PUBLICATION: Expected publication: October 7th 2014 by Algonquin Young Readers
GENRE: YA > Glbt | Contemporary | Realistic Fictiom
PAGES: 304pages (Hardcover)
SOURCE: e-arc via publisher (Netgalley)
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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.
“I want to stop living in fear. I want to stop coming up with excuses about why I’m not interested in dating. I want my family to know me… I want to stop feeling like everything I am is inadequate or makes me unworthy of love because of something I can’t help.”
There goes my feels..
Ever feel like you’re too old for the book you’re reading even though you’re just 2 years older than the protagonist? Or that’s just me being weird…
It wasn’t THAT great. But it was.. good. It was okay. I admit that I was expecting this to be a very deep and meaningful novel and even though I did not get THAT, I still enjoyed it. I’m not saying it’s shallow! Not at all. It just fell flat for me. Ever felt that? Like you were waiting for that chapter in the book where you will sob and cry and just weep and tell yourself that ‘this book is epic’. Well, I didn’t have that moment in this book. It feels a little Middle Grade-y to me, and no, I don’t have a problem with MG genre.. but with a tough topic like this, my expectations were high.
Leila is a Persian teenager and she is gay. Nobody knows it but her. And she’s okay that way, she was actually very confident that nobody will figure it out since she don’t have any crushes at her school.. until Saskia shows up. The flawless, beautiful and new girl Saskia. It was attraction at first sight for Leila and surprisingly, it seems like it’s the same with Saskia. I repeat, it seems.
First of all, CHEERS FOR THE CHARACTER DIVERSITY in here. I actually learned some cool stuff about Persian culture even though it wasn’t the center of the book. I was satisfied with the glimpse and mentions of traditions and stuff. But then again, this story is about Leila.. so let’s focus on her. Leila was an enjoyable character and protagonist. Her being witty helped me to get through the whole novel.. Honestly, there’s no dull moment from her mind. But! Like I mentioned above, I felt like she’s too young for me. The way she thinks is making me cringe sometimes and roll my eyes and there was even a ‘wait. what???’ moment from me. Side characters were well written! I didn’t have that cliche tingles everytime a character were introduced. My favorite was Lisa because out of all of them, I connected to her immediately. Even though she wasn’t the main character. Saskia, on the other hand has a huge potential to be a great character.. but the author did not explored it. I feel like she just discarded Saskia without even making a concrete ending for her even though she’s one of the main lead. And she’s a sick psycho. Now, what I WANNA KNOW IS WHY. But the author did not even dropped a backstory for her. I wonder if Saskia is getting her own book.
Anyway, I’m a fan of the writing as well. Farizan’s writing was easy and on point, I felt like I just glided through out the book. Also, the romance!!! Simple and touching. Unexpected too. The character relationships were greatly woven! Especially the one between Leila and her Mother.
“Just because I didn’t know who I was when I was young, doesn’t mean you can’t figure out who you are” – Leila’s MOM.
Don’t you just love when the Mother and the main protagonist actually gets along?! It made her coming out more poignant too.
Overall, Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel isn’t about crushes at all (disappointing) But it’s about growing up, learning what you want and finally having the guts to get it. Leila may not be a protagonist for everybody but she have a trait that I believe we can all relate to..