I read this in my YA book club. Collectively, we described it as a fairy tale, a realistic portrayal of teens, an unrealistic portrayal of teens, a happy Christmas book, laugh-out-loud funny and (overwhelmingly) a darn good book. Now, understand, we’ve read a lot of downers lately, so a book about three intelligent, cool teens who star in musicals, fall in love, obsess about baseball, champion political causes and make the dreams of a deaf kid come true kind of hit the spot.
The novel is told through a series of letters, emails and instant messages from the three main characters (T.C., Augie and Alejandra), their parents and some other (surprisingly cool) adults in their lives. The format works well and lends a fast pace to what appears to be a beefy read. In the first half, the main story revolves around Augie’s coming out and T.C.’s attempts to woo Alejandra. The second half focuses on Hucky, a six-year-old deaf orphan who is obsessed with Mary Poppins and can’t understand why she won’t come and live with him.
Kluger manages to combine the realistic and fantastic, the too good to believe and the super believable into an enjoyable, feel good novel that will challenge readers to create some Mary Poppins magic in their own lives.