Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kristin Cronn-Mills: Book Review

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children

Obtained: Purchased @ World’s Biggest Bookstore
Pages: 262
Publish date: October 8, 2012
Rating: ★★★★★

I have to admit, I picked this book up because the cover caught my eye and once it was in my hands, the title intrigued me. And once the title had me interested, the summary on the back of the book was what sealed the deal and made me buy it. If there’s one reason I read, it’s to learn new perspectives and understand things that are new to me, and Beautiful Music for Ugly Children offered me just that.

The YA novel tells the story of Gabe. But the thing about Gabe is that he was born into his family as Elizabeth. Gabe knows who he is, and is just in the process of getting other people to know and accept his identity, when his favourite neighbour offers him the chance of a lifetime – to be the host of his own radio show. The show, entitled “Beautiful Music for Ugly Children”, may run very late at night, but Gabe is just happy to play some of his favourite music and get people to become fans – loving him before they have a chance to judge him.

As I said, this book gave me such an insight to what it’s like to be born in the wrong body. Because as much as a person may “understand” how it feels to be judged and looked at in disgust or fear, or how it feels to live with this gender confusion, I believe that if you don’t actually live in this situation, you can’t really understand what this feels like. And since I’m not a transgender person, I can’t say that I have much experience being transgender – so Gabe really helped me to step into his shoes and see what it may be like to experience such harsh judgement and hate.

I really liked that I even happened to just stumble upon a book about a transgender teen, when it seems that a lot of books in the LGBT category are simply about being gay or lesbian. So it was nice to get a fresh perspective in a genre that I find so interesting.

Besides the main topic of sexuality and identity, I really enjoyed the writing and integration of song titles or lyrics. It really helped to keep the book about Gabe’s radio show and keep the plot in this charming setting while dealing with the issues at hand.

This book had me on Team Gabe from the very beginning, and if you like this kind of book, I highly suggest you read it. And if you don’t like this kind of book, maybe it’s most important that you are the one who gives this book a read.


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