Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is a relief. As an Iranian American, she’s different enough; if word got out that Leila liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when beautiful new girl Saskia shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would.
As she carefully confides in trusted friends about Saskia’s confusing signals, Leila begins to figure out that all her classmates are more complicated than they first appear to be, and some are keeping surprising secrets of their own.
©2014 Sara Farizan. Published by arrangement with Algonquin Young Readers, an imprint of Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, a division of Workman Publishing, Inc. (P)2014 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
“Both personal and universal, this is a compelling story about high school, family and owning up to who you really are. Farizan is just the voice YA needs right now. Trust me, you’ll be glad you listened.”(Sarah Dessen, author of the New York Times bestseller Along for the Ride)
Delight in the journey and the struggle on the road to your dreams
This is an excellent work of coming out/ coming of age YA fiction. The protagonist is an Iranian American girl Leila, who has realized that she's gay and is trying to deal with it. Afraid of life and herself she's never had any experience with a girl; indeed her best friend Greg keeps asking her out. Leila manages to avoid crossing that Rubicon without ever leaving her closet.
Then Saskia enters the picture and the private academy that is Leila's high school and the title of the book now makes sense. Thus she's faced the difficulty of steering her way through the emotional mine field that is high school while living in two cultures while hiding who she really is. Ms Farizan is able to take us through it with hardly a stumble; much less a fall.
This audiobook is more than capable of standing alone. However if you have a child dealing with issues of sexual identity this can be one of the ways your child approaches you in their process of coming out. I worked in the mental health and substance abuse fields for close to a dozen years and the damage I saw from kids rejected by their parents was heartbreaking. The manner in which fictional parents can act as a guide if you let them. These are the same children they were before you found out; don't throw them away.
Whatever relationship path you ultimately take I love you H and I'm always proud to call you my child.
I really enjoyed this story. It was charming, witty, and totally relatable for anyone who has ever been teen and crushed on anyone of any gender.
The only real critique I have is that with this narrator, it is sometimes hard to tell for certain what the main character is saying out loud and what she is thinking.This is a downfall of audiobooks, but some narrators offer more distinction between internal and external dialogue.
Definitely! It was a sweet and touching book and it never shied away from hard topics.
It's just so refreshing to have a lesbian love story where no one dies, gets shipped off, or is having a secret affair. Yay for beating industry standards!
All of it, honestly. She brought such emotion and life to the book and the characters. Her unique voices for each character made them easily identifiable and traceable through the listening experience.
Oh yes. But I made myself space it out so it would last longer.
Yes! I'd love to experience the story again. And I think it would be a good pick me up book.
All the intersectionality (sexual orientation, race, religion), the romance between the main couple, Leila's family and the friendships.
No. This is the first one. I think she did a terrific job and I'd definitely listen to another one of her performances.
This was a super cute and important story, the kind of YA book the world needs more of.
when i first read the synopsis for this book, i had low expectations, so i was taken back when the story unfolded. the way it is written makes you feel everything the protagonist is feeling, and not a lot of books have done that for me. at some points, i was so emotionally invested in the book that i actually started bawling my eyes out. i love this book & i highly recommend it.
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