Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book Review: If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

Release Date: 8/20/13
Author: Sara Farizan
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Provided by: The Publisher at Book Expo America
In this stunning debut, a young Iranian American writer pulls back the curtain on one of the most hidden corners of a much-talked-about culture.

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 if their relationship came to light.

So they carry on in secret—until Nasrin’s parents announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they have been, only now with new comforts provided by the decent, well-to-do doctor Nasrin will marry. But Sahar dreams of loving Nasrin exclusively—and openly.

Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution. In Iran, 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. As a man, Sahar could be the one to marry Nasrin. Sahar will never be able to love the one she wants, in the body she wants to be loved in, without risking her life. Is saving her love worth sacrificing her true self?
 Sara Farizan was born on August 2, 1984 in Massachusetts. Her parents immigrated from Iran in the seventies, her father a surgeon and her mother a homemaker. Sara grew up feeling different in her private high school not only because of her ethnicity but also because of her liking girls romantically, her lack of excitement in science and math, and her love of writing plays and short stories.
So she came out of the closet in college, realized math and science weren’t so bad (but not for her), and decided she wanted to be a writer. She is an MFA graduate of Lesley University and holds a BA in film and media studies from American University. Sara has been a Hollywood intern, a waitress, a comic book/record store employee, an art magazine blogger, a marketing temp, and an after-school teacher, but above all else she has always been a writer.
Sara lives near Boston, has a cool sister, loves Kurosawa films, eighties R&B, and graphic novels, and thinks all kids are awesome.

If You Could Be Mine is Farizan’s first novel.  It is about two girls (Nasrin and Sahar) who are lesbians in Iran.  They story is written through Sahar’s perspective.  They could be killed for their relationship, but Sahar is so in love with Nasrin that she is desperate to find a way they can be together forever, publicly.  


When Nasrin gets engaged, the pressure is on for Sahar to find a solution to their problem.  If You Could Be Mine looks into a big issue that Iran has because of its harsh stance against homosexuality.  It describes the ways that homosexuals can be together, drugs, illegal TV and music, as well as being transsexual in Iran.  
I thought the story was good and seeing problems that other cultures deal with was eye opening.  I think it is so important, especially for younger readers, to be introduced to other places and their customs.  I actually learned a lot from reading this book even though it was a teen fiction.  
However, I was not a huge fan of the voice in the story.  It is written very simply almost as if the writer doesn’t speak English very well.  I can see why she would write it like that because Sahar doesn’t speak English, but these are her thoughts, so she shouldn’t speak that way in her head.
By the end, I was invested in their story.  Nasrin is such a spoiled brat and she doesn’t deserve Sahar’s love.  It is painful to see the lengths that Sahar is willing to go to for Nasrin when Nasrin would do nothing for Sahar.  
If You Could Be Mine was a fast read with a great ending.



1 comment:

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