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.
Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star
Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel was not my usual type of read as it apparently fell under the YA category but I had heard so many positive things about Sara Farizan that I decided I needed to read it and see what all the fuss was about. I quickly grew to love Farizan's characters and the writing so everything I had heard about her fell into place right away.
This was the story of Leila and her fears about being accepted as a lesbian, not only by her Persian family but also by her peers. It was a very emotional read as I can only imagine what a difficult situation it would be for a young person to find themselves in.
The interesting thing about this book was that even though Leila was scared of being judged, she also had her own pre-conceived notions about what gay people were like- she even wrongly believed certain girls at her school were lesbians. Ironically, these were also the most accepting of her which I felt was a nice life lesson to include in the book.
Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel should be mandatory reading for all young people as it teaches us to tolerate and even embrace differences. It brings a very human and personal view to what it must feel like to be different.
Thank you to Algonquin Young Readers for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
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