13 September 2015

Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger

Hey everyone,

Firstly I want to apologise for how long its been since I lasted put up a blog post. The only reason I can give is life got in the way, now that its calmed down a bit I’m back to blogging on a regular basis because a) I missed it and b) I’ve read so many good books recently with no one to share them with! The woes of having friends who don’t read the same books as you.

On to the review of Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger.

The book:

A high school jock and nerd fall in love senior year, only to part after an amazing summer of discovery to attend their respective colleges. They keep in touch at first, but then slowly drift apart.
Flash forward twenty years.
Travis and Craig both have great lives, careers, and loves. But something is missing .... Travis is the first to figure it out. He's still in love with Craig, and come what may, he's going after the boy who captured his heart, even if it means forsaking his job, making a fool of himself, and entering the great unknown. Told in narrative, letters, checklists, and more, this is the must-read novel for anyone who's wondered what ever happened to that first great love.
My thoughts:
For roughly the first 100 pages I was a little confused and a lot intrigued. This was mainly down to the writing style of the book as rather than being told through description and dialogue Steve Kluger as told the story of Travis and Craig through letters, attorney notes, diary entries, emails and more. Yet although it was confusing to start with, in the end it became part the books charm. Overall I think it made the reader closer to the characters and the struggles they were facing.

“TRAVIS: I never said I like boys!

GORDO: Ever beat off to Penthouse?

GORDO: Ever collect baseball cards?

GORDO: How old is Barbra Streisand?
TRAVIS: 36. Three weeks ago.

GORDO: What do you need—a fucking blueprint?”

The other key feature of this book I had to mention was the humour. Its wacky, zany and seeps into every aspect of the novel. Travis in particular is over-the-top, a tiny bit crazy, a lot neurotic and also completely loveable, but much like the writing style of the book the humour is another aspect people will either love or hate. I personally loved it, although at times it would have been nice for more emotion and less humour.

“We make families of our own, Travis whispered in my arms on the last night we spent together. It starts with you and me and then it spreads. And whatever happens, there’ll always be a part of me that’s part of you. No matter what.”

Although this book revolves around the romance between Travis and Craig this isn’t your typical m-m romance. The reader follow Travis and Craig from initial meeting, to first kiss, university, separation and beyond. After all no one falls in love when they’re eighteen, do they? This is the question Travis suddenly asks himself at the age of 39 after another failed relationship. Even after all these years he can’t forget what he had with Craig and the connection they shared.

“Romance isn't just about roses or killing dragons or sailing a kayak around the world. It's also about chocolate chip cookies and sharing The Grateful Dead and James Taylor with me in the middle of the night, and believing me when I say that you could be bigger than both of them put together, and not making fun of me for straightening out my french fries or pointing my shoelaces in the same direction, and letting me pout when I don't get my own way, and pretending that if I play Flower Drum Song one more time you won't throw me and the record out the window”

It this thought that begins Travis mad-cap journey across America to track down the love of his life. A person he hasn’t seen in twenty years. Someone who could be married, dead or worse not the Craig he remembers. I loved Travis as a character because he takes the leaps no person would in real life. He’s willing to put it all on the getting arrested isn’t going to stop him from finding Craig.

“When T falls in love, he does it with the whole world at once.” 

While Travis is travelling across the country Craig is busy making decision of his own. Huge life-changing decisions that could put him out of Travis’s reach forever, but that is a journey your just going to have to experience for yourself.

My rating: 
Happy reading everyone and see you next time!