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“Farizan exceeds the high expectations she set with her debut, If You Could Be Mine, in this fresh, humorous, and poignant exploration of friendship and love, a welcome addition to the coming-out/coming-of-age genre.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is a relief. As an Iranian-American, she’s different enough; if word got out that Leila liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when beautiful new girl Saskia shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would. As she carefully confides in trusted friends about Saskia’s confusing signals, Leila begins to figure out that all her classmates are more complicated than they first appear to be, and some are keeping surprising secrets of their own.
“Farizan fashions an empowering romance featuring a lovable, awkward protagonist who just needs a little nudge of confidence to totally claim her multifaceted identity.” —Booklist, starred review
“A David Levithan–style romance in which a character’s sexual identity is neither problematic nor in question, and coming out is just one of many obstacles affecting the course of true love.” —The Horn Book Magazine
“Funny, heartwarming and wise.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Leila’s coming out to her friends and family and her fear of disappointing her parents will resonate with all young adults.” —School Library Journal
• A 2015 ALA Top Ten Rainbow List Title
• A 2015 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
With self-deprecating wit ("Now I have all the proof I need that my entire life is a sitcom designed by God for His personal enjoyment") and a keen eye for interpersonal dynamics, Iranian-American narrator Leila Azadi details the dramas taking place in the intersecting circles of her elite New England private school and high-achieving Persian community. When a family friend comes out, his parents' obnoxious bragging turns to silence ("it's like Kayvon never existed"), causing Leila to fear being disowned for her "lady-loving inclinations." An unanticipated crush on stunning, enigmatic new student Saskia compels Leila to explore unfamiliar terrain emotionally and socially. For better and worse, Leila learns that people are not always what they seem: the theater tech girls "who are for sure gay" are straight, and Saskia, Leila's family, and her childhood best friend Lisa are full of surprises. Farizan exceeds the high expectations she set with her debut, If You Could Be Mine, in this fresh, humorous, and poignant exploration of friendship and love, a welcome addition to the coming-out/coming-of-age genre. Ages 14 up.