Review: If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

Written By: Kellie - Aug• 25•13

if you could be mine

Publisher:  Algonquin Young Readers
Publish Date: August 20th, 2013
Source: ARC

Rating: 3.5/5 – A completely unique contemporary story.

About the book: 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? -Goodreads

Thoughts: I’m not entirely sure what I expected after reading the blurb for If You Could Be Mine–there are just so many unique elements here. Set in Iran. Centered around a lezbian relationship. Transgendered elements. It’s a lot to take in, but Sara Farizan pulls it off. This is a fairly quick read, but there’s a lot to take in from beginning to end.

For all the LGBT qualities, what I found most interesting was the look at modern day life in Iran. It’s not easy to be a woman in the middle east, and being gay makes things infinitely harder. All that being said, IYCBM (long title) is a love story. Sahar loves Nasrin so much, and will do anything to be with her. Both of these girls are such complex characters. Nasrin drives me crazy–she’s incredibly selfish and immature, but her relationship with Sahar is genuine and organic.

Overall, highly recommended!

Second Opinions
@Just a Little Lost
@Bookish Comforts
@Xpresso Reads

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