Friday, August 23, 2013

If You Could Be Mine, by Sarah Farizan

Barnes & Noble

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?

I really, really, really wanted to love this book: how do two homosexual women in Iran fight to be together?  What a fantastic premise!

But I hated the characters.  Sahar is a total biznatch to Nasrin the majority of the time and I have no idea why they're together.  Sahar makes this monumental decision for their relationship WITHOUT CONSULTING HER GIRLFRIEND.  That really pissed me off.  I also don't understand why she didn't think about any other alternatives.  Why did she turn immediately to a sex change operation?

I dislike when books tell you what's happening instead of showing you: it bogs the story down and leaves me unsatisfied.

Were this novel put in the hands of the right editor, it would be a fantastic story.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

  1. Bummer. I was looking forward to this one. Thanks for reviewing!