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Ziggy, Stardust and Me

4.60  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  29 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, 256 pages
Expected publication: August 6th 2019 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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4.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  48 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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May 10, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: glbt, to-buy
me not being able to hold this shockingly unreleased and earth-shatteringly gay book in my hands is clearly homophobia
Elise (TheBookishActress)
Nov 17, 2017 marked it as releases-2019
the rise of nerdy queer historical fiction that isn't just meant to depress you is of 10/10 importance to me
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
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???
♡ Dakota ♡ (Sarcasm is my middle name)
This is going to hurt isn’t it?
Jun 20, 2019 marked it as tbr-2019-releases
queer historical fiction in david bowie's honor is everything i've ever wanted
Jul 03, 2019 marked it as to-read
1. a cover this beautiful should not be allowed as it just makes me want it more and rIGHT NOW
2. gay romance? yES pleaSE
3. the 70s? oh dear lord
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
Ad Rocks Socks (semi hiatus)
gay 70’s mc who loves bowie?

why is this book not in my hands yet?

(there's a starman waiting in the sky
he'd like to come and meet us)
Mar 23, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: coming-soon-19
I'm nervous about this book, but I think it could turn out to be something very special, a la Ari & Dante,
Clare O'Connor
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In the summer of 1973 in Missouri, sixteen-year-old Jonathan Collins struggles to change who he is in Ziggy, Stardust and Me.

Influenced by an alcoholic and homophobic father and a mental health professional who was taught that homosexuality was a mental illness in need of a cure, Johnathan is desperate to change his very nature.

The author does a great job of making Johnathan a loveable, smart, brave character who initially buys in to the fact that he’s the one with the problem. Given his circu
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I stayed up waaay too late finishing this. It was just impossible to stop reading. The story is gorgeous and heartbreaking in the best way. The characters are incredible. I’ve never read anything like it. As soon as it comes out this August, get on it! You need this book in your life
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
While an important book for the variety of "tough" topics that it covers (some of which are not touched on often enough in literature), I felt like it all could have been done better. The 70s lingo was a bit overwhelming and took me out of the story; the plot was at times predictable.

Karol Silverstein
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been dying to read Ziggy, Stardust & Me by debut author James Brandon ever since hearing the one-line description last year. I’m drawn to GLBTQ+ stories and dig all things 70’s. Those two things together? Bliss! But sometimes when your expectations for a book are super high, the real deal struggles to live up to those expectations…

Thankfully, that was in no way the case with this book! Something I wasn’t necessarily expecting is main character Jonathan’s delightful voice, which is full
Jul 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Oh gawd. This guy is MANIC, and not like cutesy-manic-pixie-dream-boy manic, but like, holy shit, do you have some meds that you should be taking that you certainly are NOT taking???? Obviously it's a different time period with different medical practices -- I mean c'mon, he's going through gay conversion "therapy" -- but holy SHIT he needs to Calm. The. Fuck. Down. His thoughts are NONSTOP and BLATHERING and *Oh My Ziggy* like -- what a goddamn tween girl. "OMIGOD OMIGOD OMIGOD THE WHOLE WORLD ...more
Jun 04, 2019 rated it liked it
It took me a while to get adjusted and into this book. At first, I felt the author was hitting me over the head with uber-70s lingo and setting, and it was off-putting, but as soon as Jonathan got to the school, things improved. I did get emotionally involved in the story - I worried about the treatments, I enjoyed the love story, I hypothesized about what Dad would do.

I was left with a few questions about the resolution of an issue and about Jonathan’s uncle that I would love to ask the author
Brandon's debut novel is a historical contemporary, but left me absolutely spellbound, every page cinematically unfolding before my eyes. It's 1973 in Missouri, and being gay is legally an illness. Jonathan wants nothing more than to be "fixed", but that changes when Web shows up in his one horse town. With Ziggy as his guide, Jonathan experiences a beautiful, bittersweet awakening, and through Web, he comes to a new understanding of what love & family is and can be. To me, it's no question ...more
Laura Sibson
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
James Brandon's debut YA is a queer historical YA that is absolutely packed with compassion. I loved the 70's references and especially appreciated the musical references woven throughout the novel. But what makes this novel so wonderful is the way that the author handled the main character's initially sense of self-disgust and his transformation toward self-love. This is a book that will speak to many teens who have felt alone, utterly different and unable to truly be themselves and the book wi ...more
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, romance, ya
This is one of those books that makes you feel like you’ve just been run over by an enormous truck, in the best way possible. The amount of emotion packed into this book is overwhelming, and reading it is an amazing roller coaster ride. The writing style is snappy and immersive, and, while reading it, I felt transported into Jonathan’s world in the 70s. The future of LGBT-positive YA novels is bright, and it begins here. I think this will be one of the most important books of the year.

Please go
Malayna Evans
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There's so much to love about this book I don't know where to start. The unique voice? Adored it. The terrific character I want to bring home and cook for? Loved him. The love interest? Really loved him. The painful family dynamics? Totally authentic. Oh and then there's the historical context, which adds so much texture to the story. Okay let's just say start this one when you have time to fall into it--you won't be able to help yourself. It's a true gem!
Brian Paquin
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the most beautifully written novels I've read this year. Jonathan and Web's story is absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking. Jonathan's struggle with his "sickness" is a punch to the gut every time I think of Dr. Evelyn and the treatments to "cure" Jonathan. This story needed to be told.
Deborah Maroulis
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
James Brandon has created a wonderful, heart-felt depiction of the struggles adolescent, gay boys lived with in the 1970s which translate to what's left over in today's contemporary society. Brandon takes an intense but rich story and weaves heart and soul into Jonathan and makes me want to just hug him. Well done.
Jul 16, 2019 marked it as gave-up-on
[waves hands around uncertainly]
Nothing against this one, really. I think it was a good mix of a very heavy theme & plot but with bright narration to prevent it from feeling like a slog, which explains how I got to about 50% through. But man that narration is also super grating and unfunny and pretentious (calm. the. hell. DOWN, JONATHAN), so I'm gonna say goodbye.
Ms. Yingling
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Details of the 1970s are perfect, and I loved the characters. I am always looking for more LGBTQIA+ books, so this would have been great. However, it's is more of a YA book due to tone and style, though.
Jun 19, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: wishlist
unbelievably excited. wish the title had an oxford comma. excited nonetheless.
Jun 13, 2019 marked it as to-read
the real reason vincent van gogh cut his ear off is because he could never create something as beautiful as this cover.
e ll a ✨
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
hey it’s me, chilling, with potentially my favourite read of the year.
Amazing. Full review TK 😭
rated it really liked it
May 16, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Jun 12, 2019
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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 Powwow Steering Co ...more