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Tell Me Again How a Crush Should feel

by Sara Farizan

Published by Algonquin, 2014
296 pages
ISBN: 978𢴔16202842

Ages 13 and Older

Leila is an Iranian American high school student at an upscale private school who抯 afraid to come out. Then she gets a crush on new student Saskia. Glamorous and beautiful and unafraid of expressing her feelings, Saskia leaves Leila feeling floaty even before they finally kiss. Leila抯 over the moon and everyone at school knows it. She comes crashing down, hard, after Saskia blithely confirms that she slept with Leila抯 friend Greg after kissing Leila, but there抯 still a disconnect between what Leila抯 head knows and what her heart and body feel. One of the intriguing aspects of Sara Farizan抯 novel is that Saskia抯 emotional game-playing is evident to readers long before it is to Leila. As things with Saskia intensify and then fall apart, and Saskia becomes not just manipulative but emotionally abusive, Leila finds herself confiding in her old friend Lisa, from whom she抯 grown apart in recent years. Lisa, in turn, eventually confides in Leila: She likes her, and has for years. As this far more healthy relationship begins to develop, Leila finally comes out at home, where she finds an unexpected ally in and a new perspective on her perfect older sister while her parents, although clearly struggling with the news, make clear they love her. Leila抯 relationship with Lisa is striking in contrast to what she had with Saskia for the respect and tenderness between them in a novel that deftly and deeply explores many kinds of relationships and has a finely developed cast of secondary characters.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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