This book made me unavoidably, undeniably, unabashedly happy.
It’s the simple story of a year in the lives of three high school freshmen: Bostonian and diehard Red Sox fan (is there any other kind?) T. C. Keller (also known as Tony C and Tick but never, ever Anthony); his brother (in all ways except biological since age 6) and diva extraordinaire (can you recite “All About Eve” word-for-word? I thought not) Augie Hwong; and newbie Alejandra Perez, daughter of the former ambassador to Mexico and closet singer/dancer (who just doesn’t know how brilliant she is).
There isn’t a big crisis or a huge plot arc driving this book; the magic is found in all the little things: like T.C. and Augie being brothers; or the discovery of Hucky, a 6-year-old deaf kid whom T.C. befriends; or the talent show and subsequent Kiss Me Kate production; or the three love stories, in which there were no bursts of passion, no sparkles, no love at first sight, but instead just honest-to-goodness learning how to love and forgive and compromise.
Sure, it’s unrealistic, but I plain didn’t care. I wanted to move in next door to T.C. and Augie and Ale. Shoot, I wanted to be a part of their crazy, wonderful, lovable extended family. And I didn’t want this book to end. Which, really, is the best thing I can say.
Rated: Mild, for a few instances of mild swearing