Growing up in a Persian family where the pressure to become a doctor and find a nice boy is mounting from her parents, Leila struggles to keep it a secret that she likes girls. Her hidden feelings are challenged when a beautiful new girl shows up at school and she’s tasked with showing her around. What Leila thought would be a harmless crush from afar is thrown off course when she finds that the feelings may be reciprocated.
With her first novel If You Could Be Mine, and now this second book Farizan has quickly established herself as an author who not only writes characters of a diverse culture but tackles the topic of same sex relationships. Unlike her debut novel which is takes place in Iran, Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel takes place in present day America. While I liked the Iranian setting in If You Could Be Mine, I think this story may feel more accessible to more readers. I liked that it was almost a “fish out of water” idea, where Leila is already a visible minority among her peers but she’s also got this secret that she feels the need to keep hidden from everyone as well.
I loved the plotline of the theatre in this story, and that the narrative involves the technical side as well, not just focusing on the acting aspect. I did find some of the comments a bit cliche or stereotypical, and some of the scenarios a bit contrived at times. That being said, I do think Farizan does a remarkable job at conveying the confusion and conflicted feelings someone might have, especially at that young age. She seems to touch upon things in such a personal and intimate way that really translates through her characters.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ (3.5/5 stars)
Available: October 7, 2014
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A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.