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Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  59 reviews
It’s 1979, and Jasmine Zumideh is ready to get the heck out of California and immerse herself in New York City’s exploding music scene. With NYU her dream school and journalism her intended major, she’s been obsessed with the East Coast the past four years.

There’s just one teeny problem: Due to a deadline snafu, she’s maaaaaaybe said she’s Senior Class President-Elect on h
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Expected publication: November 1st 2022 by Wednesday Books
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Average rating 4.36  · 
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Susan Boyer
Aug 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Listen, if I haven't read and can't recommend my own book, what am I even doing as an author? 🙃

I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you a bit about why I wrote this book. Like Jasmine, I grew up in a Southern California suburb with an Iranian immigrant father and an American mother. I had the hardest time reconciling the two. All my friends thought being Iranian was “weird,” and I never saw myself reflected in books, movies, or television. (Don’t get me started on Seventeen magazine.)

Samantha Markum
Jan 27, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win has the voicey hilarity reminiscent of Maureen Johnson with a dash of Louise Rennison’s chaotic Georgia Nicholson. A modern story set against a vivid early 80s backdrop, I was sucked in from the start by Jasmine’s unforgettable voice, which had me laughing from the jump.

Jasmine is a girl stuck in the middle—of her separating parents, her sniping best friends, and her two cultures. And most importantly, she’s stuck in the middle of doing what’s right and what will get
Jacqueline Firkins
May 04, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This was such a charming and engaging read. I love imperfect, well-intentioned characters who make bad choices and then have to get themselves out of the mess they create, and Jasmine Zumideh perfectly fit the bill. One small, understandable misstep leads to another and another, while she wrestles with deeply relatable questions about her identity and how to reconcile her heritage with the relentless, often deeply brutal messaging of the world. Azim Boyer balances out the hard politics with lots ...more
Emma Roney
May 04, 2022 rated it it was amazing
As a mixed girl who has eaten frosting right from the container as a result of an emotional spiral many times, I fell in love with Jasmine Zumideh. I flew through this book in one day. It was fast-paced, and driven by such a clear voice. Jasmine is the picture of every messy young girl trying to balance belonging and self-truth. I loved her genuine connection with her friends, and Mike is the best high school love interest one could imagine for themselves. Reading this book, I was overjoyed that ...more
Amanda Glaze
Apr 16, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win is funny, charming voice-driven YA that is so compulsively readable, I honestly couldn’t put it down.

This story is about Jasmine Zumideh who has Ambition with a capital A. She is determined to be a writer for a rock magazine (and let me tell you, her love of and skill when it comes to opinions about music gave me the ALMOST FAMOUS & EMPIRE RECORDS vibes that I know we all crave). To achieve this dream, Jasmine knows she has to get out of her suburban Southern Californ
Vanessa Torres
Nov 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
JASMINE ZUMIDEH NEEDS A WIN grabs you from the first page for a journey back to the 1970s to follow Jasmine, an Iranian-American high school senior who aspires for acceptance into NYU, in hopes of eventually writing for the rock magazine, Creem.
Azim Boyer artfully transports the reader to a time of spinning records, first gen cordless phones, and the Iran Hostage Crisis. The beauty of the book is that it never feels dated, rather, fresh, relevant and difficult to put down.
Beautifully layered a
Charlene Thomas
Nov 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Jazmine Zumideh Needs A Win is one of those very special books that teaches just as much as it entertains. I was immediately thrown into all the very-real dynamics of high school, the overpowering urge to fit in, and that all-consuming longing for a future in the big wide world.

This is a story that’s set in 1979 during the Iran Hostage Crisis but its themes are so relevant for today. Jasmine is an Iranian American student with big dreams at a time when owning all of herself feels like self-sabo
Emi Cohen
May 04, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
eARC provided by NetGalley

After lying (or, "accelerating the truth") about being senior class president on her NYU application, Jasmine Zumideh is more than determined to win the election IRL. She thinks it will be a breeze... but then, the Iran Hostage Crisis throws a wrench in all her plans. Suddenly, Jasmine is seen as the "I-rain-ian" candidate, particularly when her younger brother starts speaking out against US foreign policy. Jasmine finds herself embroiled in a toxic race against Geral
Jan 23, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I had so much fun reading this book! It was clever and witty, and I loved the 1979 setting and music references sprinkled throughout. But what really sets this story apart is the cross section of a piece of history that doesn’t often get talked about (the Iran hostage crisis) and Jasmine’s journey as the things she thinks she wants comes in conflict with the world around her.

