Absolutely, Positively Not...

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Chronicles a teenage boy's humorous attempts to fit in at his Minnesota high school by becoming a macho, girl-loving, "Playboy" pinup-displaying heterosexual.

2006 Sid Fleischman Humor Award Winner

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Absolutely, Positively Not...

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Chronicles a teenage boy's humorous attempts to fit in at his Minnesota high school by becoming a macho, girl-loving, "Playboy" pinup-displaying heterosexual.

2006 Sid Fleischman Humor Award Winner

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Steven likes to square dance, has a girl for a best friend, and does not get warm and tingly over girlie magazines. Worried, he finds a book by Dr. Trent Beachum on how to make sure one's son stays "straight." After reading the book, Steven decides that he must become more of a macho guy; to achieve his goal, he begins to date—a girl a day—hang out with the jocks, and ignore his friend Rachel. After a number of mishaps, Steven finally admits to himself that he is gay. Shortly after, he comes out to Rachel and her parents, who confess that they have thought him gay for years. Emboldened by their response, Steven decides to tell his parents. His mother's reaction is to tell him that he is going through a phase; his father first makes him nervous by talking about the "queers" who served in the army with him, then surprises his son by commenting on the courage of those same two soldiers. Both interactions provide additional humor in a book that alternates between humorous and heart-warming. However, I was pretty amazed at how easily Steven came out of the closet and how accepting everyone was. I would like to hope that every young person would get this type of response but most of us know people who have had very different responses when they finally came out. That said, this is a pretty safe book for young people looking for a book that deals with gay issues. 2005, Arthur A. Levine Books, Ages 12 to 16.
—Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Sixteen-year-old Steven relishes square dancing, drools over his male health teacher's musculature, and keeps a stash of International Male catalogs underneath his bed, but is determined that he is absolutely, positively not gay. In an eager crack to prove his heterosexuality, he futilely attempts to buy a Playboy magazine, tries mingling with the meathead jocks at lunch, and embarks on a series of disastrous dates with girls from his class. From the outset, it's obvious that Larochelle's first novel is mostly lighthearted laughs as Steven tries to rid himself of "deviant" sexual behavior (as explained in an ancient teen sexuality book he "borrowed" from the library). When he finally does own up to his shortcomings as a heterosexual, he decides to out himself to his best friend, Rachel, who is relieved that he has finally told her and blabs the news to her entire family while urging him to form a gay-straight alliance in his high school the following day. Even though the good-natured humor does cloud the book's overall sense of reality at times, Larochelle's eye-opening and accurate portrayal of Steven's coming out will ring optimistically true for many teens and their friends who are struggling with sexuality issues. And it's the delivery of his outing, coated in a healthy dose of hilarity, that makes Absolutely, Positively Not a fast-paced, funny, and frivolously frank read.-Hillias J. Martin, New York Public Library Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Sixteen-year-old Steven Denarski enjoys square dancing with his mother. He doesn't like sports. He's very neat. He's never had a girlfriend though his best friend is a girl. He's been meaning to toss that International Male Undergear catalog under his mattress for two years now, but he hasn't gotten around to it yet. Despite all that, he is absolutely positively not gay. He's sure of it, so he sets out to prove it to himself and the world. Taking instruction from an ancient text on male teen sexuality, he sits with the jocks-who ignore him. He goes out with every unattached girl in his class; he usually ends up cleaning her basement. After a disastrous date with a nympho exchange student, Steven can deny the truth no longer. He comes out to his overzealously accepting best friend and finds his troubles are just beginning. Gay teen angst has rarely been so funny. The characters might be a bit slight, and a few sit-com moments over-extended, but as a first effort on a touchy subject this will entertain readers no matter which team they play for. (Fiction 12+)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439591096
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2005
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.78 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 11, 2009

    One of the Most Boring Books Ever

    I hated this book. The whole thing was him denying that he was gay, when he was so obviously gay. I guess the best I could say about it was that I understood some things SLIGHTLY better when I was done, but I found it completely and utterly boring, stupid, and annoyingly predictable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2008

