The award-winning novel about being out, being proud, and being ready for something else. Pre-order the companion novel Honestly Ben now (out 3/28/17)!
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 breaking 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.
Konigsberg (Out of the Pocket) raises compelling questions about stereotyping and self-actualization through the story of openly gay high school junior Rafe Goldberg. Though Rafe has a supportive family and community in progressive Boulder, Co., he still feels stifled by being known as "the gay kid." In order to try to live a "label-free life," Rafe transfers to an East Coast boarding school with the intention of keeping his sexuality a secret ("The only way I would actually lie was if I were asked directly, Are you gay?' "). At school, Rafe is quickly befriended by a group of jocks, and even kissed by a girl at a party, but he begins to question his experiment when his feelings for a friend develop into something more. Introspective essays Rafe composes about his life for a writing seminar seem overly scripted, and the plot becomes predictable long before Rafe faces a crisis of conscience. Even so, Rafe's story about seeking a different kind of acceptance should spur readers to rethink sexual identity and what it means to be "out." Ages 14 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I loved the book, but I honestly wish it was longer and went in more depth about characters. It was still a great book, but the author could have made it better if they went into more detail. Also the ending felt a bit cut off. The author put a good perspective on how not all gay males are more feminine, and how they just want to be treated like another guy.
Was it good? Yes.
I thought that the book was a great read and had a nice lesson. However I wished in some ways it was a bit different. I find it very annoying when the main character in a book is so weak, I guess that's just me though. I also didn't like the fact that throughout the book I couldn't help but feel like the author was shaming the stereotypical gay male. There is nothing wrong with being effeminate and I did see that the main character thought that but I still felt like there were some comments thrown in to shade that type of person.
It was such a relatable book. Chapter 14’s conversation with Rafe and his mom make me think of my mother, and how if something were to happen to me it all of the sudden became her problem and affected her life in some profound way. Love her to death, but i get it.