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If You Could Be Mine
Cover of If You Could Be Mine
If You Could Be Mine
A Novel
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Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Children's/Young Adult One of Rolling Stone's 40 Best YA Novels A 2014 ALA Rainbow List Top 10 Title A Booklist Top 10 First Novels for Youth 2013 A Chicago...
Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Children's/Young Adult One of Rolling Stone's 40 Best YA Novels A 2014 ALA Rainbow List Top 10 Title A Booklist Top 10 First Novels for Youth 2013 A Chicago...
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Description-

  • Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Children's/Young Adult
    One of Rolling Stone's 40 Best YA Novels
    A 2014 ALA Rainbow List Top 10 Title
    A Booklist Top 10 First Novels for Youth 2013
    A Chicago Public Library "Best of the Best" 2013

    This Forbidden Romance Could Cost Them Their Lives

    Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They've shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love—Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed. So they carry on in secret until Nasrin's parents suddenly announce that they've arranged for her marriage. Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution: homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman's body is seen as nature's mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. Sahar will never be able to love Nasrin in the body she wants to be loved in without risking their lives, but is saving their love worth sacrificing her true self?

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Sara Farizan is an Iranian American writer and ardent basketball fan who was born in and lives near Boston. The award-winning author of If You Could Be Mine and Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel, she has an MFA from Lesley University and a BA in film and media studies from American University. Here to Stay is her third novel.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 10, 2013
    This provocative coming-of-age story takes place in contemporary Iran, where the sight of a woman’s elbows can provoke police action; homosexuality, “a bargain made with the devil,” carries threats of beating and hanging; but being transsexual is recognized by the government as a treatable illness. Seventeen-year-old Sahar, who has wanted to marry her best friend Nasrin since they were six years old, dreams of living openly with her lover. Nasrin prefers to accept an arranged marriage, while intending to continue their illicit affair. Exposed to a world of sexual diversity by her gay cousin and made desperate by Nasrin’s impending marriage, Sahar explores the one legal option for the two of them to be together: her own sex reassignment surgery. Throughout this strong debut, Farizan weaves in details of daily Iranian life, exposing the various opportunities available to people depending upon their academic prowess, financial status, social class, and sexuality. Within a rigid societal structure, her fleshed-out characters wrestle with depression, hope, complacency, and risk, and live out the consequences of their choices. Ages 14–up. Agent: Leigh Feldman, Writers House.

  • Kirkus

    Sahar, a teenage lesbian living in Iran, contemplates desperate measures when she learns the girl she loves is marrying a man. Sahar has loved Nasrin since childhood. Nasrin swears she loves Sahar back, but she is rich, spoiled and unwilling to disappoint her mother, a combination that spells tragedy to readers even though Sahar remains poignantly hopeful. When Nasrin's family announces her engagement to a doctor, Sahar is heartsick. Through her gay cousin Ali's underground network, Sahar meets a woman named Parveen. Upon learning that Parveen is transsexual, Sahar hatches a scheme to transition herself, certain that Nasrin would marry her if she were a man. Gentle, unintrusive exposition clues readers into Iran's political and social realities, and the characters' choices about how to wear head scarves or how openly to talk about same-sex attractions are refreshingly and believably diverse. So too are the members of the transgender support group Sahar attends: The group has a broad enough range of experience that readers never get the message that transition itself is a mistake, only that it is the wrong choice for Sahar. Each character and relationship is kindly and carefully drawn, from Sahar's sad, shut-down Baba to reckless, twinkling Ali. A moving and elegant story of first love and family. (Fiction. 12-18) COPYRIGHT(1) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    July 1, 2013

    Gr 9 Up-In this terrific debut novel, readers meet Sahar, a 17-year-old student who lives in Tehran. She is smart and ambitious, and she has a secret that could get her arrested or even killed; she is a lesbian and is in love with her best friend. When Nasrin's parents arrange for her to marry a young male doctor, Sahar knows that she and Nasrin will no longer be able to be with each other. When desperate Sahar meets transsexual Parveen at a party given by her gay cousin, she thinks she sees a way to be with Nasrin. In Iran, it is not illegal to be transsexual, as it is to be gay or lesbian, and the state will even pay for sex reassignment surgery because it is seen as a necessary medical procedure. Sahar pursues sex reassignment, dreaming of marrying Nasrin even though she knows in her heart that she doesn't really want to become a man. As Nasrin's wedding approaches, Sahar realizes its inevitability and must decide what she is going to do. Farizan's portrayal of Sahar and her predicament is sensitive and heartbreaking. Even less-sympathetic characters, such as Nasrin and her parents, are portrayed in a nuanced manner; in the culture Farizan depicts, the girls' fears that their romantic relationship will become known are realistic and understandable. Rich with details of life in contemporary Iran, this is a GLBTQ story that we haven't seen before in YA fiction. Highly recommended.-Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from July 1, 2013
    Grades 10-1 *Starred Review* Teens Sahar and Nasrin have loved each other since they were young girls, but homosexuality is a crime in Iran, and the two girls could be severely punished, even executed, for their romantic love for one another. When an arranged marriage for Nasrin threatens the girls' secret relationship, Sahar vows to take action, but what can she do? Desperate, she decides to have sex-reassignment surgery to become a man so that she can marry her friend. Surprisingly, such surgery is legal in Iran and even paid for, at least in part, by the government, and Sahar also has the caring support of a transsexual friend. Still, will she be able to follow through, and, if not, what will the future hold for the two devoted friends? Farizan's first novel is an accomplished and compassionate look at a heartbreaking situation and the possibility of an unlikely but plausible solution. Throughout, the author presents a groundbreaking, powerful depiction of gay and transsexual life in Iran and its similarities to and differences from that of the West. An intimate look at life in modern-day Iran and its surprising Westernization, even though much of this culture is clandestine.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

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    Algonquin Books
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