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This is one of the more innovative and interesting of the books provided by CJ Petit. The Characters are a bit more "slanted: than normal and more interesting. Interesting plot deviations that create this a really amazing book to read.....and enjoy. All I can say is, hold them coming and hurry up the writing process.
Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg is the sequel to the book Openly Straight. It is a contemporary, YA, LGBT Openly Straight, Rafe Goldberg decides to attend a fresh school without telling anyone that he is gay. Everyone assumes he is straight and he allows the misconception. However, when he falls in love with his mate Ben and they start a relationship, Rafe decides to come clean. Ben is devastated that Rafe lied and that he ever developed true feelings for a guy. Ben can’t handle his deception and ends their is book picks up where Openly Straight left off. Ben is feeling a lot of pressure in the second half of his junior year. His father expects him to be the best, while providing nothing in terms of emotional support. His baseball squad requires more of his time and effort and wants him to be a leader. He receives a prestigious acknowledgement from the school that necessitates him to write a speech. His GPA had gone down due to the distractions from the previous semester. He meets a girl that he is very interested in. And then there is Rafe whom Ben needs in his life, regardless of the past. He begins to see that everyone wants something various from him and that leaves him no time to be is rare for me to be desperate for a second book but I required this. When Openly Straight ended, my heart was broken and I refused to believe it was the end for these characters. This book gave me just about everything I needed. Ben is an interesting character. He is quiet, shy and extremely intelligent. He doesn’t fit in with his jock friends. I love the dichotomy between Ben and Rafe, who is extremely outgoing and fits in everywhere. For me, Ben and Rafe felt like some of the most true characters I have ever read. They are complex and flawed in the most unbelievable way. But I also love the secondary characters. Toby is one of the most fun, brave people and his growth in this book was brilliant. When he cried over the help of his schoolmates, I wanted to cry n’s evolution is astounding. I am not willing to give away the story, but suffice it to say, he learns a lot about himself and his globe throughout this book. With the support and patience of Rafe, he begins to understand what is important.I know the author received some flack because Ben did not consider himself regardless of the relationship with Rafe. I could see both sides of the argument. But I think Ben didn’t wish to be caught up in labels and that makes a lot of sense. Everyone has a right to think of themselves however they wish and Ben simply didn’t know where he stood.Honestly Bill (Konigsberg), I would like another book. I don’t know if that’s the plan but I would love to see more of Ben’s journey and spend more time with these boys that I have grown to love. I think the purpose was to not wrap up this story in a neat small bow, but in this case, I kind of would have liked that.I give this book 5 stars. I have already purchased a copy for a friend. This is a must-read series.
I read this one before "Openly Honest"--not the best sequence. In both of the books I was much impressed with the writing, especially the perfect dialogue and the expression of feelings. (In fact, it closely approached that of my all time favorite, Anthony MacDonald, which is saying a lot.) The "situation" is a bit unusual within this genre, bringing out problems and emotions dealing with "labeling" in general and especially regarding sexuality of course. Yet, at the end of this first book, I felt some disappointment--something didn't seen fulfilled, and that's why I turned to the previous book detailing the "main players'" prior interactions. It didn't support much. The amazing writing of dialogue and feelings of love, honesty, faithfulness, etc. were there, and finally I realized that (for me) the missing element--the lack of luster--was indeed the lack of lust. It appears (to me) that the author chooses not to express the lust part of a young loving relationship--I noticed that I had looked in vain for the beauty that this fine author could bring to a, say, four-or-five page situational build up and consummation of erotic love. As it was, it was left as though the guys, perhaps especially Ben, had but small libido-- lacked testosterone perhaps or hadn't gotten past their inhibitions. So for me, a really amazing read but missing the luster this writer could have given it. Maybe, in it's place, are the amazing but seemingly "too much" or "out of place" SERMONS (it felt) about labeling, total "honesty," etc. Admitted, of course, is that for M2M stories to be really complete (for me, again) is at least one good/great stage that gets me hard and leaking--that didn't happen.
