Openly Straight

Openly Straight

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Tired of being known as "the gay kid", Rafe Goldberg decides to assume a new persona when he comes east and enters an elite Massachusetts prep school--but trying to deny his identity has both complications and unexpected consequences.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Arthur A. Levine Books, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780545509893
Characteristics: 320 p. ; 22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Feb 12, 2018

This is a great book that really goes into detail about a different point of view. Is it worth it to almost go back into the closet in hopes of being treated differently? The main boy has never been bullied, but he wants to rid himself of the label of "The Gay Kid". This goes into details about his life and what it feels like to be subtly treated differently.

Jul 19, 2016

Openly Straight is a great book, with an interesting perspective on coming out that you don't find often.

Rafe's voice is familiar and relatable, with a nice balance of thoughts and plot. He comes out as gay at a young age, and his sexuality is celebrated, but he also can't connect with people because all they see is GAY. So he pretends to be straight at a new school.

I like this book because it reflects how I feel about my sexuality. Being bi is an important part of me, but it's not really a defining character trait. In a perfect world, sexuality only influences the people you date. I feel undertones of that theme, and anyone that's interested in what sexuality means, or different coming out stories should read this book

Dec 02, 2015

A humorous look at trying to live a straight life from the perspective of an openly gay teen.

Richard Organo
Sep 03, 2015

The ending did not please me at all. The book is oh so good but the ending is a no no.

Aug 22, 2015

Openly Straight has several moments that make me just laugh out loud. Additionally, Rafe is so honest and real readers will have no trouble at all understanding how he feels.

Aug 12, 2014

As a teen reading this, this would've been a breath of fresh air to have a narrator who isn't struggling with his sexuality, and where the romance feels realistic and genuine. As an adult reading this (which I am), I can see all the issues Konigsberg is tackles: what it's like to be gay in a changing and progressing society, the conflict to be open vs. being seen and labeled as "the gay", friendship. The other thing about Konigsberg's writing is that his characters (including his previous novel, Out of the Pocket) are well-defined and rounded, even the minor ones. Fantastic writing and great story.

Jun 09, 2014

I judge this book to be excellent. It is very well written, the plot adds a truly fresh perspective on the concept of same-sex love and friendship, and the labeling or (stereo)typing of teenage personalities. What I found so refreshing is that the style of prose and dialogue is neither stilted or antiquated, nor didactical or too filtered through the lens of an adult writer. I judge the book to be an age appropriate read for teens and an equally interesting one for any adult. The dialogue is often funny, but the story holds moments of real drama and suspense. Most importantly, the reader is being challenged to re-think any notions of what it means to be gay. The open ending makes the story an honest one. I liked, and can only recommend, this book.

Jan 07, 2014

Fantastic concept, and I think it's great for any teenager as all have to deal with labels. I was slightly disappointed to be left hanging a bit at the end, but otherwise I thought it was really well done.

Dec 08, 2013

Firstly, this book was fantastic. I read the whole darn thing in one sitting. I've done that before with many other novels but all of those novels gain a special place in my heart and this one is no exception. It also gained a special place in my head, as the novel makes the reader reflect on many issues. One of the biggest questions the book made me think was "do people see me as the gay kid?" This book made me think about it, and towards the end brought up the question of "Why is it important that we come out to people? Straights don't have to." The only critique I had on the book was when I finished reading I felt unfulfilled. I wasn't ready to finish reading. While it does give leeway for a sequel, it would have been nice to known what happened to the cast after the words stopped.

Ray R Labonte
Sep 29, 2013

- this book was a fun easy read.
- a real page turner with an awesome story line.
- i really enjoyed reading it.

View All Comments


Add a Quote

Aug 23, 2015

“You can be anything you want, but when you go against who you are inside, it doesn’t feel good.”

Aug 23, 2015

“We were dancers and drummers and standers and jugglers, and there was nothing anyone needed to accept or tolerate. We celebrated.”

Aug 23, 2015

“Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a world where no one thought being gay was even something to ride someone about?”

Aug 23, 2015

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”

Aug 23, 2015

“The world needs people who are more comfortable standing still. We keep the earth on it axis when everybody else is bouncing around.”


Add Age Suitability

Aug 22, 2015

xzhang17 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Aug 16, 2015

Re_Bel thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add a Summary

Aug 22, 2015

This is an interesting look into the life of a gay teen (Rafe) who just wants to be normal. So, it is understandable that he does not want to broadcast his sexual orientation to everyone at the all-boys boarding school he will be attending in Natick MA. Rafe is actually pretty excited for his chance to be more than just the gay kid. His plan seems to be going great- at first. Then when he falls in love with one of his newfound friends, he struggles with showing his true emotions.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at BPL

To Top