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Openly Straight

Narrated by: Pete Cross
Series: Openly Straight, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 1 min
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4.5 out of 5 stars (55 ratings)

Non-member price: $50.76

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Publisher's Summary

Rafe is a normal teenager from Colorado. He's been out since 8th grade, accepted by his peers & championed by his progressive parents. And while that's important, all Rafe really wants is to be a regular guy. To have his sexuality be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time. So when Rafe 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 breaking down and realizes his own labels aren't well-concealed. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben...who doesn't even know that love is possible.

©2015 Bill Konigsberg (P)2017 Dreamscape Media, LLC

Critic Reviews

"From the first, Pete Cross's narration describes the high spirits of Rafe and his family.... The humor continues outwardly throughout the book, but Cross undercuts it with Rafe's uncomfortable inner feelings.... Cross's delivery reflects how Rafe wrestles with honesty, hides truths in a romantic relationship, and finally faces the painful path to becoming his real self." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Thoughtful

This book really resonated with me. I found the protagonist engaging and allowed me to reflect on my own experiences. Strongly recommended.

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I'm torn

I really liked the romance, but Rafe the pov character just... continually makes terrible decisions. And a couple of times it felt like for the sake of the plot the characters were really, beyond stupid about stuff which should be quite obvious.

I'm not sure the heart of the story is really something that needs to be told - yeah, it's easier to pretend not to be gay! Cooool... I'm aware of that already. It was charming, but felt quite poorly thought through, concept and theme-wise

Also some super awkward references to how whacky and out there (and implied; wrong) trans, genderqueer and gender divergent people are.

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I’ll be reading this one again (and again)

My reviews generally extend only so far as star ratings. I choose to extend myself on this review and actually provide an opinion. Excellent....enjoyable.....charming. I didn’t want it to end. Possibly the best narration to words that are so beautifully put together. Thank you both.

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  • Ed
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • 18-05-2018

An awaking

A great story with an emotional roller coaster plot. An amazing perspective on both sides of why being true to yourself is important.

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  • Jacob
  • 09-04-2018

Beautiful story

Where was this book when I was 17!? This helped heal very real and deep wounds I didn’t even know where there. Funny, gut wrenching, heart ache and triumphs are all in this wonderful journey our young protagonist starts.

Love, from a foot tapper.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • A's Mom
  • 23-09-2017

Perspective

Great writing and eye opening perspective. Although sometimes painful, this story seems so valuable for sharing a view that is impossible to get from the straight side. I also appreciated that the character is in high school and how being gay affects his view of the world.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Johnathan
  • 20-08-2017

Dissapointing

Don't buy this if you want a good story, much less a romantic story.

This book is little more than a vehicle for the author to express his opinions on how gay people should behave and feel about their own sexuality.

It's essentially the "if you're not flaming gay, you're really just repressed or self hating" argument stretched over way too many pages.

I felt betrayed when I realized this, having already become attached to the plot and characters, who were never really done justice as they were clearly playing second fiddle to the author's "message."

Only positive thing I can say is the narration was decent (but I don't want that to factor into my overall rating, lest I understate the disappointment this novel proved to me.)

96 of 125 people found this review helpful

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  • Emilio
  • 02-10-2017

Really good but...

The story was amazing but it feels like it's missing something. Unsure if I want to read the sequel but I will think about it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • George
  • 02-10-2017

so much more than a coming out novel

I was not prepared for the questions this brought up. outstanding and unique perspective.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Roy Casstevens
  • 25-09-2017

Hated to have it end.

What did you love best about Openly Straight?

Mr. Konigsberg has a great style that make an audio book really easy to listen to. The story grabbed me right away to see if Rafe's experiment would work.

What other book might you compare Openly Straight to and why?

I love Haley Walsh's books. But really hard to make any kind of comparison.

Have you listened to any of Pete Cross’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

The is the first I've heard from Peter Cross. I found it well paced and he did a great job with voices for each of the characters.

Any additional comments?

I had hoped for a happier ending for Rafe and Ben. It kind of wrapped up quickly. I hope Mr. Konigsberg's next one take me where i'd like it to go. I'm hooked, though..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • RLF
  • 24-09-2017

Great novel

This is a lovely, warm, moving, fun coming of age novel. If only real-life adults were as kind and open to learning about themselves as these complexly drawn main characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • work in progress
  • 24-09-2017

I love this book

This book is wonderful. I was just thinking about the fact that I haven’t heard a book in awhile where I actually care what happens to the characters. I love these beautiful kids. I want them to be real. I think think they are real. I chose this story because it was the Audible Pick if the Day. I know I wouldn’t have tried it otherwise; I wouldn’t have waisted my credit on it because I normally read thrillers. This story tugged at my heart strings and made me laugh out loud. It’s beautiful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-09-2017

Real

I read a lot of LGBT books and this one hit home.
A really great listen!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ray Paramo
  • 15-04-2017

A Novel Worth 'Celebrating.'

Any additional comments?

Though I was a bit apprehensive about this novel's premise at first, I ended up falling in love with its narrative. It does take a little while to warm up to Rafe, but he ends up revealing an authentic, sympathetic side with which readers/listeners can genuinely connect. With an entertaining cast of characters and a heartwarming story about growth--a realization that others should not only be tolerated, or accepted, but celebrated--Konigsberg's 'Openly Straight' is a surprising delight. I cannot wait to dive into its companion novel, 'Honestly Ben'!

21 of 31 people found this review helpful

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  • GemBookEater
  • 26-04-2019

Warning. Listening in public made lead to being LookedAt!

This isn’t every modern gay experience by a long shot, but it doesn’t claim to be and thankfully there is now a lot more LGBT*Q+ stories and characters to offer more nuance.
However, this is clever, funny, sad and eventually authentic.
I laughed out loud several times while listening, and had to wipe away a tear or two too.
Great dialogue, worth your time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kris Gielen
  • 04-12-2019

Amazing book, read in a very nice manner

I just finished this audiobook and I as blown away by it. The story is great, the buildup is very good and I really like how there's a kind of 'meta'-level with Rafe's writing assignments. I 'binge-listened' this book, it was really addictive. Highly recommended.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-11-2019

stunningly good

One of those books that you feel immensely grateful to have come across, whatever your age. I'm truly envious that modern youth have access to such a rich and expanding genre of which this book is a leading example. The audio performance was outstanding.

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  • Matthew Vallance
  • 09-10-2019

Spectacular

There was parts to laugh at and parts to cry at. An emotional, charming but most of all relatable story. Highly recommended!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-09-2019

First book that I have ever listened to

And it didnt dissapoint me! I was glad that the main caracter "Rafe" tought in many ways and made himself a better person. Many people can learn, or at least think, from this book.

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  • jtcoops
  • 27-06-2019

A worthy listen

Great narration and a good story from the outset. Often giving the listner something to think about all the main characters are believable and easy to like.

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  • A. Listener
  • 12-03-2019

Loved this. Better than I had hoped for....

Loved this. Better than I had hoped for. The narrator does a great job, too.

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  • Tom Sykora
  • 08-02-2019

Very real and honest story

I liked this book, relatable and so true..main man emotional struggle was like my own.

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  • Boberic
  • 06-02-2019

I thoroughly enjoyed this.

Believable and captivating characters and relationships, in a story told with humour, finesse and sensitivity.

I loved the details and personalities of the characters on the periphery as much as the main characters and their relationship.

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  • Casey
  • 06-02-2019

heartwarming

lovely well written sweet story. has all the making of coming of age and restarting it all again.