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The Music of What Happens

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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,663 ratings  ·  627 reviews
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
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Hardcover, 338 pages
Published February 26th 2019 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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ellie I think if we can have multiple books published every summer where the girl meets a boy and her normal, boring life is suddenly incredible because of…moreI think if we can have multiple books published every summer where the girl meets a boy and her normal, boring life is suddenly incredible because of him, we can have two gay books that focus on boys helping each other through vulnerability in a town set in the Southern United States.

I'm sure the writing and the characters will be different, and so I'd say to focus on that. These are character-focused books than a plot anyway, so this setting of a small town is pretty much in every summer contemporary book. It's the characters and the relationship that sets it apart. And the addition of gays already sets it apart a little, right? (less)

Community Reviews

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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,663 ratings  ·  627 reviews


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Larry H
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

Whenever I read a YA rom-com featuring LGBTQ characters, I feel so happy that kids today have these books to read, to see that finding someone to love doesn't have to be a dream they'll have to give up because of whom they're attracted to.

At the same time, I can't help but be a tiny bit bitter that these books didn't exist when I was a teenager, because I certainly could have used that encouragement instead of having no role models or examples to look toward.

Bill Konigsberg's The Musi
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Bill
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
What can I say to the good folks of Goodreads about this, my fifth novel?

This is a book I am very proud of and excited about. I can't wait for it to come out so y'all can read the story of Max and Jordan. If you were a reader who loved the Rafe/Ben relationship, I think you'll love this one, too.

Coming 02/26/2019! (EDIT: it was originally 1/29, but there's this paper shortage going on in the publishing industry so they pushed the date back to make sure there would be no hitch with the launch. S
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Shaun Hutchinson
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Five enthusiastic stars.
☆ Todd
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, largely due to the amount of personal growth shown by both of these young, 17 y.o. MC's.

Max, a confident, gay, athletic, bro dude, started out with the nickname of "Guy Smiley", because he'd always been taught that, no matter what happened, a real man was supposed to suck it up and move on, without letting his upset show. Man up. Everything was fine. Especially when it wasn't.



Then his life was totally upended after an online hook-up went nothing like he'd hoped
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Lulu (the library leopard)
new review: i read this in two sittings & i liked it a lot!
-lots of food & a summer setting
-deals with toxic masculinity (i liked how max's character learned to open up & become more vulnerable while jordan learned to stand up for himself & find his inner warrior. we love parallel character development!)
-felt authentic & real
-would probably appeal to fans of aristotle & dante
-even though it's two first-person narrators, the voices were distinct & i didn't have troubl
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Moony Eliver
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqia, m-m, y-a, cover-love, 2019
Holy hell. I started reading this at the same time as I was finishing a major work project. I knew I had very little leisure time, but I had to read something. I had a buddy read coming up for this book, so I decided to get a few chapters' head start.

Did I consume it, or did it consume me? 22 hours later, I was finished. With both The Music of What Happens and my project. (And Hayley and Hollis are the absolute best for diving in with me earlier than we'd planned.)

And then I slept for about 11 h
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Teal
DNF @ 17%

I can't do this.

I simply do not want to read about parent/child interactions. Regardless of genre. I can tolerate a little bit of it in an otherwise engaging book, but this story is bringing it big-time.

Perhaps that's why contemporary YA is often a challenge for me. I prefer YA set in a non-contemporary world, &/or cross-pollinated with a different genre, like fantasy, science fiction or mystery. Parents exist in the YA stories I like -- maybe -- but the focus isn't on the minutiae
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Romie
Huh I'm so disappointed? I had expected great things from this book, I liked the idea behind it but not the execution. Some of the things the author wrote really rubbed me the wrong way, I didn't like the way the representation of bipolar disorder was dealt it, and just, one of the MCs is about to lose his house if he doesn't find enough money but he can't seem to be serious two seconds? Dude,,,,,,,,come on. The only thing I appreciated was the way this book talked about how guys don't have to ' ...more
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
Can you STAN after only reading one book by an author? 🤔



The Music of What Happens is a coming of age story of two flawed boys who are brilliantly developed by Konigsberg.

