If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
I originally picked up this title, from Netgalley as an Advanced Reader’s Copy, because I have been fascinated with Iran and Persian culture for awhile now. I also on the lookout for good GLBTQ teen books, and this story seemed so intriguing. Even teens who are not gay can identify with this book because everyone deals with liking someone who doesn’t seem to like them as much as they like them, or only wants to be good friends. I liked that the author was gay herself and that this book was kind of a “wish I had one of these kinds of books when I was growing up.” This is her first book, and I would love to read more of her work in the future. If anyone is interesting in learning more about her, check out this page. My only complaint about the book is the ending, as it just seemed to stop as it was getting interesting again. I kinda thought the author should’ve either ended it at the wedding or give more storyline for the main character post-wedding.
Sahar is a young Iranian woman about to head off to university, once she passes the entrance exam. She has been in love with her best friend Nasrin since they were little, and they have been carrying on an almost friends with benefits (no sex) existence for years now. Nasrin is from a very spoiled wealthy family who has picked a man for her to marry, much to the frustration of Sahar, who had always planned on running away with Nasrin. Sahar wants to dislike Reza, Nasrin’s fiance, because she loves Nasrin, but he’s really a great guy. Ali, Sahar’s cousin, is the total opposite of the reserved and dutiful Sahar. He is an outgoing playboy who has some shady side businesses, and is out and proud (or as much as you can be in the Islamic Republic of Iran without getting in trouble). He invites her to her first openly gay party, where she meets Parveen, a transexual. Sahar comes up with a way to stop the wedding. Will she suceed in her plans? Will Nasrin ever admit her true feelings for Sahar? Recommended for ages 14+, 4 stars.