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If You Could Be Mine
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If You Could Be Mine

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  7,443 ratings  ·  1,111 reviews
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 f
...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 20th 2013 by Alqonquin Young Readers (first published July 1st 2013)
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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,443 ratings  ·  1,111 reviews


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Giselle
Jun 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, own
This was very different from anything I've read before. A very short book at only a little over 200 pages, If You Could Be Mine examines not only life in Iran, but life in Iran for a young girl in love with her best friend, Nasrin.

From a very young age, Sahar knew she wanted to many Nasrin and spend her whole life with her, they've been in a secret relationship for years now, and being found out could mean imprisonment - at the very least - for these two. This was my first book set in Iran and
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Karen
I wanted this book to be better than it was. The subject matter--two teenaged girls in love in Tehran--is interesting, and there are some wonderful details. I was tempted to add my "horror" tag to this one, because sweet molasses, it's no joke living under a repressive religious regime. If The Handmaid's Tale gave you the willies (and it should have) then dwelling for a bit on the realities of a culture that insists on covering women from head to toe, and likes to stone gay people to death, will ...more
Lauren
May 07, 2014 added it
WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS

If You Could Be Mine tells the story of Sahar, an intelligent ambitious teenager living in Iran who is in love with her best friend Nasrin. Iran is a dangerous place to be out of the closet, although there is hidden gay community, which Sahar is introduced to by her cousin Ali.

It is at a party at Ali’s house that Sahar meets Parveen, a beautiful trans woman. Ali explains to her that the Iranian government sees trans people as a mistake made by God, a soul born into a wrongl
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CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
Although this book contains important representation of what it is like being gay and having an intimate relationship that is perceived as wrong and sinful in society's eyes, there were a lot of things in this book that did not sit well with me.

- Follows Sahar, an Iranian teen who is in love with her childhood best friend, Nasrin, and their complicated and tenuous situation when Nasrin is engaged to a man.
- I think the exploration of internalised anti-gay sentiment and the experience of being g
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Tori (InToriLex)
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diverse-reads, ya, lgbqt
Find this and other Reviews at In Tori Lex
Actual Rating 3.5 Stars
The subject matter of this book gave great insight into how homosexuality is treated in Iran. Being hung, imprisoned or beaten by the police are horrible consequences for expressing your love of the same sex. Sahar and Nasrin were opposite in many ways, but somehow found a way to fit together.  Their lesbian relationship is compromised and further complicated when Nasrin gets engaged. Sahar seriously considers sex reassignment sur
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Wren [t(he)y]
This review can also be found at http://fortheloveofbooksreviews.blogs...



Sahar is in love with her friend, Nasrin. But there's a problem: they're both girls, and they live in Iran, where being gay can get you killed. Sahar has trouble imagining a life without Nasrin, so when Nasrin gets engaged she comes up with a drastic solution; become a man.

As Sahar struggles with the uncertainty of the future and the prejudice present in her society, she meets some new friends and spends time with her gay
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Andrew
Aug 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
I'm sorry, but no.

I appreciate that the author is obviously trying to write important social commentary, but it's too bad that the characters are pretty unlikeable. The story revolves around the relationship between two young girls in Iran. In order to forestall the marriage of one, the other proposes a sex change (apparently legal, even encouraged, in Iran) so that they can be together. No problem so far.

Except our heroine spends half the book thinking this is some minor operation that can happ
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Bogi Takács
I read this YA novel for the #ReadProud challenge Week 3.

I had mixed feelings about it... It was short and a quick read, with some interesting and sharp-tongued characterization - but not all the character portrayals worked for me. If You Could Be Mine was a novel about forbidden love between girls, but the actual love was somehow missing - the protagonist and point-of-view character seemed constantly annoyed with her love interest, and the two of them barely talked, even about life-changing dec
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Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
If You Could Be Mine is one of those books that I'm glad I read. It tackles and interesting topic, two girls who are in love with each other in Iran where they have to hide their affection or risk death.

