Reviews

Ziggy, Stardust and Me, by James Brandon

toriiareads's review against another edition

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4.0

Wow, this book.

rainbowbookworm's review against another edition

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5.0

I had never heard of this book before picking it up at my local library. Boy was I in for a heartbreaking ride!

Here's how Goodreads describes Jonathan, "a bullied, anxious, asthmatic kid, who aside from an alcoholic father and his sympathetic neighbor and friend Starla, is completely alone." Jonathan is bullied by homophobes who know his uncle is imprisoned for being gay and suspect that Jonathan himself may be gay. Jonathan is indeed gay. After he was caught kissing another boy, his father sent him to get electroshock treatments (straight out of [b:A Clockwork Orange|41817486|A Clockwork Orange|Anthony Burgess|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1549260060l/41817486._SX50_.jpg|23596]) so that Jonathan could turn straight.

Enter new boy Web, a Native American teenager who has seen firsthand the hatred white people have against Native Americans. A young man trying to reign in his rage against his oppressors while trying to find love as an out gay man.

Both Jonathan and Web are harassed repeatedly by peers and adults alike and though they find peace with each other, it is difficult to overcome all the hardships that come their way.

josskxlly's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging emotional funny hopeful informative inspiring sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

sofia_hf's review against another edition

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5.0

read it continuously til 2:30am cos damn,
twas real good

loreofthebooks's review against another edition

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5.0


(I got pre-order goodies! And they're awesome!)


Jonathan is sixteen years old, growing up in 1973. He struggles with his alcoholic father and his sexuality. He relies on his best friend Starla, and on the idea that his "treatments" will one day make him normal. And then a new boy named Web moves into town and he's about to turn Jonathan's world upside down.

This book was absolutely mind-blowing amazing. A solid 5/5 stars for me. There is so much to unpack in this book. It was poignant and it was sad. This book touched on parts of history that people may not remember or realize. (It is definitely worth it to read the author's note at the end.)

Jonathan is a great character, he is clearly growing up and struggling to find himself. He firmly believes in certain things, but in others he doesn't. He's miserable at school (something kids who are bullied will relate to) and he has few friends. But Jonathan doesn't let that deter him, he uses his imagination to fill those empty holes.

This was a book that is still relevant to today's events, and it was done in a way I thought was great -- in introduced a section of society that is often marginalized in our history, and shows their strength.

I had a hard time forming coherent thoughts after I read this because it was so powerful to me. Especially the ending -- the ending made the entire novel. It was a truly magnificent book and I can't wait to see what this author has for the future!

gallifrey's review against another edition

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5.0

"i'm not crazy for feeling this way. they're crazy for trying to stop me. and if it's the last time i ever get to feel joy again, i won't let them have it."

i can't really find the words to describe this book. i'm speechless. i think i just found one more book for my list of favorites. actually, i'm pretty sure of that.

i knew right from the start-- i KNEW this book had something special since i marked it as 'to read'. i just didn't know how special it would be to me until i actually read it.

it's the story. the characters. the quotes. everything. everything about this book is just so important. it talks about so much stuff, so much stuff we STILL have to pay attention to. stuff that we're unfortunately still dealing with, although it was way worse back then.

i loved this book because it gave me hope. it reminded me that i didn't need to be whatever other people want me to be. i'm not sick. i'm not crazy. i don't need to hide and i don't want to. i'm who i'm supposed to be and i will never ever be sick for it. neither will jonathan. or web. or anyone else reading this book, or anyone else who needs to hear this; you're not sick.

"either way, remember: it's your choice. you can be part of the change, not only through mobilization and protest, but by listening and learning from others' unique perspectives, and by simply being you. please don't waste another breath being anything else. there's just no time."

bgjq1993's review against another edition

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5.0

"And we float to the stars like your Ziggy-"

Ziggy, Stardust and Me, an exploration of gay conversion therapy, deep homophobia in 70s USA where homosexuality was still considered a mental illness, racism and loss COMPLETELY broke my heart. And then filled it with hope. An utterly stunning debut

ataraxiareads's review against another edition

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1.0

I'm not comfortable with someone white writing this story. I just don't like it.

emma_cel's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

deadpandasociety's review against another edition

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4.0

Woah this is insane how people were like this back in the 70’s makes me glad I grew up nowadays and not back then!