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Openly Straight Audiobook

Openly Straight

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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"From the first, Pete Cross's narration describes the high spirits of Rafe and his family.... The humor continues outwardly throughout the book, but Cross undercuts it with Rafe's uncomfortable inner feelings.... Cross's delivery reflects how Rafe wrestles with honesty, hides truths in a romantic relationship, and finally faces the painful path to becoming his real self." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (377 )
5 star
 (226)
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4.4 (360 )
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4.7 (362 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Johnathan 08-20-17
    Johnathan 08-20-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
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    "Dissapointing"

    Don't buy this if you want a good story, much less a romantic story.

    This book is little more than a vehicle for the author to express his opinions on how gay people should behave and feel about their own sexuality.

    It's essentially the "if you're not flaming gay, you're really just repressed or self hating" argument stretched over way too many pages.

    I felt betrayed when I realized this, having already become attached to the plot and characters, who were never really done justice as they were clearly playing second fiddle to the author's "message."

    Only positive thing I can say is the narration was decent (but I don't want that to factor into my overall rating, lest I understate the disappointment this novel proved to me.)

    69 of 86 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Cary, NC 09-18-17
    Steven Cary, NC 09-18-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cute"

    Well laid out and accessible. It is made for its audience. Overall A good job but I would still like to see it be less instructional.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raymond Paramo California, CA USA 04-15-17
    Raymond Paramo California, CA USA 04-15-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Novel Worth 'Celebrating.'"
    Any additional comments?

    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'!

    20 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claire Mueggenberg 04-19-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A+++"

    A wonderful, memorable experience. I felt it accurately portrayed the plight of the modern gay kid while maintaining a light hearted tone. Very very good.

    12 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason michigan, usa 11-22-17
    Jason michigan, usa 11-22-17 Member Since 2017
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    3
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    "Touching."

    I picked up this book yesterday, and I can feel the passion that Bill poured into this book. With every sentence I wanted more, until I finished it. Afterwards I couldn't wait until next month for another credit, so I immediately bought Honestly Ben. The characters seemed so life-like, almost like I could meet Ben or Toby as a real person. This book is truly touching and amazing. So to those of you looking for a new read/listen, pick this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 11-09-17
    11-09-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Stunning"

    A heartbreakingly honest story of what it means to be a gay teen in today’s society. Konigsberg explores through Rafe’s eyes how the simplicities of everyday life are different for someone who feels seperate or other from his peers, and how the desire to be loved and accepted runs through us all. Most importantly, we are privileged to share Rafe’s journey of discovering the meaning of real, honest love, and how being yourself is the only true path possible in achieving this. This book breaks boundaries in YA literature that have been dying to be broken. I cannot wait to listen to the follow up, “Honestly Ben.”

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Jackson 11-04-17
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    "A little disappointed..."

    I’m not sure how I️ feel about this book. I️ had high hopes for it initially. But there were a few problems for me, and, by the end, I️ felt a little let down.

    The main character, Rafe, struggles with something that many people do at one time or another: being who he wants to be rather than the person other people perceive him to be. So he moves half-way across the country to start a new chapter...I’ve done crazier. But his parents, whose support of their gay son borders on irritating, don’t support his decision. Neither does his slightly self-absorbed best friend.

    In an attempt to cultivate his new persona, he begins lying — not just omitting truths, which is permissible, but actively lying. And when that’s pointed out to him by the person whom he hurts, Rafe just doesn’t seem to get it. Over the course of the book, his character became one that I️ didn’t like very much.

    I’m not sure I’ll download the sequel to this. I️ tried to be invested in Rafe, but I honestly found a couple of the secondary characters to be more interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Steckel 11-02-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent book!"

    One of the best "gay" books I've read. Touching story and great narration! I recommend it as just a good book, no matter your sexual orientation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda 10-27-17
    Amanda 10-27-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great"

    Enjoyable, thought-provoking, and somewhat realistic. I wish I didn't have to write 15 words lol.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robby 10-20-17
    Robby 10-20-17 Member Since 2017
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    6
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    "I Want a Little More"

    I fully understand his perspective. The way being gay kind of is a label that gets pushed to the forefront and takes over. Guys worrying about if their making you uncomfortabke, you worrying if you said something to make them uncomfortable. Censoring things for the sake of others and just wanting to get a break from that. My only problem is we don't really get to finish the story with Ben, (spoiler alert) see if he maybe becomes okay with being Bi, see how they patch up, how their friendship changes. You get the feeling that they will be close again, but that it will take some time. It doesn't fully answer it though because will it be close like before, will he try to stay semi distant afraid of his feeling. Theirs just a lot of opportunity left to develop Ben's story in the future and I hope us readers will be able to read it/listen to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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