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Ziggy, Stardust and Me

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  3,385 ratings  ·  752 reviews
The year is 1973. The Watergate hearings are in full swing. The Vietnam War is still raging. And homosexuality is still officially considered a mental illness. In the midst of these trying times is sixteen-year-old Jonathan Collins, a bullied, anxious, asthmatic kid, who aside from an alcoholic father and his sympathetic neighbor and friend Starla, is completely alone. To ...more
Hardcover, 347 pages
Published August 6th 2019 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Doug There are definitely parts of it that are sad. But, overall, I'd say that it's not sad. …moreThere are definitely parts of it that are sad. But, overall, I'd say that it's not sad. (less)
Pervinca I'll try to list triggers while spoiling as little as i can: The main issue it deals with is the main character accepting himslef as queer; there is c…moreI'll try to list triggers while spoiling as little as i can: The main issue it deals with is the main character accepting himslef as queer; there is conversion therapy, and the character struggles with that, which is "the right way to think", and his true feelings which are "wrong and sick". That's what we see the most of in his thoughts.
There aren't any references to suicide or self harming. There are a couple of bullying scenes (which the main character brushes off, mostly its just insults), and a predatory behaviour scene (not rape though).
I think the book deals with these issues very well and it's worth a read, not problematic at all. Besides, the story is beautiful. Hope this was useful!(less)

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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  3,385 ratings  ·  752 reviews

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Kai Spellmeier
May 10, 2019 marked it as dnf
Shelves: queer, owned
This is one of those "It's not you, it's me" cases. At the 100 page mark I still wasn't feeling it. Couldn't really connect with the characters, the dialogues didn't catch me, the writing style and especially the way the characters talked nagged me. I really wanted to like this and I'm glad to see a discussion of mental health, internalised homophobia, bullying, and the harassment and racism against Native Americans. But overall, it wasn't for me.

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This book is recordbreaking (both in Most Sad Things To Happen While Still Making Me Feel Nothing and in Most Unnecessary Ellipses).

And if there are two things I abhor, it's books who are going out of their way to try to make me sad instead of, I don't know, making me care about the characters or the story so I'll feel sad by default, and books with annoying styles.

I wanted to like this very much, and as is I didn't hate it, but honestly I think that might be because I tried to read it at such a
*Runs around the streets chucking this book at every human in sight* *is crying* JUST READ IT!!!!!
I’m just. Words? Nah this review is going to be strictly me gushing incoherently. This book needs some attention RIGHT NOW because I’m not seeing anYONE TALKING ABOUT IT AND ITS PERFECT. I swear to god the next time someone says something like “being gay is unnatural and the people saying they’re gay are just looking for attention” I’m going to chuck this book at their head. I live in Missouri (just
5 Stars

I loved everything about this LGBTQ themed YA debut, from the unique narrative and the fleshed-out characters, to the atmospheric 70s setting and that G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S. cover art—I adored it all.

Add to that, this story made me feel and feel deeply. I can’t ask for much more from that from my reading.

I also recommend going in blind (figuratively speaking). All I knew before picking this one up, was that I loved this book cover, the story had queer leads, and it was set in small-town USA i
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
I wish I could feel more enthusiastic than a lukewarm 2.5 about this one. I wanted to like this book a lot more. It's visually gorgeous (I mean, damn, look at that cover). I quite like the recent trend of queer YA books exploring previous decades as a setting and was intrigued by the 70s background. It features a Native American love interest, a direly underrepresented minority. It deals with important themes of recent history, like the horrors of aversion therapy and the way-too-recent classifi ...more
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Can I please just have alllll the LGBTQ+ historical novels? There's really something special about them, and this one was no different in that sense.

This is actually a very heavy novel, and it's really violent at times. But it's also such an important novel, about a boy dealing with and trying to overcome internalized homophobia in a time where homosexuality was still seen as a mental illness. At the start of the book, he genuinely believes he's sick, and then he starts to grow as a character, w
Mar 25, 2019 marked it as to-read
Not to be dramatic but this book comes out on my birthday and if that's not a sign I don't know what is ...more
Brooklyn Tayla
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ziggy, Stardust & Me is honestly just one of those completely raw and profound reads that will leave you absolutely flabbergasted and lost for words in hands down, the best way possible. My heart ached throughout this journey, for me it just illustrated what was so horribly wrong with society and how their thoughts and blind beliefs poisoned LGBTQIA+ people, branding them as broken, as sick, purely for loving someone who’s the same gender as they are. It’s cruel and completely wrong that people ...more
Stay Fetters
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
"The things that scare you the most are the things that bring you closer to who you’re meant to be."

