The Music of What Happens
Book cover
Author(s): Bill Konigsberg
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Copyright Year: 2019
ISBN/ISSN: 9781338215526
Review

Max and Jordan both have secrets, secrets which bind them together in this raw and honest look at what it means to be a gay man. Max is a stereotypical "jock" who excels at sports, plays video games with his best friends, and has a large, athletic build. In juxtaposition, Jordan is small and skinny, only hangs out with girls, and lacks confidence. They meet by chance one Saturday morning at the farmer's market and end up agreeing to work at the same food truck for the summer. As their relationship grows and moves from platonic to romantic, they both are forced to face their pasts before they can transition together into their future. It is worth noting that this is not a coming out story. The characters are openly gay and there are no relationship issues with parents besides the strained relationship between a father and son due to divorce. The aftermath of a rape is also dealt with.Konigsberg beautifully explores two very different teens with extremely different home lives—one is in an affluent home with loving mother, while the other is living in poverty with a mother who never rebounded after the death of her husband—while simultaneously showing what these young men share in common. This book offers an interesting perspective on growing up and coming-of-age by crafting two main characters who offer unique points of view for an often underserved audience. This is a much-needed book in every high school library.

Reviewer: Becca LaVoie
Rating: Highly Recommended
Grade (as stated by Reviewer/SLC): 9-12
Review Date: March 1, 2019
Product Description
* "Konigsberg demonstrates once again why he is one of the major voices in LGBTQ literature." -- Booklist, starred review

Max: Chill. Sports. Video games. Gay and not a big deal, not to him, not to his mom, not to his buddies. And a secret: An encounter with an older kid that makes it hard to breathe, one that he doesn't want to think about, ever.

Jordan: The opposite of chill. Poetry. His "wives" and the Chandler Mall. Never been kissed and searching for Mr. Right, who probably won't like him anyway. And a secret: A spiraling out of control mother, and the knowledge that he's the only one who can keep the family from falling apart.

Throw in a rickety, 1980s-era food truck called Coq Au Vinny. Add in prickly pears, cloud eggs, and a murky idea of what's considered locally sourced and organic. Place it all in Mesa, Arizona, in June, where the temp regularly hits 114. And top it off with a touch of undeniable chemistry between utter opposites.

Over the course of one summer, two boys will have to face their biggest fears and decide what they're willing to risk -- to get the thing they want the most.
Media Type: Book, eBook
Binding: HC
# Pages: 357
Price: $17.99
Genre: Fiction
Sub-Genre: Realistic Fiction
Entry ID: 2189740

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