Even in that strange, disorienting place between sleeping and waking, my brain recognized the irony of hearing my name whispered from a closet.
Title: Honestly Ben
Author: Bill Konigsberg
Good things about this book: Ben is just one of us and you will relate to him and his problems!
Bad things about this book: I would have loved an epilogue.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I’m positive you will like the ending of this duology.
Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here
Reviewing this book is going to be hard, maybe impossible. Everything I want to say it’s a spoiler not only of the first book but also of this one and without talking about what I want, I can’t express what I liked about this book. See? Impossible.
I liked very much Openly Straight. I loved Rafe as a main character, I loved his voice, his flaws and how he was with Ben, Toby and Alby, We all know what happened in Openly Straight and how sad I was when it ended the way it ended so I was hoping for a happy ending in this companion/sequel. Then I read the summary and was scared about what was going to happen.
Having Ben as the main character was different. I didn’t know what to expect and at first I was a little perplexed. Ben has issues: with his dad, with school, with his baseball teammates and obviously with Rafe after what happened. He was freaking out and he was overwhelmed with so many things that he wasn’t seeing what was right in front of him. He liked Rafe, why the hell was he denying it?
Weird. I was just plain weird, and it was a good thing no one had access to my innermost thoughts.
Of course I know why he was pretending not to feel anything but I still got annoyed. I wanted him to want more for himself, not what others wanted him to want. I can’t explain it well. He was trying to make everyone happy but himself. He was stressed, confused, angry, sad. It wasn’t ok. I wanted to help him, tell him it was going to be ok, that he needed to really talk to someone because he was the only one who could get himself out of all those situations. He needed to get a grip of his life and decide to be happy for himself, not for others.
It’s a very nice book; it is deep. It has important themes, very important I must say, that will get you thinking. It got me thinking about privilege, homophobia, labels and the pressure put on such young people. And so much more!
Okay, you see, most people in the world take paths that are expected. They go to school, get a job, get married, have kids. Then there are the rest of us. We’re on left-handed paths. It’s not what’s expected. The world would like it better if we didn’t take these paths, because the world doesn’t know what to do with people who buck the system, or explore things that are new.
I won’t say more about what I read. The summary says half of it and the other half you need to find out reading the book. If you’re curious about Ben and if you want to know if Rafe and him can be friends again, or maybe more than that, then you need to give it a chance.
I am happy about how it ended but of course I wanted more. I think it lacked an epilogue. An epilogue would’ve been nice but we can’t have it all, can we?