My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger
A few years back I was in a book club with Susan and she selected The Last Days of Summer as her pick. It is her favorite book of all time. I definitely enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it the way Susan does (I’m not sure I love ANY book that much!)
This year Susan chose Last Days of Summer as her pick for our book club. I’m not a fan of re-reading books. I re-read kids books, but “adult” books I’m just not a fan of re-reading. Too many books and not enough time to re-read. I was caught in a big debate over what to do about book club. Re-read for the good of the group or not.
I decided to get the book out of the library, even if I just skimmed it. Well, the library didn’t have it anymore. But, they did have My Most Excellent Year, a young adult novel that on the surface looked like The Last Days of Summer. I checked it out.
As I started reading it, it felt like the same story! In many ways it was and in many ways it wasn’t. It was a similar coming of age story, but the characters were younger and easier for me to relate to. There was also a strong homosexual character, which you rarely see in books, much less young adult books.
At first I liked the story a lot more than Last Days of Summer, but then it really started dragging and the teenage romantic angst started getting to me.
During book club Steve Kluger called in and in the course of the discussion it came up that My Most Excellent Year was in fact a "cleaned up” version of Last Days of Summer!