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on sale date: 08-20-2013
AGES 14+ • Grades 9+

ISBN: 978-1-61620-251-4
LIST PRICE: $16.95

on sale date: 08-20-2013
AGES 14+ • Grades 9+

ISBN: 978-1-61620-310-8
LIST PRICE: $16.99


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?

2014 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
2014 ALA Rainbow List Top Ten Title
Fall 2013 Kids’ Indie Next List Top Ten
Booklist Top Ten First Novels for Youth 2013 Pick
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best 2014
Los Angeles Times Summer Reading Guide Pick


"Farizan’s prose is frank, funny and bittersweet, enjoyable…And her secondary storylines ring out memorably."
- The New York Times Book Review

"Sharp and moving…an interesting look at gender identity and gay culture in Iran…also a compelling story about class and the purpose of marriage."
- Boston Globe

"Accomplished and compassionate . . . A groundbreaking, powerful depiction of gay and transsexual life in Iran . . . An intimate look at life in modern-day Iran and its surprising Westernization, even though much of this culture is clandestine."
- Booklist, starred review

Meet the Author

Sara_Farizan_thumb Photo Credit: Mark Karlsberg /
Studio Eleven

Sara Farizan, the daughter of Iranian immigrants, lives near Boston, Massachusetts. She is an MFA graduate of Lesley University and holds a BA in film and media studies from American University. This is her first novel.

Read an Excerpt

Talking with Sara Farizan