What makes this book interesting is the sliver of Middle Eastern culture that it shows, especially regarding transexuals. Apparently in Iran being born in the wrong body is considered a disease, not a sin, and you can change sexes with government aid. Whereas homosexuals might be killed, transex
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Kelly
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
There was so much potential here, but it never quite came together. This was rushed, unpolished, and with a few more rounds of revision, it could have gone into something really great.

Sahar has always loved her best friend Nasrin. But their love is beyond that of best friends -- it's romantic. But this is Iran and their relationship is not just illegal, but it's one that could get them severely punished. When Nasrin's offer her hand to an older man in marriage, Sahar's world falls apart. She's
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Carly ❊ Reading Is My Kind of Thing
“She returns the kiss with urgency, and I definitely know that no man or woman could ever make me feel the way she does. If that makes me gay, so be it.”

Admittedly, I haven’t read as much lbgt+ contemporary books as I like to think. But the ones I have read, such as AADDTSOTU and Simon vs THA, are some of my all time favorites. This book comes relatively close but I found it differed to them in a lot of ways, namely because it’s set in a non-western country.

If You Could Be Mine follows Sahar w
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Philomena Callan Cheekypee
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: loved-it
This was a different kinda read for me.

Since they were young Sahar knew she loved and wanted to marry her best friend Nasrin. Unfortunately same sex marriage is illegal in Iran except if you get a sex change. Will she do whatever she needs to, to be with the woman she loves?

I loved the insight into living in Iran. Quite an eye opener. Well written informative read.
Sue (Hollywood News Source)
Sara Farizan managed to balanced making me laugh for the first half and making me sob like a toddler on the last one.
Jessikah
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

While I hoped that this would be a story of defiance in the name of true love, what I got was a more complacent look at the status of the gay community in Iran. This does not mean that this was a bad story by any means. In fact, I learned about the status of transsexuals in Iran which gave me a serious, "wrinkle in the brain" moment.

Let's get down to plot. Sahar is a lesbian. Living close by, her childhood friend Nasrin has also been her secret girlfriend for years. Nasrin claimed Saha
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Jan
Dec 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
While reading this book one thought kept coming back to me time and again; that while things aren't perfect here in the U.S. for LGBTQ individuals, we still are extremely lucky to live in a country that gives us the freedom to live the life we choose to live openly. Not so for those who live in countries like Iran where this story takes place.

Seventeen year old Sahar and Nasrin have known each other all their lives and have been in love with each other since they were six. Behind closed doors i
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Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
If You Could Be Mine falls into two much-needed categories of YA: GLBT and non-white. As such, I really wanted to read it, and I'm glad I did. Farizan's debut has a fresh narrative voice, one that has a very non-western feel, while still being open and clear. Set in Iran, Farizan tackles first love, being different, friendship, and homosexuality with honesty and heart.

The plot of If You Could Be Mine, while not melodramatic or action-packed, is enthralling. I, for one, love being able to take a
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Nafiza
Jul 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I spent the entire novel feeling sorry for Sahar. That could be a title on its own, couldn’t it? Feeling Sorry for Sahar. I reckon it could give Feeling Sorry for Celia a run for its money. But I am digressing.

Let’s ignore the fact that Sahar lives in Tehran for now or that she’s Muslim. Let’s focus on the fact that Sahar lost her mother at a very young age and that her father has chosen to withdraw from life and wrap himself up in his grief to the detriment of his relationship with his daughter
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Mel González
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: meh, ownvoices, lgbtq, ya
“Everyone in my family always spares one another's feelings. It leaves little room for honesty.”

I'm so sad I didn't like this book that much because in the great scheme of things I found it extremely interesting and I learned so many things about Iranian culture, laws and society but I wasn't happy with the main story, I wasn't invested in it at all and the main character and her love interest were so flat and annoying, especially her love interest. I just didn't find it realistic that Saha
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sofia (sam willows)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elise (TheBookishActress)
3 stars. If You Could Be Mine is a story of love and cultural values in Iran.

