Openly Straight

Konigsberg, Bill

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Openly Straight
Tired of being known as "the gay kid", Rafe Goldberg decides to assume a new persona when he comes east and enters an elite Massachusetts prep school--but trying to deny his identity has both complications and unexpected consequences.

Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Arthur A. Levine Books, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780545509893
Characteristics: 320 p. ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

List - YA LGBTQ by: DalyCity_YoungAdults Nov 19, 2014

Tired of being known as "the gay kid", Rafe Goldberg decides to assume a new persona when he comes east and enters an elite Massachusetts prep school--but trying to deny his identity has both complications and unexpected consequences.

From the critics

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Aug 12, 2014
  • weirdduck88 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

As a teen reading this, this would've been a breath of fresh air to have a narrator who isn't struggling with his sexuality, and where the romance feels realistic and genuine. As an adult reading this (which I am), I can see all the issues Konigsberg is tackles: what it's like to be gay in a changing and progressing society, the conflict to be open vs. being seen and labeled as "the gay", friendship. The other thing about Konigsberg's writing is that his characters (including his previous novel, Out of the Pocket) are well-defined and rounded, even the minor ones. Fantastic writing and great story.

Jun 09, 2014

I judge this book to be excellent. It is very well written, the plot adds a truly fresh perspective on the concept of same-sex love and friendship, and the labeling or (stereo)typing of teenage personalities. What I found so refreshing is that the style of prose and dialogue is neither stilted or antiquated, nor didactical or too filtered through the lens of an adult writer. I judge the book to be an age appropriate read for teens and an equally interesting one for any adult. The dialogue is often funny, but the story holds moments of real drama and suspense. Most importantly, the reader is being challenged to re-think any notions of what it means to be gay. The open ending makes the story an honest one. I liked, and can only recommend, this book.

Jan 07, 2014
  • Squirt_tastic rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Fantastic concept, and I think it's great for any teenager as all have to deal with labels. I was slightly disappointed to be left hanging a bit at the end, but otherwise I thought it was really well done.

Dec 08, 2013
  • drewscow rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Firstly, this book was fantastic. I read the whole darn thing in one sitting. I've done that before with many other novels but all of those novels gain a special place in my heart and this one is no exception. It also gained a special place in my head, as the novel makes the reader reflect on many issues. One of the biggest questions the book made me think was "do people see me as the gay kid?" This book made me think about it, and towards the end brought up the question of "Why is it important that we come out to people? Straights don't have to." The only critique I had on the book was when I finished reading I felt unfulfilled. I wasn't ready to finish reading. While it does give leeway for a sequel, it would have been nice to known what happened to the cast after the words stopped.

Sep 29, 2013
  • Labonte rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

- this book was a fun easy read.
- a real page turner with an awesome story line.
- i really enjoyed reading it.

Sep 03, 2013

"Rafe has been out since he was 14, and though he's got supportive parents and friends, he's tired of being the token gay kid. So when he starts 11th grade at a new school, he sees his chance for a "label-free life" and simply lets his classmates assume he's straight. Rafe is relieved to just blend in, play sports, and make friends with the other jocks… until he starts falling for smart, sensitive (and straight) teammate Ben. While the story focuses on the messy drama caused by dishonesty, the complex characters and poignant emotions ring true in this "exceptionally intelligent, thought-provoking coming-of-age novel" (Booklist)." September 2013 Teen Scene newsletter

Jun 27, 2013
  • art1130 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Best gay YA novel released in the past few years. I truley felt connected tot he characters in particular Ben, everyone I would feel would root for him. And of course the History of Rafe makes the book ever so much more enjoyable. If one negative the comedy at certain points is laugh out loud and other points the jokes fall very short such as the whole name business, seriously, the name seamus is nothing comically funny and to have the joke reoccur I found irritating but hey it's still an amazing book and the Colorado Night scene fulfilled my expectations of the books. A definite recommendation.

Jun 22, 2013
  • Yahong_Chi rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Openly Straight is basically everything you could want from a story featuring an (almost) all-male cast: friendship, racism and all types of love tackled; highs and lows and fuzzy warm moments; and some absolutely, absolutely hilarious scenes. The themes are probably the highlight of the novel. Explored in Rafe's genuine, questioning voice, his mindset develops and takes the reader with him as he searches the differences between "tolerance" and "acceptance" and decides whose opinions matter to him.


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