Fashion from Kiss Me Kate.