28 March 2020

Audiobook Adventures: The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg

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.

From Goodreads


The romance was cute. I like how the attraction was gradually built. It really kept me cheering for them every chapter. The moment they finally got together was truly satisfying. I also appreciate how the author tackled the serious issues in the book like dealing with addiction, having a difficult home life, and what consent means. It never felt preachy at any point. I was right there with them, feeling their pain and hoping they overcome it. I loved it!

But then the bad parts often bothered me too. The protagonists have separate groups of friends. Max has his dude bros and Jordan has his wives. Both groups felt all too... straight. Now I don't mind straight characters. Heck, I'm a straight woman! But it was as if the author wanted polar opposites to to show the stark difference between gay and straight. 

Side note: although... if I'm being honest, it made me question how the LGBTQ is represented in books with straight leads.

Another thing I didn't particularly like was the narrator for Jordan. The actor's voice often sounded shaky though I don't know if this was deliberate. It made Jordan sound frail. He would also read Max's lines whenever they appeared in Jordan's chapters and boy did he sound like a caveman. It's bad enough that he constantly used the words dude bro, the voice acting just made it worse. Is that mean? Oh! And the volume levels weren't consistent. Jordan's was always loud while Max's was just right. Why didn't they catch this in production?

So yeah, I'm in the middle with this book. I wonder if I would've had a better time had I experienced this in book format and not audio. 


  1. Sorry you had to endure the bothersome inconsistency of the volume levels of the narrators on the audio book. I would be bothered, too. It's sad that they didn't notice it during production. They should have done better.

    Yani of Litfae

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