Kat's first impression of her freshman college roomie, Emma, is a amazing one, and Kat is so relieved she ended up with someone normal, beautiful and fun! The girls become instant friends. Kat involves Emma in all aspects of her life, acquaints her with her mates and family members, invites her home for the holidays, even loans her Grandma's diamonds - all the things a close trusted mate would do. Only, Emma isn't at all what she seems to be on the surface. She's an expert at drawing people in, charming them...then twisting them into whatever form she sees fit to suit her own needs. Using people is her forte. What starts out in the book to appear very Single White Female, ends up far worse as Emma spreads her poison on to Emma's brother, Ben. Now Ben is in problem and Kat feels responsible. All aspects of his life have turned to crap as a effect of Emma's attentions. Kat sets out to save him from the stalker @#$%! she unleashed on ere is far more drama included in the book, including a beautiful amazing murder mystery that gets the thrill going toward the middle. Amazing ending ya gotta read to appreciate!
This is a amazing read, one about a set of brothers and sisters who love each other dearly. The main characters are Ben and Katherine who are very close to each other and lean on each other as a brother and sister should, at most times. There is also another brother and sister squad named George and his sister Abby, who is dealing with anorexia. The other hero is Emma who is Katherine's psychotic roommate who is a addict and after Ben. This book will have you crying one second and so angry at the characters that they can't see the true Emma. You know that something poor is going to happen, but you just can't possibly figure out the ending of this unbelievable story. It is a book that you will be up reading into the middle of the night, as you won't be able to place it down. I loved this book and the method this author writes. The words just flow so easily and makes the book simple to read and so believable. An awesome book!!!!
BEN GRAY is such an all around character and the hero is complex, commanding, and so real!! I've never read a book about a Pinkerton agent, so this one was an eye opener. C.J PETIT is an author who is not afraid to present the tender side of a man that makes him a amazing man . They were few and far between in the west. I love the method that all the characters become full bodied people that you feel such empathy for. C.J. PETIT you've done it again. Please hold writing the method that you do. I look forward to every fresh book that comes out. BRAVO!!!!!!BRAVO 👏👏👏
I have read every one of it's books. As in all his books, he writes a complete story. Just enough to inform and understand. Excellent amount of violence without being messy, excellent amount of love and passion without being embarrassed, a possibility for learning a few things from another time. I don't even mind a few typos, and those are getting less. These are amazing stories that keep my interest from the beginning till the end.
Wow. Just, what can I even say? This book was incredible. Is incredible. It's an incredibly realistic story with characters that live and breathe and have complex and believable goals and motivations. Nothing in this book felt out of the realm of possibility, out off the realm of PROBABILITY even. Everything that happens in this book feels real. And the sheer amount of representation in this book: characters, a mentioned trans character, representation for questioning people of people without a true label. There's even a gender-fluid hero who is a major hero and actually plays an necessary role in the plot! I say plot a bit loosely, because this book is really more of a hero study. It's all about Ben and his emotional journey, as he struggles to be everything that people wish him to be, without being able to be himself. And everybody he meets and interacts with along the way--Rafe, the illustrious Hannah, Toby, his family, and even his baseball coach. The plot may be a bit predictable, you know he's gonna end up accepting himself and being more open, but it's truly an inspiring story to follow. I think it's even helped me come out of my own shell a small bit. This book has openly, honestly become one of my fresh faves, right next to Simon versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda.
