Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

“Both personal and universal, this is a compelling story about high school, family and owning up to who you really are. Farizan is just the voice YA needs right now. Trust me, you'll be glad you listened.” --Sarah Dessen

High-school junior Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. Her Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates; if word got ...

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Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel: A Novel

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Overview

“Both personal and universal, this is a compelling story about high school, family and owning up to who you really are. Farizan is just the voice YA needs right now. Trust me, you'll be glad you listened.” --Sarah Dessen

High-school junior Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. Her Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when a sophisticated, beautiful new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, especially when it looks as if the attraction between them is mutual. Struggling to sort out her growing feelings and Saskia’s confusing signals, Leila confides in her old friend, Lisa, and grows closer to her fellow drama tech-crew members, especially Tomas, whose comments about his own sexuality are frank, funny, wise, and sometimes painful. Gradually, Leila begins to see that almost all her classmates are more complicated than they first appear to be, and many are keeping fascinating secrets of their own.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 08/18/2014
With self-deprecating wit (“Now I have all the proof I need that my entire life is a sitcom designed by God for His personal enjoyment”) and a keen eye for interpersonal dynamics, Iranian-American narrator Leila Azadi details the dramas taking place in the intersecting circles of her elite New England private school and high-achieving Persian community. When a family friend comes out, his parents’ obnoxious bragging turns to silence (“it’s like Kayvon never existed”), causing Leila to fear being disowned for her “lady-loving inclinations.” An unanticipated crush on stunning, enigmatic new student Saskia compels Leila to explore unfamiliar terrain emotionally and socially. For better and worse, Leila learns that people are not always what they seem: the theater tech girls “who are for sure gay” are straight, and Saskia, Leila’s family, and her childhood best friend Lisa are full of surprises. Farizan exceeds the high expectations she set with her debut, If You Could Be Mine, in this fresh, humorous, and poignant exploration of friendship and love, a welcome addition to the coming-out/coming-of-age genre. Ages 14–up. Agent: Leigh Feldman, Writers House. (Oct.)
Review quotes

“Sara Farizan is just the voice YA needs right now.” —#1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah Dessen

“Farizan exceeds the high expectations she set with her debut, If You Could Be Mine, in this fresh, humorous, and poignant exploration of friendship and love, a welcome addition to the coming-out/coming-of-age genre.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Deftly balancing Leila’s unique cultural background and experience with more universal coming-of-age struggles, Farizan fashions an empowering romance featuring a lovable, awkward protagonist who just needs a little nudge of confidence to totally claim her multifaceted identity.” —Booklist, starred review

“A warm and uplifting coming-out story . . . An appealing cast of well-drawn characters--Christina, a vampire-obsessed theater tech-crew member, Tomas, the gay director and taskmaster of the middle school play she helps with, and Tess, a refreshingly confident nerdy girl--makes the story shine. Lessons abound . . . but skilful character development keeps Leila's discoveries from ever feeling didactic. Funny, heartwarming and wise.” —Kirkus Reviews

“With a plot that unfolds naturally, good writing, and vivid character development that leaves readers alternately cringing and aching for the protagonist, teens will find a satisfying coming-of-age novel. Fragments of Persian culture are incorporated smoothly within the narrative. Books featuring gay and lesbian teens of Middle Eastern descent are rare, and this engaging high school drama fills that need. Leila’s coming out to her friends and family, and her fear of disappointing her parents will resonate with all young adults.” —School Library Journal

