Bill Konigberg’s “Openly Straight” realistic fiction novel should be on your summer reading list

Bill Konigbergs Openly Straight realistic fiction novel should be on your summer reading list

Kayla Blazer, Contributor

“Openly Straight” written by Bill Konigberg, is a realistic fiction novel about the new “straight” kid attending a new school with no friends and a clean slate, which he takes for granted.  

When Rafe Goldberg, a junior in high school, transfers to a new all boy boarding school all the way in New England he is just a boy, from Boulder, Colorado.  But, Rafe is gay.  He has been out of the closet since eighth grade.  He’s very athletic, but never able to play sports because of his sexuality.  So when he sees a chance to not be, “that gay kid Rafe”, he takes it.  After that decision, he lives in his dorm; he meets a couple friends.  He is not alone anymore.

When playing at a game, this guy named Ben catches his eye.  He’s seen Ben before.  Problems arise when they get close, and Rafe begins to feel something.  Ben believes that they both are just finding out they might gay or bisexual together.  Ben doesn’t know Rafe is gay.  

Claire Olivia, Rafe’s bestfriend did not like the idea of hiding parts of himself and not being true.  One of Rafe’s teachers agreed.  Rafe’s teacher helped him be himself more.  Rafe is an excellent writer, and he wrote for the teacher a lot.  

At this point, Rafe is too deep in to come out now.  He fears that everyone will hate him for not telling them sooner.  He starts by telling his close friends.  Telling Ben was terrifying and heart breaking for Rafe.  

This book was definitely one of my favorites.  There was not a dull moment making it very easy to read right to the end.  You fall in love with the characters.  Books with romance are definitely not my type but this book was great.

The author teaches us to be ok with ourselves no matter what.  Even if we sometimes wish we could just tuck away parts of us to be “normal,” we are better as our true selves.  

I would really recommend this book to someone who likes books with some romance and struggle.  Reading about a character who has to deal with being different.  Being different is the best kind of “normal.”