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The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg

Monday, January 11, 2021

Where did I get it? I bought it off eBay and I now can't remember why. I'm sure I'd seen someone recommend it, and eBay had it cheapest. I have heard of the author before but hadn't read anything by him. 

What's it about? Max and Jordan meet one summer and fall in love. 

Max is on the baseball team, and is only out as gay to his bro friends, Zay-Rod and Betts (plus his parents). The three of them are total bros, always ragging on each other and taking nothing seriously. Max stays out too late one night just before the beginning of the book, so his mum threatens that he has to go and work with her for the summer. But then he happens upon Jordan and his mum on Jordan's dad's food truck, Coq au Vinny, and witnesses Lydia having a total meltdown. But Max can cook, and Lydia ends up giving him a job on the truck. 

Jordan's dad died a few years ago, and since then Lydia has struggled with her gambling addiction and with keeping the family afloat. They owe five thousand dollars in back mortgage, and Jordan hopes that through the food truck he can earn enough to pay it. But, he can't cook. And the first few times he and Max go out, they completely mess up the food. But then he and Max start working together to serve decent food and drinks, and money starts coming in. 

Max fancies Jordan the first time they meet - he thinks Jordan is cute, and delicate looking. They're pretty opposite people but Jordan starts coming out of his shell a bit. Jordan has two friends, whose names I've totally forgotten, whoops, but he's getting a bit sick of being the campy, bitchy friend. The girls are often completely horrible to him, but they do come through in the end.

Most of this book is a sweet, fun, summer romance type, where they do things like stay up all night and make out, but there's also a couple of serious storylines too, both of which I loved. Max's first sexual experience - the night he got in trouble for - was not a positive one, and I loved the way the book dealt with this, with Max's feelings, and the aftermath. Likewise, Jordan's mum is really struggling, and I liked how this was dealt with too.

This was a perfect book for my last book of 2020 as I absolutely loved it. I would definitely read something else by the author. I liked both Max and Jordan and I liked how they grew as people throughout the book, both separately and together. 

What age range is it for? 15+ I think due to mature themes 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Yep, of course! I like how Max and Jordan both knew they were gay, and were proud of that, before they got together. 

Are any main characters people of colour? Yes, Max is half Mexican, his mum is from Mexico. 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? I'm going to give a trigger warning for stuff around Lydia's gambling addiction 

Is there any sex stuff? Yes, and again a trigger warning for sexual assault. 

Are drugs mentioned or used? No I don't think so 

Is there any talk of death? A little bit around Jordan's dad, but it's not too explicit 

Are there swear words? Not many, if at all 


What criticisms do I have? Almost none! I loved it! 

Would I recommend the book? Yep, for sure 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? I knew I wanted to get to it quickly and I wanted something I could finish before the new year! 


What do I think of the cover? It's cute, although it doesn't give much away. 


What other books is it like? I felt it was like an m/m version of The Summer of Jordi Perez

How many stars? Five out of five 


Where is the book going now? I'll keep it! It's a welcome addition to my LGBTQ+ shelf 

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