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The Music of What Happens

Written by: Bill Konigsberg
Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
4 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the award-winning author of Openly Straight, a story about two teens falling in love over a summer that throws everything possible to keep them apart. 

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.

©2019 Bill Konigsberg (P)2019 Scholastic Inc.

What the critics say

"Through the empathetic performances of two narrators, we meet gay Arizona high schoolers Jordan and Max, and their families and friends....  Froomkin and Perez's heartfelt portrayals ensure that listeners are in sync with the characters as they deal with everything from a traumatic sexual encounter and mental health issues to toxic masculinity and figuring out how to be true to oneself." (AudioFile)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • L. Cothren
  • 2019-03-14

Beautiful

This book was amazing. It resonated with me on so many levels. I cannot even explain, but it is truly heartbreaking, heart wrenching and beautifully glorious in every way.
The audible narrators were beyond perfect for telling this story. They could not have been more perfectly casted.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Aptsolecist
  • 2019-03-13

Entertaing read!

Bill is so good at character development. I was a little sad when it ended because I wanted more of them. The readers also did a good job of adding to the uniqueness of the characters and added to how the listener experiences the story. It was a cute and touching story which facilitates an interesting conversation about the dynamics of sexual consent.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Devin Murphy
  • 2019-09-26

The voices are not bad

I don't understand why everybody is down on the reader for Jordan. He sounds exactly like an anxious teenage boy, which is super accurate to the story. I actually really loved how the boy voiced each other. It really highlights the differences in what we think, what we say, and what is heard by others. A really interesting perspective that is not often tackled in writing. The only issue I had was the leveling between the 2 readers always had to turn up the volume for Max which left Jordan yelling in my ear.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-09-25

Beautiful and Honest

Thank you to the author and the narrators for bring this beautiful and honest story to us.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Melanie Maynor
  • 2019-09-25

Great story

I don't usually write reviews, but this book was so great, that i couldn't help it. This book deals with all kinds of serious issues while, also, being laugh out loud funny. This was one of the sweetest love stories I've come across lately.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Robby
  • 2019-08-27

Intense

You can tell pretty early on some of the stuff that's going to happen, the not so good stuff. Foreshadowing and all that. you can prepare for it, but you still kind of have to follow them on that emotional trip and digest it alongside them. Which is kind of amazing it's digestible at all, these experiences that will be traumatic and foreign to many/most, and familiar to some. I ache, but love books that help expose your mind to real problems and pains other people deal with so that your not so ignorant if it connects back to you later in life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Janice Birnie
  • 2019-08-16

Superb.

The Music of What Happens is a beautifully written story of two adolescent boys on the cusp of growing into men. Of finding yourself and your connections with others. Of families, both blood and made and how we support each other through the best and worst of times. Adults can be severely flawed, or not. Teenagers can be miraculous; and flawed. In the end it’s the people who support us who matter.
The voice acting was pitch perfect and the combination of words and narration made for a stunning listen.
This novel should be in every school library and should be read by parents as well.
Highly highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan Knights
  • 2019-07-17

wonderful

another beautiful book by bill, a must listen if you're a fan of young teen gay romance

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-06-26

Awe inspiring

This book tells the amazing story of life in all is missed turns, jackpots, and shortcomings. Truly the novel to read for a one of a kind look at masculinity, and matters of happenstance

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • rosalinda lam
  • 2019-06-26

Every time I see I food truck...

I really liked this book. I loved that even though the author discusses themes like coming of age, sexual preferences, class, race, mental illness and family disfunction the book never feels heavy or hopeless. I actually laughed out loud several times and the dialogue between the characters always felt real. The only problem is that every time I see a food truck now I make a love story in my mind about the people working there and I can’t help but smile like an idiot

1 of 1 people found this review helpful