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The Music of What Happens

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,194 ratings  ·  332 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
Hardcover, 320 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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4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,194 ratings  ·  332 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
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
Shaun Hutchinson
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Five enthusiastic stars.
Lulu (the library leopard)
can we. like. not one-star books years before they're released with no explanation? that would be cool.
Moony Eliver
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: y-a, lgbtqia, m-m, 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
Elise (TheBookishActress)
Nov 17, 2017 marked it as releases-2019
"The novel explores the paradox of how boys are taught to emotionally armor up, but find the power to change their lives through vulnerability." UM. YES.
˗ˏˋ janet ˊˎ˗

- 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


*trigger warning for rape
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
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
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.
♆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


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

Wow, what masterful po
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
Vitor Martins
É incrível como esse livro fala sobre tanta coisa de um jeito tão sensível e honesto! Eu estava esperando um romance fofo entre dois garotos e encontrei reflexões muito mais profundas sobre muita coisa. Max e Jordan são muito diferentes, mas aquele diferente que se completa e você fica torcendo pro casal acontecer desde a primeira página. Gosto de como a história se desenvolve muito além do primeiro beijo e explora o que vem junto quando você começa a namorar. Todo mundo tem bagagens, e o Bill K ...more
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
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
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)
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
May 25, 2018 marked it as to-read
oh my goodness this cover is GAYREAT i love the colors!!

20gayteen is going so well
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.
Jan 30, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: coming-soon-19
I'm so glad they broke the chain of terrible Bill Konigsberg covers.
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."


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
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.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it
On the one hand, this was a really funny and heartwarming book. I liked how the relationship developed and I loved how supportive the main characters were of each other. It was also great to see how the friendships developed. But I did have a major issue with this book as well.

Because did we really need yet another mentally ill parent being a burden for their child, and being abusive? This is my third book by Bill Konigsberg and every time there has been insensitive content regarding mental illn
Juliette✵ of✵ the✵ Stars✯⭒*⭑★☽

So, you know the expectations vs reality meme? Picture that right now, where on the expectations side you have "cute gay summer love story" and the reality part has "cute gay summer love story, with a side of teenage drama, shitty parents and an almost painfully honest look at rape culture, toxic masculinity an what it means to grow as a person thanks to the people around you".

“And I think it's thanks to Jordan. I would never have done any of this if I hadn't met him, and if he hadn't s
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought I’d read stories that had very “real” characters before but I know now that they all pale in comparison to this

jordan and max are two people who meet and are quickly stuck together for a little while and their relationship progresses so naturally, nothing hurried or rushed

dual POV let’s us see both their personalities, passions and friends; THEIR FRIENDS!!! their dynamics were so fun to read and especially shared how the experience of being “the gay friend” in a group of straight guy
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
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
Danielle Chambers
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt, favorites
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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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
“And I think it's thanks to Jordan. I would never have done any of this if I hadn't met him, and if he hadn't showed me how to be real and serious with another guy.” 0 likes
“He's a good looking guy, no question. All bluster and confidence while I'm whatever the opposite of that is. Apologies and embarrassment. Awkwardness and sorrow. First dead in a zombie apocalypse” 0 likes
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