I didn t know that funny can be boring DNF I will refrain from rating this book No offense, Rowan bye There are enough good reviews on GR that you can check out Let s just say that Almost Like Being in Love is not my cuppa at all In fact, the writing did not suit me and even though there are some laugh out loud moments, most of the time I felt bored out of my mind Also, this book is weird to read There are plenty of e mails, memos, journal entries, notes etc and it felt like I was constantly hopping back and forth Further, I m not a fan of baseball annotations Almost Like Being in Love reads like a comedy movie and that s a no go for me as well.I m the odd one out there, so don t mind me and give it a try Maybe you ll love it.Well, I gotta move on to the next one 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 ApartFlash Forward Twenty YearsTravis 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 , This Is The Must Read Novel For Anyone Who S Wondered What Ever Happened To That First Great Love Find all of my reviews atAll the music of life seems to beLike a bell that is ringing for meAnd from the way that I feelWhen the bell starts to peelI would swear I was falling, I could swear I was falling It s almost like being in lovefrom Brigadoon Gene Kelly swooooooooon This book This little book that I didn t even remember putting on my to read list until Heather K posted that there was a massive price drop and I decided to bump it to the top of the stack This book made me feel ALL of the feels I may have literally barfed a rainbow at some point from all of the happy.This is the love story of Craig and Travis over the course of 20 yearsIf I could write the ending ahead of time, Travis and Craig would live happily ever after But somehow I think it s going to be a little complicated than thatIt s the tale of how the two met their senior year in high school and how their relationship went from friendshipNeither of them seemed to be in much of a hurry to break the mood, and if you didn t know any better, you d swear they were falling in love There was a song about that onceto loveTravis was the love of my life It happened when we were in high school, it ended when college separated us, and I can still taste our first kiss in the rainIt s about the summer they spent together before heading off to collegeIt was only for eight weeks and I guess I should have seen the handwriting on the wall but when you re 18, you always think it s going to last forever It doesn tIt s about comparing all other relationships to that oneYou re the only one No matter what happens, you re the only oneAnd it s about seeing if first love can really be forever loveRomance 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 time you won t throw me and the record out of the windowBut oh my goodness it is so much MORE than the little synopsis tells you Almost Like Being In Love had everything 1 A romance that was heavy on the storyline and light on the sexy time there s a time and a place, and this wasn t the time or place for me 2 Real love that developed over time you know, like in real life NOT instalove 3 An ensemble cast this isn t just Craig and Travis love story it s also the love story of TWO OTHER RELATIONSHIPS in the supporting cast of characters filled with EXCELLENT best friends 4 A ROAD TRIP God I love road trips 5 Humor This book has it 6 Baseball references I actually didn t even pay attention to who the author was when I started reading until these started popping up and reminded me of a little book I read awhile ago My Most Excellent Year Turns out they are by the same dude and I m not sure why, but I love his love for baseball 7 Epistolary format It either works or it doesn t and Kluger makes it work and 8 Show tune references Call it clich d, but once again this book manages to do it right.As Ethel Merman once said Who could ask for anything There aren t enough words for me to describe how much I loved this story I don t hand out 5 Stars easily, and Steve Kluger has now earned TWO of them from me I m pretty sure I need to read everything else he s ever written If you want to smile until your face hurts, you should read this and if there is a brain out there in all of La La Land, someone is already trying to negotiate for the movie rights. Awww, this was the sweetest, cutest romantic MM book EVER How can you not fall in love with Travis and Craig From high school sweethearts to grown up men They were amazing I couldn t help loving Travis a little bit He s so sincere, so loyal, so sweet A darlingOkay, maybe he doesn t need a history professor showing up from the Twilight Zone, and maybe he won t even like me any But he still has my heart and if he s not using it, I want it back Otherwise I m going to go on loving him for the rest of my life And there s not a damned thing either one of us can do about itI enjoyed every single part of his journey to find real love again I lived every episode through himBut even after twenty years, saying goodbye to Craig was the worst moment of my lifeBut what happens when your first love has already another love What happens when you find that the man you love has a good human being loving and taking care of him Do you take your chance and try to be happy, ignoring everything or do you leave that true love undisturbed , living happy and in harmony and head back to your meaningless life I don t like the books where there s no villain or bad guys Who to blame Why should everyone love everyone How can I continue reading if there s someone who s gonna get his heart broken The author did a great job, I won t spoil anything, I liked the ending, not the one I was expecting though I would have liked a greater Finale , but at the end, I didn t really know how I wanted the ending to be I didn t want someone to get hurt.Still, this is a make feel good book I recommend it to everyone You won t be disappointed. rep gay mcsThis review is also posted at Reads Rainbow.If you re gay yourself, then you know there s only one thing better and comforting than reading a book about gay people your age or younger overcoming all the obstacles getting a happy ending And that s reading about older gays doing exactly that Almost Like Being in Love is a gift for a simple reason it gives us both.Half the fun with this book is its format The story of Travis and Craig Craig and Travis is told through emails, lists, post it notes, journal entries, court transcripts It creates this cool atmosphere of only getting to know everyone through snapshots, like you re spying on them through a window every now and then But at the same time somehow makes everything