Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 984
A compelling and original coming out story
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Amir is an Iranian American teenager who is gay and in the closet. When another student blackmails him about his secret boyfriend, he absolutely panics and flees to Rome. He is terrified of his parents finding out he is gay. The story unfolds as Amir goes to Rome, but also at the end of the story, as Amir and his family are interrogated in the airport after an incident on the plane. The dual storyline ramps up the suspense.
He finds a community of gay men in Rome who accept and educate him. He finally feels that he can be himself. Amir is a sympathetic but flawed character. He makes some errors in judgment in terms of honesty and he also has a hookup with an older gay man, which results in some negative fallout.
Themes of prejudice run throughout - there is homophobia, of course, but also addressed is the systemic bigotry against Muslim people.
I really liked the characters. Amir's sister is amazing and tenacious in her search for Amir. It is heartening to see Amir's parents put their love for him above their prejudices.
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