Ziggy Stardust is someone that I admire. He didn't care what anyone thought and did whatever he wanted to do. (This is why he's tattooed on my body) So when I saw the title of this book and saw the cover, I knew that I needed to read this. And I'm so glad that I did because it was beautiful and heartbreaking and it completely destroyed me.

Omg!! My heart!! 😭😭
Nov 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book immensely!

Set in the 70's and following Jonathan, a teen gay boy, in a time and place where homosexuality was seen as mental illness and a crime, it is terribly sad and tragic.

However, it is also beautifully written, full of cool pop culture from the 70's, a lot I was not familiar with, took some time to explore and found that to really enhance the total reading experience.

Web, the new boy in town, who Jonathan comes across, is Native American. I know very little about the h
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5 stars, rounded up | ”i guess this is what family feels like.”

overall, this was a pretty disappointing read for me.

i love david bowie, and i loved the idea of this book. don’t get me wrong, i think the themes in this book were PHENOMENAL and the discussions about racism, homophobia, conversion therapy, abuse, alcoholism, and ALL the other shit that went on was mind blowing. it’s books like these that can change the world. it’s books like these that can save lives.

unfortunately, as far as the
this book lodged itself into my soul and it's not ever going to leave ...more
andrea ✨
Jul 20, 2019 marked it as to-read
not a fan of david bowie but i mean this is a queer book that takes place in the 70s,,, how could i say no???
Jun 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
i don’t even know what to say
the setting ? the writing ? the story ? the characters ?
how is this book not a best seller ?
i cried and laughed a lot, the ROMANCE IS SO PURE
if autoboyography or Aristotle and Dante are you favorites, what are you doing ?? read it nOwW
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"I think everyone needs a secret place in the world, a place you can count on to keep your dreams safe."

Wow. I loved this book more than I anticipated and I am over the moon with feelings for it! An absolute stunner. 🌠🌙🚀

Feeling the 4.5- 5 ⭐ love for it. The diversity, the history, the inclusivity of native american culture. I just loved so much of it. I can't wait to see what others think of it once released! It's heart breaking and hopeful and just overall a powerful story that can really ref
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, read-2019

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars!

This was tough to read at times due to some pretty heavy subject matter, but it was such a well written and beautiful book. I highly recommend!

Note: I am currently on a hiatus from reviewing. I need a bit of a break from the pressures of reading, so I'm just going with the flow this year. I'll obviously still be reading, but at my own pace and when I feel like it. Thank you for understanding!
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
2nd Read: I have never wanted a movie made for a book as much as I have for this one, but the chances are probably less than zero lmao.
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Originally posted on: The Quirky Book Nerd

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

This is an incredibly beautiful and powerful novel. It is quite a heavy and emotional story and an absolutely stellar debut. I learned so much more about the 1970s and the LGBT community at the time. We get insight into society’s atrocious treatment of same-sex couples and the brave individuals who stood up for themselves and championed the freedom to love. This
This is definitely not something I would normally read, but I'm glad that I did. I generally try to stay away from sad LGBT books and books featuring conversion therapy in particular, with the idea that the real world is awful enough and I'd rather read something happy or at least set in a happier world in my free time. This book wasn't anywhere near as sad I was expecting consider the setting and subject material, but I do think I was more 'on edge' than usual while reading because I was always ...more
L.C. Perry
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing




Okay, I’m back. *breathes in, breathes out…* Okay. Listen. Ever since I heard of this book’s existence, I fell in love. I wanted this book immediately. No joke. Nearly bought it on the same day I learned about it but held back cause of finances. Anyway. I finally bought the damn book. And it blew me away and enraged me all in one breath.

