Book review | The Music of What Happens, Bill Konigsberg

Book description

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 anyway. And a secret: A spiraling out of control mother, and the knowledge that he’s the only one who can keep the family from falling apart.

Throw in a rickety, 1980s-era food truck called Coq Au Vinny. Add in prickly pears, cloud eggs, and a murky idea of what’s considered locally sourced and organic. Place it all in Mesa, Arizona, in June, where the temp regularly hits 114. And top it off with a touch of undeniable chemistry between utter opposites.

Over the course of one summer, two boys will have to face their biggest fears and decide what they’re willing to risk — to get the thing they want the most.

CWs & TWs: Sexual assault (graphic and mention), Mental Illness, Addiction, Racism, Sexism, Death of a parent, homophobia, suicidal thoughts, Grief.
Diversity: Gay latino MC, Gay MC, BIPOC cast of side characters.

Note : 3.5 sur 5.

This review does NOT contain any spoilers


My review

I honestly didn’t know how I would like this book. I started listening to it last year but didn’t keep on. This time, I did (on Spotify, you can find other audiobooks available on the platform here) and I regret nothing. It started as something very cute, a soft summer rom-com perfect for the start of the season. And it turned into this bundle of very important themes and subjects, with deep meanings and strong feelings.

Listening to it, I felt like this book is more a piece of life than a perfectly-built three act kind of story. It is like entering the character’s life, like watching them living on for two months, through their struggles and ups and downs, and how people can influence our lives. But in the main time, as much as I loved this chill vibe, I felt like something was missing, like the story was empty of any deep goals. Eventually, I figured it out, but some parts were a bit long and meaningless to me. And for those of you who listen to audiobooks, you know how hard it is to focus in this case.

As I said, I was very surprised by the many topics and how it was brought. Relationships between children and parents, in a friends’ group when not everyone is on the same line. About sexual assault and PTSD, and how trauma influences our lives and shape who we are. It is also about love, about food, about ambition and big goals. And finally, about what is important, and how some things won’t turn out as good as we thought, how we can fail and fail again but never fall as long as someone hold us strong enough.

Have you read this one?

The author

The Music of What Happens arrives in February of 2019, and it’s a romance between two boys, and it includes a food truck that makes cloud eggs. Bill has an egg phobia.

Bill currently lives in Chandler, Arizona, which is the thinking man’s Gilbert, Arizona. He has a husband who is clearly too good for him, and two cute dogs, Mabel and Buford, who complete him.

His other works


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