One of Rolling Stone’s “40 Best YA Novels”
A Winner of the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Children’s/YA
A Top Ten Fall 2013 Kids’ Indie Next List Pick
A 2014 ALA Rainbow List Top 10 Title
A 2014 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Title
A Booklist Top 10 First Novels for Youth 2013
Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best for Teens 2014 List
Winner of the Publishing Triangle’s Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction and the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction
A Los Angeles Times Summer Reading Guide Pick
Named a Bookriot 10 Rad Female Author to Read
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?