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Monday, August 19, 2013

If You Could Be Mine: A Novel

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan jumped out at me when I read the blurb. It sounded lovely and heartbreaking, and it was both.

Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were children. She has known no other love, and by the time Sahar is a teenager she realizes that it's not just a passing childhood fancy--she is deeply, unequivocally, and heartbreakingly in love with Nasrin, who reciprocates the feelings. They, however, are Iranian, and homosexual relationships carry a penalty of death. When Nasrin announces her engagement to a handsome, wealthy doctor, Sahar is completely broken. How can she save Nasrin from this fate worse than death--marriage? If she can't, can they ever be the same?

I fell madly and forcefully in love with this book just a few pages in. It is told from Sahar's first-person perspective and Farizan has created a character with such deep pathos that I felt I entered Sahar's life. I understood her struggles (both to love Nasrin and to let her go for what was best for everyone) and her desire to do whatever she must to keep Nasrin as hers. I was rooting for Sahar in what felt like such an incredibly personal way; I felt as if I were in her shoes.

Farizan is a beautiful writer, and she has crafted a structurally simple yet emotionally complicated narrative that kept my eyes glued to my Kindle screen. I only wanted to stay with Sahar, help her make good decisions, and shake her into realizing that she will be OK. Life will be easier. I loved everything about this book and I am so thankful I had the opportunity to pick it up and live in it for a few days.

You should get this for a young person in your life. Or yourself.

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