Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian

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 w...

Details Like a Love Story

TitleLike a Love Story
Release DateJun 4th, 2019
PublisherBalzer + Bray
GenreYoung Adult, LGBT, Historical, Historical Fiction, Contemporary

Reviews Like a Love Story

  • Chaima ✨ شيماء
    Like a Love Story is the kind of book I wish I read as a teen when I was still navigating the pathways of my sexuality and needed the kindness of a friend who sits with you in comfort by the fire and can’t change what’s wrong but reminds you that you're not alone. When I finished this book, I felt somehow at once endlessly heavy and weightless. My chest still trills with something I cannot quite name. Recognition, and sorrow, and hope all at ...
  • Larry H
    Wow, this book hit very close to home for me.It's 1989 in New York City. Reza has just moved with his mother to live with his wealthy new stepfather and stepbrother, and attend his final year of high school. He knows he likes boys but all he sees in the media are images of people dying of AIDS, so he knows he has to keep his true self hidden.Judy has always been her own person, an aspiring fashion designer with a bold sense of style. She spends a...
  • Thomas
    Could YA books with queer characters of color be any more iconic? I loved Like a Love Story and I'm so happy it exists, alongside books like Benjamin Alire Saenz's Ari and Dante and Kelly Loy Gilbert's Picture Us in the Light and more. What sets this novel apart from other similarly fantastic YA reads is its masterful portrayal of the 1980s AIDS epidemic and the activism of that era. The novel follows Reza, a closeted Iranian teen, Art, the o...
  • Mads
    I feel bad giving this a one star rating because I know it's by an own voices author but I had so many issues with it. The story itself could've been powerful as it takes place in the 1980s during the AIDS crisis. But the characters ruined it for me. They're extremely flawed and not in the good way where they'll get character development later. They're flawed in the "I'm an asshole" way.There's a scene where Saadi, Reza's homophobic brother who f...
  • Madalyn (Novel Ink)
    wowowowow, this is one of those stories that hollows you out completely and then makes you whole again. it’s a love letter to the queer community, and to past queer activists who have paved the way for all of us to live better lives today. I can’t think of a better read heading into pride month. ✨
  • Hollis
    LIKE A LOVE STORY is a little like a love story, really. But more in the sense of love for oneself, one's body, and one's community. I think it did a really good job of that, particularly when propped up against the setting, but when it comes to the love story, the romance, within the book.. it kinda failed. And by kinda I mean really.Nazemian's story takes place on the cusp of the nineties, in 1989, and is set against the AIDS crisis. Not as a b...
  • Hussein Baher
    *clears voice**taps mic* AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHI'll probably write a coherent review later on... Maybe not.But until then GO READ THIS.Gtg cry in a corner.
  • R.K. Gold
    So close to five but just couldn’t get there:Super developed character:Stephen: mentor character and activist who showed the gravity of any situation while offering comic relief. Reza: one of the 3 protagonists and POVs. Deals with being an immigrant, a POC, homosexual, and comes from a culture that violently opposes who he is (so a lot of internal conflict for a soft spoken character who wants to please his family above all else).Art: the extr...
  • Dominic
    Truly one of the best books I've read all year, Like a Love Story has the potential for wide appeal, but perhaps its greatest strength is how unflinchingly queer it is. Abdi Nazemian writes a book that could be (and honestly should be) read by everyone, but it is above all a love letter to queer youth and anyone who ever was a queer youth.It's a history lesson about what it was like to be queer in the late 80s and early 90s, the way AIDS put a da...
  • Anyta Sunday
    I feel like I fought and I loved and I lived through these dynamic, flawed characters.I feel like crying.I feel like loving and loving and loving. Like a Love Story gifts us every shade of the emotional rainbow.
  • Emma
    3.5/5 StarsI'm so glad to have read this book because I truly think it adds something to the YA genre. The author decided put the focus on the AIDS crisis that was going on in the USA at the end of the 80s and I think he respectfully talked about this topic and shed light on a lot of things: not only about the disease, but also on what was going on in the city, like for example the numerous and different protests that were organized.The character...
  • Cheska the Great is Not Okay
    TOTAL READING TIME: 5 hours.My eighth book for Pride Month 2019!These are going to be some strong words, but: this isn't just my favorite out of all the books I've read this month for Pride Month. This is my absolute favorite queer Young Adult book of all time.I know there is no such thing as perfection or flawlessness. But even if this book did have flaws, they were minuscule enough for me either not to notice or not to care. All of this book's ...
  • Erin Kelly
    This book will save the lives of young people in the queer community. I mean that literally and figuratively. A necessary addition to the LGBTQ+ canon that is being (and will continue to be) embraced by many—and rightly so. I’m happy this book is in the world.XOXO
  • N (they/them)
    5 stars TW: graphic AIDS related complications and deaths, hospitalization, closeted characters, homophobia & homophobic slurs, self-hatred, poor parent-child relationships, death of a parent, health-related anxiety, racism & racist slurs Rep: Iranian immigrant gay boy MC, gay male MC, multiple major queer SCs The Writing The voices of the three different narrators were really easy to distinguish between, in my opinion, and I really loved what e...
