Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Like a Love Story” as Want to Read:
Like a Love Story
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Like a Love Story

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  295 ratings  ·  101 reviews
It's 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing.

Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He's terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he's gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media's images of men dying of AIDS.

Hardcover, 413 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Balzer + Bray
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Like a Love Story, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Barbara Evans Dougherty Evans The book, "Like a Love Story" is incredible. I was so lucky to win an advance reader's edition of it through GoodReads. I read it in less than 24…moreThe book, "Like a Love Story" is incredible. I was so lucky to win an advance reader's edition of it through GoodReads. I read it in less than 24 hours. It is too wonderful for words. I laughed, I cried, I had so many emotions. The characters come to life on the pages and you feel everything they feel. AIDS is such a tragedy and we lost so many people to the disease. Luckily today there are some powerful drugs that can keep it a bay and slow down the progression so that those affected have a very long life expectancy. In the early days this was not the case. I remember the fear and how being gay was looked upon as a death sentence. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  295 ratings  ·  101 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Chaima ✨ شيماء
Like a Love Story is the kind of book I wish I read as a teen when I was still navigating the pathways of my sexuality and needed the kindness of a friend who sits with you in comfort by the fire and can’t change what’s wrong but reminds you that you're not alone.

When I finished this book, I felt somehow at once endlessly heavy and weightless. My chest still trills with something I cannot quite name. Recognition, and sorrow, and hope all at once. The whole world still feels shaped around this s
Larry H
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this book hit very close to home for me.

It's 1989 in New York City. Reza has just moved with his mother to live with his wealthy new stepfather and stepbrother, and attend his final year of high school. He knows he likes boys but all he sees in the media are images of people dying of AIDS, so he knows he has to keep his true self hidden.

Judy has always been her own person, an aspiring fashion designer with a bold sense of style. She spends all of her spare time with her best friend, Art, an
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
wowowowow, this is one of those stories that hollows you out completely and then makes you whole again. it’s a love letter to the queer community, and to past queer activists who have paved the way for all of us to live better lives today. I can’t think of a better read heading into pride month. ✨
LIKE A LOVE STORY is a little like a love story, really. But more in the sense of love for oneself, one's body, and one's community. I think it did a really good job of that, particularly when propped up against the setting, but when it comes to the love story, the romance, within the book.. it kinda failed. And by kinda I mean really.

Nazemian's story takes place on the cusp of the nineties, in 1989, and is set against the AIDS crisis. Not as a backdrop but as a very real threat and very present
Anyta Sunday
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I fought and I loved and I lived through these dynamic, flawed characters.

I feel like crying.
I feel like loving and loving and loving.

Like a Love Story gifts us every shade of the emotional rainbow.
The book follows 3 teens that are kind of misfits and find a way to belong. There is Reza, an Iranian boy who is new at the school and is struggling with where his dad left them and more importantly, the fact he is attracted to guys. He feels he is not normal, hopes it is a fase that he will outgrow, and is scared of dying because AIDS has just made its outbreak and at first it was kind of thought it was a thing that only affected homosexuals, although afterwards it's shown it can affect anyone. ...more
This book.....blew me out of the water. Oh my god.

I was really intrigued by a YA book set during the height of the AIDS epidemic considering how prevalent queer stories are becoming in YA. Seeing as teenagers today (myself included, obviously) weren't alive to experience the devastation that occurred within the queer community during the 80s and early 90s, I thought this could be a really important look into that period of time. BOY WAS I RIGHT.

Like a Love Story follows the perspectives of thre
This was so special. More thoughts soon.
Neville Longbottom
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqia, 2019
4.5 - This was excellent. Like a Love Story follows three teenagers in the late 80s & early 90s in New York City during the height of the AIDS epidemic. Reza, a closeted Iranian boy who has just moved to the city, meets Art, an openly gay student, and his best friend Judy. The story follows them as they grow, love, fight, protest, and experience loss.

I think that no matter when I read this book it would’ve made a big emotional impact, but reading it right after finishing How to Survive a Pl
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Last thirty minutes spent in tears. Stayed up wayyyy too late last night finishing it. Just a lovely book about friendship and love and fear during the AIDS crisis.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Truly one of the best books I've read all year, Like a Love Story has the potential for wide appeal, but perhaps its greatest strength is how unflinchingly queer it is. Abdi Nazemian writes a book that could be (and honestly should be) read by everyone, but it is above all a love letter to queer youth and anyone who ever was a queer youth.

It's a history lesson about what it was like to be queer in the late 80s and early 90s, the way AIDS put a dark fearful cloud on so many human beings as they w
Nazemian has graced us with his impeccable writing, poignant storytelling and a nuanced and meaningful read. So much honesty, courage and potpourri of emotions portrayed in a single book. RTC.

Extending my deepest gratitude to Edelweiss and Balzer + Bray for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. However, this does not affect any opinions or feedback stated concerning the book whatsoever.
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excuse me but I'll just be over here in a puddle of tears until the dawn of the end of time.
Adiba Jaigirdar
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, arcs, poc-mc, lgbtq, aoc
Listen, this is hands down one of the best books I've ever read and the ARC has been sitting on my Kindle for some time now and I'm so mad at myself that I didn't read it sooner!!!

