Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Leila knows she likes girls, but she is not sure whether she wants anyone to know, particularly her conservative Iranian American family. She is happy to keep it a secret, but when dangerously charming Saskia takes a sudden interest in her, Leila starts to let loose in ways that are sometimes freeing and sometimes uncomfortable, especially when it becomes clear that she is in danger of being outed before she is ready. While Leila struggles to pin down who she is and what she really wants, her estranged friend Lisa begins to rekindle their friendship, and it grows into something warm, delightful, and truly surprising. Though her sexuality is a driving factor, Leila's coming-of-age crisis encompasses so much more: she worries about disappointing her parents by choosing the wrong career, being shunned from the Persian community, whether she will fit in with her peers, and, classically, what she wants her future to hold. Farizan handles each worry with an expert, light hand, tempering Leila's anxieties with the loving support of her friends and family, and a playful, tongue-in-cheek tone. Deftly balancing Leila's unique cultural background and experience with more universal coming-of-age struggles, Farizan fashions an empowering romance featuring a lovable, awkward protagonist who just needs a little nudge of confidence to totally claim her multifaceted identity.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2014 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Leila is a high school junior who enjoys video games and hanging out with her friends. She is not enamored of schoolwork or keeping up with her older sister's accomplishments. Leila's family is Persian, conservative, and strict, and her parents expect big things from their daughters. While her older sister is pre-med at Harvard, Leila is just getting by at her private high school. She's flying below the radar for safety's sake: Leila is just figuring out that she likes girls. She knows this will make her stand out even more at her mostly WASP-y school, and she cannot begin to imagine how her parents will react. But when Saskia, a gorgeous new student shows some interest in Leila, the latter grapples with her fears and feelings. Farsad's Persian accents are impeccable. She trills as Leila's mother and lowers her voice believably for her father. She gives Leila a delightful crinkly voice, perfect for the wry humor and self-deprecation of the character. Leila's older sister and her frenemies get nuanced cattiness, and she voices young men with a slightly nasal tone. But the audio production distracts from the story, as all the talent and skill Farsad shows in voicing characters gets lost when listeners are pulled out of the audio experience by loud breathing and mouth noises. Ages 14-up. An Algonquin Young Readers hardcover. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-Farizan creates a unique and memorable cast of characters in this romantic coming-of-age story. Leila is from a wealthy, loving Persian family, goes to an exclusive private school, gets decent grades, and manages to stay in the middle of the popularity pool. However, she has secret she is sure will destroy her delicately balanced world-she likes girls. Narrator Negin Farsad has just the right mix of youth and maturity to make Leila seem a bit sharper than the average high schooler. Farsad does an excellent job with the accents for Leila's parents and new student Saskia. As Leila finally confronts who she is, Farsad takes her voices up and down the range to match her roller coaster of emotions. This story will ring true for any listener in search of their own identity and is also sure to spark lively discussion.-Shari Fesko, Southfield Public Library, MI (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.