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@Download E-pub ë Like a Love Story Ø It sin New York City, and for three teens, the world is changingReza 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 AIDSJudy 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 datingArt 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 photographsAs 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 2nd reading, and I love this book so much Endless love Truly one of the best books I ve read all year, Like a Love Story has the potential for wide appeal, but perhaps its greatest strength is how unflinchingly queer it is Abdi Nazemian writes a book that could be and honestly should be read by everyone, but it is above all a love letter to queer youth and anyone who ever was a queer youth.It s a history lesson about what it was like to be queer in the late 80s and early 90s, the way AI 2nd reading, and I love this book so much Endless love Truly one of the best books I ve read all year, Like a Love Story has the potential for wide appeal, but perhaps its greatest strength is how unflinchingly queer it is Abdi Nazemian writes a book that could be and honestly should be read by everyone, but it is above all a love letter to queer youth and anyone who ever was a queer youth.It s a history lesson about what it was like to be queer in the late 80s and early 90s, the way AIDS put a dark fearful cloud on so many human beings as they were coming of age But while well researched, this is fiction and it has a lovely fairy tale vibe without every losing any gritty human emotion.Here s a passage I adore Us All of us What we did Our history Who we are They won t teach it in schools They don t want us to have a history They don t see us They don t know we are another country, with invisible borders, that we are a people You have to make them see You have to remember it And to share it Please Time passes, and people forget Don t let them Music particularly Madonna plays a huge role in the novel, and the scene when the characters go to a Madonna concert is one of the greatest scenes in the book, IMO It actually moved me to tears as I thought about the first Tori Amos concerts I went to and how I felt so SEEN and LOVED during those shows You can just tell that Nazemian has truly lived so many of the things of this book because of its honesty, and it s clear that this book is a labor of love.If I could control things, I would love to see this book reach the kind of readership The Hate U Give has found Queer youth today face fewer challenges than Art and Reza face in the book, when falling in love with someone seemed, to many, to equal disease and death, and certainly fewer than Stephen and Jimmy , but there is still such a long way to go Too many queer youth still struggle with crippling depression and hurt themselves because they don t know how to accept themselves or belong to communities that don t see them Many still equate being queer with loneliness and shame and even death And so I m so glad for all the love and hope in this novel, one that never lets go of the beauty and necessity of resistance.This is the best book for Pride Month that I could have possibly asked for and maybe one of the best YA novels I ve ever read for all the love it exudes I don t often buy multiple copies for my classroom, but I will be buyingof this one I want to share this with everyone.Let me end this short review which falls far short of what this book means to me with this incredible passage that needs to be sent out to every LGBTQ kid everywhere I ll tell you what we will never be deficient of LOVE We love art and beauty We love new ideas and pushing boundaries We love fighting against corruption We love redefining archaic rules We love men, and women, and men who dress like women, and women who dress like men We love tops and bottoms, and top hats, especially when worn by Marlene Dietrich But most of all, we love each other Know that We love each other We care for each other We are brothers and sisters, mentors and students, and together we are limitless and whole The most important four letter word in our history will always be LOVE That s what we are fighting for That s who we are Love is our legacy Like a Love Story is the kind of book I wish I read as a teen when I was still navigating the pathways of my sexuality and needed the kindness of a friend who sits with you in comfort by the fire and can t change what s wrong but reminds you that you re not alone When I finished this book, I felt somehow at once endlessly heavy and weightless My chest still trills with something I cannot quite name Recognition, and sorrow, and hope all at once The whole world still feels shaped around this s Like a Love Story is the kind of book I wish I read as a teen when I was still navigating the pathways of my sexuality and needed the kindness of a friend who sits with you in comfort by the fire and can t change what s wrong but reminds you that you re not alone When I finished this book, I felt somehow at once endlessly heavy and weightless My chest still trills with something I cannot quite name Recognition, and sorrow, and hope all at once The whole world still feels shaped around this story, a warm welcoming place ready to receive me, whenever I longed to open the book and run my fingers under the words, feeling for the hope I will always find sheltered there So, what s this book about It s 1989, at the height of the AIDS crisis, and Reza is an Iranian closeted teen who s moved to New York from Toronto by way of Tehran, and is living with his mother and new stepfather and stepbrother.Reza did not want to die of AIDS the desire to not die has never been so searing Dark images of men pierced by the illness tore at him, and every nightmare that shook him carried the same subliminal four letter warning The fear sloshed over Reza, each wave colder than the last, and he might have floated on, believing those dull miseries were all there was, if he hadn t met Art and Judy and a small bird of hope took flight His attraction to Art this dreamer who taught him to hope for a different life made Reza s legs tense to flee, to scramble back to the safety of denial Reza tries to cut his desires from him by dating Judy, and his life becomes a wobbling cup of lies that threatens each moment to spill But with the help of Stephen Judy s uncle who is a gay activist and has AIDS, and in whose mind, ugly things are made beautiful , the unaccustomed feeling of community, and yes, even Madonna, Reza s courage, once shriveled by fear, rises in his chest.Reza only hopes that, in his blundering, he hadn t severed ties that might otherwise have been stimulated to warmth and affection again, and that his friendship with Judy would beat with a new rhythm The most important four letter word in our history will always be LOVE That s what we are fighting for That s who we are Love is our legacy Like a Love Story is a deeply affecting novel at once gutting and filled with unfathomable tenderness that made my heart sing like a plucked string The story felt like a breath that had been inhaled into darkness, only to be exhaled again as song Simple, unadorned, glorious There are countless avenues to tears in this book, and I strongly doubt many readers as cynical and unyielding as they may be will get through it dry eyed themselves.Among all the things that Like a Love Story seeks and succeeds to be, it s a love letter to queerness, to activism, to self expression, to the people who love despite scorn and condemnation and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved, and yes, to Madonna.Like a Love Story rings harsh, accusing, vibrant through every page, and it s clear that the author is making a point about the way history can steamroll over anyone who falls outside the norm Our history Who we are They won t teach it in schools They don t want us to have a history They don t see us, writes Nazemian, They don t know we are another country, with invisible borders, that we are a people The novel is grounded in the realities of daily life in the time period, where people women, people of color and queer people paid the heavy toll for the scathing indifference of governments and the pitiless profiteering of pharmaceutical companies This devastation signals a time capsule, except that things have changed so little for marginalized communities that it s hard to consign even the most hyperbolic discrimination to the past.A bright knife of grief plunges through my heart at the thought of the trials and tribulations our communities have faced and are still facing And, reading this book then spendingtime researching the historical figures mentioned, it seemed to me almost impossible that these people, so unspeakably brave, could have lived at all with such frail, flimsy stuff as skin keeping blood and breath safe inside their bodies and not something else, somethingOur history will always carry a shard of sorrow within it, but to borrow Stephen s words, the world can change If you fight hard enough for that change Don t forget that The novel s strength, though, is in the voices Nazemian gives his characters His characters are so achingly human they have the virtues of their flaws, and the flaws of their virtues, and their realistic relationships accurately depicts current issues of gender, race, and class The first person narration alternates between Reza, Art and Judy, occasionally interrupted by hearty and thought provoking passages from The Queer 101 Notecards Stephen made for Art that range from advice about high school to Madonna.The characters journeys are resonant and their feelings reached me in waves It was almost like being stripped to my skin, and I saw myself in their eyes.Art was all heat and volatility, he was passion, but not violence There were so many wants inside him that he doubted there was room for blood in his body His character radiates such a stark and roaring vitality that could lift the darkness almost palpably from the hearts of people around him But in the furnace of Art s grief, anger kindled The unfairness of what his community is continuously made to endure made him want to burn and shrill and rage if it ll make the world take note And it s that boundless passion which has been nurtured by Stephen whom Art had always seen as a father figure that had woken Reza to the understanding that for all his life he had been hollow It s Art who taught Reza that it s okay to wantas terrifying asmay be.Judy s character sung with its own vibration She shone with good nature and a stunning liveliness Her mind is like a spike toothed eel, and I admired how she gradually settles into herself, growing untouched by the words people with ill hearts kept ready on their tongues, a way to show their judgment of the shape of her body Judy also treats her friends to the full truth of her kindness She and Art have been friends for such long stretches of their lives they grew up in one another s pockets Though, truthfully, I couldn t help but react with a sort of angry bewilderment to the way Judy handled Reza s coming out However much I sympathized with her, I couldn t find within me the faintest flicker of blame towards Reza Fear and denial do strange things, and for most of us, coming out is a weight laid heavily across our shoulders like an iron yoke.Reza s character struck a deep chord within me It hit me, with a pang of familiarity, how worn thin Reza was with fear How his heart failed a little at the thought of people finding out the truth about him How he chose to remain diffident and nearly invisible, and how at the root of all his reasons was fear frantic, sharp, cracking like a blow It s what snagged at me the most It s the nameless horror of the consequences of being yourself Because sometimes, it seems that there is just no way to tell people closed to us the truth and make them understand it, that hearts that loved boys or girls or everyone otherwise both or in between are nodifferent than any other heart.Like a Love Story also includes a romance, and I surprisingly relished how that element feels almost secondary, despite being necessary for the plot It s a welcome subversive take on the coming of age romance You meet people, and if you re lucky enough, they sink in your chest like stones into water, spreading sand as ripples in a pond They may stay in your life forever, or you will part, once, or twice, and then be divided anew, whether by choice or by fate Life is nothing but achingly bittersweet And so was Like a Love Story s ending.Unique, moving, and filled with flawed and yet real characters, this novel is a must for any library serving teens.BLOG TWITTER INSTAGRAM TUMBLR 4.5 I don t really write reviews on goodreads any but wow was this an amazing, beautiful, important book A great read to start Pride Month I higgggghly recommend that you read it. Wow Wow wow wow This book was incredible.