Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel
By Sara Farizan
October 2014 Algonquin Books For Young Readers
High-school junior Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. Her Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when a sophisticated, beautiful new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, especially when it looks as if the attraction between them is mutual. Struggling to sort out her growing feelings and Saskia's confusing signals, Leila confides in her old friend, Lisa, and grows closer to her fellow drama tech-crew members, especially Tomas, whose comments about his own sexuality are frank, funny, wise, and sometimes painful. Gradually, Leila begins to see that almost all her classmates are more complicated than they first appear to be, and many are keeping fascinating secrets of their own.
*Copy provided by the publisher (Algonquin Young Readers) in exchange for an honest review*
Last year I snagged Sara Farizan’s debut novel, If You Could Be Mine at BEA. It was literally number one on my list and I read it on the plane ride home. LOVED it and it still has a special place on my book shelf. Needless to say I was so giddy when I saw she had a new book coming out. In my opinion, Sara writes the types of books that the YA genre is sincerely lacking. Told with such a strong voice and full of inspiration, I just know that her stories will touch many.
Like her first book, Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel stars a young Iranian girl who is battling with her identity and finding where she fits in. Although, this story’s subject matter is not as intense as her other book, it still delivers the same amount of emotion. Leila is from a traditional Iranian family, living in America and attending a private high school called Armstead Academy. Leila already feels like an outsider because of her cultural differences. But she is also hiding a secret; she likes girls. She’s afraid of what the kids at school would think if they knew, but mostly she is afraid of her parent’s reaction. Being gay is not typically accepted in Iran. In fact, many are punished for it. Then Armstead gets a new student. Saskia is gorgeous and confident and Leila is instantly attracted to her. But this girl might just be bad news. Thankfully, Leila has some true friends she can lean on, and her happily ever after might not be too far away.
I loved this book. It’s a fast yet powerful read. It teaches you to be true to yourself. You do not have to be a fan of LGTB fiction to read this book. I feel like a lot of people assume that if you are straight, books like this are not meant for you. That is not true. You can get into this story and take something away from it no matter what your sexual orientation is. I HIGHLY recommend reading Sara Farizan’s books!