Jasmine desperately wants to get into NYU to study journalism and write about her rock and roll heroes. To make sure her a
May 10, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This book was honestly such a great read! It was also relatable. Jasmine Zumideh is a senior in high school trying to get into NYU, in order to do that she had to lie that she was senior class president. She was determined to win the election so she wouldn't get caught lying in her application. 

Jasmine was trying to fit in, she didn't like telling people she was half Iranian due to racism that she could face. She also was very determined to achieve her goals, to study in NYU. it has realistic c
Luke Dumas
Mar 02, 2022 rated it it was amazing
As someone who made a high school career of losing student council elections, I was excited when I received the chance to read an early copy of Susan Boyer’s debut JASMINE ZUMIDEH NEEDS A WIN.

Boyer’s novel is a light-hearted YA political romp following the title character, an Iranian-Irish American senior at a Southern California high school, who’s desperate to be elected class president to secure her admission to NYU and future career as an entertainment journalist. The novel follows Jasmine as
Ayushi (bookwormbullet)
Thank you so much to Wednesday Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

The writing style & dialogue of this book was super funny and I could definitely see this adapted into a fun teen comedy, but there were so many aspects of the book that contradicted the novel’s theme. Specifically, the political tone of the book leans liberal, but then there’s a character arc where a racist, conservative student is given a redemption arc and is (view spoiler)
George Jreije
Feb 27, 2022 rated it it was amazing
What a blast! Jasmine’s story not only transported me to a fun but testy historical moment, tackling racism, bullying, and young romance. The story is also super timely given all that’s happening in our world and how young people respond to it. And the author achieves all of this while making Jasmine and her friends absolutely hilarious.

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Jasmine’s run for class president amid a seriously relatable inner struggle between who she is and what others want her to be. All of
Feb 01, 2022 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2022-releases
01.02.2022 the author's excitement for that cover in the reveal tweet is making me emotional and i'm pretty sure the creator's heart will reflect in the pages too ...more
Oct 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to read an early copy of this compulsively readable book!

Jasmine Zumideh may need a win, but Susan Azim Boyer has found one in this stunning, voice-driven debut. Despite being set in 1979, this novel feels both timeless and timely. This book digs deep with wit and heart as protagonist Jasmine tries to determine what’s right when who she is seemingly irreconcilable with who everyone expects her to be. Full of keen music references and clever quips, this is a book that’s easy to love.

Maya Prasad
JASMINE ZUMIDEH is a whip-smart and hilarious story of identity and school elections. I was laughing the whole way through, but also wincing as Jasmine gets herself into more and more trouble. A lot of us in diaspora communities struggle with our identities, but that struggle is heightened when something out of our control happens in the world, and suddenly we as a group are regarded with suspicion. It happened with Covid, it happened with 9/11, and in JASMINE ZUMIDEH it happens with the Iran ho ...more
Stephanie Fitzgerald
Jun 07, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Y.A. readers
The setting is 1979. Jasmine loves her large family, and enjoys the customs they brought with them from Iran. She also thinks of herself as a loyal American citizen, and a typical, albeit ambitious, teenager. Then, across the world, the Iran hostage crisis erupts…and Jasmine feels torn in two.
Great nostalgic details; feathered hair, bedazzled jeans, and yellow ribbons tied around trees everywhere while the American hostages languished in Iran.
* I received a digital copy from Netgalley in return
Amanda Morris Bledsoe
What do you do when you have the moral compass of an 18 year old high school senior who needs another extracurricular on your nyu college application? Lie of course, then try to make it truth afterwards.

Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win is a slam dunk book that blends history, character, and present day headlines into a seamless story about the internal conflicts we all face when living in a powder keg.

