Mini Review: If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

Title:  If You Could Be Mine
Author:  Sara Farizan
Series:  None
Publisher:  Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date:  August 20, 2013
Pages:  256
Format/Source:  eARC/From Publisher via NetGalley
Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Contemporary, LGBT, Romance

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? (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads)

A Quick Read…

I read through If You Could Be Mine extremely quickly, and didn’t write too many notes down, so this is going to be a mini review.  So, as with most of my mini reviews, I decided to just share my notes with you:

  • The formatting on this eARC is unfortunate:  several words are missing at the beginning of each chapter!
  • The writing style seemed kind of strange at first, with very clipped sentences.  But as I read further, I got used to the style and enjoyed it.
  • There are lots of foreign words that I didn’t understand.  Several of them seemed to kind of be explained, but others I really didn’t understand at all.
  • At times, the narrator spoke like she was younger than 17, but not too often.
  • I really like learning about these cultural differences, even though it makes me so sad and angry that these horrible things happen to people simply because of their sexual orientation.  Of course, horrible things happen in my country to people simply because of their sexual orientation…
  • The medical talk about 3/4 of the way through the book really made me uncomfortable, so I can totally see how it would make the characters uncomfortable!
  • I really liked Ali and Daughter.  Those were definitely my two favorite characters, although I did like Sahar and Nasrin, too.
  • Nice ending.

My rating for If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan:

More like 3.75 stars, almost 4.  I really liked the message in this book, and I think it’s important for teens to read about different cultures and different sexual orientations, but I really wish there had been a bit more to the story.
You may also enjoy:  Boy Meets Boy │ It’s Our Prom (So Deal With It)

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review (Thanks, Algonquin and NetGalley!). I was not compensated in any other way for this review.


  1. fakesteph

    August 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    We had the same favorite characters! :)

  2. Brandi Kosiner

    August 16, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    I def understand and agree with the formatting and getting used to the writing style

  3. Bittner

    September 1, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I will say that the synopsis of the book leaves me with a lot of questions. That can be a bad thing if it leads me away from the book but a good thing if I'm interested enough to get answers. I'm not sure where this one falls. How can gender re-assignment be acceptable but homosexuality not be? How can you love someone so much that you would even consider gender re-assignment? That just seems crazy. We may have to talk about this book later

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