VOYA, October 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 4) - Laura Panter
Leila, a high school junior, knows she is different from other girls, not just because she is Persian, but because she is attracted to girls. Luckily, Leila has never had a crush on a girl in her own school, until Saskia enrolls at Armstead Academy. Saskia has Leila acting in ways that could out her secret, but Saskia also has a vicious streak that abuses Leila’s limited knowledge of dating. As Leila struggles with telling her parents about her sexual orientation, she also takes risks that offer her new experiences and a host of new friends, friends who have their own secrets. When Leila finally realizes Saskia is not the person she portrayed herself to be, Leila needs to trust in a relationship she never thought would make her so happy. Farizan writes for the underserved young adult LGBTQ population. Unfortunately, the plot is a bit sparse and wraps up too neatly. Pop culture references seem inconsistent to the story. Narration of the story falls flat at times and readers may find this a deterrent to becoming emotionally attached to Leila’s struggles. While readers feel sorry for Leila, there is no deep attachment to her character. This is almost an idealized, stereotypical view of life in high school with an LGBTQ slant. Leila’s struggle to deal with her identity and her fear of rejection from her parents is realistic. It is a welcome addition to see a positive parental reaction to Leila being honest about herself. Readers looking for a lighter, girl romance will enjoy Leila’s story, but consider this an optional purchase. Reviewer: Laura Panter; Ages 11 to 18.
School Library Journal
08/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—Leila, an Iranian American teen, attends a private high school, where her parents have high expectations for her future. She has made it to her junior year without romance complicating her life, and that's just fine with her. Leila would just as soon not have everyone find out that she likes girls. But when beautiful, confident, worldly Saskia breezes into the narrator's life, everything turns upside down. Saskia easily lures the innocent Leila, and confuses her with mixed signals. With a plot that unfolds naturally, good writing, and vivid character development that leaves readers alternately cringing and aching for the protagonist, teens will find a satisfying coming-of-age novel. Fragments of Persian culture are incorporated smoothly within the narrative. Books featuring gay and lesbian teens of Middle Eastern descent are rare, and this engaging high school drama fills that need. Leila's coming out to her friends and family, and her fear of disappointing her parents will resonate with all young adults.—Nancy Silverrod, San Francisco Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
2014-07-22
In a warm and uplifting coming-out story, Leila, whose family is Persian, develops feelings for Saskia, a flirtatious and careless new classmate. Leila realized she liked girls at summer camp, but she's not ready to share her discovery with other students at her elite private high school or with her conservative parents. But with wild new-girl Saskia possibly flirting with her, her zombie-movie-loving buddy Greg trying to date her, and Leila's former friend Lisa paying attention to her after spending years with the popular crowd, Leila's secret becomes harder to keep. There are numerous subplots, including an Iranian family friend's wedding, a school production of Twelfth Night and multiple love triangles, but every loose end is tied up, and the story never feels crowded. Leila's journey with Saskia as well as with her family is related with emotional nuance and care. An appealing cast of well-drawn characters—Christina, a vampire-obsessed theater tech-crew member, Tomas, the gay director and taskmaster of the middle school play she helps with, and Tess, a refreshingly confident nerdy girl—makes the story shine. Lessons abound, from the truth that her seemingly perfect older sister is actually human to "everybody farts," but skillful character development keeps Leila's discoveries from ever feeling didactic. Funny, heartwarming and wise. (Fiction. 12-18)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616204358
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
  • Publication date: 10/7/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 236,744
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Lexile: HL720L (what's this?)
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Sara Farizan, the daughter of Iranian immigrants, was born in Massachusetts. She is an MFA graduate of Lesley University and holds a BA in film and media studies from American University. Sara grew up feeling different in her private high school, not only because of her ethnicity, but also because of her liking girls romantically, her lack of excitement in science and math, and her love of writing plays and short stories. So she came out of the closet in college, realized math and science weren’t so bad (but were not for her), and decided she wanted to be a writer. Sara has been a Hollywood intern, a waitress, a comic book/record store employee, an art magazine blogger, a marketing temp, and an after-school teacher, but above all else she has always been a writer. Sara lives near Boston, loves Kurosawa films, eighties R&B, and graphic novels, and thinks all kids are awesome. She is the acclaimed author of If You Could Be Mine and Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

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3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 6, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    2.5 stars I really thought I would like this book more than I di

    2.5 stars I really thought I would like this book more than I did. I was feeling frustrated with the characters and their actions for the most part. The part that really got my blood flowing in a positive way was when one of the characters takes charge and the other character gets upset with her. I understand her frustration; I mean she did put make the girl sick and she ended up in the hospital but seriously, she thought she was helping her friend out. Didn’t she? She just took it to the extreme. And then later on, we find out she’s like that, well whose fault is that? Leila shouldn’t have been telling Sasika what she really wanted because Sasika aims to pleased and if that meant hurting Tess, well…..she’s do it to help her friend Leila out. This is high school people and Sasika is new to the area so she’s trying to fit in and from her actions, they should know she’s a wild card. Sasika is all out there, she’s skipping school and there is no filter on her mouth, she says what she wants. What does Leila do now? Well, she still hangs out with Sasika because she thinks she’s beautiful and I was beyond myself for words with this girl. Does she have any respect or loyalty to Tess who is her best friend, who Sasika landed in the hospital for her? What is wrong here? See how exciting this all was but so very wrong. There had to be a turnaround in the book and it was the awkward party at Leila’s house. What a combination when all her guests finally arrived, this is not the typical teenage party but somehow Leila pulls off the party successfully. I was quite surprised how well things turned out with the movies and her mom playing chaperone. It’s not all pretty in the end how these girls get things worked out but the characters true colors shined brightly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2014

    This book is such a lighthearted and hilarious novel. The story

    This book is such a lighthearted and hilarious novel. The story starts out with Leila being confused about her feelings and unsure of how other people would react, especially her Persian parents. Things begin to look up when Saskia transfers into her school. Or is it?

    Overall, this book was enjoyable. Some of the characters are introduced in a way that made me uncomfortable, but then they turned into real people, three-dimensional humans. And this is a concept that winds its way throughout the whole novel, which is why the 5 star rating. This book holds its own in the contemporary YA sphere.

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  • Posted October 10, 2014

    (Source: I was able to view a digital galley of this book for fr

    (Source: I was able to view a digital galley of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Algonquin Books and NetGalley.)
    16-year-old Leila likes girls, but she just doesn’t know how to break the news to her friends and family. When a new girl at school seems to have an interest in her, Leila things that Saskia might even become her girlfriend, if all goes well.
    Can Leila find the strength to tell her parents that she’s gay? And is Saskia the girl for her?


    This was an okay story, but I think it might be aimed at the younger end of the young adult spectrum.

    Leila was an okay character, and I felt sorry for her and the way Saskia behaved towards her. As if Leila wasn’t having a hard enough time of it trying to work out how to come out to her parents and friends, she didn’t need Saskia being nasty to her as well.

    The storyline in this was okay, although it felt a little immature in places. The very start of the book also opened with a bit of an info-dump which was not the best start. I also wasn’t overly impressed with some of the lines that Leila came out with - "I feel like I have been punched in the vagina."
    There was some romance, but I felt really sorry for Leila and the way it turned out, Saskia was not a nice person in the end.
    The ending was okay, and I was glad that Leila had found support in her family, and a special someone too.
    Overall; an okay GBLT story, but maybe more suited to 12-13 year olds?
    6 out of 10.

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