Openly Straight

Openly Straight

by Bill Konigsberg


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780545509893
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 05/28/2013
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 392,907
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: HL680L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

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 and @billkonigsberg.

Read an Excerpt

As I stuffed my second empty duffel bag into the dorm closet, I decided on a shower, since I smelled like my expiration date had come and gone weeks ago. A guy zoomed by the doorway, then I heard the footsteps slow and stop.
“Hey, guy,” he said. “We're gettin' a game going downstairs, do you . . . holy Jesus!”
“What?” I said.
“You look just like Schroeder.”
“From Peanuts?”
“What? No. This kid. Graduated last year. You could be his brother. I'm the first to tell you that?” the guy said, revealing a flawless set of pearly, white teeth.
I smiled back, dazzled by him. I hoped I wasn't blushing. “You're the first to tell me anything. You're the first person I've met here.”
“You're kidding. Well, we're playing touch football, could use another player or two,” he said. “You comin'?”
“Um, sure,” I said. Showering could definitely wait.

Customer Reviews

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Openly Straight 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Nerdfighter133 More than 1 year ago
This book made me cry and laugh, sometimes at the same time. It can be relatable for any teen trying to figure out who they are, not just for gay, bi or lesbian teens, in the closet or not. 
ReadingToEscape More than 1 year ago
I thought the premise of this book was interesting to me as a gay teenager myself. What if I could go somewhere where nobody knew me or my sexual orientation? Rafe was a fun narrator and could easily seeing him be one of my friends. I thought this whole book was fabulous.The ending left me wanting something more however, maybe it was just an opening for a sequel? A guy can dream anyways. 
MarlenaC More than 1 year ago
Openly Straight was a refreshingly original story of a boy trying to find his place and personality. Konigsberg was spot on with the realities of being gay and how it impacts one's choices. This book displayed very well what it feels like to be gay in today's modern society. This is a humorous and witty version of nearly every gay teens coming out scenario. It's a very real story which makes you feel as though you're right there with Rafe, experiencing what it could be like to have to cover up such an important element in his life. This book is great for gay and straight teens alike because it really covers all aspects of discovering one's self. The end of being gay with Rafe of course, and also a perspective of what it's like to not exaclty know who you are, but wanting to expirement and find out through the situations of Ben. Really a very good read, and kept me wanting more! Hoping for a sequel to find out if more happens between Rafe in Ben seeing as they ended on a sour note, but still have another year of highschool to go! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You must've gotten locked out. Go to the next res.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book highly recomended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really love this book. It's funny, smart and reminds you of being a teenager. I couldn't put it down towards the end. However, reading this signs you up to read the squeal, Honestly Ben, which is also wonderful. You're definitely going to want more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tyleratthedisco More than 1 year ago
I laughed, and I cried. It is such well written that I felt as if these people could go to my school. I just cant wait for the next book to come out. I just need it. its like oxygen to me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Refreshing to see some homosexual books. I've been looking for lesbian fiction and stuff like that. Haven't read yet, but I hope its good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't get past the sample. I really wanted to read this book, it seemed interesting enough at first, but the plot just kinda fell.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
saze_says More than 1 year ago
i absolutely love this book it was so honest and i think any lgb teens would be able to relate in some way
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg follows a teenage boy named Rafe who wants to leave his life in Colorado behind him and go to an all boys school on the east coast. Why does he want to do that? Because he is sick and tired of being "that guy kid" and wants to start life anew, in a sense. He is sick of living with labels and wants to see what life would be like to just be seen as "normal". Now Rafe doesn't deal with much bullying in his hometown, even his parents are behind him 100%, but he doesn't like people treating him special. He just wants to see him as he is. It is a very eyeopening book, how our society uses labels like "straight" and "gay",  among others such as "jock" and "nerd", etc, when it comes down to it, and it really makes you think of how a person feels when they are labeled. Why do we have to live with these labels? Bill Konigsberg writes his characters very well. They are believable, funny, honest, and true. No matter who you are, I feel, you can relate to these characters. Rafe is surrounded by many types of friends and many different types of people you would find in a high school. I love his roommate Albie, he is very quirky and smart. As we get to know Rafe, and the not-quite-a-lie he is living at the all boys school, he begins to fall in love with Ben, a guy who does't know the truth about Rafe. As the story progresses, life for Rafe gets a lot more complicated. All in all, I loved Konigsberg's writing and want to read more from him. Although, I felt like the story took a while to really get going drama-wise, and ended way too soon, I really enjoyed it and wished I could read more about Rafe. I give this novel a 4.5/5. Original Review posted on A Bibliophile's Reverie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is brutally honest relatable and funny
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars. Everyone wears labels, we pick them out ourselves and wear them proudly or others slap them on us, grouping us together to make their world more comfortable. There’s labels based on everything imaginable and the list gets longer as our society gets more diverse: race, sex, hobbies, culture, and physical characteristic, I could go on but it’s just a fact that everyone has multiple labels that they wear or identify themselves with. Rafe came out in eighth grade. This label, Rafe is proud of but it’s also smothering him, it’s all people see. They don’t see the boy behind the label, they just see gay. He feels like he’s in the spotlight, singled out because of his uniqueness and he just wants to lead a normal life. Rafe decides to spend his last two years of high school in Massachusetts where no one knows his sexual preference. It’s not like he’s undoing his gayness, he’s just not telling. The minute he hits the campus of this all-boy school, he’s enjoying himself. Playing football, scanner pong and hanging out with the guys, he’s almost enjoying himself too much. He’s like a bird, finally set free. As all this freedom makes its way into Raf’s world, he’s becomes undone. He’s lying to himself and others, it’s a front and these people are buying it. Rafe likes his new identity but he knows the truth will come out eventually and then who will be hurt? It was when some of his relationships start to get emotional that I start to worry about how they will end. Rafe’s covering up the truth, he’s an actor to these guys and I have a feeling that some of them won’t take the truth lightly. I treaded lightly reading the chapters as Raf dealt with his sexuality, it was a huge moment for someone who was escaping his previous life. Raf’s roommate was perfect for him too. From their initial meeting, to their police scanner days, to their deep conversations that they had, you couldn’t have found a better roomie than Albie. It’s an important subject and the author did an excellent job with straightforward characters– great book. “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is difficult to put down. Read it and see why.
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Despite being an adult (though I fancy myself a young adult still) I often search for good teenage fiction to grant myself a reprieve from the heavier reading required of me, or that I do for pleasure. This book was shockingly excellent and will be added to one of my favs. I loved all of the philosophical turns and found the book to be well written and engaging. Definitely a book I would recommend to any teenager regardless of sexuality or gender.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funny, witty, never got boring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read it last year and i still remember it. It's the kind of book you just don't want to put down!
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