The Bridge (Hardcover)
Konigsberg has given us a story that includes all the elements of an intricate time travel
story, including diverging timelines, without a time machine in sight. In a way, depression is a
time machine. It holds us down in a single moment and forces us to live within that moment; it
expands in one’s mind and fills every aspect of your being until you are forced to expel it from
your body in one way or another. For those with suicidal ideation, that moment can be your last,
and the act is the way that the moment leaves your body. Konigsberg’s The Bridge, focuses this
moment on a particular place, the George Washington Bridge in New York City, making it real
and tangible for the reader. This book expands and illuminates all the facets and faces in which
depression expresses itself in the mind, the highs and lows, the effects on both the sufferer and
their loved ones. A diverse and human cast of characters is introduced backwards, firstly by their
effect on the world around them before we are introduced to the person themself. It is a profound
and new way to tell a particularly important story. For those who suffer from depression, you can
commiserate with Tillie and Aaron. For those that do not, this is a peek into the lives of those
who do. Konigsberg has written a coming of age story that will resonate with young people for
generations in a common struggle against an invisible enemy. If you have ever felt lost and
alone, this book is for you.
Aaron and Tillie don't know each other, but they are both feeling suicidal, and arrive at the George Washington Bridge at the same time, intending to jump. Aaron is a gay misfit struggling with depression and loneliness. Tillie isn't sure what her problem is -- only that she will never be good enough.
On the bridge, there are four things that could happen:
Aaron jumps and Tillie doesn't.
Tillie jumps and Aaron doesn't.
They both jump.
Neither of them jumps.
Or maybe all four things happen, in this astonishing and insightful novel from Bill Konigsberg.
About the Author
A Junior Library Guild Selection
"The Bridge swept me up and swept me along, and made me forget everything but this book, this book, this book. A powerful, honest, heart-tugging, nail-biting, so-real-it-reaches-into-your-bones story about suicide and mental health and the ways in which too many of us struggle alone. Except we're not alone. Bill Konigsberg makes that beautifully, movingly clear. Stunning." -- Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places
"An incredibly meaningful look into the lives-and deaths-of two teens struggling with thoughts of suicide. Compulsively readable and astonishingly important, Aaron and Tillie's storywill stay with you for a long time after you've turned the last page." - Brigid Kemmerer, New York Times Bestselling Author of Letters to the Lost
* "Konigsberg's approach underscores depression's coercive power and the gifts of human connection, and he sharpens a universal story by populating it with distinctly individual characters." - Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "With each narrative thread focusing on Aaron or Tillie, along with brief vignettes highlighting the lives of those they are close to, Konigsberg (The Music of What Happens, 2019) constructs an intricate tale brimming with questions and possibilities. Messy, complicated, and sometimes alarmingly candid, this is a poignant, sincere look at the many ways mental illness affects young people, as well as those they know and love." - Booklist, starred review
"A heartbreaking bridge into depression supported by a strong foundation of hope." - Kirkus Reviews
Praise for The Music of What Happens:
* "Konigsberg demonstrates once again why he is one of the major voices in LGBTQ literature." -- Booklist, starred review
* "Give to fans of Benjamin Alire Sáenz's Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak. A first purchase for public and high school libraries." -- School Library Journal, starred review
"The result is a story with imperfect characters who are, refreshingly, called out on problematic behaviors and aim to do better. A fresh addition to the menu of queer teenage love stories." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Konigsberg explores how conventional ideas about masculinity trap young men into believing they must act a certain way... A fun, romantic, and moving novel." -- Publishers Weekly
"Readers seeking an unusually thoughtful gay-positive romance will find this moving." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"This book offers an interesting perspective on growing up and coming-of-age by crafting two main characters who offer unique points of view for an often underserved audience. This is a much-needed book in every high school library." -- School Library Connection
"With The Music of What Happens, Bill Konigsberg serves up a profound examination of masculinity, consent, and relationships through the eyes of two of the most endearing narrators I've ever read. Jordan and Max are vulnerable, sweet, funny, and flawed. Teens, hether they identify as LGBTQIA+ or not, are lucky to have this book in their lives." -- Shaun David Hutchinson, author of We Are the Ants w
"The Music of What Happens is a compelling, laugh-out-loud story, as swoon-worthy as it is deeply affecting. Max and Jordan grabbed hold of my heart from the moment I met them and I don't see them letting go any time soon. Konigsberg has a way of making me see the world -- and food trucks! -- a little differently." -- David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Mosquitoland and The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik
"Bill Konigsberg has a way of creating characters that could be your next door neighbor, your best friend, or that cute boy who once helped you change a flat tire. Max and Jordan will find their way into your heart, and after the last page, you'll regret that they aren't real. Once you start reading The Music of What Happens, you won't be able to stop." -- Brigid Kemmerer, author of Letters to the Lost