“Honest. Powerful. Simply put a book you need to read. If you fell in love with Abdi Nazemian’s Like a Love Story, you won’t want to miss Music From Another World.”Cece Beckman, Sheaf & Ink
It’s summer of 1977 and Tammy Larson is gay. She lives in the most conservative county on the West Coast, attends a strict Christian High School, and her home life is no different.
Stuck in a time and place that would rather see her punished and ostracized for being gay, Tammy is forced to keep her silence about being a lesbian. Her only solace is her diary who she addresses to Harvey Milk, a gay civil rights activist and her summer pen pal, Sharon Hawkins.
Sharon Hawkins lives in San Fransisco and her older brother is gay, but even though they live in a progressive city, he still won’t come out to their mom. Sharon loves her brother and when he introduces her to the gay community her views begin to slowly change.
In a time where antigay movements are in full force in the United States, Tammy and Sharon come together to find a way to truly be themselves.
First things first, I absolutely LOVED this book.
Yes, Dear Readers, all caps for this centerpiece of a book.
Robin Talley took a moment in history and made it exceptionally relevant and incredibly relatable. Her choice of diary prose was perfection. The back and forth from diary entries to pen pal letters gave such an honest portrayal of two teenagers in crisis. Talley’s writing deftly showed the challenges young people of the queer community faced and how fiercely resilient they were against intolerance.
From the very beginning you felt Tammy and Sharon’s anxiety, worry, and stress the entire time they wrote to each other or in their own diaries. It was soul crushing to witness how these young people had to endure the day to day discrimination, not only from peers, but also family members. Talley vividly painted our history with bold strokes and splashed in bright colors the beauty of two young teens finding their voice to make a difference.
A Few More Thoughts
What I loved most about this novel was both the poignant narrative and the hope you feel in the victories the characters themselves make as well as the political ones. It was inspiring to read about the leading historical activists in the LGBTQIA+ community, like Harvey Milk, and how each of those leaders bravely fought and paved the way for equality and human rights.
Music From Another World will hold a special place in the pantheon of LGBTQIA+ novels because it dares to take on discrimination, religion, and human rights while at the same time exploring the blossoming friendship between two exceptional people.
can’t wait for you to read this book!
Happy Reading ̴ Cece
RATING: – Exceptionally Inked
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Publication Date: March, 2020
Audience: Young Adult; ages 13 and up
Jacket Art: Unkown at this time
Jacket Design: Unkown at this time