Having read a lot of of Ashley Farley's novels previously I wasn't quite sure what to expect reading what is her debut novel. As most readers are aware, an author's writing gets better over time. So, I created a decision to read this novel as if it were any other debut novel. I didn't have to do hold that decision.While Ms. Farmer's writing has I proved greatly, if I hadn't known this was her first published novel, I would be writing a very related e author has a method of pulling the reader in from the beginning and keeping them engaged throughout the novel. This was real for this novel. It was engaging and often times enthralling. The characters are mainly college aged students all of which have their own flaws and some even inner demons they have to face and address at some point or another. They come from various backgrounds, very various families, and have very various help systems. Some are ready for this next step in their journey, while others struggle more. There are secrets, lies, truths, manipulation, love, and help between these e backstory is catching and provocative. It is interesting and engaging. And the reader learns a amazing of from it. The storyline is realistic, honest, and a debut novel, it is well written, engaging, and a truly unbelievable read. As an Ashley Farley novel, it won't disappoint.Rating: 4.7✴✴✴✴✴
This story was a wee bit various from ones that I have read recently as it starts out mysteriously in the first chapter with footprints in the snow and a missing roommate and then in chapter two thru chapter 21 we go back 16 months to the beginning of where all of our main characters meet. Emma, the missing roommate of Katherine Langley, Ben, Katherine's brother, who falls in love with Emma, their neighbors, Abigail and George. This is Kitty's (Katherine) first year of college and there are all the trappings of frat parties, drinking, sorority rushes, etc. At first, Emma seemed like a beautiful, but not good girl who was lucky to obtain to college. As the story unfolds, we search her to be boy-crazy, manipulative, charming, crazy, etc. The one thing that didn't create much sense was that she always seemed to know what was going on at all times and when she was stalking Ben, she knew his every move, even though no one had told her where he would be. It is a story of a brother and sister who love each other and about family and friends. There was romance and and drugs, but the author described everything very tastefully. It's a amazing book for the young adults to read.
SOME SPOILERS IN REVIEW.I really enjoyed Honestly Ben. To be honest, I couldn't place it down until I HB, Konigsberg revisits Ben after he's learned what Rafe has been hiding from him. He's in a very confusing place, trying to come to terms with the affection and anger that he feels towards Rafe, his own guilt and discomfort over who he truly might be, and the struggle of what everyone WANTS him to become.Konigsberg has some beautifully poignant and truthful lines and questions that come up in Honestly Ben. In a very true way, he confronts the subjects of orientation, gender identity, and what it means to be in n's POV is honestly funnier than Rafe's. He has a more intellectual snark that I found really appealing (though I still loved Rafe as well). I think that it was helpful to see Ben's perspective on his own hero and how it's been made by the expectations that others have place upon him as a friend, student, and son.Konigsberg continues the discussion, through Ben, about labels and the power that they have over how we see ourselves and how others see us. I think that Ben's experiences, and his ultimate choice to follow his heart to where he felt most free, is a attractive example for readers who may be struggling to accept their own selves or to accept those in their own lives who walk a"left-handed path."I was satisfied to see that Ben got some form of a happily ever after. I think it's so relevant and honest that he could admit to himself that perhaps love doesn't need to have a label (gay-love or straight-love), that perhaps love can just be that "agape" connection with another human r me, it was a fitting ending to present that Ben was moving forward by reclaiming his life as his own. He's set himself on the path to actually have a possibility of becoming who he wants to be rather than who his father has started to shape him into.I wanted to cheer for him and laugh for him when he went on silly adventures with Albie, Rafe, and Toby. I smiled when he experienced those moments of vulnerability and freedom, those moments where he place aside the other pressures and just allowed himself to just be silly.I'm not sure what Konigsberg's future plans are, but I really hope he revisits Ben because I would love to know what happens next for him not to mention Toby.
