Book Review: Like a Love Story ARC by Abdi Nazemian

It’s 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing.

Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He’s terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he’s gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media’s images of men dying of AIDS.

GENRE: 

Young Adult, Contemporary

PAGES:

N/A

PART OF A SERIES?:

Standalone

RELEASE DATE: 

June 4th, 2019

 

PUBLISHER:

Balzer + Bray

SOURCE:

eARC via Edelweiss. Please note that receiving this ARC in no way had any influence on the authenticity of my review.

YOU CAN FIND THE BOOK AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE/LIBRARY OR THE FOLLOWING LINKS:

GoodReads

IndieBound

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Kobo

Google Play

Author’s Website

GOODREADS SUMMARY: 

It’s 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing.

Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He’s terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he’s gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media’s images of men dying of AIDS.

Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS who devotes his time to activism as a member of ACT UP. Judy has never imagined finding romance…until she falls for Reza and they start dating.

Art is Judy’s best friend, their school’s only out and proud teen. He’ll never be who his conservative parents want him to be, so he rebels by documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs.

As Reza and Art grow closer, Reza struggles to find a way out of his deception that won’t break Judy’s heart–and destroy the most meaningful friendship he’s ever known.

MY REVIEW

Its been a couple days since I finished this book and my heart is still so FULL from this story. I can’t even begin to explain how important I think this story is and how it touches on something that is a huge part of gay history that we don’t tackle nearly enough. I’m queer and so I always appreciate queer authors and stories. This book may not tackle something that I have ever personally dealt with as a bisexual girl but it touched me so much to read about everything that went on in the 80s when AIDs was a huge problem in the community and the government wasn’t paying attention and young boys were terrified.

We have four main characters in this novel, each of them dealing with something important during this time. First we have Reza, a young Iranian boy who is gay but cannot bring himself to admit it because of the fear of AIDs. Art is a young gay boy who is out and proud and full of a lot of anger – at his parents, at AIDs, at those turning a blind eye. Judy is Art’s best friend and struggling to feel important next to Art and her dynamic uncle, Stephen, who is gay and dying of AIDs. Lastly is Stephen himself – while we don’t technically get a point of view from him, we do get his notecards scattered throughout the novel and he feels very much like a main character.

The four of these characters paint this beautiful but terrifying world of love and acceptance and fear and hate. Judy wants to be in love and has chosen the wrong boy. Art wants to fall in love but he’s afraid of what could happen. Stephen is the living embodiment of that fear – he has AIDs, his partner died from AIDs. Reza is so scared to be himself because of AIDs and because he doesn’t want to die. Its so heart wrenching to get all of these accounts of what these men were going through and how hard they were fighting, not just for their lives but for others who were dying from a disease that they couldn’t treat, and when they could, they couldn’t afford the treatment. I knew this was going on back then but I hadn’t been born until ’88 and so to read this, even in a fictional account, is just so emotional. There were moments where I found myself so angry that this had happened, that there were so many people that had let it happen.

But despite the anger and the frustration and heartbreak I felt in this book, I also felt so much more and it boiled down to one really important word – love. This book was so full of love. There was romantic love and family love and the love between friends and they love for photography and fashion and Madonna. This book is bursting at the seams with love and it makes such an ugly ugly time look…not better, not happier…but it makes you feel hopeful that these men were as loved as the characters are in this book. This book broke my heart and it HURT to see these horrible things happening to such beautiful people but I shut this book and felt so satisfied at the end because all the love that Abdi put into this book. I felt so emotionally overwhelmed in all the good ways.

This book comes out in just a handful of months and its going to be a book that I push super hard on people because I’m just so in love with the characters and the stories and the importance of it and I think that Abdi has a truly wonderful thing that he’s created and I can’t wait until everyone else gets to experience it.

RATING:

5 out of 5 Stars

*******************

Support us on Patreon for only $1 a month to gain access to monthly exclusive interviews, ARC and signed book giveaways, reviews for books I DIDN’T like and more by following the link here. 

One thought on “Book Review: Like a Love Story ARC by Abdi Nazemian”

Share YOUR Nerd!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.