Thursday, August 22, 2013

OPENLY STRAIGHT by Bill Konigsberg

Knowing you are gay and making that clear to the world at a fairly early age should make things easier, right?  Well, it worked for Rafe for a while, but lately he has been secretly wondering what life would be like without the label.

Rafe came out as gay in eighth grade.  His family and his best friend Claire Olivia accepted and embraced his openness.  He didn't particularly have any problems at all.  His mother leaped into his gayness by becoming active in the Boulder PFLAG, and Rafe became known as the gay kid in the community.  Life was good for Rafe.

But inside, Rafe was curious what it would be like to just be one of the guys so he came up with a plan.  He decided to apply to an all-boys boarding school near Boston and keep his life choice a secret.  No one there or back in hometown Boulder was to know his plan.  He would just blend in and live like one of the guys.

Rafe was actually surprised at how easy it all worked, at least at first.  He was accepted and even welcomed for his running speed on the soccer field.  He became a friend of jock and oddball alike.  He was appreciated for his intellect and humor.  However, one fellow student, the amazingly attractive and thoughtful Ben, might turn out to be more than just one of the guys. 

Will Rafe be able to keep his secret?  His writing journal gives him a place to confront his conflicting thoughts, but can it keep him from revealing who he truly is?

OPENLY STRAIGHT by Bill Konigsberg provides a unique look at a well-adjusted gay teen determined to experience life from a new perspective.  A perfect read for questioning teens or anyone looking for a bright main character surrounded by quirky characters and witty dialogue.

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