Tell me again how a crush should feel – Sara Farizan
I love the cover for this! I read an egalley version, so I didn’t really know what the cover looked like until I sought it out on goodreads, I love how to words make a heart shape, it took me forever to work that out!
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
Ok, so I like YA books, I like books about kids in high school, I like books about POC and I especially like books about LGBT kids. You’ll know if you’ve read anything I’ve reviewed before, that I’m often really critical about LGBT story lines, because honestly, I kind of feel like a lot of characters are nothing more than their sexuality, recently, I’ve read some really top notch LGBT stories with some incredible characters, so clearly, I’d previously been looking at the wrong kinds of books! This fell into the category of good stories with interesting 3D characters.
Although this story is essentially a coming out story of sorts, Leila might be well aware of her sexuality and is relatively happy with who she is, she isn’t out to the wider world, and though coming out stories aren’t any thing new, this was refreshing in its attitudes towards high school and the difficulties of feeling ‘other’. Frequently, Leila talks about wanting acceptance from others but doesn’t feel quite brave enough to go ahead and say it. These thoughts of hers were a little heart breaking at times, especially her fears about her parents reaction. I don’t know a lot about Persia, but Leila certainly feels that her Persian heritage would make it difficult for her to be out to her parents.
It jumps from different characters points of view, which really gives the story a solid, rounded feel to it, so many books in this genre focus on one person, and although that means you can get more in depth with their thoughts and feelings, it does also mean that you lack perspective from the other characters, where as this ticked every box. On a personal level, I actually really resonated with Leila during this book, I think we’ve all had that moment of wondering whether or not you’re normal because all your class mates are gushing about some crush they have and you think the entire student body look like they crawled out a puddle.
Like I said, I’m into YA and LGBT fiction, but even if you aren’t this book is a welcome addition to any bookshelf.