January 26, 2016

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He's won skiing prizes. He likes to write.

And, oh yeah, he's gay. He's been out since 8th grade, and he isn't teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that's important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time.

So when he transfers to an all-boys' boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret -- not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate break down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben . . . who doesn't even know that love is possible.

This witty, smart, coming-out-again story will appeal to gay and straight kids alike as they watch Rafe navigate feeling different, fitting in, and what it means to be himself.
You know when you read a book that you enjoy so much that you just want to shove it in everyone’s face and tell them to read it? Yeah, that is how this book left me feeling when I was done reading it.

It was a very well-written book that covered a lot of different topics. It was a very good coming of age story that portrayed what some young gay men may be going through on a daily basis. Everyone has a different experience, but I think the basic concept of Rafe’s feelings and beliefs can touch many different people.

This book was fun, it made you think, and it was heartbreaking all at the same time.

It covers topics of inner-struggles, acceptance, homophobia, and misconceptions – about many different “types” of people or “labels”.

Once I picked up this book, I couldn’t put it down. I read it straight through and didn’t even notice I was sitting there reading for 6 hours. It is very fast-paced, and I just needed to see how it ended.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys YA novels.

5/5 Stars

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