If You Could Be Mine

Paperback | August 26, 2014

bySara Farizan

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A stunning debut that reveals one of the most hidden corners of Iranian culture . . .

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?

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From the Publisher

A stunning debut that reveals one of the most hidden corners of Iranian culture . . .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 relat...

SARA FARIZAN lives near Boston, Massachusetts. She is an MFA graduate of Lesley University and holds a BA in film and media studies from American University. This is her first novel.

other books by Sara Farizan

Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel
Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel

Hardcover|Oct 7 2014


Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.75 × 6.35 × 1 inPublished:August 26, 2014Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443425737

ISBN - 13:9781443425735

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from I enjoyed it a lot! I bought this book a week ago and I very much enjoyed reading it. I felt like this book hit too close to home for me which made me emotional but I really enjoyed it and I definitely do recommend this book to anyone who may be interested.
Date published: 2015-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! A wonderful lgbt story. It made me laugh and cry. I read it so fast and I wish it could have been longer.
Date published: 2015-02-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So fantastic!! I honestly thought this would be a typical "girl tries to find herself" story. But it was so much more! It is just an amazing book that will reach so many people in many different stages in life!
Date published: 2014-11-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Debut Novel... Sahar is only seventeen-years-old but is in love with her best friend, Nasrin. They’ve played together since they were young children and, Sahar knew, even at the age of six that she loved her. In Iran where they live, homosexuality is strictly forbidden and the punishment for this crime is execution, imprisonment, or beatings. However, they have a law that states: “to be a man trapped in woman’s body is seen as nature’s mistake and sex reassignment surgery is legal and accessible.” Sahar realizes that as a man she could then marry, Narin. She would be free to love her in public. Will Sahar go through with this crazy scheme? Is this really worth sacrificing her true self worth? IF YOU COULD BE MINE was written with taste. There were no explicit or overly dramatic or detailed paragraphs at all. The story was interesting and made for a great debut novel.
Date published: 2013-12-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from 2.5 stars, not really my thing * a copy was provided by publisher for review* "If You Could Be Mine" is a story about two girls named Sahar and Nasirin and they have been best friends since they were little, they also have been in love with each other for the same amount of time. This book is all about the struggles of being different in a country that doesn't really allow you to be, Sarha and Nasirin were both decent characters, I liked Sahar more because I thought for the most part she had a good head on her shoulders but she was making some not so good choices. Nasirin is a bit of different story, I thought for the most part she was a selfish spoiled brat and she didn't always treat Sahar nicely. I thought this book had a different concept and that was interesting, I'm not sure it was really for me though, because of how some of the characters acted it was hard for me to really get in to the story and feel for them. As an overall I thought this book was okay but it wasn't really for me, I think this would be a good book to recommend to the right person but overall not my cup of tea.
Date published: 2013-09-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A unique and diverse read Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. But this is no standard love story. They live in Iran where homosexuality is strictly forbidden. I think there is an opportunity for this book to be a huge eye opener. We hear about the gay rights movement all the time in North America and I stand proudly behind it. But when you read about people who are actually risking their lives to be together and who have such little freedom when it comes to marriage/relationships, it really puts things in perspective. If You Could Be Mine has an important message of finding yourself and not completely losing yourself in another person. When Nasrin announces she’s engaged (to a man) Sahar makes the radical decision to undergo sex reassignment surgery so that she will legally be able to be with her. Talk about making a decision for all the wrong reasons. If You Could Be Mine does an excellent job examining the lives of transsexual/transgendered peopled in Iran. In fact there was more on sex reassignment than there was on homosexuality, which I wasn’t expecting. I think Sara Farizan does an excellent job showcasing the process and challenges of sex reassignment surgery – the therapy, the hormones, the doctors appointments. She also shows that it is not a simple or an easy choice, it’s not a switch you can flip on and off and most importantly it’s not a mental illness. I feel like I’m rambling a bit but honestly this book does an excellent job being honest and respectful about a procedure that isn’t talked about all that often. My one complaint is that this book feels a bit short. Everything happens very quickly. There isn’t a lot of time spent on the setting, so even though it is Iran and there are cultural distinctions, I never felt completely immersed. I also think more time could have been spent on character development. I really didn’t like Nasrin for most of the novel, yet she was so special to Sahar. I think more time could have been spent on the nuances of their relationship for us to really feel Sahar’s heart-break. That all being said, this is a début novel. It’s still very strongly written and Farizan is clearly very talented. I expect that her books will continue to get better and better the more she writes! Recommendation: If You Could Be Mine is one of those unique, diverse books which the market so desperately needs. It’s a touching and heart wrenching story of love and self discovery which will leave breathless. This and other reviews at More Than Just Magic (http://morethanjustmagic.org)
Date published: 2013-08-25

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Editorial Reviews

“Farizan’s prose is frank, funny and bittersweet, enjoyable . . . And her secondary storylines ring out memorably.” —The New York Times Book Review“This beautifully crafted young-adult novel offers timely insight into the struggles of those who must be their authentic selves no matter where they live.” —Ms. Magazine“Sharp and moving . . . An interesting look at gender identity and gay culture in Iran . . . Also a compelling story about class and the purpose of marriage.” —The Boston Globe""[A] terrific debut novel . . . Rich with details of life in contemporary Iran, this is a GLBTQ story that we haven't seen before in YA fiction. Highly recommended."" —School Library Journal""Accomplished and compassionate . . . A groundbreaking, powerful depiction of gay and transsexual life in Iran . . . An intimate look at life in modern-day Iran and its surprising Westernization, even though much of this culture is clandestine."" —Booklist (starred review)“[A] provocative coming-of-age story . . . Throughout this strong debut, Farizan weaves in details of daily Iranian life . . . Within a rigid societal structure, her fleshed-out characters wrestle with depression, hope, complacency and risk.” —Publisher's Weekly“A heartbreakingly beautiful story of first love. . . . The reader becomes part of Sahar and Nasrin’s journey. We move through it with them with our heart in our hands.” —Jacqueline Woodson, author of Beneath a Meth Moon“A book full to bursting with aching, haunting, beautiful questions.” —Chris Lynch, author of Inexcusable