I’m going to warn you right now, this is really, really sad.
If You Could Be Mine follows seventeen year old Sahar and Nasrin, two girls in love in Iran, a country where it is illegal to be gay. When Nasrin announces that her parents have arranged for her to marry a doctor, Sahar becomes determined to find a way they can make their love public without risking their lives. After meeting some openly trans people at one of her cousin Ali’s parties, Sahar realises the answer to all her problems is to transition to be a man as gender reassignment is not illegal in Iran.
This novel is so heartbreaking and painful to read. Sahar is so desperate to be whoever she can to be with Nasrin, and you cannot help but root for her all the way through.
Sara Farizan explains the realities of being queer or trans in Iran, rarely holding back on the difficulties of hiding who you truly are in the country her parents grew up in. Sahar’s interest in transitioning is handled delicately, and at no times did I think that the actual trans people in the book were treated with anything other than respect. This serves to shed light on the difficulties that trans people face around the world, not just in Iran.
This small yet intense novel deals with a lot of large, highly complex issues, alongside a compelling first romance.
What to read next:
- Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown
- Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
- The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth