Sara Farizan's If You Could Be Mine is an intense book, full of equal parts danger and love. Each sentence is emotionally loaded and tantalizing, and Farizan writes so convincingly about an intense love that must be hidden in a dangerous environment. The relationship between the two girls isn't always very even, and Sahar struggles with seeing the flaws in her romance even as she desperately works to save it. Farizan does an excellent job at discussing the difference between being gay and transsexual, addressing important issues about body image and gender, and how they factor into sexuality. The setting is frightening and complex, but also completely fascinating in its seemingly contradictory laws and customs. Subplots that center around Sahar’s family and their own challenges in connecting with each other add to Sahar’s struggles in determining her own identity, but ultimately provide her with the support she desperately needs. The conclusion of this novel is painful and gut-wrenching, but ultimately hopeful as Sahar discovers her identity and the depth of her own strength. If You Could Be Mine is an excellent debut novel.
Cover Comments: I like the simplicity of those cover, and the attempt at hand-holding (the only legal form of affection that the girls can show towards each other). The design is very understated and pretty!
If You Could Be Mine will be out on August 20th, 2013!
ARC picked up at BEA.