Rafe is a normal teenager from Colorado. He's been out since 8th grade, accepted by his peers & championed by his progressive parents. And while that's important, all Rafe really wants is to be a regular guy. To have his sexuality be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time. So when Rafe 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 and realizes his own labels aren't well-concealed. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben...who doesn't even know that love is possible.
©2015 Bill Konigsberg (P)2017 Dreamscape Media, LLC
"All novels are sequels; influence is bliss." - Michael Chabon
Though I was a bit apprehensive about this novel's premise at first, I ended up falling in love with its narrative. It does take a little while to warm up to Rafe, but he ends up revealing an authentic, sympathetic side with which readers/listeners can genuinely connect. With an entertaining cast of characters and a heartwarming story about growth--a realization that others should not only be tolerated, or accepted, but celebrated--Konigsberg's 'Openly Straight' is a surprising delight. I cannot wait to dive into its companion novel, 'Honestly Ben'!
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