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Music from Another World

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  1,063 ratings  ·  307 reviews
It’s summer 1977 and closeted lesbian Tammy Larson can’t be herself anywhere. Not at her strict Christian high school, not at her conservative Orange County church and certainly not at home, where her ultrareligious aunt relentlessly organizes antigay political campaigns. Tammy’s only outlet is writing secret letters in her diary to gay civil rights activist Harvey Milk…un ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published March 31st 2020 by Inkyard Press
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  1,063 ratings  ·  307 reviews

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daph pink ♡
Jan 12, 2021 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2021-tbr
this book is gay culture, and so am i. period.
Larry H
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Music from Another World , Robin Talley's new book, is a poignant look at sexuality, identity, courage, and music, set against the struggle for gay rights in the 1970s.

“There’s no point worrying so hard you can’t breathe. Life’s short, and you’ve got to make sure there’s time to live it.”

Sharon and Tammy are paired up as pen pals for a program implemented at religious schools across the state of California. Sharon attends Catholic school in San Francisco; Tammy attends a Christian school in O
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This completely amazing book tells the story of two teen pen pals in 1977, one of whom, Tammy, is a closeted lesbian. Tammy and Sharon, who lives in San Francisco, are matched through the California Pen Pal Project. Each attend strict religious schools, where the idea of being lesbian is an utter and complete sin. The story is told entirely through their letters, Sharon's diary entries, and Tammy's diary, which takes the form of letters to gay rights activist Harvey Milk. The two have their reli ...more
This queer historical YA was good, but not great. It's the kind of book I'd recommend to younger LGBTQ teen readers especially, but not to adults who read YA. The characters aren't especially dynamic and while there are some interesting historical details, I didn't feel like the period (late 1970s) really permeated the book. The dialogue, for example, was no different than you might see in a contemporary YA and there were a few times when I was like, uh, did teens in the 70s say that?? And the e ...more
Sep 26, 2019 added it
July 11th 2020: yep this is by far robin talley's best book in my opinion!! the audiobook was a great choice, i enjoyed both narrators, and the main characters go through actual character development!

have i been let down by every robin talley book except for as i descended? yes. will i still read all her books? also yes
Ivana - Diary of Difference
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Music From Another World is a powerful and emotional read, about fighting for freedom and acceptance and the amazing feeling when you finally find a crowd where you can really fit in!


It’s summer 1977 and closeted lesbian Tammy Larson can’t be herself anywhere. Not at her strict Christian high school. Not at her conservative Orange County church. And certainly not at home, where her ultra religious aunt relentlessly organize
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Inkyard Press in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 stars

I truly do not have the words to describe how utterly fantastic this book was. It just . . . wow. WOW. Wow a million times. I adored this book with my entire heart, and I want to go back and read it again from the start. I stayed up til three in the morning reading this, and had tears streaming down my face by the end. (good tears. despite the dark tone, this book is ultimately hopeful)

I don't even know
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqiap, 2020
4.5 - Queer girls! Queer history! 1970s! Punk rock!! This just incorporated so many things that I love reading about. Tammy and Sharon live in different parts of California but are paired up as pen pals for a school assignment. They’re supposed to ask some basic questions to get to know one another. But their letters end up blossoming into a deep friendship. However, they haven’t told each other the full truth yet. Tammy is a closeted lesbian in an extremely religious family and Sharon is learni ...more
Keelin Rita
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer, netgalley
I will never stop loving and crying over Robin Talley’s books. Music From Another World is another edition to her works of queer historical fiction. Here’s why I loved it so much: Two girls from two separate parts of California, both from religious families, both going to a catholic school, both have secrets. Sharon’s brother is gay, and Tammy is a lesbian. Both of these secrets could put an end to their lives. The story is told through letters and journal entries. Tammy and Sharon are put toget ...more
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
It's the summer of 1977 and a resurgence of conservatism is thrumming through the United States. Closeted lesbian Tammy has been caught up in the middle of it—her aunt and uncle are two of the ringleaders of the West Baptist Church advocating for a return to family values and an eradication of gay people from schools (and well, life). When she's assigned Sharon from San Francisco as a pen pal for a school assignment, it's like a dream come true. The two bond over punk music, and slowly begin to ...more
Lauren Stoolfire
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Inkyard Press in exchange for an honest review.

Music from Another World by Robin Talley is one of the best books I've had the opportunity to read so far in 2020. It's an engrossing epistolary YA LGBTQ+ historical fiction story told primarily in a series of letters and diary entries between pen pals and personal entries written to Harvey Milk. The journeys that both Tammy and Sharon take are both powerful and heartbreaking. I have to admit that it's crushing t
Since Pulp was one of my favourite books of 2019, I started this audiobook as soon as I could. And wow. She just did it again.

This was hard to read at times, because it deals with a lot of homophobia, but it's also such an important read. There's something so very special about reading about LGBTQ+ history.

The characters were incredibly loveable as well, and I loved how all of them has a really different experience being queer.

I'm not in the mood to write a long review, but I couldn't recommend
I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley

Really liked this one! I'm always a bit afraid of reading LGBTQ books set in this time period because there's always the chance that something Really Bad is going to happen that I don't want to deal with as a reader, but I have enjoyed other books by Talley so I decided to give it a shot. This one reminded me a lot of 'Ziggy, Stardust and Me' both in terms of it being an LGBTQ YA book set in roughly the same time period but also because it deals
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story! There were some historical elements in here that really taught me more about the 70s Gay rights movement in California. This was a great story about friendship, acceptance, and learning more about yourself. I am also a big fan of seeing religion and queer intersectionality in books, so this was right up my alley. I think it was handled very well, especially considering the time period, however religion was handled a little more antagonistically.

