Book Review: The Music Of What Happens by Bill Konisberg

“The world will make you vulnerable. If you’re acting like you’re not, that’s what you’re doing. Acting.”

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Book Details

Title: The Music Of What Happens

Author: Bill Konisberg

Date Published: February 26, 2019

Number of Pages: 388 pages

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

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I listened to an audiobook copy of this book via Scribd.

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📚 Series? No.
📚 Genre? YA LGBT Romance.
📚 Cliffhanger? No.

⚠ Content Warnings:  Homophobia. Sexism. Animal cruelty & jokes. Sexual abuse. Mental disorders. Parental neglect. Parental abuse. Suicidal thoughts. Misogyny. Addiction. Racism.
⚠ Book Tags :  Summer Love. Food Trucks. Very cute meet cute. Family drama. Friendship drama. Fun banter.
⚠ This Book In Emojis: 👨❤👨😩🍳🚚💸💸💰💰💖🌈

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Book Blurb from Goodreads

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.

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About the Author


Bill KonigsbergBill Konigsberg was born in 1970 in New York City. Expectations were high from birth – at least in terms of athletics. His parents figured he’d be a great soccer player, based on his spirited kicking from inside the womb. As it turned out, the highlight of his soccer career was at Camp Greylock in 1978, when he was chosen for the Camp’s “D” team. There were only four levels. Bill played alongside the likes of the kid who always showered alone, the chronic nosebleeder and the guy with recurrent poison ivy.

Early in his life, Bill decided he wanted to be a disc jockey, a professional baseball player, or the Construction Worker from The Village People. None of these career paths worked out for him. Yet. He still holds out hope for a Village People revival and has set up a Google Alert in case it happens.

A B- student throughout high school, Bill was voted Most Likely to Avoid Doing Any Real Work In His Life by a panel of his dismissive peers. He proved them wrong with a series of strange-but-true jobs in his 20s – driver recruiter for a truck driving school, sales consultant for a phone company, and temp at Otis Elevators.

He moved to Denver in 1996 and was voted Least Stylish Gay Guy in the Metro Denver Area (including Loveland!) for each of the years from 1996-98. His fashion-free wardrobe robbed him of prospective dates countless times, as did his penchant for wearing a mustache that didn’t suit him.

He worked at ESPN and from 1999-2002, where he developed a penchant for sharing too much information about himself. That character flaw earned him a GLAAD Media Award in 2002, for his column “Sports World Still a Struggle for Gays.” That coming out essay made him a household name to tens of people across the country.

He continued oversharing in graduate school at Arizona State, where he added People Pleasing to his growing list of character defects and parlayed that into the title of Most Chill Teacher of freshman composition.

As a sports writer and editor for The Associated Press in New York from 2005-08, Bill once called his husband, who was at the time working a desk job, from the New York Mets dugout before a game. “I’m so bored,” Bill whined. He slept on the couch for a week after making that call.

He wrote a novel called Audibles at Arizona State, and sold that novel to Dutton Books for Children in 2007. His editor asked him to change the title so that it would appeal to people other than “football players who read.” The resulting novel, Out of the Pocket, received strong reviews from his mother, father, significant other and one girl who had a crush on him in high school. It won the Lambda Literary Award in 2009.

His second novel, Openly Straight, hit the bookshelves in late May of 2013. He describes the novel as “Twilight-like, only without vampires and wolves and angsty teenage girls. Also, set in an all-boys boarding school in Massachusetts. Otherwise, it’s like an exact replica.”

His third novel, The Porcupine of Truth, was released in May of 2015. He chose to put a porcupine in the title because this is America, and no one here knows what a platypus is. The novel won the Stonewall Book Award and PEN Center USA Literary Award.

Next came Honestly Ben, a companion book to Openly Straight. He wrote it so people would stop yelling at him about Openly Straight’s ending. Honestly Ben received three starred reviews and made lots of people swoon over Ben some more, which irks Bill to no end as Ben is loosely based on his husband, Chuck. No one seems to swoon over Rafe, who is loosely based on Bill. Harrumph, says Bill.

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.

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My Review

The book is about:
The Music Of What Happens is the story of two opposite boys who were brought together by a struggling food truck and how they fell in love within one summer.

What drew me in:
Like always, this book drew me in through its beautiful cover. I was in the mood for awkward boys and their romancing so I took the chance. I also go crazy about anything food related and this book features a food truck!

Characters & connections:
The story revolved around Max & Jordan. Max is your typical jock-ish teen who, at first glance, looks like someone easy going. I felt a connection with him through the *thing* that happened to him and how he was feeling after it happened.

On the other hand, Jordan is a shy type writer with lots and lots of insecurities. He is a little too whiny for my liking and there were many times that I was irritated with his POV.

There are two friend groups for each of these characters, both of which I did not like. Especially ‘the wives’ of Jordan.

The character that I hated is Jordan’s mom. I want to rant about it but I rather not. But, fair warning, she will get on your nerves.

Everything I liked:
I liked that this story was authentic and real. The chemistry between the two leads is so strong that you can’t help but root for them. Also, this read has lots of angst, and if you are like me, a self-confessed angst-seeker, you will absolutely adore this read.

More than everything, it was the journey in the food truck that shines through. The interaction, the banter, the secret thoughts, and learning about maturity are the things that I loved in their entire food truck management adventure.

Overall thoughts:
The Music of What Happens brought me to an emotional rollercoaster. There were times when I was smiling because of how adorable and awkward they were. There were many scenes that broke my heart. There were moments when I was so mad and frustrated for them. Though I cannot speak for most of the representation in this story, what I can commend is that I loved all of the emotions that it made me feel.

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My Book Rating Breakdown

🌼 Main Character:⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Significant Other: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Support Characters:⭐⭐☆☆☆
🌼 Writing Style:⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Character Development:⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Romance: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Pacing: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Ending: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Unputdownability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Book Cover:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

🌼 Audiobook Production: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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☁ FINAL VERDICT: 3.67/5 ☁

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♡ , Yna the Mood Reader

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Music Of What Happens by Bill Konisberg

  1. I love that you have so many elements to your reviews, including emojis and a detailed break down of your rating. I was thinking of adding this book to my TBR recently but wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it. It seems like you’ve enjoyed it though so I’m going to reconsider. Fab review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, lovelies! 🙂 I enjoy tweaking my review format depending on my mood. Haha. I have been turning into a mood reviewer, too. 🙂 Maybe you should give it a try – perfect for Pride Month!


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