Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Review: Almost Like Being In Love By Steve Kluger

This book falls into my M/M Reading Challenge.

This book makes me laugh. And it makes me feel better about my own idiocyncracies. Because even if these are fictional characters, someone had to think this stuff up.

Travis Puckett is something of a nerd, and he's got the hots for the hot-shot jock, Craig McKenna. They attend an all boys boarding school, and although neither of them know it, they're both interested in each other. They do finally figure it out, and spend the remainder of their senior year talking walks and lots of showers together. Then they spend an amazing summer living and working together before going off to different colleges and lives

Fast-forward 20 years and Travis is a History teacher at the University of Southern California and Craig is an attorney in New York. And while Travis has had a series of hysterically failed relationships and Craig is in a long-term relationship, neither has forgotten their first love. After going back and forth and generally working himself into a tizzy, Travis decides to try to find Craig.

This book is not written in typical story fashion. It's done in memos, journal entries, newspaper articles, test answers, and the like. It takes a few pages to get used to but it really does showcase the idiosyncracies of the characters spectacularly. And I love how Travis and Craig "get" each other; even after a lapse of 20 years, when they think about each other it's eerily funny how much they're right about. I also loved Travis' friend Gordo. He was hysterical - and a true friend (and I loved how his life changed throughout the book as well).

I really, really enjoyed this book. I'm not going to pretend I got all the sports references, or the showtune references either, but for the most part it didn't really matter; this book had me laughing out loud in so many places. But here's the thing - I didn't like the end. I got all worked up over how it was going to be possible that they were going to end up together, it seemed so hopeless (I even wondered at one point if the author would turn them into a trio!). Then, sudenly, I was at the end of the book! It seemed to me to be abrubt and a bit vague about what happened - it all got wrapped up in about 6 pages or so.

The ending is the only reason I'm giving this book 4 stars instead of 5. It was a really terrific book and I'll be thinking about these two for a long time.


  1. I ADORED this book. I don't think I have ever laughed out loud so much reading anything. I loved the funky construction of it, the characters are to die for, the suspense of what was going to happen....all of it! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Patti. (I really liked the end...I thought SK did a great job wrapping things up with a seemingly impossible situation).

    Thanks for the review,

  2. I loved this book, too! I was biting my nails right up until the end, because I didn't see how it could work out. I was ok with the end, although it was a bit of a tease, how it led you in one direction for a bit.

  3. Penelope: I laughed out loud all through this book. I just thought the ending was a bit abrubt and at one point I was confused about who ended up with whom.

    Chris: I was biting my nails too which is why I was surprised he just kind of "zip!" finished!

  4. Never read this author but it seems like you truly enjoyed this book! Thanks for the great review! :)

  5. Still a 4 instead of a 5 sounds great to me.
    Oh and sports references, I would be lost too

  6. Oo - this sounds like a unique and quirky read! I already feel like I want to know more about these characters! You have a great review style! I'm looking forward to reading more =)

  7. This sounds fabulous! It's going right into my TBR pile. Thanks for the review and heads-up!

  8. I need an HEA Patti, I really do. I'm putting this one on my next m/m buy.

  9. This book was one of my best 2009 reads - I loved it so.

    I really liked the end. I think I would have been really disappointed in the characters had it ended differently. That's just me tho. :)

  10. Monroe: It was unusual in format but I did really enjoy it!

    Blodeuedd: Even though I didn't get all the references it was very funny.

    Mandi: It was pretty great!

    The Bookish Type: Quirky is a very good description, and fun.

    Danielle: Hope you like it!

    Smokinhotbooks: Def add this one - the journey to the HEA was hysterical!

    Kris: I liked how everyone ended up, it just seemed sort of abrubt, like "oh, I need to end this NOW!". But still, I really liked the book.

  11. Never heard of this book before, but now I want to read it too! Wonderful review :)

  12. Another one for the list - A few of the blogs I visit have mentioned how good it is...

    Seem to have a good mix of things I will love...