Read: If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan - Sheba Karim
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Read: If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

Sara Farizan’s 2014 YA debut is about a lesbian teenager living in Tehran who’s been in love with her best friend since they were six. That alone should be enough to make you want to read it, and when you do, you’ll find yourself falling hard for the narrator Sahar, a sharp, intelligent girl willing to sacrifice anything for the possibility of being with her beloved, even herself.   In Tehran, where the public expression and acts of homosexuality are criminal, the government’s “solution” is to pay for your sex reassignment surgery. Whether you are transgender is immaterial; if you, like Sahar, are a girl who likes girls, the only way for you to live an acceptable and licit life is to either not act upon your homosexuality or become a boy.  Sex reassignment is right for some, but it’s wrong for Sahar, though with her best friend’s marriage looming, she feels she has no choice. Featuring vivid, memorable characters, the book is a poignant exploration of gender and sexuality in Tehran and the intense, fraught nature of young romance. But Ms. Farizan’s own description of the book sums it up best; If You Could Be Mine is “a love story, like Juliet and Juliet—on steroids, and in Iran.”