I got a copy of the ARC for this novel from Algonquin YR through a Goodreads Giveaway, and I read it almost straight through. It sucked me in fast with the perfect amounts of humor, angst, and heartfelt moments.
I totally adored this diverse story which is about growing up, being different, and choosing the type of person you want to become, even if others would choose differently for you. It sent me back about 18 years to those trippy feelings of desperate first crush, to unexpected humiliations, to that desperate desire to both be myself and also make the people I love happy, and to the misdirection and lies of omission that are often mistaken for truths.
The characters were all unique, well-developed, and relatable (Goodreads says that isn’t a word, but I have to insist). Leila charmed me fast with what seemed to be almost a complete lack of charm. That’s not to say she isn’t adorable. She’s just lovable in those unexpected ways that people don’t always get to see on the surface, which makes her a very interesting MC. She is refreshing and real, and I loved hearing about her Persian culture, family, and values.
Parts of this story remind me a lot of that Mark Twain quote, ““Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”[
“Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.” (hide spoiler)]
I love that quote, and I love this story.