I'd been hearing a lot of buzz about Sara Farizan's If You Could Be Mine in the Twitterverse for awhile now. If You Could Be Mine is a YA novel about a seventeen-year-old girl Sahar, and how far she would go for the love of her best friend, Nasrin (also a girl, for those of you not familiar with Persian names)...in the Islamic Republic of Iran. *Cue dramatic music* And you thought you had problems!
I'll admit I was excited when I read blurbs about the book online, but I was also a little worried. As a person of color living in the United States, I am always conscious of media representations of non-Anglo cultures. Would this book resort to stereotyping? Tokenism? Preachiness about the evils of living in Iran?
Much to Ms. Farizan's credit, the answer to those questions is a resounding no. While some of the foods, culture, and words might be unfamiliar to some American readers, somehow, by using Sahar's voice to tell the story, it makes the story feel more immediate. It makes me feel like it is happening to a close friend, and not a random girl in a country I know nothing about.
I only read the first five chapters from the digital preview on Amazon, but I can't wait to see what happens next. The official release for the book is August 20, 2013. Pre-order it from your favorite bookseller today!
Check out morethanjustmagic's interview with Sara Farizan here.