First off, the rage: some of these characters face
This was really quite heavy. Jonathan is a 17 year old gay boy in 1973 St. Louis, undergoing shock treatments to help him overcome his homosexuality. Plus, he's getting bullied by the straights at school and his dad is a sad drunk who treats Jonathan like shit. That's a lot. Also, my straight dad was also 17 in 1973 and it was weird for me to imagine him in high school and hoping he wasn't one of the "apes" who tortured kids like Jonathan. But yeah, Brandon does a great job of historical world b ...more

Oof. I am still in a book haze with tears in my eyes and I don’t know if any review can do this book justice. I’m going to take some time to think on it but I just want to give copies of this book to everyone I know and hug the author and his characters. And I want a sequel. Immediately.

One of the absolute best books I’ve ever read. And one I’ll hold close to my heart forever. Go get a copy of this book. Now.
Alex (Pucksandpaperbacks)
Dec 03, 2019 added it
Recommends it for: fans of More Happy Than Not and Like a Love Story
June 2020: I have been informed that this book includes racism toward Native Americans and I will no longer be promoting this book. I have removed my rating.


"At some point you have to stop and say, 'Enough. This is me.' And fight for it as hard as you can. Get it?"

Prepare yourself for my chaotic thoughts, I guess.

Historical LGBTQ+ centered books just- screams and cries in a pillow

The second half of this book was just amazing in every way,
it took me a while to get into the story in the first half, though.

This book is and will be important for a lot of people.

Knowing that conversion therapy is still a thing, makes me want to throw u
Mar 09, 2022 rated it really liked it
while this book suffered from the usual weaknesses that i have noticed from a lot of young adult novels, the story was interesting enough to make me finish it in one day. i still feel unsure on how certain things ended, like the author wrapped things up way too quickly.
Kira Thebookbella
For my in-depth video review visit: ZIGGY STARDUST AND ME YOUTUBE REVIEW

"The things that scare you the most are the things that bring you closer to who you're meant to be."

TW: Bullying, Attempted Rape, Racism, Homophobia

This is a Young Adult, Historical Fiction book about Johnathon, a 17 year old high school senior in 1973 St. Louis, Missouri. The reality of his life is that he is going to therapy for his "condition" and he lives at home with an abusive alcoholic father who is an ex-soldier
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jonathan endeared himself to me almost instantly. I wanted to hug him in a way I wanted to hug Charlie when I read Perks of Being a Wallflower—which is to say the way I want to hug the teenager I once was. I didn't have the challenges at home that Jonathan does, but I felt like a "space oddity" throughout most of my adolescence. I was raised on secrets and Catholicism; yet the wafer just couldn't compare to the freedom I felt when I discovered music. My headphones were the closest thing to magic ...more
Anna 'Bookbuyer'
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"i'm not crazy for feeling this way. they're crazy for trying to stop me. and if it's the last time i ever get to feel joy again, i won't let them have it."

i can't really find the words to describe this book. i'm speechless. i think i just found one more book for my list of favorites. actually, i'm pretty sure of that.

i knew right from the start-- i KNEW this book had something special since i marked it as 'to read'. i just didn't know how special it would be to me until i actually read it.

Jun 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
nothing about this book worked for me for three reasons

1. i don't think it's ever a white author's right to write racist characters who employ racist slurs & violence against the non-white person in question; especially with the slurs, it really isn't a white person's place to do that
2. i am really tired of narratives where there isn't any queer joy only queer suffering through which a teenage character figures out that being gay isn't bad, there's only SO MANY bad things that can happen to one
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Nov. 10 - 11am - Maria's house 1 7 Nov 03, 2019 10:43AM  

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James Brandon produced and played the central role of Joshua in the international tour of Terrence McNally's Corpus Christi for a decade, and is Co-Director of the documentary film based on their journey: Corpus Christi: Playing with Redemption. He's Co-Founder of the I AM Love Campaign, an arts-based initiative bridging the faith-based and LGBTQ2+ communities, and serves on the Board, as well as ...more

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20 likes · 4 comments
“I’m not crazy for feeling this way. They’re crazy for trying to stop me. And if it’s the last time I ever get to feel joy again, I won’t let them have it.” 13 likes
“At some point you have to stop and say ‘Enough. This is me.’ and fight for it as hard as you can.” 11 likes
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