Music Box by John C. Houser


 When bullies chase Jonah Winfield to the front step of Avakian Music, owner Davoud Avakian intervenes and offers Jonah sanctuary among the lush chords of the Music Box’s Steinway Grand. Jonah’s sexuality isn’t a problem for Avakian, but it’s an issue the kids at school won’t allow Jonah to forget—whether he’s ready to deal with it or not. When the bullying escalates to violence, Jonah’s favorite music teacher, Mr. Gaston, wants to take the bullies to the principal.Speaking up for his favorite student may bring Paul Gaston’s own sexuality up for debate, and with budget cuts looming, he’s already on shaky ground. Forcing Jonah to do anything will only make matters worse. Getting Jonah’s cooperation requires earning his trust and helping to preserve the sanctuary of the Music Box. But the generations old music store handed down to Davoud is on the verge of bankruptcy. If Paul and Davoud can’t figure out how to turn the business around, everyone will feel the loss.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20320523-music-box?ac=1
The writing style of this author was outstanding, the characters were developed very well and the emotion portrayed by the author for each character was strong and endearing…..the problem lied in
the story.  It was so full of heart break, disappointments and anguish; I had a difficult time finishing it.  It was so depressing yet I felt I owed it to the characters to continue their story, so this is why I gave it a four star rating.
Jonah was a music prodigy.  He could hear a piece on the radio and go to the piano and play it almost perfectly.  He joined the jazz band at school due to his respect for his music teacher Mr. G, what no one knew was he was also being bullied, almost to death by two jocks because he was gay.   One day when they hunted him down after school Davoud Avakian rescued him by pretending Jonah  was late for his music lesson.  From that moment on a friendship began. During the story Davoud and Paul (Mr. G) set out to help Jonah put a stop to the bullying.  Jonah knew though there was nothing that could be done to stop the bullies so he withheld the names of those tormenting him.  Once his dad became involved, the three men set out to protect Jonah and his homosexuality as much as they could but it often even more tragic.  When a friend of Jonah’s accidentally started disclosing the identity of the bullies, things took a drastic turn.
Through financial difficulties, budget cuts, suicide and a host of other heart breaking issues, these men went on a journey to stop the bashing of Jonah before it became too late.  When the family of Davoud decided to come visit after their musical journey, another layer of stress and pain was beginning to form for him, yet his dedication to protect the prodigy of Jonah still remained his focus.  Mr. G was dealing with his own issues at school, trying to save the music program, but he remained dedicated to the cause of saving Jonah.  With the support of those men along with his father, don’t even get me started on his mom, Jonah was going to have to find the same fight within himself to prove his worth to the school, society and even to himself.
We watch each character deal with family issues that could tear them apart, the determination to keep fighting even when all seems to be lost.  I commend the author for taking on such a deep and sensitive issue in society and giving us some insight with these characters.  While he didn’t embellish the story with trivial drama, he kept it real and connected to everyday life for many people, it became overwhelmingly depressing.  I wasn’t left with a sense of closure at the end of the book, I was left feeling sad and wanting to withdraw from society due to this amount of misfortune and evilness.
If you are looking for a feel good book then this isn’t for you, but if you want and desire a book that will give you the worst that life and society has to offer with now real solution then you will be thrilled to find this book.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HYE9EYS/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00HYE9EYS&linkCode=as2&tag=crysmanrev-20     http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/music-box-john-c-houser/1118114928?ean=2940148352976&itm=1&usri=john+houser     https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-musicbox-1400557-149.html?referrer=52378e08e5757