BOOK REVIEW: Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

Publication Date: May 28 2013
Format: Kindle
Genre:  YA, LGBTQ,

Publisher: Scholastic
339  pages
Buy:  Kindle | Paperback


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 breaking 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.


Rafe came out in 8th grade, everyone knows he's gay, he speaks on LGBTQ topics, his mother is the president of PFLAG. But Rafe just wants to be known as Rafe.  But can you shed one of the biggest things that defines you and still be you? 

When he gets to his all boys boarding school in New England he doesn't announce he is gay, doesn't join the GSA and decides he is going to just be Rafe. Immediately things feel different. He is asked to play football, enjoys his time on the soccer team, and starts to make good friends. But when feelings between him and his best friend Ben start to cross the line Rafe is torn, how do you tell someone that you are gay without them thinking you were lying when you never mentioned it before? 

This was a great book with great exploration of what it means to be gay, how people judge you by your sexuality instead of who you are as a person, and how you define yourself. I loved all the characters, and felt really connected to them and their struggles to live without labels but also needing labels its a conundrum. 

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