Max and Jordan don’t meet on a blind date or at a coffee shop or in any romantic situation at all. Their love story begins on a food truck. The Music of What Happens is a feel-good, romantic, and thoughtful look at love and family, the difficulty of sexuality, and the damaging effects of the past. Bill Konigsberg presents a story about two boys struggling to survive and the pain of the world around them but also the beauty of the unexpected.
Jordan’s life is nearly unbearable, with a mother who is more like a child and with him suddenly having to take control of their family business. But then along comes Max, who’s looking for a summer job. He sparks a connection with Jordan as they work together to find the perfect lemonade recipe and manage a food truck. With little to no experience and with Jordan’s mother becoming worse and worse, the two not only find what they need to run the company but also find something they never expected: love. Similarly to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and More Happy Than Not, The Music of What Happens is a profound, hilarious, and beautiful depiction of young love and two resilient teens pushing back against a world that is seemingly against them.
The Music of What Happens is impossible not to enjoy. From the first page, Konigsberg’s story is filled with charming characters and an original story that cannot be forgotten. From food trucks to tragic backstories, this novel has it all, and teens are sure to enjoy every second of the enthralling narrative. While some of the writing seemed to be a bit below par compared to many of the brilliant YA books on shelves today, the overall humor and striking elements of this story definitely overpower any flaws within the book. Ultimately, for fans of Adam Silvera and David Levithan, The Music of What Happens will not disappoint, and I can confidently say that this is one of the most memorable and original stories I’ve read this year. Max and Jordan are characters I didn’t want to say goodbye to.
Bill Konigsberg brilliantly tackles both humor and tragedy, using a formula that somehow works perfectly. Bringing in characters with scars from the past and families that are anything but functional, The Music of What Happens will strike readers’ hearts, delivering a truly special and profound story.