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Openly Straight Hardcover – May 28 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 723 ratings

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Review

Praise for Openly Straight:Winner of the Sid Fleischman Award for HumorYALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults SelectionLambda Literary Award Finalist"Funny, unexpected, peppered with terrific dialogue -- and best of all, achingly honest." -- Ned Vizzini, author of It's Kind of a Funny Story and House of Secrets"For anybody who ever wished they could be someone else (and who hasn't?), Openly Straight provides a fun and intriguing, twisting-and-turning romp through sexuality, identity, friendship, and love." -- Alex Sanchez, author of Rainbow Boys and Boyfriends with Girlfriends"Bill Konigsberg hands a great high concept to a really compelling narrator and presents us with a terrific read. Openly Straight is smart, funny, and unflinching. Read this book." -- Chris Crutcher, author of Deadline, Whale Talk, and Period 8"Konigsberg's lovely novel invites us to walk with Rafe through his season of assumed identity and his costly emergence into honesty. It's beautiful. It's a story of salvation." -- The New York Times Book Review* "Lambda Literary Award-winner Konigsberg has written an exceptionally intelligent, thought-provoking, coming-of-age novel about the labels people apply to us and that we, perversely, apply to ourselves... Openly Straight is altogether one of the best gay-themed novels of the last ten years." -- Booklist, starred review* "Readers and discussion groups looking for new and deeper ways to think about what it means to live honestly in a world that sorts by labels will find this fresh and evocative." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review"For a thought-provoking, creative, twenty-first-century take on the coming-out story, look no further." -- The Horn Book Magazine"An original, thought-provoking, hilarious story about the importance of embracing your true identity, and the cost to yourself and others when you don't." -- Julie Ann Peters, author of Luna and Keeping You a Secret"Openly Straight sports a sharp plot with a twist, sympathetic (and totally hot) characters, and universal appeal. It's a must-read for openly everyone!" -- Lisa McMann, bestselling author of the Wake TrilogyPraise for Honestly Ben:"To characterize Honestly Ben (even though labeling feels so wrong after reading this book), I would first call it hilarious. But also touching! And absolutely necessary." -- Jay Asher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why and What Light* "Konigsberg has again done a remarkable job developing characters and inviting readers to consider the meaning of friendship with all its rewards and challenges. Extremely well written, this novel of ideas is deeply satisfying and as honest as its appealing protagonist." -- Booklist, starred review* "Well-rounded characters take readers from serious, thoughtful discussions to typical teen pranks with ease . . . Equal parts serious and funny as it addresses homophobia, hazing rituals, and cheating while also delighting readers with a slice-of-life tale set at a private academy." -- School Library Journal, starred review* "Konigsberg again realistically explores what happens when one's self butts up against . . . the world's expectations and assumptions . . . The result is a refreshingly honest exploration of modern relationships and an understanding that love can take many shapes and forms." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review"Honestly Ben is funny, complex, joyful, heartbreaking, and exceedingly wise all at once. A teenager with any question about the right way to live couldn't ask for a better read." -- Geoff Herbach, author of Anything You Want and Stupid Fast"It's hard to write a good sequel, keeping what people loved about the first book, but adding something fresh and new. Not surprisingly, Bill Konigsberg pulls it off wonderfully in Honestly Ben." -- Brent Hartinger, author of Geography Club and Three Truths and a LiePraise for The Porcupine of Truth:Winner of the Stonewall Book AwardWinner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Children's/Young AdultA YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection"Words like 'brilliant' are so overused when praising novels--so I won't use that word. I'll just think it." -- Benjamin Alire Sáenz, author of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe"Bill Konigsberg's The Porcupine of Truth is at once heartwarming and heartbreaking, a funny and thought-provoking road trip with remarkable friends Carson and Aisha, who share tough lessons about mending fractures, forging bonds, and discovering grace. Undeniably human and unforgettably wise, this book is a gift for us all." -- Andrew Smith, author of Grasshopper Jungle and Winger* "Konigsberg weaves together a masterful tale of uncovering the past, finding wisdom, and accepting others as well as oneself." -- School Library Journal, starred review* "Konigsberg... crafts fascinating, multidimensional teen and adult characters. A friendship between a straight boy and a lesbian is relatively rare in YA fiction and is, accordingly, exceedingly welcome." -- Booklist, starred review"Equal parts funny and profound." -- Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Bill Konigsberg is the author of six books for young adults, which have won awards including the Stonewall Book Award, the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor, and the Lambda Literary Award. Bill lives with his husband, Chuck, and their two Labradoodles, Mabel and Buford. Please visit him online at billkonigsberg.com and @billkonigsberg.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 0545509890
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Arthur A. Levine Books (May 28 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9780545509893
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0545509893
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 440 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.24 x 3.18 x 21.59 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 723 ratings

