Like a Love Story
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. (From HarperCollins)
Abdi Nazemian, a dual Canadian-U.S. citizen based in Los Angeles, is a screenwriter and author. His other books include the YA novels The Authentics and The Walk-In Closet.
From the book
There should be a limit on how long any human being has to wear braces. ALso, there should be another name for braces. Mouth invaders, maybe, or teeth terrorists. Although I suppose an Iranian boy these days shouldn't even think the word terrorist, so I take that back. Maybe I should just call them friends. They've accompanied me as we moved from one country to another. But it's been three years now, and I'm done. Tomorrow, I start my senior year of high school, in a new school, in a new city. This is it. My last chance to not be invisible.
I'm watching two television shows at once on the largest TV screen I have ever seen. Everything in this home, and in this country, is jumbo sized. It isn't even a normal television. It's a projection screen. Abbas says the quality of the image is a lot better. And the image can split, so you can watch multiple things at the same time. As if the split screen television weren't stimulating enough, he also has an endless VHS collection and closet full of board games. The only games my dad ever played were called "How fast can I empty this bottle?" and "How many times can I leave my family and come back, only to leave again?" My mom wants me to call Abbas "Baba" or "Daddy," but that's never going to happen. No man with this many versions of Monolopoly could ever be my father.
From Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian ©2019. Published by HarperCollins.