When I see there's a sequel to a book that felt self-contained, I tend to cringe. I set my hopes to "as good," but not beyond. It's all too rare that the sequel turns out to be better."Honestly Ben" is one of those rare books. Konigsberg switches protagonists on us, and it's a amazing choice. Ben is a more appealing protagonist than Rafe; his struggles feel more genuine. It's simple to cheer him with "Openly Straight," nothing is tied up so neatly that it feels entirely pat. Because Konigsberg is wise enough to leave some lived-in messiness to the narrative, I found I wasn't entirely sure where this book would go. Rafe appears, although he comes off surprisingly badly. I think that's great: these are high school kids, and they're not yet fully ere aren't enough books out there for queer people whose sexuality doesn't fall into one of the gay/straight/bi boxes, and this books sets out, to some extent, to correct some of that. One size, this book reminds us, does not fit e book, of course, is an emotional roller-coaster. My eyes got misty often. After "Openly Straight," we, the audience, naturally begin off hoping the boys will obtain back together, but fresh hero Hannah feels fully-realized: she's not just the path of least resistance; she's an entirely plausible potential love for Ben.I enjoyed "Openly Straight" immensely, but I absolutely loved 'Honestly Ben." I want all sequels could be this good.
I’ve been waiting so long to read this book, and it was very much worth the wait.When I finished Openly Straight, I didn’t fully understand Ben’s feeling of betrayal. Yes, he didn’t know that Rafe already identified as gay, and that was a hurtful lie, but the two of them were already basically together, so what did it change?A lot, actually. I understand Ben now, and I love him so much. This book a lot with the idea of labels, the result your family and parents can have on you, and how to reconcile the idea of who you should be with who you actually is book is a amazing conclusion to Openly Straight, effectively resolving the frustrating ending of the first book, and it’s packed with introspection and so is actually says the word ‘bisexual,’ like a lot, so that’s always a plus.
This contemporary mystery main aim is to highlight the unique bond between siblings and to bring focus on the a lot of struggles one can experience during college life. This is a haunting tale of love, loyalty, anger management, substance abuse and n and Kitty are the basic players but Emma is the hero to watch for. She is Kitty’s @#$%!y roommate who brought havoc between brother and sister. Without her this story would not have been quite captivating she is portrayed as a complete psychopath. I love mystery but this one is a bit too for my taste, the first half is mainly the set-up of college life: the setting, atmosphere and the relationships, etc. The second half is more dramatic and moves along at a better pace but the suspense is kind of lightweight and the development so predictable I became anxious to see the end. Having said this does not mean it is boring, on the contrary it is quite a sentimental is lively story is told from the perspective of young adults. The portrayal of friendship and the powerful characterization is where this story excels. The dialogue is somewhat stilted although I did overcome noticing this after a while. How Ben slowly spiral out of control, starts drinking, does drugs and argues all the time is especially well represented. The serious issues concerning anorexia as well as family problems are also at the forefront. There is something to please everyone even a murder stage for the mystery buffs to is book should appeal mostly to older teens and young adults and to older adults who which to reminisce about their days in college…
I enjoyed the book and had a amazing Sunday curled up on the couch with it. The author seemed to have amazing insight into the lifestyle and values of current college students, and I was somewhat surprised to read that she is not of the generation she wrote about in the book.Her portrait of Emma seemed accurate to me. I've read reliable statistics that say 4% to 5% of the population have Emma's qualities. As outrageous as her behaviors were, I believe they were not far-fetched. The other characters also seemed realistic except Ben and Kitty's mother. Her sudden behavior change from distant, manipulative, and very narcissistic to an overnight change to sensitive and supportive seemed unreal. Also, George's behavior in the final chapter seemed contrived and melodramatic.I was interested in the lifestyle and values of the highly affluent families in the story. None of the college students ever seemed to have problem getting summer jobs or any kind of jobs. Nobody worried about money, except when Emma took Ben to the financial cleaners and got him hooked on drugs. The son of the commonwealth attorney was just assumed would obtain unique treatment from the police and the courts with no objection from the author or the characters, a sad acceptance of social injustice, in my humble opinion. The author didn't seem to object to this apparent reality in the region where the action n's drug and alcohol issues resolved, in my opinion, unrealistically without treatment or counseling. He voluntarily gives up drugs and hard liquor but continues to drink fairly huge amounts of beer with Kitty's okay. Kitty herself is a sensible, straight arrow type girl who is studying to be a nurse. But she also drinks a lot as a college student, method more than is healthy for a woman. Yet this seems acceptable to the author. Kitty and Ben's mother drinks heavily and has probably been an alcoholic for a lot of years. The siblings are concerned, but nobody talks about treatment or AA. In contrast, marijuana gets roundly condemned as a risky substance that every sensible person should ever, it was still a fun read that I enjoyed and would recommend.