About the author

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Bill Konigsberg was born in 1970 in New York City. Expectations were high from birth -- at least in terms of athletics. His parents figured he'd be a great soccer player, based on his spirited kicking from inside the womb. As it turned out, the highlight of his soccer career was at Camp Greylock in 1978, when he was chosen for the Camp's "D" team. There were only four levels. Bill played alongside the likes of the kid who always showered alone, the chronic nosebleeder and the guy with recurrent poison ivy.

A B- student and adequate junior varsity athlete throughout high school, Bill was voted Most Likely to Avoid Doing Any Real Work In His Life by a panel of his disinterested peers. He proved them wrong with a series of strange-but-true jobs in his 20s - driver recruiter for a truck driving school, sales consultant for a phone company, and temp at Otis Elevators.

He worked at ESPN and ESPN.com from 1999-2002, where he developed a penchant for sharing too much information about himself. That character flaw earned him a GLAAD Media Award in 2002, for his column "Sports World Still a Struggle for Gays."

As a sports writer and editor for The Associated Press in New York from 2005-08, Bill once called his husband, who was at the time working a desk job, from the New York Mets dugout before a game. "I'm so bored," Bill whined. He slept on the couch for a week.

He wrote a novel called Audibles at Arizona State, and sold that novel to Penguin in 2007. His editor asked him to change the title so that it would appeal to people other than "football players who read." The resulting novel, Out of the Pocket, received strong reviews from his mother, father, significant other and one girl who had a crush on him in high school. It won the Lambda Literary Award in 2009.

His second novel, Openly Straight, hit the bookshelves in late May of 2013. He describes the novel as "Twilight-like, only without vampires and wolves and angsty teenage girls. Also, set in an all-boys boarding school in Massachusetts. Otherwise, it's like an exact replica." That novel won the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor, which made him an unbearable dinner companion for months thereafter.

His third novel, The Porcupine of Truth, was released in May of 2015. He chose to put a porcupine in the title because this is America, and no one here knows what a platypus is. The novel won the Stonewall Book Award and PEN Center USA Literary Award.

Next came Honestly Ben, a companion book to Openly Straight. He wrote it so people would stop yelling at him about Openly Straight's ending. Honestly Ben received three starred reviews and made lots of people swoon over Ben some more, which irks Bill to no end as Ben is loosely based on his husband, Chuck. No one seems to swoon over Rafe, who is loosely based on Bill. Harrumph, says Bill.

The Music of What Happens arrived in February of 2019. The Bridge came in September of 2020. Both of these novels are so Konigsbergian that someone other than him used the term "Konigsbergian" to describe them.

Destination Unknown followed in 2022. The novel was named after a song that hit number 42 in 1982. Close to the Top 40, but not quite. That song will now forever be associated with Bill Konigsberg. That seems just about right.

Bill currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Arizona is becoming known by some as "Desert Florida" because of its political looniness. Bill would like people to know that this is not his fault and that he loves Phoenix anyway. He has a husband who is clearly too good for him, and two Labradoodles, Mabel and Buford, who complete him.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
723 global ratings

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Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars An original twist to the more familiar coming out story: compelling and moving
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Alexandra C
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic. Truly.
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Greg Dunn
4.0 out of 5 stars Characters you come to care about ultimately saves a shaky premise
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BevS
5.0 out of 5 stars Another really good Young Adult read......
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on February 22, 2016
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