The only gripe I had
Sarah 🌺 Books in Their Natural Habitat
A lot of the thoughts and struggles of the young characters are likely something any teen could relate to. There’s a more specific subset whom I think would relate to their core which is incredibly important. That being said, I really like this book explored the struggles of teenagers in a way that, if I were still that age, would make me feel less alone.

I admired the strength of the young men and women in this book as well. It’s hard to not live up to your parent’s expectations so I can’t even
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Part of me wishes I had had Robin Talley’s books when I was a teenager and part of me is just so thankful I have them now. Even at 33, I still need queer stories like this. I love this book almost as much as I love Patti Smith and that’s saying something. 💖 Can’t wait for the release date in March! Thanks to Netgalley for the arc!
A story of two girls told through letters and diary entries. Tammy and Sharon are both involved in the gay rights movement gaining traction in California in the late 70s. Tammy, a closeted lesbian living with a conservative Christian family in Orange County and being forced to protest her own right to exist and Sharon, whose brother’s sexuality makes her question the Catholic beliefs she’s surrounded by and leads her into the feminist and punk scenes of San Francisco. When they’re matched a
Paradise Lost
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: f-f
I'm currently reading a lot of fanfiction, so haven't gotten around to reading many books this year, but when I saw that Robin Talley's books was out, I had to read it.

There's always something so relevant about the stories she tells. Whether they be about the pulp novel era, black rights, or the Harvey milk time period.

"All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo

Thank you Robin talley for always getting me to think. And even more, for getting
Sylvs (NOVELty Reads)
ARC kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

I didn't know I needed this book until it came into my life. It was a book with lots of heart and a lot of history embedded in its narrative. I loved reading on about the LGBTQ+ protests and riots in the 70's especially since I haven't read a book set during those times. I thought it was extremely relevant to the current state of the world especially since 2020 really has been the year of change and protest. Altho
Music From Another World is written in the form of hesitant letters and confessional diary entries and I loved every page! Mention good old snail mail and I am there, I adore writing and receiving letters so a book featuring letters heavily is something I will always love reading. Closeted lesbian Tammy is paired up with Sharon in a pen pal scheme between two Christian schools, what begins as a forced school assignment turns into a lifeline for both girls to share their true selves with each oth ...more
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
(Thanks to my Mum for typing this up for me).
This book follows 2 main characters, Tammy and Sharon, living in California in 1977. The book is told in an epistolary format after Tammy and Sharon are paired up as pen pals. It follows the girls as they open up to each other and their struggles with their faith, family and sexuality.
What I Liked:
- Characters. Tammy and Sharon were strong main characters who felt like real people, I think the form of letters and diary entries made me feel connected
kelly {BookCrushin}
Another beautiful historical novel set during such important time in LGBTQIA+ history. This one is told epistolary with letters between two Christian girls who are penpals for a school project in California who both are entwined in the rise of Harvey Milk and the christian attacks on the gay community. Especially loved the incorporation of how important punk rock and bookstores and community centers were so important in building a resistance. This one has some tough topics, including abandonment ...more
Jun 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid three star read! This book would be great for middle school to early high school baby dyke that wants to learn a little about gay history. It is VERY white, but it’s also set on opposing sides of prop 6, so you get this Christian vs. Castro and Harvey Milk aspect to the story that is really nice to have in young adult.

Very wholesome.
Very gay and bi!
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robin Talley has built this beautiful corner of the book world (sapphic historicals) and I just want to live in it.
Kayla dawson
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Maybe more of 3.5 . I really enjoyed it
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It seems strange that Robin Talley's new YA novel is being called 'historical fiction' because the 1970s don't seem all that long ago but it reminds us that LGBTIA rights were only won recently in many countries and the fight still continues in others. Music From Another World is set in California in the heady days of the late 1970s. Harvey Milk is running for election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors while individuals like Anita Bryant and John Briggs seek to deprive gays and lesbians ...more
Mar 19, 2020 rated it liked it
To see more reviews check it out here.

I got an ARC of this book.

I keep reading Talley and thinking that things will go better. The issue is so far Talley and I have not clicked perfectly. I feel like one day we will, but today was not that day. The closest Talley and I came to clicking was the very first book I read by her that had so many trans issues. 

This book did not have trans issues, but it had another large issue. If you read enough of my reviews you will see a trend. This is one of those
chloe ♡
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
i received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. all opinions below are my own.

i have always wanted a pen pal. i find the idea of writing back and forth with someone you’ve never met, and fully trusting them with stuff you wouldn’t even tell your closest friends really exciting. in this book, we learn about tammy and sharon’s struggles of growing up gay in a religious environment through the letters they write to each other through the pen pal programme they sign up for.

Grace W
2.5 rounded down. I think it might be time to admit that Robin Talley is just not really for me. The plot is fine, I guess, though really a bit obvious throughout. I appreciate the history there, which I think is particularly important to young queer folx. I didn't learn a lot of this history until I was in college and taking queer and gender studies classes. The problem I have with Talley is that her characters are flat. I cannot tell you a single thing that Sharon is interested in other than s ...more
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I live in Washington, D.C., with my wife, our baby daughter, an antisocial cat and a goofy hound dog. Whenever the baby's sleeping, I'm probably busy writing young adult fiction about queer characters, reading books, and having in-depth conversations with friends and family about things like whether Jasmine's character motivation was sufficiently established in Aladdin.

My website is at http://www.

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