CJP has penned another perfect western novel with a huge town twist. The basic characters, a Pinkerton Agent and a kept woman join together to form a partnership that surpasses a lot of others. A brother is murdered for a gold mine and the two take the profits and start a family of twelve immediate kids with an extra 200 kids . This ius an perfect read four the genre.....ER
In Bill Konigsberg's Honestly Ben we are reintroduced to a lot of of the characters we rooted for in the previous book. Building upon those established relationships between Rafe, Ben, and their circle of mates and family, the story gives us extra depth and insight into several already well-developed personalities. The momentum of the previous book carries the reader through deeper waters here, which to me was really representative of Ben and Rafe as people. The first book had a much more show almost physical feel being told from Rafe's point of view. This book reflected Ben's more introspective nature and as a effect asked deeper questions (to me). I resonated with his struggle in regards to labels and defining his sexuality-all while trying to search his voice and identity versus what others expected him to be.
I read this book a couple days ago and I am already starting to forget it. The positives I can give this book is that I continued to read it so it must not have been among the worst books I have read. I think the author could be a amazing story teller but she needs to stick with one story at a time and obtain rid of some cliches. And don't introduce characters we don't need to know. Maddie as Ben's girlfriend was fine. Maddie as the girlfriend of his friend/hostile houseguest only cluttered the story. Several of Ben's mates had no bearing on the story so why were we introduced to them? Ditto the suite friends of Emma and Katherine. Phoebe and Carla?? something like that. They were distracting to the story. Also, I can't handle alcoholism, obsession compulsion, narcism, anorexia, drug use, neglectful parenting, affluenza, jealousy, bullying etc.... all in one story unless its all one person :)
Saving Ben was a book that grabbed me from the begin and I could not lay it down. An emotional story about a pair of siblings, an older brother and his younger sister. They swear an oath to always "have each other's back."I really hate to read other people's interpretation of a book, it is always the summary which draws me in and the part of the summary that caught me and created me obtain the book, were..."A boy, his sister, and her psychopathic roommate. When Katherine Langley’s roommate, Emma, disappears from a house party on Fresh Year’s Day, the only evidence left is a single set of footprints in the snow leading down to a deserted dock." Oh, Yeah!!! had to search out the respond to that and rarely am I disappointed by my choices!!! If I could have given it more than 5 stars, I surely would have!
I purchased this book as part of a 30 Days of Pride Book Review project. This is that review:This book is the sequel to Openly Straight, and since I am reviewing both books I did my best to give an accurate description of this book and my honest reactions to it without spoiling too much about the plot of either book….Which is actually a small tricky, but here we go.Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “to be yourself in a globe that is constantly trying to create you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” That quote had always resonated with Ben Carver, but now it was various somehow. Because he wasn't sure who his “self” even was. He was just beginning to realize that he had lived his whole life up to this point trying to be his father's idea of what a Carver man should be: quiet, serious, hardworking, and above all not an embarrassment. Had everything blown up latest semester more because he’d been mad that his best mate had lied to him or more because he’d been afraid of his own feelings… and of what those feelings meant about who Ben was? How his baseball teammates would see him? How his father would see him? Was it possible to love someone, if loving them also means going versus who you always believed you were?I actually preferred this book to the first.Our protagonist in the first book, Rafe, and our protagonist here, Ben, both struggled with identity, separate from their families and from labels. They both had to come to terms with a sense of self, while juggling the intricacies of relationships, both platonic and romantic, and facing up to how simple it is to damage someone you care about, without meaning or wanting ybe, I just prefer Ben’s story because he feels more accessible to me. He’s introverted to the point that he comes across surly. He worries about and recognizes Rafe has some rich child privileges that create him slightly insufferable. He