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The Music of What Happens

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  9,661 ratings  ·  1,749 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, 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)
Bill You'll need to read it to find out!…moreYou'll need to read it to find out!(less)

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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  9,661 ratings  ·  1,749 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 Mu
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.
✨    jay   ✨
Hmm I started this book and liked it and then the further I went along the more things started to annoy me. This is more of a 2.5 star rating as some of the grievances are personal. I'm just gonna dot point this out.


This follows two boys, Jordan and Max. Jordan works on the food truck his parents owned, but when his mum suddenly quits he needs someone to help him run it. Enter, Max, who is hired to work on the truck. The two are complete opposites. Max loves sports, gaming, gym and he hangs
☆ 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 hop
Moony Eliver
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
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 of
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 trouble telling them apart
-did a g
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
˗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
h o l l i s
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 to
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
Faith Simon
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book looks so pure and joyful, doesn't it? Such a gorgeous cover with two boys, clearly happy to be together, a happy story about a slow-burn romance, right?
Wrong. Absolutely wrong. This book is DEPRESSING as all hell. This book will rip your heart out and stomp all over it.
So, even though I didn't really know just what I was getting myself into when I picked up this book, I figured the synopsis granted me the guarantee that was the perfect queer, rom-com summer read. It was queer, summer
Glenn Sumi
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
YA novelist Bill Konigsberg sets up an entertaining Gay Odd Couple premise and goes to some dark and emotionally wrenching places in this powerful book.

Arizona high-school students Jordan and Max couldn't be more different. Sure, both are 17-years old and gay (out to their closest friends), but Jordan is a skinny, pimply and socially awkward white guy who likes writing poetry, while Max is a popular, athletic mixed-race (Mexican/Irish) guy who is a typical "dude bro" and enjoys playing video gam
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
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
★★★✰✰ 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
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.
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
kav (xreadingsolacex)
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
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: came-soon-18-20
Full review:


Overall, The Music of What Happens felt like a teenage romance actually meant for teenagers, raw and relatable while still staying enjoyable and sweet. Bill Konigsberg has stepped up his game, though I may just be saying that because they finally changed his cover style. Both Jordan and Max were real, whole characters that I’ve rarely encountered in YA or any genre. This book was light but grounded, happy but melancholy, and relevant all a
Angus (Just Angus)
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is sitting at about a 3.75 for me. Nothing like what I was expecting but I still really enjoyed it.
I felt like it could have handled the stigma around HIV a bit better though. Especially as a YA novel.
This isn't a light read, there are a lot of deeper undertones.
Also some TW to be aware of: rape, PTSD, parental abuse and some mental health issues.
here’s the thing about this book.

whilst it maintained a good message about rape, the ‘definitions’, and what it means (no means no, it can happen to a boy, and the likes) and it did amuse me at times when it was supposed to, this book was jam-packed with so much casual homophobia, toxic masculinity, racism, objectification, and fetishizing mixed with weird-borderline-creepy and unlikable narratives that the rush job of “acknowledging and dealing with” these issues at the very end of the book ma
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.
Patrick Tate
May 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
CW: bipolar disorder/ abuse / rape / addiction

1/5 stars

I was so excited to read this book. I was really looking forward to a cute, m/m romance story, taking place in Arizona on a food truck. It sounded like the perfect read to get into the summer mindset and feel so good. Unfortunately, this book fell extremely flat for me. Like if I laid it down horizontally, it would disappear from existence. Yeah, that flat.

The book follows two main characters: Jordan and Max. Jordan is trying to save his ho
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

This book was difficult to rate. There were things I really liked about it, but there were also things that I didn't like.

The story was heavier than I expected. It touches many issues, which I really appreciated, and I liked the way they were dealt with. Some of them very subtly, but there was definitely a lot to think about.

The writing was wonderful. I liked the dialogues, the banter, the funny moments. Jordan's poems were beautiful.

Jordan and Max had a great connection. They seemed
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the most powerful story I have ever read and has become my number one favorite book of all time.
Yna the Mood Reader
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
"The world will make you vulnerable. If you're acting like you're not, that's what you're doing. Acting."

📚 Series? No.
📚 Genre? YA LGBT Romance.
📚 Cliffhanger? No.

⚠ Content Warnings:  Homophobia. Sexism. Animal cruelty & jokes. Sexual abuse. Mental disorders. Parental neglect. Parental abuse. Suicidal thoughts. Misogyny. Addiction. Racism.
⚠ Book Tags :  Summer Love. Food Trucks. Very cute meet cute. Family drama. Friendship drama. Fun banter.
⚠ This Book In Emojis: 👨‍❤️‍👨😩🍳🚚💸💸💰💰💖🌈

Krista Regester
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I guess the rumors are true: opposites do attract.

I love that these two teenage boys, Max and Jordan, find each other in the perfect moment. As they both are struggling with different traumas you learn with them, and get to see how each of them process. This is a lovely book, and I can sum it up with one word: hopeful.
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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

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“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.”
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