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Front Street Teens

Author Crush: Bill Konigsberg!

Award-winning author, Bill Konigsberg is hands down one of my favorite realistic teen fiction writers (he’s kind of a big deal). His stories are funny but heartfelt and are about modern teens struggling with finding who they are and how to cope with their tumultuous lives. Coming of age stories can be really weird, but Bill Konigsberg captures what it’s like to be overwhelmed and confused with life, but then figure out how to make the best of things. For these books, it’s both about the destination and the journey.

Openly Straight is one of my favorite LGBT romances because it’s a fun and heartfelt story that has no shortage of feelings. Rafe, is the progressive gay kid at his school, but when he changes to an all-boys high school, he hopes to keep that part of himself secret. He wants to live his own life and not have it be run by labels, like it was at his old school. As he says, he’s not going back into the closet, but more or less standing in the doorway. He makes friends with jocks and hides who he is to just be one of the guys, but then he meets Ben and can’t help falling for him. How can he keep that part of his identity secret when he’s falling for another boy and how can he keep the friends he has while being a totally different person? Don’t miss the sequel, Honestly Ben, if you loved reading about Rafe and Ben!

The Porcupine of Truth has quite the eye catching title – I couldn’t resist reading because of that and the lime green cover; I didn’t even look what it was about before reading and was not disappointed! With its interesting characters and family secrets, it’s a coming of age story with road trips and a little mystery. When Carson’s mother sends him to live with his sick, alcoholic father (who he hasn’t seen in 14 years), he begins to think his summer is ruined. Upon meeting Aisha, who has been sleeping at the zoo after coming out to her father, things begin to look up. Aisha stays with Carson and the pair discovers some hidden family secrets in the basement of Carson’s house, which sets them off on a road trip to find out more about his family. Throughout the story, both teens find ways of dealing with their different situations and their intense, new friendship.

If you’re looking for more about Bill Konigsberg, you can find him on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Looking for more authors like Bill Konigsberg? Try David Levithan, John Corey Whaley, or Nina LaCour.

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