The companion to the award-winning Openly Straight, called "remarkable...deeply satisfying and as honest as its appealing protagonist" (Booklist). Perfect for fans of David Levithan, Andrew Smith, and John Green!Ben Carver is back to normal. He's working steadily in his classes at the Natick School. He just got elected captain of the baseball team. He's even won a full scholarship to college, if he can keep up his grades. All that foolishness with Rafe Goldberg the past semester is in the past.Except...There's Hannah, the gorgeous girl from the neighboring school, who attracts him and distracts him. There's his mother, whose quiet unhappiness Ben is noticing for the first time. School is harder, the pressure higher, the scholarship almost slipping away. And there's Rafe, funny, kind, dating someone else . . . and maybe the real normal that Ben needs.
About the Author
Bill Konigsberg is the author of five books for young adults, most recently Honestly Ben. His books have won awards including the Stonewall Book Award, the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor, and the Lambda Literary Award. Bill lives in Chandler, Arizona, with his husband, Chuck, and their two Labradoodles, Mabel and Buford. Please visit him online at www.billkonigsberg.com and @billkonigsberg.
Read an Excerpt
From Honestly Ben: My pulse went rogue on me. Wild, crazy, strange, nonsyncopated beats. I felt my heart soar, and then plunge, and then soar again. I hadn't been pulled toward Toby and Albie; subconsciously it was Rafe I'd wanted to see, and that was just crazy. I slowed my pace but continued walking, and there was Rafe, illuminated by the moonlight, all bundled up, about six inches below the powder surface. He was making a snow angel. He was wearing the same bright red jacket and black hat he'd worn when we'd gone skiing in Colorado over Thanksgiving. I flashed on Rafe skiing in front of me, his legs moving from side to side like a pendulum while his upper body stayed totally still. On the long chairlift rides, his visible breath dissipated into the cold mountain air, while everything around us felt crisp and clear and right. It had been one of the happiest days of my life. But that was then. Now my insides were all messed up about it, and I knew if I let myself feel even a little bit of that it would be a lot, and I didn't have room for a lot anymore. I wished I could just disappear. "Snow angels have no place in an igloo community," Toby said. "Maybe igloos have no place in a snow angel community," Rafe yelled. I shifted my frigid legs, and it made a sound, and I silently cursed my stupid, thick body. Toby looked over, and he gave a tiny, tentative wave. "I think there could be communities of snow angels that have yet to be discovered," Rafe said, hoisting himself up with his arms. That's when he saw me standing there, maybe fifteen feet away. Rafe smiled, a questioning smile, like, Can we be okay, please? No. Yes. No. I didn't know.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An Introspective Story that Explores What Really Defines People Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg is the sequel to Openly Straight; it is about 300 pages. The book is for teens, as it contains some sexual content and mature language. Honestly Ben’s main character is history buff Ben Carver, whereas the main character of Openly Straight was Rafe Goldberg. At Natick, a close-minded all boys school for rich kids, Ben sometimes stands out, as he comes from a poor family. Honestly Ben picks up where Openly Straight ended. Rafe and Ben fell in love, but the fact that Rafe lied about his sexuality tore them apart. Ben struggles with the idea of being gay, or at least in love with another man. His family, his dad especially, weren’t tolerant of anything other than what they perceived to be the status quo. Besides, Ben desperately needed to focus on school, especially since he had just been put up for the Pappas Award—an award given to especially academic, athletic students. And then he meets Hannah, who is everything he wants in a partner: outspoken, confident, accepting, and beautiful. But, even when everything seems to be going for Ben, he still can’t stop thinking about Rafe. Can Ben really abandon the safe, easy path of falling for Hannah and living the life his father wants for him? Is Rafe really worth the risk of losing his family, the friendship of his baseball team, and Hannah? As Ben falls back into Rafe’s path, his heart tells him one thing and his head, another. Honestly Ben is a poignant story about a young man trying to understand himself in a world full of people trying to tell him who, and what, he is. Stephanie M, age 14, Cleveland Area Mensa