comes across as a wet blanket, because he doesn't think the same things other teens think are fun are actually fun and is instead a nerd for things like history and literature.I also liked the narrative style better here. Some of Rafe’s story was told as a journaling experiment back and forth with his English teacher, and I really didn't miss those asides here.We obtain the same characters again, but we obtain to see them from a fresh perspective, which is always an interesting exercise. And while this is a successful continuation of the previous story, it is also a successful fresh story in itself.What I didn't care for so much was that some of the lessons the author wanted Ben (and his reading audience) to learn were sometimes ham-fistedly delivered in, “You know, I learned something today,” after school unique style. It's the kind of clumsy items YA authors do that makes it seem like they don't think teens are very smart. But maybe that's just ould you read this book. If you read the first book, you are probably going to wish to read this one. I was satisfied to it in hardback to search out what happened next, sooner rather than later. So go for it… but, you know, probably read Openly Straight , let's weigh it in on the rating scales invented for this project.I think this does slightly better than its predecessor on my Queer Counterculture Visibility Scale, which I invented to determine how much each book shined a light on less visible members of the queer community. Ben has a special identity, one that he has to struggle with and one that he has to force people, even people who think they are being begin minded, to accept. I like that he stays real to how he feels and doesn't allow anyone else place him into a box he doesn't feel he fits in. That, to me, is the essence of pride. Ben also has to struggle with class and on top of his sexuality, which the first book didn't go into. A side character, that is in both books, comes out as gender fluid in this book. A side character, that is in both books, is speculated to be possibly asexual in this book. The widely held trope of bisexuality being a “gateway” to admitting you are is introduced but the characters discussing it decide neither of them really believe that. They think some people are bisexual. There is consideration of how homophobia and misogyny sort of complement and perpetuate each other. So we obtain a small bit deeper into some of the other sides of the community. I'm putting this book at a:3.5 out of 5On the Genre Expectation Scale, I'd say, like its predecessor, it does fairly average. I think of this as a mostly typical YA finding yourself / coming out story, but like the previous book, it maybe bends the genre a small bit, this time in the method the main hero identifies and how his not allowing people to force him to come out in the method they expect him to is a various kind of coming out altogether. I'm putting it at:3.5 out of 5 Stars
The first book in this series, "Openly Straight", was a truly terrific book. The characters were all vibrant and the plot was special and fun. I really loved it. "Honestly Ben" just... doesn't have the same vibe. It doesn't read very smoothly, I found myself often annoyed at what was going on, and I kept forgetting that Rafe from this book was the same funny, outgoing, original hero from the first book. The plot of this read was so-so for me and I highly considered quitting about halfway through. I'm glad I read it and finished it and got closure regarding the characters, but it's a shame it cost $10 for something I didn't really have fun all that much. Overall, if you read the first book, I do recommend you read this one as well, but don't expect the same energy, vibrancy, or engagement that is captured in "Openly Straight".
I Loved Honestly Ben!!! After I finished the novel and went to see what others thought, I was surprised to read the “unfriendly” comments. Comments that wanted the novel rewritten to reflect their opinions and their LBGTQ+ globe views. Both HB and Openly Straight dealt with labels that the two main characters (Rafe and Ben) felt at variance with. Delineating labels that fell short of describing who they were. And, when I think about labels, how could labels not fail, being one dimensional. These two young men, in their efforts to understand themselves, looked at the labels that society uses to describe certain behaviors and globe views, and found them wanting. Why or how could any reader search fault with Rafe and Ben questioning labels? Afterall, doesn’t one meaning for the Q at the end of LBTQ designate questioning? One label whose normative definition was questioned and redefined in the novel that none commented on, and that I feel was crucial, to understanding Rafe, Ben, Toby and Pappas: HERO. Please label me a mate of this book!