Sara Farizan has written a book that will not be flying under the radar, love it or hate it. I, for one, thought it was fabulous.
If You Could Be Mine is the story of Sahar, a young woman who has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since childhood. Their relationship has to remain a secret, though, since they could be jailed or killed if discovered. When Nasrin’s parents announce that a marriage has been arranged for her, Sahar has a choice to make: sexual reassignment surgery could make it possible for she and Nasrin to be together, openly, and even marry. Is she willing to live as a man to be with Nasrin, and will Nasrin accept her as such?
The book is very well written, managing to touch on the hidden things going on beneath the surface in Iran, particularly in the LGBTQ community. Farizan does a good job of staying focused on the character and choices of Sahar, while deftly illustrating the many obstacles she is attempting to navigate as a lesbian in her world.
Obviously, any book dealing with the subjects of women’s rights, lesbians, transsexual and transgendered youth, and arranged marriage (just to name a few), particularly in Iran, is going to create a storm of controversy. Farizan is a brave woman for writing this, and I am cheering for her. There are a few kids who will probably find solace in this book, maybe adults too, and I am glad it will be there for them.
Highly recommended, for both teens and adults.