Read: Frolic asks Abdi Nazemian five questions about LIKE A LOVE STORY

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Aurora: What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?
Abdi: This is the story I’ve been wanting to tell since I started writing because it’s the most personal story I can think of, and one I don’t feel has ever been told. It’s about the fear and shame I felt as a queer immigrant kid who moved to the U.S. at the height of this country’s AIDS epidemic. And it’s also the story of the way I was able to overcome that fear and shame thanks to people who allowed me to see and accept myself for the first time. I was inspired to write this in honor of so many artists, activists and friends who have allowed me to have the life I have now. ACT UP inspired me. Madonna inspired me. All the friends and teachers who accepted me as a teen

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Read: BN Teen Blog’s rave review of LIKE A LOVE STORY

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In every marginalized community, there comes a point where you can feel that generational divide, where you realize that this generation’s biggest concerns are wildly different from last generation’s. And that is, of course, largely the success of activism, of paving the way for a better future. But every year, I notice that nothing highlights this generational divide quite like Pride month, when, for some, history sits front and center, while others are immersed in all the ways queer identity and expression have changed during the rise of the digital age and social media in particular. It can be a difficult gap to bridge, and it doesn’t help that queer history rarely features in YA. Abdi Nazemian’s Like a Love Story isn’t the first YA to touch on the AIDS Crisis, as readers of David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing,

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Read: Teen Readers Council gives THE AUTHENTICS a rave review

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,

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