3.5 stars. I'm curious if Bill Konigsberg ever sat at a lunch table with John Green and David Levithan. Why, you ask? I can't really quite put my finger on the why or how but I felt like Konigsberg was channeling some of the offbeat vibe that the other two authors have been known to use in their own style of writing.Before you groan and say that all three authors are male, or have tackled writing about similar subjects, just hear me out. Or read me out, since you can't actually hear me saying anything. Openly Straight just has this weirdly wonderful thing going on. It's funny, candid, and uncomfortable at times. Have we not seen this method of madness with Green or Levithan before? Yes? Okay, so maybe I'm not completely off-base.Granted, Openly Straight stands on its own because the story is not one you see every day. I might have seen similar ideas before but not with the added bizarre personalities. Past similarities came with Lifetime-movie serious sadface moments. There were no dads karaoke-rapping or moms doing naked yoga. Rafe's parents reminded me of Gaylord (Greg) Focker's parents from Meet the Fockers. It's all I could picture, and it had me grinning inside of my head.I know that I need to close my window shades, unless I want to see a show that no son should see.Can a gay kid pretend to be straight and get away with it? This is what we readers are here to find out. Rafe moves away to an all-boys school (odd choice, perhaps?) in order to get away from his "out" life in Boulder, CO, where everyone knows and labels him as the gay kid.I get it. I really do. It's got to suck for people to see your sexual orientation instead of seeing you.So maybe being openly gay isn't a curse, but it's fucking exhausting.However, I sort of lost sympathy for Rafe after a while when he realized that he was badly deceiving everyone, and it wasn't going to be pretty when people found out. Yes, I get that the story has to go for x amount of pages and that you can't just spill the beans and be done with it, but maybe Rafe needed to be clueless just a little while longer, so I wouldn't be as frustrated with him for not wising up and dealing with reality. But this was readable, and it was quirky, so I liked it. After all, where else are you going to read lines such as : Are you, like, a Republican now too? or ground turkey that tasted like sadness, or even I have a long-standing agreement with cows that I won't eat their balls if they won't eat mine?While there's nothing new or life-changing between the pages and the message might have gotten to be a little too overzealous at times, when you got down to the heart of the matter, it's really all about someone needing to learn to love himself. That's a pretty familiar subject for most everyone. I think we've all been there at one point or another. Kudos to the author for tackling this tough subject with humor and sincerity.