BOOK REVIEW: Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg


Publication Date: August 28 2018
Format: Kindle
Genre:  YA, LGBTQ,

Publisher: Scholastic
352  pages
Buy:  Kindle | Paperback


In the companion to Openly Straight, Ben confronts pressure at school, repression at home, and his passion for two very different people in figuring out what it takes to be Honestly Ben.

Ben Carver is back to normal. He's working steadily in his classes at the Natick School. He just got elected captain of the baseball team. He's even won a full scholarship to college, if he can keep up his grades. All that foolishness with Rafe Goldberg the past semester is in the past.Except...There's Hannah, the gorgeous girl from the neighboring school, who attracts him and distracts him. There's his mother, whose quiet unhappiness Ben is noticing for the first time. School is harder, the pressure higher, the scholarship almost slipping away. And there's Rafe, funny, kind, dating someone else . . . and maybe the real normal that Ben needs.


I wasn't thrilled with the way Openly Straight ended but it was honest, this book gave me hope for another chance for Ben and Rafe.  This book is actually even better than Openly Straight as Ben struggles with pressures from school, home and his feelings for Rafe. 

Ben is a quiet guy, but he is also very introspective.  He sees things, he starts to notice his mother isn't happy, his father is too quiet. He also falls for a gorgeous open girl named Hannah. However he still has feelings for Rafe and he is finding it hard to figure out which one he wants more. He struggles with identity and losing all the things he thinks he wants to be authentic. Its a struggle but this book really shows all of the angst and pain of having to make decisions like this without the support of family can do to someone. 

I appreciate that there are several other gay characters and none of them are the same. I also appreciate how Konigsberg relates this to standing up for beliefs and truth even when they aren't popular.  I don't usually thinks equals are as strong but this one is blew me away. 

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