Openly Straight Book Review


Video Review Below

Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He’s won skiing prizes. He likes to write.

And, oh yeah, he’s gay. He’s been out since 8th grade, and he isn’t teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that’s important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time.

So when he transfers to an all-boys’ boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret — not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate break down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben . . . who doesn’t even know that love is possible.

I didn’t know what to think going into this book, but I enjoyed it a lot. It didn’t end where I expected it too.It felt really realistic throughout the entire novel. It makes sense where Rafe ends up.

I loved how the book was about labels in a different way than I usually see in queer young adult novels. Rafe doesn’t want to live life with the label gay, but there are some advantages and disadvantages he faces from it.

I liked Rafe. I was surprised by that. He has to go through a lot of self discovery in the book. During that process he definitely hurts some people he cares about. Even so I didn’t feel like he was being overly selfish in his process. I felt like doing what he did was something that he thought he needed.

There were great side characters in this story. Albie and Toby were so weird and I loved them. Bryce and Ben were both characters I really loved as well.Rafe’s parents are really cool. They need to take a step back sometimes, but I really liked them. I also loved his best friend Claire Olivia. I thought the scenes with her in them were fun.

The writing style was great.It was a really easy read. I felt like the overall message of this book was about self love.Rafe takes his time getting there.


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