Like a Love Story
Like a Love Story

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Annotation: n Reza moves to New York City, he begins dating Judy, even though he is secretly gay; he then struggles with his feelings when he grows close to Judy's best friend, Art, who is openly gay.
Catalog Number: #209838
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 432
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-283936-5 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7599-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-283936-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7599-1
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
At the height of the 1980s AIDS crisis, three teens grapple with love and friendship.Raised in Tehran, then Toronto, Reza is living in New York City with his mother and new stepfather and stepbrother. Though he is attracted to men, he is paralyzingly afraid of AIDS, equating being gay with death. Judy, who loves fashion, is best friends with Art, the only out student at their school, and both are bullied by fat-shaming, homophobic peers. United in their love for Judy's uncle Stephen, who is gay and has AIDS—and whom Art sees as a father figure—they become involved in AIDS advocacy. After meeting Reza, the duo find that they are both attracted to him, their friendship strained when Reza and Judy start dating—despite Art and Reza's undeniable chemistry. In a tribute to gay culture icons, the book depicts the social and political climate of the time in vivid detail, capturing the dichotomy between fear and love and, finally, acceptance. The lack of clinical trials for women and people of color, safe sex, and heteronormativity are highlighted in a nondidactic way along with the legacy of the 1980s gay community, the devastation of HIV/AIDS, present-day joy, and continued violence toward the queer community. Reza and his family are Persian, and Art, Judy, and their families are assumed white. Despite an abrupt ending, a truly lovely romance to cherish.Deeply moving. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 13-18)
Publishers Weekly
When Reza, a closeted teen, moves from Toronto to New York City (-by way of Tehran-) in 1989, the city feels like the epicenter of the AIDS crisis. In a heart-wrenching and bittersweet unfolding of events, he gravitates toward Art, the only openly gay student at his school, and to Art-s best friend, Judy, who represents everything he feels that he should desire. Though Reza tries his hardest to keep his attractions secret, dating Judy despite his chemistry with Art, he finds that he can-t live a lie, whatever that might cost him. A first-person narrative moves among the three characters as they discover their inner truths at a time that sometimes feels apocalyptic for their community and loved ones. Under the nurturing guidance of Judy-s gay activist uncle, the characters subtly investigate different family dynamics. The intense and nuanced emotions evoked by the characters- journeys help to give this powerful novel by Nazemian (The Authentics) a timeless relevance. Ages 13-up. Agent: Curtis Brown, Curtis Brown Ltd. (June)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Judy and Art are best friends. That means Judy is always in his corner when their homophobic classmates harass him and Art would never do anything to hurt her. Which is why things get very complicated when he starts to fall for her new boyfriend, Reza. And they get even more complicated when Reza admits he's fallen for Art, too. This is a beautifully written exploration of first love's fragility in the face of a world full of hate and fear. But just as compelling is its look into a friendship that isn't shattered by a betrayal; instead, its cracks are revealed as two friends grow into the people they're meant to be. Nazemian (The Authentics, 2017) paints a picture of late '80s queer life in New York City that's neither romanticized nor viewed as only tragic. Judy's relationship with her uncle, who is living with AIDS, is important but it's his relationship with Art, as a person who can give him the love and acceptance he doesn't find at home, as well as an education in what it means to be part of the LGBTQ community, that is truly powerful. Nazemian's latest will remind readers that first love is isolating and unifying, exhilarating and terrifying, and every paradox in between.
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 7-12

“A love letter to queerness, self-expression, and individuality (also Madonna) that never shies away from the ever-present fear within the queer community of late '80s New York, Like a Love Story made me feel so full—of hope, love, courage, pride, and awe for the many people who fought for love and self-expression in the face of discrimination, cruelty, and death.

"A book for warriors, divas, artists, queens, individuals, activists, trend setters, and anyone searching for the courage to be themselves.”—Mackenzi Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

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.

This is a bighearted, sprawling epic about friendship and love and the revolutionary act of living life to the fullest in the face of impossible odds.

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