realistic and intimate you can feel the desperation in a character when it bleeds even into exam questions for a class he teaches.And what a story it is Travis and Craig properly met and fell in love their senior year of high school, a few months before graduation The boarding school they went to wasn t far from New York City and that s where they spent a summer together before going off to colleges At literally opposite ends of the country And subsequently losing touch.Now fast forward twenty years and let Travis hear their song Moonlight did a similar thing, with Kevin hearing a song at the diner calling Black So clearly wanting to reconnect with the love of your life because of a melody is gay culture.Only Travis is a touch dramatic than Black and his odyssey through America is truly Something You just can t imagine the things he will get himself into It s that dramatism that makes the story hilarious but also Incredibly relatable I mean, lesbians move in together before dessert on the first date Who of us has ever heard of chill.So yes, the characters are very believable, which comes from Almost Like Being in Love being an ownvoices book But they are all also just genuinely well written, with little quirks and prominent character traits, and life goals that are everything but clear Kluger created amazing characters that you cannot help but want to become friends with Don t let the title confuse you It is, first and foremost, a love story A love story that spans decades and almost brings a new meaning to romance A love story that allows the characters to grow us people, make mistakes and make amends, that lets them fight for what they want It takes the characters home the longest possible way leaves the reader with such an incredible feeling of hope, of being invincible To be honest, no review can do it justice.Do you know Two Men in Love by The Irrepressibles And that moment in particular where the lyrics are just It s who I am I m in love on what seems like an endless loop This book feels exactly like that. This is one of those times I can t do a proper review Mostly because there are so many things I want to say about this book, I don t know where to begin So I ll just say that I loved it It made me smile, laugh out loud even It made my heart ache and jump and swell in my chest It made me love and root for the main characters, and it also introduced me to a set of remarkable side characters Travis, I admit I liked you a teeny tiny than Craig, and your best friend Gordo was fun, but Craig the lucky bastard had Charleen and Jody and Noah and Clayton.A question that remained unanswered if Travis and Craig were so much in love, why did they stop writing to each other And if it was inevitable, why did it happen so soon after they separated It was clear that they both thought the other had stopped writing first, and I would have liked to see that detail explained Not that it bothered me all that much, admittedly.Another thing that could have been elaborated upon was Travis s sudden decision to search for Craig How was he so sure Craig was the one Why now It could have easily been a desperate times call for desperate measures, a hail Mary solution Not that the romantic in me wasn t cheering him on throughout the book, mind you.Despite its flaws, which were few and minor, Almost Like Being in Love was a wonderful reading experience, which I m grateful to my GR friend Susan for. This is one of those classic great books that makes the blog review rounds almost every year as and readers discover its greatness I ve had the paperback on my shelf for a lamentably long time and finally picked it up to highlight for those few readers who haven t indulged in the fabulousness that makes up this book Almost Like Being in Love is a tour de force of wit, charm, and cultural references A large cast of incredible characters immediately delights and entertains even if the plot doesn t necessarily go anywhere and the characters are all over the top It doesn t matter and in fact, makes the book that much better If you haven t read this story do so now Right now.Almost is a true love story that follows Travis and Craig over the course of twenty years but is told in a unique style Instead of a straight narrative, the story is told in emails, letters, memos, legal pages, newspaper articles, checklists, to do lists, diary entries, homework assignments, and notices between all the characters The main romantic connection starts with Travis and Craig as young students in boarding school that bond and fall in love quickly as only teenagers can do On opposite coasts for college, the two drift apart and the story picks up as twenty years have past Both men have left an indeliable mark on each other but their lives have gone on Craig has turned into a politically active lawyer with a long time companion, Clayton, while Travis is living with his long time roommate and best friend Gordo while struggling to find love When Travis decides he must get Craig back, his journey of hilarious comedy and touching romance is not to be missed.There is so much going on in the story, yet the focus is always on the interpersonal connections Nothing is confusing or overwhelming and the quick pace lends to a book you finish with satisfying delight, yet wish it never had to end The snappy retorts are unique with an air that feels fresh and totally different than anything else The unique style of writing immediately draws you into the quirky and charming voice of the author That same voice permeates all the characters so each one is snarky, witty, clever, funny, and entertaining They are all this way to an extent with no evil forces but instead a large and varying cast of entertaining and amusing men, women, and children I thought this would get tiring after a while, all this humor and wit, but the deft handling and crisp writing keep the story moving incredibly fast The quick changes of style from memo to diary to checklist and so on allow the story and characters to keep up their antics without causing the reader to fatigue on all the endless clever dialogue Instead, strap in and enjoy the laugh out loud hilarious moments alongside the poignant, touching scenes.Travis is an absolute delight as an obsessive compulsive history teacher that fell into the job while following a cute ass Craig s lasting influence is seen constantly with Travis obsession with baseball just one of the man s many, many obsessions yet Travis is completely and wonderfully charming Despite his insane and unbelievable action, he has a quirky magic that makes you wish Travis is real His unique brand of helping others without realizing