Maximo is a vivacious jock and Jordan an emo kid that's almost painfully shy. I loved them both, wanted to hug them both multiple times, both made me laugh and broke my heart in equal measures.

17 and living with their mothers; one lost his father to cancer the other to divorce and immaturity. Between them they have one good par
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Hollis
First of all, to my buddies, Hayley & Moony : we really are mostly the worst at buddy reading. But I love it. A+ job, ladies.

"Did you know that, biologically speaking, the rectum is cleaner than the mouth?"
"What boy told you that, and what did you let him do to you?"

As for the book itself, wow. I have so many thoughts and so many feelings and this book was a lot of things. It's got humour and hilarity, it's raw and full of realness, and I wish I could keep up the alliteration but I just want
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˗ˏˋ janet ˊˎ˗
I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH IM IN MY FEELINGS SO I CANT WRITE A PROPER REVIEW BUT LET ME SAY MY FAVORITE PARTS

- characters felt so REAL
- it’s realistic with the characters !! (Yeah they have actual flaws!)
- transported me to summer
- made me crave the food
- the !! build!! up!!
- such a quick read

PLEASE PLEASE GIVE THIS A CHANCE YOU WONT REGRET IT!

*trigger warning for rape
♆Hayley (TheVillainousReader)
"The world will make you vulnerable. If you’re acting like you’re not, that’s what you’re doing. Acting.”

WHY ARE MORE PEOPLE NOT READING AND OBSESSING OVER THIS BOOK?! *sobs* This book is amazing, and beautiful, and heartfelt and deserves to be obsessed over! In affirmation of my love for this book: a poem.

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Jordan and Max stole my heart
And they’ll steal yours too

Another.

Roses are red
Violet are blue
This book is the best
Agree or I will kill you

Wow, what masterful po
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julia ♥
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is VERY RARE for a book to make me cry, but this one just did it. 5/5 stars, review to come. TW: rape.
Kaje Harper
I really enjoyed this story of two young men on the brink of adulthood, each dealing with a difficult life situation. Being together gets each of them through a hard summer, joking on the surface and coping with tough stuff underneath.

Max has a great mom, a tight group of guy friends who know he's gay, and his life seems pretty together. But one night he went home with an older guy he'd just met, and he's not sure even now how to interpret what happened. Did he make choices? Not have choices? Is
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Eloise
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down.
This is the story of two boys who come together to fix a mess of a food truck in the middle of the smoking hot summer, and who find comfort and release with each other after they've both been through some kind of shitty thing.

This book deals with pretty heavy topics and I recommend checking trigger earnings before getting into it (if there's a specific thing you're worried about, send me a message).
If a couple of things bothered me at first, they were actually beaut
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Ricky
Trigger warnings for this book: rape, PTSD, abusive parents, mental health issues.

This one's a bit of a tough book for me to rate. I've spent a day after finishing up reading the ARC to let my thoughts collect well enough, and I think I'm going to give it a 3.5 and round up to a 4. I can see why it gets a lot of comparisons to Ari and Dante - the Southwestern setting, a certain retro vibe to it (though it's set in the present day but makes a lot of use of 80s music and an ancient food truck), on
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kav (xreadingsolacex)
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
disclaimer: i received an arc of this of this novel in exchange for an honest review. this is no way impacted my opinions.

content warnings: rape

In the author’s note preceding the story, Konisberg writes about his struggle with masculinity versus feminitity as a gay male, and the societal ideals of when it’s “okay” to be gay. This is what Konisberg strives to represent in The Music of What Happens, a young-adult contemporary featuring an opposites attract romance about Max, a Mexican gay athl
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Ivy
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: coming-soon-19, arcs
TheMusicofWhatHappens

I am incredibly impressed with Bill Konigsberg, to say the least. The Music of What Happen is such a vast improvement from his previous work, feeling much more real than his other novels. While I enjoyed The Porcupine of Truth and Openly Straight duology, they felt trivial and juvenile when compared to the much more nuanced storytelling of Music.