  • Veronika
    This book is a love letter to all things queer, friendship, New York and Madonna. It also speaks beautifully about fighting against homophobia, prejudices and trying to survive AIDS. I could go without a love triangle, but everything else in this book was just wonderful. (And even the love triangle wasn't really that bad). The book made me excited about going to visit NY one day, made me listen to Madonna's old songs and check out fashion of the ...
  • Simone
    Since I can't speak to this book as well as someone who's lived this life, I'm sharing a few reviews I've read on Goodreads for you. I hope this helps bring more understanding, but I encourage everyone to read this book. It made me cry and made me think and really made me want to read whatever Abdi Nazemian publishes next.Book Reviews by Own Voices (pulled from Goodreads)Since I can't speak to this book as well as someone who's lived this life, I...
  • anna (readingpeaches)
    rep: gay Iranian mc, gay mcFor the first time in my life, I know what being gay is all about. It’s not about the wet dreams, or the jerking off, or the ability to impersonate your diva of choice. It’s about the feeling you get when you look into another person’s eyes and have an out-of-body experience. It’s about whatever the hell I was feeling when I really saw Reza for the first time. It’s about love. How can I not keep fighting for t...
  • Jerico
    Nazemian has graced us with his impeccable writing, poignant storytelling and a nuanced and meaningful read. So much honesty, courage and potpourri of emotions portrayed in a single book. RTC. Extending my deepest gratitude to Edelweiss and Balzer + Bray for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. However, this does not affect any opinions or feedback stated concerning the book whatsoever. TW: Homophobic slurs, racial slurs, heterose...
  • Maria (Big City Bookworm)
    Actual Rating: 4.75 stars!Wow. This was incredible. Definitely one of those inspiring stories that will stick with you for a long time.Note: I'm taking a bit of a hiatus from reviewing. I need a bit of a break from the pressures of reviewing, so I'm just going with the flow this year. I'll obviously still be reading, but at my own pace and when I feel like it. Thank you for understanding!
  • Christy
    Excuse me but I'll just be over here in a puddle of tears until the dawn of the end of time.
  • Kendall
    This book.....blew me out of the water. Oh my god. I was really intrigued by a YA book set during the height of the AIDS epidemic considering how prevalent queer stories are becoming in YA. Seeing as teenagers today (myself included, obviously) weren't alive to experience the devastation that occurred within the queer community during the 80s and early 90s, I thought this could be a really important look into that period of time. BOY WAS I RIGHT....
  • Sandra Cortez
    Tell the Wolves I’m Home is one of my favorite books. The words just filled me. This reminded me so much of that story. They both revolve around the AIDs epidemic of the 80s which took place in my younger years. Like a Life Story felt authentic and that’s what I appreciated most about the story. You’re unsure of yourself, you’re easily influenced and sometimes you take the easier most acceptable route. I have gay Mexican friends who were ...
  • j.chestnut
    The most important four-letter word in our history will always be LOVE. That's what we are fighting for. That's who we are. Love is our legacy.guys. this book is breathtaking.i finished this and it might be because i finished at 11:30 pm but i was sobbing. this book is so good. it didn't have the ending i thought it was going to but honestly, it's more realistic this way. the author is so good at writing his characters. all of them are so realist...
  • Natalia Sylvester
    This is such a beautifully-written book that honors the lives, love and legacy of the LGBTQ activists who fought for justice during the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic. Nazemian writes so tenderly of the heartbreak & fear experienced by his teenage characters who only want to love & be loved in a time when their love is vilified. He also brings to life their joy, their hopes & dreams, the beauty of the communities & family they create. I’m so g...
  • Jessica Woodbury
    3.5 stars. I liked this a lot more than Nazemian's last book. The characters are really well drawn, and while you have a pretty good idea of how everything is going to go down, it's a nice journey.I suspect younger readers will enjoy this much more than me because I was alive during the AIDS crisis, and for me the beats of the story feel too much like the standard AIDS narrative. But I can imagine younger readers finding this very eye-opening, an...
  • HeatherH
    Attempting to type a review through the ridiculous amount of tears I'm crying now..This was going to be a four star read for me - it was good, really good and I adored the three MC's wholeheartedly. Then that last 80 or so pages happened and holy wow! As I sat here, eyes leaking like an old rickety faucet and yet still laughing at the tiny moments of humor Abdi Nazemian sprinkled throughout the heartbreak, I knew it deserved ALL THE STARS. Any bo...
  • Neville Longbottom
    4.5 - This was excellent. Like a Love Story follows three teenagers in the late 80s & early 90s in New York City during the height of the AIDS epidemic. Reza, a closeted Iranian boy who has just moved to the city, meets Art, an openly gay student, and his best friend Judy. The story follows them as they grow, love, fight, protest, and experience loss. I think that no matter when I read this book it would’ve made a big emotional impact, but read...