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Like A Love Story By Abdi Nazemian

A triumph of a novel.

Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink

Abdi Nazemian’s Like A Love Story is one that resonates a deep, lush, and vigorous sound that needs to be heard and reflected upon over and over again because this book is important.  It will be remembered for its fresh and authentic take of the late 1980s.

New York 1989

Like A Love Story is a wonder of a story.  Equal parts heartbreaking as it is breathtaking in its ability to perfectly paint the harrowing climate of the 1980s queer community for today’s teenagers.  It’s a story about three teens who are faced with monumental challenges that will leave them forever changed.

Reza, an Iranian teen, new to the New York scene, struggles with being gay while dealing with the fact that the AIDS virus is killing men by the hundreds. Judy, talented in all things fashion, wants to find a meaningful relationship and her best friend, Art, whose conservative rich parents are in denial, is the only proud-and-out teen in high school. These three teenagers converge together with a force that is all consuming in this narrative about love, loss, courage, and forgiveness.

Even though Nazemian’s narrative takes place in the 80s, it is still relevant today because the characters Nazemian so vividly creates.  Each character’s voice is raw, real, and unique. Teenagers today can relate to the same awkwardness, same fragile ego’s and sometimes utter aloneness we see these characters struggle with throughout the novel.  You feel as they do: Reza, Judy, and Art.  Their frustrations of not being heard, understood, or accepted; their worst fears and their deepest desires.

Adolescence for these teens is not easy, besides the day-to-day teenage drama, Reza, Judy, and Art must deal with even more than the standard gruel shoved into their face, because of their activist roles for equality and better health care for gay men.

Nazemian’s stunning novel is epic in its capacity to rage against the inequalities and injustices of the world while simultaneously exploring with a deft hand teenage love, empowering individuality, appreciating and living in the moment, and cherishing the friendships that will last a lifetime.  It is beautifully written and shines brighter in the constellation of LGBTQIA+ novels because it embraces the values and ideals of what all peoples deserve: equality and happiness.

This wonderfully bright novel is every shade of beautiful.  It questions the hypocrisy and bigotry of those who paint their canvas in a single minded gradient.  Like a Love Story shows to choose this way of living, painting one shade of the rainbow, denies the vast fullness of the myriad of colors that brings beauty and love into our world.

Happy Reading  ̴  Cece

RATING: ink blotink blotink blotink blot – Exceptionally Inked

Publisher:  Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: June, 2019

Pages: 432

ISBN-10: 0062839365

ISBN-13: 9780062839367

Audience: Young Adult; ages 13 and up

Jacket Art: Dave Homer

Jacket Design: Michelle Taormina

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