If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

March 19, 2016
If You Could Be Mine, Sara Farizan, Book Review, InToriLex
THREE POINT FIVE STARS
If You Could Be Mine
~Amazon~ 
In this stunning debut, a young Iranian American writer pulls back the curtain on one of the most hidden corners of a much-talked-about culture.
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 have been, 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?

REVIEW:

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 surgery so that she can one day marry Nasrin, that came off as strange and naive to me. As careful as Sahar tries to be about being found out as a lesbian, I couldn't see her even considering such a drastic decision.
"Smile and don't worry so much. See the swinging bodies in the square? Smile and don't worry so much. Can't be with the person that you love because it's against the law? Smile, damn it."
The characters were realistic but the naivete of Sahar and Nasrin frustrated me alot while reading. Alix, Sahar's older cousin, and Parveen were refreshing personality's who did balance some of that frustration out. Nasrin was my least favorite character, because her selfishness and vanity was brushed off too many times by the people around her. Sahar grows up in this book, and becomes more like-able because of it. The novel is illuminating because it gives you insight into a different culture and place. I've learned and thought  more about how difficult becoming and living as a transsexual is. That's what kept me reading and what I enjoyed the most.
Book Review, If You Could Be Mine, Sara Farizan, InToriLex

The writing was well done and although this is a young adult book it doesn't shy away from mature subjects. The ending did feel rushed, but was satisfying. The family relationships described in this short read highlighted what led men and women to do what's expected rather than what they want. Despite my frustrations while reading, I was immersed in the book and enjoyed it. I would recommend this book to people who want to read a diverse, but hard hitting story about young love between two girls in Iran. 

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