Check out the Teen Readers Council review here, or read below:
THE AUTHENTICS by Abdi Nazemian is a powerful story of identity, self-discovery and friendship. Protagonist Daria Esfandyar and her three best friends call themselves “the Authentics” because, unlike everyone else in their Beverly Hills high school, they know who they are and don’t try to hide it. Daria, for one, is incredibly proud of her Iranian American heritage. But after being assigned a genealogy project at school, Daria realizes that she may not be as authentic as she once thought. As she begins to discover who she really is, Daria is forced to question everything she once thought was true about her family, her friends, and herself. I loved reading about the interactions between Daria and her friends as she navigates through this tumultuous time in her life. Her friends are all compassionate and supportive, but also deeply flawed, which made them very relatable. I also really enjoyed the focus on Daria’s changing relationship with her mother throughout the story; it added complexity and nuance to the plot and delivered some very emotional, heart-wrenching moments. Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to anyone seeking a coming-of-age story with flawed, relatable characters.