Sunday, August 31, 2014

Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel

Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

I reviewed another book by this author, IF YOU COULD BE MINE. I had a pretty mixed reaction to it as it didn't really seem to tackle any one particular issue and seemed to meander through a segment of someone's life. I was much more enthralled with Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel, and I feel that this author has a lot of untapped potential.

Anyways, an amazon summary, "“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

Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. As an Iranian American, she’s different enough; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when 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." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

Leila likes girls, attends a kind of prestigious school, and is pretty funny/charming. She has two best friends: Greg and Tess. Greg has a bit of a crush on her and Tess has quite a crush on Greg. Leila doesn't really care for either of them romantically but she's got a strong bond with them. Neither of them know that she's gay.

Leila lives in a family whose culture publicly shuns homosexuals. She's terrified of anyone outing her secret for fear of her peers' negativity but also her parents' reaction. She doesn't want to be cast out of community that she's familiar with, but might not necessarily agree with all the time.

The story starts with Greg convincing Leila to go to Lisa's party with him. She very reluctantly agrees and things at the party get awkward as Greg tries to woo her. Leila ends up wandering the house before bumping into Lisa. Lisa and Leila were best friends growing up but drifted apart when Lisa attended the academy before Leila. When Leila started at the academy, they didn't make a strong effort to be friends again so they have a friendly tolerance towards each other. Lisa's brother passed away last year and Lisa is still in the grieving process; she doesn't care for school too much and seems detached from life.


Everything Leila does to stay unnoticed starts to get ripped away as Saskia starts school. At first sight, Leila finds Saskia drop-dead gorgeous. Leila is lucky enough to show Saskia around on her day and becomes utterly charmed by her aloof nature. Pretty soon Leila is trying to find out what she can about Saskia and even auditions for the school play so she might get the chance to act with Saskia. Saskia also has an odd way of doting on Leila, but Leila relishes in the attention.

As Leila becomes more involved with the theater, she befriends Tomas (an openly gay guy) and discovers that the group of girls everyone thinks are lesbians are just people who are very comfortable being themselves.

With a lot of humor, Leila begins to stumble through her crush on Saskia, the confusion of cultural practices, and just how much her family loves her.

All in all, this was a pretty great read. There were elements to Saskia that didn't seem fully conceptualized, but the overall affect of the book was good.

Happy reading!

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