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
Starred Review. 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. Agent: Leigh Feldman, Writers House. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-Leila, an Iranian American teen, attends a private high school, where her parents have high expectations for her future. She has made it to her junior year without romance complicating her life, and that's just fine with her. Leila would just as soon not have everyone find out that she likes girls. But when beautiful, confident, worldly Saskia breezes into the narrator's life, everything turns upside down. Saskia easily lures the innocent Leila, and confuses her with mixed signals. With a plot that unfolds naturally, good writing, and vivid character development that leaves readers alternately cringing and aching for the protagonist, teens will find a satisfying coming-of-age novel. Fragments of Persian culture are incorporated smoothly within the narrative. Books featuring gay and lesbian teens of Middle Eastern descent are rare, and this engaging high school drama fills that need. Leila's coming out to her friends and family, and her fear of disappointing her parents will resonate with all young adults.-Nancy Silverrod, San Francisco Public Library (c) Copyright 2012. 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.