Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger

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“Falling hard for somebody makes you do things you never thought you’d do before. Like pulling off an A in History or finally facing the truth about yourself”

Title: Almost Like Being in Love
Author: Steve Kluger
Why you should read this book: Because it is a magnificent love story and it needs to be read.

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

“You got a boyfriend or something?”
I hate it when he figures me out before I have a chance to do it myself.
Especially when I’ve been counting on at least seven more years of denial.”

This book is made of rainbows, unicorns, all your favorite things, sugar and spice. It made me smile, laugh out loud, worry a little bit and it definitely made my heart beat faster. The ending was perfect and also the beginning and everything in between. It was a perfect light book about first love, losing said first love and finding that first love all over again.

This book is about two wonderful human beings called Travis and Craig. They met during their last year of high school in 1978 and, after becoming study buddies at first, they gradually fall in love. Head over heels in love, first love with capital L O V & E. I can’t explain how their interactions felt genuine and hilarious, you have to read for yourself. They are made for each other, can’t stay away from each other and don’t want to be apart.
They spend every day together until, unfortunately, they have to leave for college on opposite sides of the country. They planned to stay in touch but after a few letters they drifted apart.

Listen to their love song, the one that gives the title to the book:

“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.”

Flash forward 20 years, now it’s 1998 and they are both 38 years old. Travis is a history professor; he plans to write a book and lives with Gordo, his roommate in high school. Gordo is a fantastic side character, sincere and funny, he loves Travis and his weird flaws and he wants to see him happy. Craig is a lawyer and works in a law firm he cofounded with his best friend from Harvard.

Travis has got 27 or so boyfriends, all Craig lookalikes. One day, epiphany, what if he can’t find love in his life because the only perfect guy he’s ever been with is the one he let go 20 years ago? Craig is the one, has always been the one. He leaves on a mission to find him!

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

The destination is Saratoga Springs where Craig lives….with his boyfriend of 12 years, Clayton! Oh no!!! I was crushed; I thought I was going to hate Clayton. Maybe I did hate him a little but that’s because I loved Travis and Craig together. Clayton was sweet and a good man. How I wanted to hate him! Craig obviously still loves Travis, too. I don’t want to spoil anything, I just want you to know that there is no cheating, there is no hate, no futile drama, no insults, nothing that may ruin the book for you. Everything about this book is perfect!

The story is told in flashbacks, emails, faxes, bulletins, journals, and this made this funnier to read. We have a few points of views, we get to know better the characters, what makes them who they are. There are also hard themes involved; Craig is heavily involved with AIDS awareness campaigns. That part is very sad, so many goodbyes said to friends, so many lives lost.

“It doesn’t matter what people thinks of you as long as you know that your heart and head are in the right place.”

This book is about love. Not instalove, not crazy love, not sick love. It’s about two people falling in love, loving their flaws, and finding out who they are and where they belong and respecting each other choices. It’s mature love, deep feelings that even at almost 40 years old make you feel like a teenager.

I almost felt like a teenager in love reading this. I was so happy, laughing, grinning from ear to ear, daydreaming of a day I hope not too far away, when it’ll be my turn to feel the way Travis and Craig felt when they fell in love.

Do I recommend it? Of course, 500% yes, this book is so beautiful I want to cry.
Rate: 5/5

firmablog

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