Leila keeps a low profile at school, where her Iranian heritage makes her stand out and her attraction to girls would make her even more an outcast. But when new girl Saskia arrives on the scene, Leila finds herself drawn to her, taking risks that could out her to her parents and force her to finally confront a myriad of issues she’s been carefully avoiding.
Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel is not just a coming out story, but a coming of age story. It’s about identity and honesty, and it’s about being true to yourself in every aspect, not just as far as sexuality is concerned. Farizan’s upbeat tone and sense of humor balance out Leila’s angst and help poke fun at the many double standard’s Leila’s parents impose on Leila and her sister. Some of the drama is over the top, but the story always stays true to Leila’s character as her eyes are open to tensions between her social groups and she re-evaluates her own assumptions about other people. The outcome is optimistic, but not unjustly so—characters develop, mistakes are made, and self-awareness is achieved. Farizan’s second novel is an emotionally resonant, funny, and nuanced story, and Leila is a memorable character.
Cover Comments: Hello, awkward horizontal girls looking at each other. If lesbian hands are a thing, so are compare/contrast the lesbian covers!
Book purchased at my indie.