Tuesday, July 30, 2013
If You Could Be Mine
A disclaimer: This book will not be released until August 20, 2013. I read the advanced reader's copy of this book so it might be different when it is published for the general public.
An amazon summary before I dive into this book, "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 had before, 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?" AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
So the summary did a brilliant job of describing the book's situation and I'm just going to let it have it's day.
I want to say this right away, this is a love story between two women. The story itself kind of explores some aspects of the LGBTQIA community in Iran, but not all aspects of it. Mostly from the women's point of view on society and in relation to her relationship with another women and how that is viewed socially and culturally.
However, the style of writing struck me as unattached to the events of the story. There were moments where the narrator was emotionally responding to everything around her, yet there were moments where she felt very wooden.
There is a lot of focus on the culture of Iran as well and I'm not sure how much is accurate and how much isn't as it is a fiction book. However, there does seem to be a lot of moments where Sahar suddenly remembers that something is illegal (say exposed elbows for women) and panics when they're in the moment, already in trouble. Yet for someone who has lived in Iran their whole life, it seems like she would be constantly on the lookout for law violations as she's kind of a paranoid person.
Regardless, the story was good to read even though I didn't quite like where it led to but appreciated how the story resolved.
I'm not going to spoil it though because the book has not been released yet although I would really like to discuss it because it seems like everything is just a giant red herring.
Also, there is a part where Sahar faints in the doctor's office due to some graphic images (operation related images) yet she aspires to be a surgeon. Her dreams don't seem realistic based on her reaction to mere pictures.
I'm glad I read it, but I'm not thrilled about recommending it. It seems to dodge around a lot of big questions and dabbles in too much of the culture without a lot of explanation.
I don't know.