Book Review: Openly Straight – Bill Konigsberg

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

As much as I loved Rafe’s character here, I’m not entirely convinced with the book’s premise. There’s just something about it that feels awfully unrealistic. First, I don’t exactly buy Rafe’s hippie “ideal” parents. They’re “fun” and “funny” but they’re too made up. The whole boy school setting reminded me of Hungry Young Poets or maybe I’m just imagining Robbin Williams as Mr. Scarborough.

There’s also something peculiar or perhaps a bit illogical (which was well explained by Rage at the latter part of the novel) on Rafe’s reasoning that was prolonged like WAY TOO LONG!

I also loved Ben’s character. I so loved the bromance thing between him and Bryce and him with Rafe. I’ve to admit that I was a bit put out with the ending though I know that it was actually the right and more realistic conclusion. I also wouldn’t mind reading a follow up novel regarding Ben and Rafe’s life after high school. Mr. Konigsberg should really ponder upon this suggestion.

All things considered, I thought the author was able to deliver a hopeful message of acceptance here and that old mantra about being you resounding loud and clear.

Synopsis via goodreads: 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.

This witty, smart, coming-out-again story will appeal to gay and straight kids alike as they watch Rafe navigate being different, fitting in, and what it means to be himself.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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