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Presented by State Library Victoria

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg book review

Hmm I think this matched my expectations to a T. I expected a well written book and certainly Konigsberg delivered however I do not necessarily think that it would’ve been a book that I would’ve considered a “fave” and I, in that aspect, was also correct.

Openly Straight follows an openly gay boy named Rafe who transfers to an all boys school. Although being gay is a part of his identity he doesn’t want that label to be the defining aspect of his being and thus Rafe starts afresh. At his new school he makes new friends in the jock group and he even falls in love… but how can Rafe admit his feelings to him when he doesn’t even consider it a possibility?

I must admit that for the first part of the book I had no clue what was going on and I guess that is because of the sports talk. Specifically, the American Football sports talk. Me being an Australian, I know the rules of AFL well enough. I mean, I don’t necessarily watch every game that my favourite team (Port) plays but I know how many points each kick through the goalpost is and I know how the scores are determined.

But when it comes to American football I am hopelessly and utterly clueless.

And a fat majority of this book was just about American football and something about mid-fielders? I ignored this and tried fumbling along with all this mainly awaiting the promised romance that was hinted at in the blurb but I must admit it was basically a third of the book in before the romance did occur or better described: when I actually discovered the love interest. There seemed to be subtle hints towards everyone. I thought: “Wait is it going to be Albie?” “Ohhhh is it Toby?” or “It’s Ben… isn’t it?” and I was constantly guessing which I must admit is strange for me because I tend to pick up extremely subtle hints in books and immediately ship them and all of a sudden my wishes for these two people to be in a relationship and fulfilled and the next thing I know: they are the next most shipped couple on Tumblr! I honestly think I lasted till the end just to see Rafe get his happy ending and I was pleasantly surprised but it wasn’t enough cuteness to make me go heart-eyes for it all.

I also didn’t understand a bit of the dialogue and okay I must admit that’s all thanks to sport knowledge of which I clearly do not have, but it still made me skim-read a bit and make me a bit confused to some things I missed out later in the book.

ACTUAL RATING: 3.7 STARS

3 comments

zitongbooks

I’m totally with you, I know like nothing about sport but the ones popular in Australia.

8th Dec, 19
sylvs

I know right! It'll be funny if American authors wrote about AFL XD I wonder how that would've turned out!

8th Dec, 19
inky State Library Victoria

But the big question is - was is better than The Sun is Also a Star?

12th Dec, 19