Beautiful Music For Ugly Children

Finished Beautiful Music For Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills.

Summary (from Goodreads):

“`This is Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, on community radio 90.3, KZUK. I’m Gabe. Welcome to my show.’

My birth name is Elizabeth, but I’m a guy. Gabe. My parents think I’ve gone crazy and the rest of the world is happy to agree with them, but I know I’m right. I’ve been a boy my whole life.

When you think about it, I’m like a record. Elizabeth is my A side, the song everybody knows, and Gabe is my B side–not heard as often, but just as good.

It’s time to let my B side play.”

Oh, you guys, this book.  This gorgeous, brave, heartbreaking, smile-inducing book.

Somehow it flew under my radar and then somehow I saw something about it (on Twitter, maybe?) and I am so grateful. I  read this book while on vacation, and it just absolutely blew me away.

I loved Gabe, and the way that he was so insistent that he was going to live his life the way he wanted.  His parents, brother and best friend all know that he’s transgender, and that he would prefer to be called Gabe and not Elizabeth.  At school and with his other best friend and mentor, John, however, he is content to stay below the radar and in the closet.  (As it were; Gabe is attracted to girls and, despite the fact that he’s biologically female, is essentially straight.)

And while Gabe’s gender is a major point of this novel, it’s just as much about music (which Gabe and John are both obsessed with) and learning to be who you are without apology.  It’s something that everyone can relate to, right? Because we all have to come to terms with ourselves.

Everything about this book struck a chord with me (no pun intended) and I do want to make everyone I know read it.

Highly recommended.

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