If You Could Be Mine (Paperback)

A Novel

By Sara Farizan

Algonquin Young Readers, 9781616204556, 272pp.

Publication Date: September 9, 2014

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (8/19/2013)
CD-Audio (8/20/2013)
Hardcover (8/20/2013)
Prebound (9/9/2014)

List Price: 9.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

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?

 


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.



Praise For If You Could Be Mine: A Novel

“Farizan’s prose is frank, funny and bittersweet, enjoyable . . . And her secondary storylines ring out memorably.” --The New York Times Book Review 

“This beautifully crafted young-adult novel offers timely insight into the struggles of those who must be their authentic selves no matter where they live.” --Ms. Magazine

“Sharp and moving . . . An interesting look at gender identity and gay culture in Iran . . . Also a compelling story about class and the purpose of marriage.” --The Boston Globe

"[A] terrific debut novel . . . Rich with details of life in contemporary Iran, this is a GLBTQ story that we haven't seen before in YA fiction. Highly recommended." --School Library Journal

"Accomplished and compassionate . . . A groundbreaking, powerful depiction of gay and transsexual life in Iran . . . An intimate look at life in modern-day Iran and its surprising Westernization, even though much of this culture is clandestine." --Booklist, starred review

“[A] provocative coming-of-age story . . . Throughout this strong debut, Farizan weaves in details of daily Iranian life . . . Within a rigid societal structure, her fleshed-out characters wrestle with depression, hope, complacency, and risk.” --Publishers Weekly

“A convincing portrait of everyday life in post-revolutionary Iranian society . . . While Farizan deals with LGBT issues in this book, she also is writing about the choices all young adults must face. Sahar must find her place in her family, decide which career to follow, and figure out how to let go of a first love--universal themes in all cultures.” --Durham Herald-Sun



“Farizan’s prose is frank, funny and bittersweet, enjoyable . . . And her secondary storylines ring out memorably.” --The New York Times Book Review 

“This beautifully crafted young-adult novel offers timely insight into the struggles of those who must be their authentic selves no matter where they live.” --Ms. Magazine

“Sharp and moving . . . An interesting look at gender identity and gay culture in Iran . . . Also a compelling story about class and the purpose of marriage.” --The Boston Globe


"[A] terrific debut novel . . . Rich with details of life in contemporary Iran, this is a GLBTQ story that we haven't seen before in YA fiction. Highly recommended." --School Library Journal

"Accomplished and compassionate . . . A groundbreaking, powerful depiction of gay and transsexual life in Iran . . . An intimate look at life in modern-day Iran and its surprising Westernization, even though much of this culture is clandestine." --Booklist, starred review


“[A] provocative coming-of-age story . . . Throughout this strong debut, Farizan weaves in details of daily Iranian life . . . Within a rigid societal structure, her fleshed-out characters wrestle with depression, hope, complacency, and risk.” --Publishers Weekly


“A convincing portrait of everyday life in post-revolutionary Iranian society . . . While Farizan deals with LGBT issues in this book, she also is writing about the choices all young adults must face. Sahar must find her place in her family, decide which career to follow, and figure out how to let go of a first love--universal themes in all cultures.” --Durham Herald-Sun


— Reviews


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

  1. “Tehran isn’t exactly safe for two girls in love with each other,” says Sahar on page 2. In what ways is Iran dangerous for gay people? What are the consequences of discovery?generic viagra price canada
  2. Seventeen-year-old Sahar says she has been in love with Nasrin since she was six years old. She is very different from Nasrin—for one thing, she wants to be a doctor, while Nasrin dreams of going to India to be a Bollywood actress. What are some other differences between the two young women? Can you see what attracts Sahar to Nasrin? Do you think they would make a good couple if they were allowed to be together? Why or why not?generic viagra price canada
  3. Was there any point in the novel when you were nervous that Sahar and Nasrin’s romantic relationship would be discovered? Were there any clues that Nasrin’s mother had an idea of what was going on between the girls before she revealed to Sahar that she knew about them?generic viagra price canada
  4. Photographs of the late leader Ayatollah Khomeini and the current leader Ayatollah Khamenei are posted all over Iran. On page 12, Sahar says, “Sometimes when Nasrin and I kiss, Ayatollah Khomeini’s and Ayatollah Khamenei’s faces pop into my head.” She thinks of Khomeini as “Angry Grandpa” and of Khamenei as “Disappointed Grandpa.” What does this say about how Sahar perceives the role of government in her personal life? Do any disapproving faces enter your thoughts at awkward moments?generic viagra price canada
  5. Sahar’s references often reflect American popular culture—Julia Roberts, Cat Stevens, Madonna, Lady Gaga—despite the fact that many Western CDs and DVDs are censored or banned in Iran. Her cousin Ali seems to have no trouble getting his hands on these banned materials. What other “workarounds” for strict governmental policies do Sahar and her friends witness or take part in?generic viagra price canada
  6. Sahar is devastated on page 20 to discover that Nasrin will be marrying a nice doctor named Reza— “the Superman of suitors.” She knew an arranged marriage for Nasrin was inevitable, so why does it still come as such a surprise to Sahar? Does it seem out of character for Nasrin to agree to a traditional marriage? Why or why not?generic viagra price canada
  7. When Sahar’s gay older cousin Ali says to her on page 30, “Sahar, it takes one to know one,” she is furious. She responds, “What you do is wrong, and I’m not like you.” What does Sahar see as the differences between Ali’s choices and behavior and her own?generic viagra price canada
  8. How does Sahar’s angry reaction mirror both Nasrin’s and Katayoun’s responses when Sahar takes them to the gay underground scene at Restaurant Javan? How do Sahar’s judgments of Ali—and others—evolve during the course of the novel?generic viagra price canada
  9. On page 102, Sahar daydreams about what it would be like to be a man in Iran. When she’s thinking about her father, whom she calls Baba, who “can’t even boil water,” she thinks she could leave him in the dust if she were a man. Despite her daydreams of male privilege, she never indicated that she felt like a man trapped in a woman’s body. Were you shocked when Sahar began to seriously contemplate getting a sex change to be with Nasrin? Why or why not?generic viagra price canada
  10. In this novel, readers see the effects of gender- reassignment surgery on several different people, including Parveen, Maryam, Katayoun, and Jamshid. Ali tells her on page 156, “A male version of you would be perverse. It would frighten [Nasrin].” What ultimately persuades Sahar that a sex-change operation is not the right choice for her?generic viagra price canada
  11. Since Sahar’s mother died, her father has been “sleeping through life.” What finally prompts Sahar to confront Baba about his withdrawal? Do you think Sahar’s decision to stay with her father is the right one, even though he admits he is asking her to stay for selfish purposes?generic viagra price canada
  12. When the novel ends, it’s still illegal and potentially dangerous to be gay in Iran. What do you think the future holds for Nasrin? For Sahar? For their relationship?generic viagra price canada