Openly Straight

Openly Straight

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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: ** E-Book // Click on DOWNLOAD link to place holds
Edition: EBOOK TEXT
ISBN: 9780545509909
Branch Call Number: EBOOK TEXT
Alternative Title: OverDrive

Opinion

From Library Staff

List - Offbeat LGBT Fiction
cals_readers Feb 08, 2016

Author Bill Konigsberg flips the stereotypical YA - LGBT scenario on its head and the results are hilarious. You will question all kinds of assumptions about yourself and others before you hit the final page.


From the critics


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a
annaisko
Jul 19, 2016

Openly Straight is a great book, with an interesting perspective on coming out that you don't find often.

Rafe's voice is familiar and relatable, with a nice balance of thoughts and plot. He comes out as gay at a young age, and his sexuality is celebrated, but he also can't connect with people because all they see is GAY. So he pretends to be straight at a new school.

I like this book because it reflects how I feel about my sexuality. Being bi is an important part of me, but it's not really a defining character trait. In a perfect world, sexuality only influences the people you date. I feel undertones of that theme, and anyone that's interested in what sexuality means, or different coming out stories should read this book

m
MRR0664
Dec 02, 2015

A humorous look at trying to live a straight life from the perspective of an openly gay teen.

r
Richard Organo
Sep 03, 2015

The ending did not please me at all. The book is oh so good but the ending is a no no.

x
xzhang17
Aug 22, 2015

Openly Straight has several moments that make me just laugh out loud. Additionally, Rafe is so honest and real readers will have no trouble at all understanding how he feels.

w
weirdduck88
Aug 12, 2014

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.

b
bookcrawler
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.

s
Squirt_tastic
Jan 07, 2014

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.

d
drewscow
Dec 08, 2013

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.

l
Labonte
Sep 29, 2013

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

ChristchurchLib 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 http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=672506

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Quotes

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xzhang17
Aug 23, 2015

“You can be anything you want, but when you go against who you are inside, it doesn’t feel good.”

x
xzhang17
Aug 23, 2015

“We were dancers and drummers and standers and jugglers, and there was nothing anyone needed to accept or tolerate. We celebrated.”

x
xzhang17
Aug 23, 2015

“Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a world where no one thought being gay was even something to ride someone about?”

x
xzhang17
Aug 23, 2015

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”

x
xzhang17
Aug 23, 2015

“The world needs people who are more comfortable standing still. We keep the earth on it axis when everybody else is bouncing around.”

Age

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wickedivine
Jan 13, 2016

wickedivine thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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xzhang17
Aug 22, 2015

xzhang17 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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Re_Bel
Aug 16, 2015

Re_Bel thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Summary

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xzhang17
Aug 22, 2015

This is an interesting look into the life of a gay teen (Rafe) who just wants to be normal. So, it is understandable that he does not want to broadcast his sexual orientation to everyone at the all-boys boarding school he will be attending in Natick MA. Rafe is actually pretty excited for his chance to be more than just the gay kid. His plan seems to be going great- at first. Then when he falls in love with one of his newfound friends, he struggles with showing his true emotions.

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