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If You Could Be Mine

by Sara Farizan

Published by Algonquin, 2013
248 pages
ISBN: 978𢴔16202514

Age 13 and older

Sahar is a seventeen-year-old Iranian girl in love with her best friend, Nasrin. Nasrin loves Sahar, too, but a same-sex relationship is forbidden in Iran both culturally and by the government. When Nasrin gets engaged to a doctor, Sahar is determined to find a way for she and Nasrin to stay together. She believes she抯 found the answer when she meets her cousin Ali抯 friend Parveen, who is transsexual. Although homosexuality is illegal in Iran, transsexuals are considered to have a medical condition and the government supports and funds sexual reassignment surgery. Sahar wants to have surgery and become a man so she and Nasrin can be together. She doesn抰 feel like she抯 trapped in the wrong body like other transsexuals she meets, but she抯 so desperate she抯 willing to lie as Nasrin抯 wedding date nears. She抯 also na飗e until a consultation with a doctor opens her eyes to the reality of what she抯 contemplating. Nasrin, too, is na飗e梥he抯 unwilling to give up her life of wealth and privilege and thinks she can marry and still be with Sahar secretly, an idea Sahar finds intolerable. Sara Farizan抯 debut novel is an eye-opening look at political and cultural oppression grounded in the story of a believable, likeable, passionate young woman in love. Sahar抯 exposure, through her gay cousin, to dimensions of the gay and lesbian culture doesn抰 ease her pain but it does help her realize she may not always be alone.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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