Its a well-written, well-paced, contemporary about finding your voice, losing yourself, and accepti
Jun 18, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I don’t normally read YA books, but I won this one on. Goodreads Giveaway which I entered to help stock my Little Free Library. This book was a delight to read, not only for the late 70s culture references, but also to see Jasmine come into her own and embracing her identity during a time of crisis. In 1979, I only saw one side of the hostage situation from both the news and my piano teacher talking about her son-in-law who was one of the hostages. I now hope to find a young person to pass the b ...more
Jun 07, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. First off, let me say thank you for the chance to read the book before it even comes out. Now, on to my review....

I loved the book. The glimpses into the Iranian culture, and the struggles of "non-Americans" took a story that could have been cookie cutter, and gave it a very pleasant twist.

The character development of Jasmine from start to finish was well written. I enjoyed watching her growth, and her ups and downs, as a person.

Overall, I feel this story
Marley West
Jun 13, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a terrific read!! I really enjoyed the story from beginning to end and it did a really great job of expressing the feelings of a high school student. A must read.
Nikki Rouillet-Thrun
May 10, 2022 rated it really liked it
This is a super cute and quick read. There are many devastating moments and many serious issues that are tackled in this story. The main character battles with doing what is right and doing what she feels she needs to to achieve her dreams. I read it in an afternoon, it’s a great palette cleanser if you’re reading lots of larger, intense volumes.
Apr 28, 2022 marked it as to-read
i'm so thrilled to start this book!! thank you so much st. martins press & wednesday books for an arc 🤍 ...more
Isaac Blum
May 26, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Set in California during the Iran hostage crisis, it’s the story of an aspiring rock and roll journalist trying to win an election for senior class president. But it’s so much more than that. It’s about embracing identity, figuring out who you are, and deciding how far you’re willing to go to chase your dreams.

I adored Jasmine’s voice. It’s sharp, witty, and most importantly, authentic. You’re going to love spending time with her, watching her make some pretty bad decisions, b
Gayatri Sethi Desi Book Aunty
This is a humor filled page turner of a fabulous book.

I am smitten. There so much to adore about this book: The plot is refreshingly unexpected. The writer’s capacity for astute storytelling makes it a memorable read. The youthful relatability wins me over. Is it possible for a book to be both serious and humorous? This one is complex, layered, moving and funny.
Most of all:
Jasmine is an endearing young person who has stolen a soft spot in my heart.

I’m recommending it to everyone I can convinc
Justine Winans
Jun 01, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
JASMINE ZUMIDEH NEEDS A WIN is an excellent YA contemporary that I couldn't put down. It is the perfect combination of high drama, hilarity, and important issues of identity and racism that is an absolute must-read. I adored Jasmine as a character--she is authentic, so funny, easy to root for, and it is a delight to read from her perspective. Despite the book taking place in 1979, all of the issues are relevant and important to today. The characters are amazing, the voice is so strong and funny, ...more
Melissa Karibian
May 15, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2022
This was an engaging story and fun read as we follow Jasmine and her internal conflict of seemingly opposing identities. Well-intentioned characters that bad not-the-best choices and work their way through the arising conflicts always reel me in to see what happens next. You will laugh and tear up at this charming story
Jun 05, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This was a great read. I mean, I don’t know that it would be for everyone, but it was set in my formative years, featured music that I know and love, was focused around the Iran Hostage Crisis, and was just generally exactly what I needed to read right now. It was very interesting and well-paced and I love love love Auntie Minah. 💜📚
Shirin Kaye
May 15, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: political-satire
Smart and funny! I didn't put it down till I finished it. Jasmine is an engaging main character who makes a chain reaction of terrible choices and has to dig herself out of the hole she's created. Sweet cinnamon roll bf in Mike. ...more
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My grandmother began my obsession with reading when I was four, and I won an essay contest in second grade that included a trip to Knott's Berry Farm (I got duped--it was only to see the Fake Liberty Bell). I write young adult fiction featuring Iranian American heroines (whom I *never* encountered growing up), who make messy, complicated choices that rapidly snowball into avalanches. My debut nove ...more

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