Ziggy, Stardust and Me
The year is 1973. The Watergate hearings are in full swing. The Vietnam War is still raging. And homosexuality is still officially considered a mental illness. In the midst of these trying times is sixteen-year-old Jonathan Collins, a bullied, anxious, asthmatic kid, who aside from an alcoholic father and his sympathetic neighbor and friend Starla, is completely alone. To cope, Jonathan escapes to the safe haven of his imagination, where his hero David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and dead relatives, including his mother, guide him through the rough terrain of his life. In his alternate reality, Jonathan can be anything: a superhero, an astronaut, Ziggy Stardust, himself, or completely “normal” and not a boy who likes other boys. When he completes his treatments, he will be normal—at least he hopes. But before that can happen, Web stumbles into his life. Web is everything Jonathan wishes he could be: fearless, fearsome and, most importantly, not ashamed of being gay.Jonathan doesn’t want to like brooding Web, who has secrets all his own. Jonathan wants nothing more than to be “fixed” once and for all. But he’s drawn to Web anyway. Web is the first person in the real world to see Jonathan completely and think he’s perfect. Web is a kind of escape Jonathan has never known. For the first time in his life, he may finally feel free enough to love and accept himself as he is.A poignant coming-of-age tale, Ziggy, Stardust and Me heralds the arrival of a stunning and important new voice in YA.

Ziggy, Stardust and Me Details

TitleZiggy, Stardust and Me
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 6th, 2019
PublisherG.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139780525517641
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, LGBT

Ziggy, Stardust and Me Review

  • Kai
    January 1, 1970
    me not being able to hold this shockingly unreleased and earth-shatteringly gay book in my hands is clearly homophobia
  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    the rise of nerdy queer historical fiction that isn't just meant to depress you is of 10/10 importance to me
  • Theodora
    January 1, 1970
    Not to be dramatic but this book comes out on my birthday and if that's not a sign I don't know what is
  • ♡ Dakota ♡ (Sarcasm is my middle name)
    January 1, 1970
    This is going to hurt isn’t it?
  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    This was really quite heavy. Jonathan is a 17 year old gay boy in 1973 St. Louis, undergoing shock treatments to help him overcome his homosexuality. Plus, he's getting bullied by the straights at school and his dad is a sad drunk who treats Jonathan like shit. That's a lot. Also, my straight dad was also 17 in 1973 and it was weird for me to imagine him in high school and hoping he wasn't one of the "apes" who tortured kids like Jonathan. But yeah, Brandon does a great job of historical world b This was really quite heavy. Jonathan is a 17 year old gay boy in 1973 St. Louis, undergoing shock treatments to help him overcome his homosexuality. Plus, he's getting bullied by the straights at school and his dad is a sad drunk who treats Jonathan like shit. That's a lot. Also, my straight dad was also 17 in 1973 and it was weird for me to imagine him in high school and hoping he wasn't one of the "apes" who tortured kids like Jonathan. But yeah, Brandon does a great job of historical world building. Also, I loved Web and I think his story and his fight for rights as an American Indian are still so prevalent today. And even tho Jonathan fucked up like a white kid, he tried to learn and do better. One thing I didn't really like was the closeted homophobic bully trope. Like there are 2 closeted bullies in this story and it's such an annoying stereotype to me. If the worst homophobes are actually secretly gay themselves, it's like a weird scapegoat for straight ppl to never be accountable for their own bigotry and bullying behaviors. 'Welp, it wasn't one of ours so we're good.' Like, are there closeted bullies? Of course, but it's over played and b.o.r.i.n.g. and lazy. I don't think the presence of this trope really diminished my experience enjoying this book, just was on my soap box. *tips hat*Anyway, if you like sweet and sad and atmospheric gay boy books, check this out!
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  • Ivy
    January 1, 1970
    I'm nervous about this book, but I think it could turn out to be something very special, a la Ari & Dante,
  • Karol Silverstein
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve been dying to read Ziggy, Stardust & Me by debut author James Brandon ever since hearing the one-line description last year. I’m drawn to GLBTQ+ stories and dig all things 70’s. Those two things together? Bliss! But sometimes when your expectations for a book are super high, the real deal struggles to live up to those expectations…Thankfully, that was in no way the case with this book! Something I wasn’t necessarily expecting is main character Jonathan’s delightful voice, which is full I’ve been dying to read Ziggy, Stardust & Me by debut author James Brandon ever since hearing the one-line description last year. I’m drawn to GLBTQ+ stories and dig all things 70’s. Those two things together? Bliss! But sometimes when your expectations for a book are super high, the real deal struggles to live up to those expectations…Thankfully, that was in no way the case with this book! Something I wasn’t necessarily expecting is main character Jonathan’s delightful voice, which is full of funny insight, relatable teen awkwardness and painful anxiety. Ziggy, Stardust & Me is at times truly terrifying and at other times totally far out. The period aspects are spot on and the writing style makes the book an extremely fun read (when you’re not horrified). Brandon’s fantastical elements are deftly handled—sprinkled skillfully throughout the otherwise realistic narrative.In particular (and without any spoilers), I’ll say that I really appreciated the ending being uplifting without some sort of unrealistic all-conflicts-wrapped-up-in-a-tidy-box-sealed-with-a-rainbow-ribbon thing. Like – ugh. Obviously that kind of ending would have been antithetical to the tremendously real and deeply felt story.A few random thoughts:• Jonathan’s groovy nicknames for things were great fun (e.g. Stingraymobile for his bike and PeterPaulandMary for his inhaler).• I loved Web almost as much as Jonathan did. (And you will too!)• Starla is also a fantastic character and I hope there will be a sequel or companion book that features much more of her. (Get right on that Mr. Brandon, will ya?)This fabulous book doesn’t release until August 6 but you should set aside some time for it now. You can thank me later.
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  • Binay Dhakal
    January 1, 1970
    Just the synopsis of this book teared me up. I'll be a mess when it releases.
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