If You Could be Mine
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 for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they had before, only now with new comforts provided by the decent, well-to-do doctor Nasrin will marry. But Sahar dreams of loving Nasrin exclusively--and openly.
Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution. In Iran, homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman's body is seen as nature's mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. As a man, Sahar could be the one to marry Nasrin. Sahar will never be able to love the one she wants in the body she wants to be loved in without risking her life. Is saving her love worth sacrificing her true self?
Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Children’s/Young Adult
One of Rolling Stone’s 40 Best YA Novels
A 2014 ALA Rainbow List Top 10 Title
A Booklist Top 10 First Novels for Youth 2013
A Chicago Public Library “Best of the Best” 2013
“Farizan’s prose is frank, funny and bittersweet, enjoyable . . . And her secondary storylines ring out memorably.” —The New York Times Book Review
“This beautifully crafted young-adult novel offers timely insight into the struggles of those who must be their authentic selves no matter where they live.” —Ms. Magazine
“Sharp and moving . . . An interesting look at gender identity and gay culture in Iran . . . Also a compelling story about class and the purpose of marriage.” —The Boston Globe
"[A] terrific debut novel . . . Rich with details of life in contemporary Iran, this is a GLBTQ story that we haven't seen before in YA fiction. Highly recommended." —School Library Journal
"Accomplished and compassionate . . . A groundbreaking, powerful depiction of gay and transsexual life in Iran . . . An intimate look at life in modern-day Iran and its surprising Westernization, even though much of this culture is clandestine." —Booklist, starred review
“[A] provocative coming-of-age story . . . Throughout this strong debut, Farizan weaves in details of daily Iranian life . . . Within a rigid societal structure, her fleshed-out characters wrestle with depression, hope, complacency, and risk.” —Publishers Weekly
“A convincing portrait of everyday life in post-revolutionary Iranian society . . . While Farizan deals with LGBT issues in this book, she also is writing about the choices all young adults must face. Sahar must find her place in her family, decide which career to follow, and figure out how to let go of a first love—universal themes in all cultures.” —Durham Herald-Sun
Sara Farizan, the daughter of Iranian immigrants, was born in Massachusetts. She is an MFA graduate of Lesley University and holds a BA in film and media studies from American University. 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 came out of the closet in college, realized math and science weren’t so bad (but were not for her), and decided she wanted to be a writer. Sara has been a Hollywood intern, a waitress, a comic book/record store employee, an art magazine blogger, a marketing temp, and an after-school teacher, but above all else she has always been a writer. Sara lives near Boston, loves Kurosawa films, eighties R&B, and graphic novels, and thinks all kids are awesome. She is the acclaimed author of If You Could Be Mine and Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel.