If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
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?
While the concept of this book was extremely interesting, the story is not told in a very interesting way. The concept alone, however, was enough to keep my interest throughout. I really feel for these poor people who are forced to either live a lie or be punished horribly. The most awful thing: this could have been a true story. This is the reality for some people of certain cultures/religions.
I really sympathized with Sahar. Nasrin, on the other hand, I didn’t like. She was selfish and didn’t treat Sahar as I thought she should. I guess, though, she was just a weaker character than Sahar. Sahar won’t settle for what is culturally-accepted. She wants to be happy and so, even though that means having to be happy in secret, that is what she will do.
I quite enjoyed this book, even though it wasn’t my typical book of choice and it really wasn’t told in the most interesting way.
Best Aspect: Concept
Worst Aspect: Story-telling