Posted in Young Adult Lit

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, by Kristin Cronn-Mills

13221769Beautiful Music for Ugly Children
Kristin Cronn-Mills
2012 by Flux
ISBN – 9780738732510
Genre – Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ
Age – High School
3.7 Stars

Gabe has decided to become his true self. After living his entire life with a name (Elizabeth) and a body (female) that he does not identify with, he is finally standing up for who he is, which is not an easy thing. Although he knows who he has always been, the distinction is not so clear to his friends, family, and schoolmates. Throughout all of this Gabe has one constant, John, his next door neighbor who shares his absolute passion for music. John helps Gabe to get a volunteer DJ spot on the local radio station, and through this late night weekly hour, Gabe is able to show the world who he really is, and be embraced. Sounds easy? Not so fast. Nobody knows that the awesome DJ they listen to once a week is really the person they have always known as Elizabeth.

This book really gets at your feelers. I think just about everyone I know can identify with feeling like they are misunderstood, or don’t fit in, to whatever extent. But to feel like your insides don’t match your outsides is a whole new world. As much as it stinks, we live in a world where many people do not accept those who are different from themselves. It takes an incredible amount of courage for Gabe to be who he knows he has always been. However, all is not so dire in this book. There are some shining stars, and some stars that just took a little while to learn how to shine. John is an amazing figure in Gabe’s life, who not only shares and supports his love of music, but also teaches Gabe that people can love and appreciate the person you are no matter how you identify yourself. Although the story wasn’t completely gripping, not all of real life is that way. Beautiful Music is full of good and bad, happy and sad, but most importantly hope and love, sappy as it may sound.

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