Ben Carver is back to normal. He's working steadily in his classes at the Natick School. He just got elected captain of the baseball team. He's even won a full scholarship to college, if he can keep up his grades. All that foolishness with Rafe Goldberg the past semester is in the past.
There's Hannah, the gorgeous girl from the neighboring school, who attracts him and distracts him. There's his mother, whose quiet unhappiness Ben is noticing for the first time. School is harder, the pressure higher, the scholarship almost slipping away. And there's Rafe, funny, kind, dating someone else . . . and maybe the real normal that Ben needs.
- ISBN-13: 9780545858267
- ISBN-10: 0545858267
- Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
- Publish Date: March 2017
- Page Count: 336
- Reading Level: Ages 14-UP
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds
Love and friendship
Last semester ended badly for Ben and Rafe. How could they do anything but break up after Rafe lied to him? But the spring semester is about to start at elite all-boys boarding school Natick, and Ben might be ready to be friends . . . or more than friends with Rafe again.
In this follow-up to Openly Straight, readers see inside Ben’s head for the first time. Ben has recently won a prestigious scholarship, been voted captain of the baseball team, begun a new semester of Model Congress and met a smart, interesting girl. But as Ben struggles with balancing all these commitments, Rafe is always on his mind. Would Ben and Rafe be fine as best friends, or does either of them want more? How can Ben consider himself attracted to girls, yet always be drawn to kissing Rafe? Should he stand up to the casual misogyny of his teammates, or is maintaining a low profile more important to him?
Readers may wish more time had been allotted to addressing one of the novel’s most interesting issues—the conflict between Rafe’s mother’s insistence on labeling Ben versus Ben’s reluctance to label himself. But plenty of humor, often in the form of the comic escapades of Ben and Rafe’s friends Toby and Albie, balance out the serious issues of gender fluidity, emotional vulnerability, economic privilege and the inadequacy of labels that author Bill Konigsberg addresses here.