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Honestly Ben Hardcover – March 28, 2017
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"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 Lie
Praise for Openly Straight:
Winner of the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor
YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection
Lambda 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 Trilogy
Praise for The Porcupine of Truth:
Winner of the Stonewall Book Award
Winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Children's/Young Adult
A 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
From the Inside Flap
He's getting all As in his classes at the Natick School. He was just elected captain of the baseball team. He's even won a big scholarship for college, if he can keep up his grades. All that foolishness with Rafe Goldberg last semester is over now, and he just needs to be a Carver, work hard, and stay focused.
There's Hannah, a gorgeous girl who attracts him and distracts him. There's his mother, whose quiet unhappiness he's noticing for the first time. School is harder, the pressure higher, the scholarship almost slipping away. And there's Rafe, goofy, kind, dating someone else... and maybe the real normal that Ben needs.
Perfect for fans of David Levithan and John Green, Honestly Ben is a smart, serious, laugh-out-loud novel that will speak to anyone who's struggled to be "honestly __________" in their lives.
Top customer reviews
Honestly Ben takes place a little while after Openly Straight, except for this time, we're following Ben's perspective. Ben is the quiet, history nerd who just wants to play baseball, get good grades and make his family proud. Well, at least that's what everyone thinks.
Ben is such a great character and following along for the ride as he is both figuring himself out whom he wants to become in the future is brilliant. Along with this book touching on so many important topics including, sexuality, family dynamics, relationships, poverty, privilege, and sexism.
I highly recommend!
And the gay-for-Rafe label is so beautiful. I totally understand how that would feel. I love that the labels of sexuality and gender are being stretched and bend to fit a person instead of a person being stretched and bend to fit a label.
This teenage love saga is so entertaining and poignant and realistic and honest, I just adored the heck out of it.
Ben has a lot of obstacles in his path and I enjoyed reading his perspective and understanding more about his psyche. His dad, though, wow...what a powerful character to read. A lot of YA literature these days gets criticized for painting a rosy picture of idealism and acceptance. This is not Ben's experience.
An even more important nod to the complex realism of this book is the journey the reader goes on with Ben as he discovers that love, gender, truth, courage, war are all not black and white or either/or. It's unique and undefinable and personal.
I had all the emotions with the book...but the most important one was satisfied. A worthy companion. Excellent.