it gives every character a happy, fitting ending Craig is a perfect counterpoint with his political activism, which he gains from his early association with Travis, and plethora of lost causes His memos to his law partner Charleen are filled with hilarious cultural references while giving in your face honest opinions Even his relationship with Clayton is touching and steamy, leaving you wondering how everything will turn out.If anyone stole the show, young Noah perhaps did His hilarious and adorable communications with his lawyer Craig are great touches to an already outstanding cast If anyone was destined to become president at a young age, my vote is on Noah Yet Travis roommate Gordo is also thoroughly entertaining as he finds love long distance with an innocent bystander who becomes embroiled in Travis manic and crazy journey to find the love of this life When Gordo s father comments several times that these people can t be real, after all they d be institutionalized by now, you can t help but agree and totally enjoy their antics anyway.Alongside all the humor, wit, and clever innuendo inserted in very obvious ways, the story is at heart a romance and a love letter to first love The fabulous storytelling and great writing keep you engaged and absorbed from the beginning to the end but also reminiscent of young lovers and their hopes for forever No doubt some won t appreciate its brilliance, but I d be hard pressed to imagine who they could be If you haven t read Almost Like Being in Love, you should definitely make it your next book to read You won t be disappointed I m off to buy Kluger s entire backlist so stay tuned for reviews of his work. WOW WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWWWWIM DYING AND FANGIRLING AND JUST OMG WOWThis book is the literal embodiment of a sparkling rainbow of love and joy It is so flipping romantic and beautiful and thoughtful and special I just can t Q Q I was squealing for a majority of the second half of the book and freaking everyone out around me Someone asked if I was orgasming.So using rational and coherent thoughts, here is the basic plot premise Two adorable, quirky dudes named Craig and Travis fall in love in high school in the 70 s and then unfortunately have to split apart to go to separate colleges They write to each other for a while and think about each other all the time and are totally in love Both think though that the other has stopped responding to the other s letters not really sure what happened here really, this plot would have been much easier but less romantic if there were cell phones involved So twenty years pass and they re now 38 and moved on with their lives because they have to and also they figured the other probably has But they still super love each other to infinity Travis is a lovable history professor who is admired by his students for his honesty and humor and openness and Craig has his own law firm with his female friend and is a respected civil rights lawyer and defender of all things just and good One day Travis realizes that he s tired of waiting and trying to be with all these other guys so he searches to find Craig in a hilarious journey cross country and eventually finds Craig BUT Craig is in a long term relationship with a guy for 12 years Soooo that complicates things But not in a bad way, it s actually so touching and incredible There s no cheating in this book btw, so don t get that impression After the first section that is told in 3rd person letters, the chapters are told in first person letters and lists and narration from both Craig and Travis s points of view Both characters are so alive and vibrant that this book felt so much longer and impactful than it would seem from just looking at it The author manages to create such a beautiful world that really takes your breath away.Also the story is just so fucking adorable For real Everyone is basically gay, and the people that aren t are just super dope and accepting and perfect and I love them There s no petty drama where people just hate other people Characters aren t just discarded of in order to make the plot easier There s no slut shaming, no people hating, no stupid stereotypes for the most part , and no unnecessary stupid drama to extend the story than was needed And it s so freaking funny I swear I just can t with this book it s so great.BOTTOM LINE THIS BOOK IS AWESOME AND I WANT YOU TO READ IT.SERIOUSLY.GO DO IT.This will be you afterwards. A quick note before you read my sappy ass review do yourself a favor, and read this as an actual book, and not as an e book I ve heard the e book is not formatted correctly, and trust me you want the correctly formatted version Anyway I want to give this book a million stars, I loved it so much I literally hugged this book when I finished it and how ridiculous is that Is it possible to feel completely shattered and completely blissfully happy all at the same time Because that s what I feel right now If I really got started heaven help you all , I could probably gush and squee about this book for words upon sentences upon paragraphs upon pages, but really, everyone should just experience it for themselves It s beautiful, it s playful, it s poetic, it s wistful, it s tender, it s freaking HILARIOUS, it s sad, it s sweet, it s bittersweet, it s clever, it s creative, it s nostalgic, it s gut wrenching, it s late bloomers and mistakes and crazy risks and lost friends and found friends and successful careers and road trips and baseball trivia and Broadway numbers and dreams and family and civil rights and first loves and last loves It s life A messy, tragic, happy life I fell completely in love with everyone in this book, and I m lucky I got to spend some time with them I wish it could have been it really just wasn t enough which is about my only criticism Favorite lines view spoiler4 I can t remember what fluctuate means Do people really survive thispg 40 The entire post graduation scene pgs 144 47Travis, everybody you touch falls in love Can t you seethat The only one who s coming out of this whole deal empty handed is youpg 304Hey Trav What do you call it when there s a smile in your stomach that starts when you wake up in the morning and doesn t go away until you re asleep You mean, you have one of those toopg 354 hide spoiler If there was ever a book that deserved than 5 stars this is it Not only was it one of the sweetest love stories ever but so funny I was laughing out loud through out the whole book I could rave about this book so much but I could never do it justice If you haven t read it yet then your missing out It is so worth the time and money.