Book Review: Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

September 6, 2013 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

OpenlyStraight“I was silently saying good-bye to a part of myself: my label. That word that defined me as only one thing to everyone.”

Rafe is gay. Gay is Rafe. Gay gay gaygaygay. Even though Rafe goes to a school that supports him and has parents that were neither surprised nor freaked out when Rafe came out in 8th grade, sometimes he feels like being gay has become the ONLY thing people see when they look at him. It’s time to change that. Rafe decides to go to boarding school across the country and not tell anyone there he’s gay. He’s not planning to tell everyone he’s straight, either, he just wants to know what it’s like when you can be whoever you want and not just one thing. Instead of openly gay, he’s decided to just be openly…Rafe.

My review: You guys, this one was surprisingly affecting. I was expecting something funny, and it definitely was, but it was a lot more than that. I loved how happy Rafe was to be free of labels. Who can’t relate to that? But gradually, Rafe figures out that  it’s harder than he thought to start fresh and find the ‘real him’ since he’s hiding a part of himself all along. Rafe’s incredibly intense friendship with Ben, who of course doesn’t know Rafe is gay, was full of so much longing I just ached for them, especially when the truth comes out (as you knew it would). This one will make you laugh and make you think. I highly recommend it.

Reviewed by:
Katie Clark, Teen Librarian

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Entry filed under: book reviews, new books.

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