Coming of Age with Much Needed Representation | BookishFirst

Coming of Age with Much Needed Representation

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This YA novel featured the story of Amir, an Iranian-American boy struggling with coming out to his family and letting go of the internalized shame associated with his sexuality. This story follows the classic beats of traditional "coming of age" books, but with the additional layers of intersectionality. Looking at this kind of story through that intersectional lens gave the whole thing a fresh feel and it adds an important own voice to the genre.

The story featured a book-end style structure, which was well executed. I appreciated the jumps between the present of the first person interrogations and the past of Amir's full story. The shifts in point of view enriched the story and further illustrated the particular challenges Amir was facing due to the intersection of his culture and his sexuality.

There were only a few things that gave me some pause. First off, maybe as an aging Millennial I've phased out of the zone of suspension of disbelief, because I was so concerned for Amir as he was getting close (very close, in some instances) with some much older men. I was grateful that nothing truly traumatic happened to Amir and he was not harmed by any of his new friends, but it still set my nerves on edge. I also had a hard time with the math of how Amir actually afforded all of this, even with his Wikipedia-editing money. He must have gotten some very good deals on plane tickets. All jokes aside, these are minor gripes that did not have an overall negative impact on the story.