Format: Trade Paper
I must say this is probably my first book read on a fictional character who struggles with their ultimate decision of coming out as a Trans-sexual person, and the number of public details that came out with the admission.
Originally born as Elizabeth, a female who struggled with the concept of maturity and hormones, and the desires she had no clue what to do with but knew it wasn’t “normal” for a person – society expected her to be – to have. Eventually she developed a name for this second personae, Gabe.
In this book, Gabe is on the verge of a full coming out after graduating from high school and having the ability to run away to Cities in order to pursue his dream of becoming a great radio DJ. In the meantime, however, he was doing a late-night show on community radio. Connecting through his small fan-base of 20 people, Gabe became somebody he always wanted to be.. accepted.
Gabe has this old guy neighbor, John, whom was just as big of a music geek as he was, and had the music collection to go with it. These two were inseparable, from the point of Gabe’s coming-out to to his near death-bed after getting clunked in the head with a baseball bat in an attempt to protect Gabe from a jealous jock.
Beautiful Music for Ugly Children is truly an awesome book with a lot of feels. I’m being serious when I say I did cry a little bit near the end, I also laughed throughout, so I guess I’m even. There’s a few times in this book that really makes you contemplate life. During a show Gabe talks to his listeners, part of his chat he asks the following:
…are you an A side or a B side? Are you a Top Forty hit, or an equally good yet potentially undiscovered gem?
I’m tired of being someone else’s idea of a hit record. How about you? I know this is a radical idea, but people should get to be who they want to be. If you’re going for the top of the charts, all right. A side all the way, go for it. But if I want to play my B side, I should get to play my B side. And only the cool kids listen to B sides. (p.41)