This is definitely an important, relevant story, and I applaud Sara Farizan for writing it. She handles both transphobia and homophobia well here, making clear the difference between being trans and transitioning for the purpose of hiding your sexuality.

In terms of character work, this is generally a success. The protagonist, Sahad is developed and interesting. Unfortunately, her love interest, Nasrin, was selfish and
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BookCupid
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
There is nothing more hurtful than loving someone who can't love you back.

In Sahar's case, it's more complicated than that. Nasrin and her have been lovers since their lifelong friendship turned into something more. But life in Tehran impedes them from expressing their love publicly. Now that Nasrin is about to be married, Sahar grows frenzied, and the only solution she can find to saving their love is a sex reassignment surgery.

Farizan turned a forbidden love story into a debate about how far w
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Yerasly
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt
3.75**

Wow. Just wow. (view spoiler)
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Janani
I'm having many conflicted feelings about this book. I disliked Nasrin, and the entire time even from Sahar's POV I thought she was constantly annoyed with her, and Nasrin didn't even have any redeemable qualities significant enough for me to support Sahar's love for her.

(view spoiler)
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Rose
Sara Farizan's "If You Could Be Mine" is both an illuminating and frustrating read, if I'm reflecting upon the experience. No doubt in my mind it's a beautifully told story, and I found myself immersed in the brief read. But I'll admit my frustration came with the naivete of the characters and some dimensions of the emotional conviction rather than the outcome of the story.

The story revolves around the forbidden lesbian romance between Nasrin and Sahar as they reside in Iran. Things become com
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Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
It got me, right at the end, and I finished this in tears.
Magical_Bookworm
Nov 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookclub
3.5/5 stars. I thought this book was somewhere between okay and really like it. I lobed how diverse it was. I loved how we were able to see what it is like to live in Iran. I wasn't a fan of Narin, she annoyed me and acted like a spoiled brat. I didn't like that Sahar was will became a man for Nasrin even though she never feels like a man. all she ever feels is that she is a woman who happens to like other women.
Cassie Rae
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I found the narrator of this book exceedingly irritating most of the book. But I loved her cousin. And her dad. And I liked the narrator at end. The story became more and more engrossing as it evolved. I did want to know HOW it all ended even though I knew the ENDING. And it was more complex and touching than I expected. I loved the end.
Milka
Feb 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, library

I was pleased when I found this one from the shelves of my local library, because not only was it a book I had wanted to read for a while, it also fit quite well with my current mood for reading books that deal with themes of postcolonialism, feminism, religion, race, etc.

If You Could Be Mine is a fairly short book targeted mainly for young readers, with it being a young adult release, but it certainly includes a lot of food for thought within it 240-something pages. Sahar is 17 year old Irania
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Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten!

Teenage lesbians in Iran, where homosexuality is a crime punishable by death? Transgender characters everywhere? YES. It took me a long time to get around to this little book because of the mixed reviews, but I finally did it! Some days, you just need lesbians and something short to read, both of which If You Could Be Mine has and is. The mixed reviews aren’t for nothing, but this is still an extremely necessary story that needs to be read.

I could type LES
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Cassandra {semi-hiatus}
"Does it go away?” she asks. “Missing each other?”

I think about how much I missed Maman. I still do, though it isn’t as acute as it once was.

“A little bit,” I whisper. “Enough so that life continues."


This is the book about being queer in the Middle East that you didn’t know you needed. It was honest, it was heartfelt, and it made me sad and mad all at the same time.

Before I get any further, I loved the writing and I loved our main lady, Sahar. She was loyal and loving and willing to do anythi
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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 ...more
“No. I don´t think it does go away. I know it won´t for me. I will keep busy. I will distract myself. I will eventually have days when I don´t have to remind myself to breathe. I know Nasrin will exist, maybe even be happy, and I will be okay. I ´ll bury my love, but it will never really go away.” 19 likes
“There is no fairy godmother, Cinderella. Life doesn’t work that way. If you’re patient and go through the steps, you will be able to change. But there’s a lot of energy that goes into a transformation.” 10 likes
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