I originally picked up this title, from Netgalley as an ARC, because I have been fascinated with Iran and Persian culture for awhile now. I also on th...moreI originally picked up this title, from Netgalley as an ARC, 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: http://www.algonquinyoungreaders.com/.... 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. (less)
I picked up this book after loving "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe," and wanting to read something off the William C. Morris...moreI picked up this book after loving "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe," and wanting to read something off the William C. Morris Award list - debut books honored as the best of the year in YA literature (this won a 2013 honor from there). And I thought the title was eye-catching.
The story is about Cameron, a twelve year old girl living in a small town in Montana in the late 80s - early 90s, who knows she likes girls after kissing her best friend. She comes to this realization the day her parents die in a car crash. Over the next couple of years, she uses movies, pot, drinking and hanging out with the guys to self-medicate herself, while she tries to discover who she really is and what she wants. Cameron continues to follow her desires with two or three other girls, until she is betrayed by the girl she falls in love with. Her evangelical pastor and conservative aunt decide that she needs to be sent to a gay rehabilitation center called God's Promise to be "fixed". Will she survive the center and be able to figure out who she truly is?
It was a really fascinating book, which made me think of my childhood. The main difference being that the main character is about four years older than me, but we grew up about the same time in small towns in different states. I thought the scenes with the dollhouse and her obsessive need to decorate it with all her trinkets and things she stole was unusual but made sense. I wanted to share what some other reviewers said about the book. Malinda Lo from NPR (http://www.npr.org/2012/02/07/1464729...) said: "While it's being published as a young adult novel, Cameron Post is certainly also meant for adult readers. The historical specificity makes it especially meaningful for those of us who came of age before the Internet. [This book is] especially for teens growing up today in communities that don't accept them for who they are. But it is also a skillfully and beautifully written story that does what the best books do: It shows us ourselves in the lives of others." Catherine R. Smyka of The Stranger (http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/ha...) wrote this about the book: "Danforth inspects the raw parts of acceptance, healing, and moving forward. In Cam's head, Danforth has written the perfect young-adult stream of consciousness. Her descriptions are teenage-awkward and feel organic and uncensored." Kirkus Reviews had this to say about the story (https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-re...): "Even when events take a dark and gut-punchingly inevitable turn, the novel remains at its heart a story of survival and of carving out space even in a world that wants one's annihilation. Rich with detail and emotion, a sophisticated read for teens and adults alike." Due to the graphic language and content, especially at the end of the book, I would highly recommend this for ages 14+, 5 stars. (less)
I originally picked this book up because it won the Pura Belpre Author Award, an Printz honor award, and the Stonewall Book award winner for 2013. Plu...moreI originally picked this book up because it won the Pura Belpre Author Award, an Printz honor award, and the Stonewall Book award winner for 2013. Plus I must admit the title and cover art intrigued me. It was a beautiful, sweet and sad book about two Mexican-American teenagers growing up in El Paso, Texas in the late 1980s and discovering who they really are. Ari (short for Aristotle) has always been angry, due to the fact that he has an older brother in jail, who his parents never discuss, and a distant father who never speaks to him after serving in Vietnam. This makes Ari keep to himself. Dante is the complete opposite. He is happy, outgoing, and everyone loves him, yet he is also a loner. They meet each other the summer before their junior years in high school and their friendship changes everything. As this reviewer said (http://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-...), "The book's real focus is friendship and how the perspective and love of a good friend can make you look at yourself differently and motivate you to change for the better." I know that I have the good fortune to have an awesome friend like this, and I hope everyone is this lucky, at least once in their life, to have the same. This is my second favorite book that I've read so far this year. Highly recommended for ages 14+, 5 stars. (less)