Saturday, 11 June 2016

Book Review: If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

Book: If You Could Be Mine

Author: Sara Farizan

Pages: 247

Read On: iPad

How Long it Took Me To Read: 2 days

Plot Summary: 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?

General Thoughts: I loved the sound of this book. And I love books set in Iran and I wanted to read a LGBTQ story set in this fascinating country and culture. 

Things I Liked: 

1. The writing was good, engaging and a pleasure to read. 

2. The love and the angst it bring for these girls was shown so well. 

3. Reading about the marginalised in Iran was really insightful and heartbreaking in equal measure. 

4. Apart from Sahar and Nasrin we also see other characters that are on the fringe of society. Transgender people struggling to make it in this world. The support group they run was also interesting to read about. 

5. I also really liked Sahar's father, he is struggling in his own way- with the grief of his wife's death-- and trying to make ends meet. But he was gentle and kind and supportive. 

6. The ending to me also made a lot of sense and I really appreciated it. 

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. I really didn't like Nasrin. I found her spoilt, brash and not worthy all of this fuss Sahar made over her. Sorry if that sounds rude but she was utterly not worth it!

2. Also the book eventually felt very rushed and in a mad dash to finish. 

3. Sahar is supposed to this really together and sorted person. Yet her decision to change her gender comes so quickly and without any thought or any real idea of what this entails! This is so stupid. Changing your gender is a BIG FREAKING DEAL! How can anyone just want to undergo a major, life-altering surgery without any thought. Stupid really. 

4. This plot and premise had so much potential yet it failed to deliver. 

Rating: 3/5 

While I did enjoy this book and I am glad I read it, overall this wasn't a book that really blew my mind. 

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