I'm not really sure how to review this story except to say that it is such an honest portrayal of so many things - among them an honest portrayal of being in love, and being in love when you are queer, and being in love when you are deeply afraid.

It's set during the AIDs crisis, and it's full of activism, pride, sadnes
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, rtc
guys. this book is breathtaking.
i finished this last night and it might be because i finished at 11:30 pm but i was sobbing. this book is so good. it didn't have the ending i thought it was going to but honestly, it's more realistic this way. the author is so good at writing his characters. all of them are so realistic and have such different personalities. this is also own voices.
just PLEASE read this. it comes out in june.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
i just got an arc of this and it better be as good as i think i
Cheska the Great is Not Okay

My eighth book for Pride Month 2019!

These are going to be some strong words, but: this isn't just my favorite out of all the books I've read this month for Pride Month. This is my absolute favorite queer Young Adult book of all time.

I know there is no such thing as perfection or flawlessness. But even if this book did have flaws, they were minuscule enough for me either not to notice or not to care. All of this book's themes were interwoven so seamlessly--love, romanc
Samantha (WLABB)
Reza was living in the closet, paralyzed by the fear, that being gay was a death sentence. But, through some good friends and a welcoming community, Reza was able to embrace his true self, and open himself up to the possibility of love.

• Pro: I was the same age as Reza, Art, and Judy in 1989. Therefore, this was a bit of nostalgia for me. I remember the protests, and the fear that gripped us all during that time. Nazemian deftly captured the time period and the emotional impact the AIDS crisis h
I dunno. A look on AIDS and everything in 1989 sounds really cool, but I don't like reading about cheating. Also, I'm a little hesitant of a YA book that deals with such an intense historical issue.
Greyson Richter | Use Your Words
i am ready to fucking sob
Also none of my states libraries have it and frankly , thats homophobic
A.R. Hellbender
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite read of the year thus far, and I have a lot to say about it, so we're gonna be here awhile.
I would like to preface this by saying that I am bisexual and half-Iranian. However, that's just the tip of the iceberg of ways in which this book is a masterpiece that I could identify with.
This takes place during an important time in queer history, when the fear of AIDS was so strong that anyone who was gay had to basically hide from who they were, or else they risked getting sick an
ARC provided by Edelweiss and the Publisher.

Oh my poor black broken heart.

For me as an individual who makes purchasing decisions for a YA collection in a public library ... looking at items that are considered "historical fiction" (in one sense or another ... and in some cases there are those that are decidedly more HistFic than others) is oftentimes difficult. Many HistFic titles for teens are WWII stories ... because just like adult readers, teens really like reading about WWII. Personally, I
Jan 31, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: coming-soon-19
I mean, Mackenzie Lee loved it, and I love her. This is just simple Law of Syllogism stuff, guys.
Shannon Dyer
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2019
Practically perfect, and a true pleasure to read.
McKinlay Dennis
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
So important. So many tears. RTC
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I spent the last thirty minutes of this crying so be warned.
Paloma Villasenor
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-releases
Omg, I read this in like one day!! Anyway, I really really like this tbh. There was this thing at very end that I didn’t like, I somehow felt like it was unnecessary:/
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer-ya
This is my first Goodreads review and for good reason. This book is life-changing. It is inspiring, beautiful, tragic, and funny. So maybe not just life-changing, but... life.
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, 5-stars, 2019
The most important four-letter word in our history will always be LOVE. That's what we are fighting for. That's who we are. Love is our legacy.

Where is the hype for this book??

Like A Love Story is a novel about three teenagers who have to deal with a lot of difficult stuff, as teenagers do. Judy is an aspiring fashion designer, Art is gay and out and proud and Reza just came to New York from Iran and Canada and the only thing he knows about gay men is that he is one and that they die of AIDS.
amazing, beautiful, stunning, magnificent, superb and so so gay.

i loved this so much. i was even tearing up a bit at the end and im not an especially emotional dude.

the characters were amazing, the character growth, the self-exploration, it was all incredible.

that sex talk stephen and jimmy gave reza was so beautiful. i never knew an awkward sex talk could be like that and im just.. wow!

reading this story brought something a little more personal into my knowledge of the aids crisis. i grew to fe
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Sorry For Your Loss
  • A Place For Wolves
  • The Meaning of Birds
  • The Language of Fire: Joan of Arc Reimagined
  • Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens
  • The Great Unknowable End
  • Tell Me How You Really Feel
  • The Madness Blooms
  • Brave Face
  • An Impossible Distance to Fall
  • Last Night at the Telegraph Club
  • We Contain Multitudes
  • Ziggy, Stardust and Me
  • Keep This to Yourself
  • Going Off Script
  • With the Fire on High
  • The Mimosa Tree
  • The Lost Coast
See similar books…
Abdi Nazemian spent his childhood in a series of exciting locations (Tehran, Paris, Toronto, New York), but could usually be found in his bedroom watching old movies, listening to Madonna or reading Archie comic books. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his two children and his fiancé.

As Head of Development for Water's End Productions, Abdi has been an executive producer or associate produce