In the last several months, I've become much more interested in Middle Eastern and Asian culture, and have been impressed by the few books I've read that feature these areas and their people. It is, unfortunately, not very usual to find a Young Adult novel that features different ethnicities, so when I do, I jump on it and hope against hope that the author does the book justice. That is exactly my position and hope with today's Waiting on Wednesday pick. Debuting on August 20, 2013 from Algonquin Young Readers, I give you...
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?
The synopsis takes my breath away! Not only is a different culture explored within the pages of this book, but it also features a lesbian relationship, which is forbidden, and in fact, considered a crime in Iran. I already know that my poor heart is going to go through the wringer as these two characters struggle to find a way to be together and to overcome the odds of their relationship and their culture. How will this book end?! I can't wait to find out!