Almost Like Being In Love by Steve Kluger

2 Mar

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Everyone remembers their first love. The one who woke their heart, the one that made their breath stop. The one that made your heart beat. The one that got away. What if you could have another chance at that love? Would you take it?

It is 1978. Travis and Craig attend the same finishing school, though they are in different crowds. Travis is the school nerd while Craig is the school jock. They go in completely different circles until fate brings them together. While working on the play Brigadoon together, they spark something inside each other.

Soon, the two of them fall in love and begin to explore everything possible about the other person. They decide, that summer, to rent an apartment in the city so that they can be together. What follows is the most wonderful summer of either of their lives, but all good things must come to an end.

They are each going to different colleges: Travis to UCLA and Craig to Harvard. They know that at the end of the summer, it will be goodbye. Though they write to each other at first, the letters soon die out and they lose contact with each other.

Flash forward twenty years. It is now 1998. Craig is a lawyer with his own firm and Travis is teaching history at his alma mater. Craig is living with his boyfriend, Clayton and Travis is still searching for love.

He begins to think back to a summer he has never quite forgotten; to the boy he first loved. Doing something completely uncharacteristic, Travis decides to go on a cross country trip to find Craig and let him know that he is still the man of his dreams. He breaks into Craig’s mother’s office to find Craig’s address and then he is on his way, with help from his best friend Gordo, a wise cracking waitress named A. J. and even Clayton.
When you’re in love, it’s impossible to stay apart for long…

This is one of the best books I have ever read, period. My run down of the plot doesn’t even begin to describe “Almost Like Being In Love”. Not even close. Much like his previous bestseller, “Last Days of Summer”, “Almost Like Being In Love” is told in a series of narrative, checklists, journal entries, emails and letters that give the book a fast pace and a wonderful sense of charm.

Because we are allowed to glimpse their world through their journal entries and emails, etc, the characters are vividly drawn and instantly human. Anyone can identify with the characters in these pages. Anyone who has ever loved will love this book.

It’s touching, wonderfully funny and actually made me cry in a few places when I remembered my first love. This book is also laugh out loud funny. I’m serious. I’ve seen that tag line on books often enough and usually I’m disappointed. I don’t even giggle. “Almost Like Being In Love” made me laugh so hard at one point I cried and snorted so loud at one point, I think I gave my cat a heart attack.
What did I find so funny? You’re going to have to read the book to find out.
What else can I say? It’s that good, you won’t be disappointed. Read it, and remember the good times.

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