To start with, I’m majorly biased in favor of Music as I majorly related to one of the main characters, Jordan, in a major way. Not only do we both hav
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Anna Luce
★★★✰✰ 3.5 stars

Overall I enjoyed this but there were a few aspects that didn't work for me. Maybe younger readers who are more acquainted with what I like to call the 'woke/relevant/hashtag/love-labels' slang, won't feel as disconnected from the banter or conversations occurring in this novel.
The premise might not scream originality but the romance and relationship between the main leads was one of the best thing of this novel. It was full of tentative and awkward moments between two very differ
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yvee
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

this book was gorgeous and I loved it with all of my heart wow (tw: rape)
Amber
I tried listening to this and was not enjoying it. I am gonna DNF it. I am willing to go back to it and read the physical copy, but I don’t have the motivation for now...

It just wasn’t attention grabbing, neither did I like the main characters that much. This is sad because I love a good gay romance.
Danielle Chambers
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, lgbt
Trigger warning for rape.

This book was so good! I expected it to be good don't get me wrong, but it was much more intense than I expected! Max and Jordan were such beautifully written characters. Both flawed and well fleshed out. Both had their problems and their strengths. Barriers were broken with "Dude Bro" stereotyping and "Twink" stereotyping. Gender walls were broken down.

The thing I really loved about this book was that it focused on showing that showing feelings and communicating those
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ellie
May 25, 2018 marked it as to-read
oh my goodness this cover is GAYREAT i love the colors!!

20gayteen is going so well
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
DNF @ 44%

This book is just boring me and the way bipolar disorder is depicted feels meh so far and there's just not enough for me to hold on to.

Plus my other audiobooks are finally available so THANK U NEXT
Sana
Nov 20, 2018 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts
"In the end, we're all both," Konigsberg said. "We all contain multitudes, and it was so cool to watch my more feminine character ― Jordan ― find his inner warrior, and my more masculine character ― Max ― lean into a vulnerability he'd never experienced before."

YESSSS

Source
Paul  Hankins
Full Disclosure: I consider Bill Konigsberg to be an author-friend. . .and I write a review of the new book in that light. And. . .in love.

There's something about love that makes us skeptical of possibility. That love must do something other than simply. . .love. That in the presence of love, someone gets saved. Something gets set right. Somebody or some place is transformed. Because of love. We put limits on the language of love by categorizing its expression into five distinct categories, cut
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Melissa
HIGHLY RECOMMEND

This is a great story with an IMPORTANT message. Be warned there are sensitive issues on page and could be triggers for some readers. (view spoiler)

It took me a minute to get in to the story but that's because of previous audios I was listening to and I needed to get the groove of this story. As I said before
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Daphne
This book had so much more depth than I was expecting.

I expected a cute book about two boys falling in love, and it was that, but it was a lot more too. I enjoyed that the romance wasn't the only plot in the story, and that both boys had other things going on in their lives. There were a few really great messages in this book, and I think it's a really good book for teens to read.

At first, I felt a little frustrated with Jordan, but he grew on me a lot. The characters are flawed, which makes th
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Flora ❀
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
I'm gonna hug this book until I find the perfect partner to open a food truck with or "Do-goodery" with myself.

I've never been in love but I bet it feels like what this book made me feel.
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Bill Konigsberg was born in 1970 in New York City. Expectations were high from birth - at least in terms of athletics. His parents figured he'd be a great soccer player, based on his spirited kicking from inside the womb. As it turned out, the highlight of his soccer career was at Camp Greylock in 1978, when he was chosen for the Camp's "D" team. There were only four levels. Bill played alongside ...more
“I don't know. I mean, it's not all beautifully harmonic, this world we find ourselves in. Clearly. There's shit music, and sometimes the melody goes away completely. There's silence and dissonant chord that cringe your ears. But the synchronicity of a perfectly created chorus? And the fact that you never know when one is coming? And that amazing feeling, the first time you hear a song and now it's going to be with you forever?
I have to think that's worth everything.”
5 likes
“Mom always says all sorts of shit goes down in the world, and it’s up to me to decide how to take it. The one way you’re sure to be unhappy is to frown your way through life, she says, and she’s right. Always look for the bright, vibrant color through the darkness. It’s always there, but sometimes hard to see.” 1 likes
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