    Absolutely, Positively NOT an authentic story

    Synopsis: This contemporary fiction book 'appropriate for later middle school through high school grades', tells the story of a suburban teen named Steven. Steven has a secret that he can¿t tell anyone: he square dances with his mom- and he likes it! While this is the biggest secret he thinks he has to keep, the arrival of Coach Bowman makes him question his sexuality. Steven tries a number of different ¿macho tasks¿ to prove to himself that he is not gay. For example, he sits at a table with the school jocks, hoping that their masculinity will rub off on him. He forces himself to cut out pictures of nearly nude women, and makes himself kiss their pictures every night. Steven also becomes a ¿serial dater¿- when his parents punish him for driving the truck without permission, he invites several girls from school over to his house. Each girl loves the ¿date¿, but Steven¿s best friend Rachel sees right through his games: what kind of guy gets a chance to be alone with attractive women, but helps them clean up their homes and play scrabble? He even manages to attract the beautiful foreign exchange student, who throws herself all over him, but he lies and tells her he can¿t sleep with her for a silly reason. Unfortunately, his growing feeling for Coach Bowman, and his lack of attraction to any girls makes him slowly come to terms with who he really is. Evaluation: This book seems to gloss-over the private emotions of the narrator and other characters in the story. The characters seem incredibly flat, and the setting is unrealistic. Steven¿s mom is the best-selling author of the book about how to raise a tidy child, but her house is a complete mess. His father is overly macho, and insults Steven for driving like his rule-abiding mother. Steven himself doesn¿t seem to feel the emotions that a real person, given his situation, would feel. The high school students in the story are far to accepting of differences, something that is unheard in most high schools. No one criticize Steven for bringing a dog to prom, and the jocks don¿t question him when he sits at their table for lunch. It should be noted that the jocks, and not Steven, are stereotyped in this story: they are portrayed as cavemen whose speech is unable to be more than laconic, and they do idiotic things like belching and farting for fun. When Steven finally decides to go to a meeting for gay and lesbian teenagers, he spots a guy from the hockey team. Steven begins telling him that he shouldn¿t look so uncomfortable and shouldn¿t be in denial. The hockey player is angry, but not realistically and just tells Steven he¿s not gay. Steven then discovers that the boy¿s mom is the coordinator of the group, and that she, not her son, is a homosexual. Steven¿s antics should have left him pulverized 'by the heartbroken girls he serial dated, and the students at prom', but everything turns out okay. While I didn¿t expect anything tragic to occur, Steven has fewer problems than real heterosexuals who are trying to date for the first time. For readers looking to experience what is like to be a teen that unsure of his/her sexuality, this book may be a great disappointment. Unlike Alex Sanchez¿s So Hard To Say, the story elements in this book appear to be far from authentic, completely underdeveloped, and are therefore not representative of quality realistic contemporary fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2008

    Absolutely, sort of. . .

    What if you were attracted to the wrong gender? That is precisely the conundrum that Steven DeNarski is facing.¿well, that and the fact that he enjoys square dancing and can¿t seem to pass his driver¿s test. This book introduces us to a very likable cast of characters and addresses the emotions of a teenage boy who is coming to grips with his belief that he is gay. While most of the scenarios present realistic situations (from researching in an attempt to change his feelings to ¿coming out¿), the story is superficial. Our hero is surrounded by a group of people who range in reaction from wonder that it could have taken him so long to acknowledge it to supportive denial. It paints a much rosier picture of how easy it would be to be gay than the suicide rates would support. It was a quick, cute read that would be great for starting conversations, but is not something I would rely on to paint the full picture of the issues surrounding teen homosexuality.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2008


    Absolutely, positively, Notis written by David Rochelle and is written for Young adults. This story is about a boy name Steven and he is a high school student who has problems, boy problems to be exact. He wants stop and really soon, before it¿s too late. This book is very diverse and has its own uniqueness. It¿s really something you would want to read when you are bored or in the mood to read something funny. The author describes things exactly how a person would see if in that situation. Even though the cover and the title is a little too girly and weird, it is really good for boys a girls. This book can really make your day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2007


    The humor in this book fits well, but it doesn't overpower the book so you can still see the real message.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2005

    Fun Read

    A bit frothy but pleasant and fun to read. It is nice to read a book on this subject without the heavy angst.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2010

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    Posted June 25, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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