Review: Out of the Pocket by Bill Konigsberg

OutofthePocketSynopsis from Goodreads

Star quarterback Bobby Framingham, one of the most talented high school football players in California, knows he’s different from his teammates. They’re like brothers, but they don’t know one essential thing: Bobby is gay. Can he still be one of the guys and be honest about who he is? When he’s outed against his will by a student reporter, Bobby must find a way to earn back his teammates’ trust and accept that his path to success might be more public, and more difficult, than he’d hoped. An affecting novel about identity that also delivers great sportswriting.

It seems kind of apt that I started, inhaled and finished a book by Bill Konigsberg on 26/05/2015 (Sorry, 5/26 for you Americans) as it seems it was a particularly historical day for my friends across the Atlantic.

Today, the internet is full of rainbows and I hope it stays like this.

I’m sad to say that I don’t really read much of USYA, especially in these recent years, and there are a few reasons for this. One of the main reasons is, I guess, that unless you’re a massive author then USYA rarely gets a play over here. Sure, there are some great books that sneak through the cracks but usually, unless you’re glossy and have got a good campaign behind you, no one’s talking about them. Which is a huge, huge shame and I’m lucky that I’ve got so many American friends who are more than happy to give me excellent recommendations.

Also, sometimes I struggle to relate to USYA because growing up as a teenager is so different than it is in the UK or even Australia. Not the universal stuff, of course, because every teenager experiences love and passion and sadness and stress and self-loathing and joy and all of that stuff. But I mean the sense of humour and the school system and, I don’t know, the whole outlook… am I even making sense?

Probably not.

But there are some books and some authors that I know when I read them, all the little stuff (& the fact that I still don’t get the American school system) is just a detail…

And Bill Konigsberg is one of them authors who just gets it. Whatever it is that makes great YA. Writing. Love. Dialogue. Teenagers. High school. Family. Being on the outside.

I knew this when I read Openly Straight and my thoughts were confirmed when I finished this one.

It’s a quiet book but one that really takes hold.

I am not a guy. I am not gay. I am not seventeen. I am not American. And even if you had my arm behind my back, I would not be able to tell you a single rule of American football.

But I still loved this book, I loved Bobby and I was with him every step of the way. I was so invested in his story and the people in his life and, by the end of the book, I was truly gutted.

So if you’re looking for a great LGBT book, pick this one up. I swear you won’t be disappointed.

~*~ A nice little aside, I just reread my Openly Straight review and saw that I had just begun drafting my own venture into LGBTQYA and, yesterday, apart from a few tiny tweaks & details, I finished that book. Started and ended it with Mr Konigsberg. I like that. ~*~

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