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: The Fandom interviews Abdi Nazemian about LIKE A LOVE STORY

Click here for full interview. Excerpt below: How much do you relate to the main character of Like a Love Story? The book is so close to my heart. I mean, it’s like a big piece of me is on the page. Of course, as with all novels, the story itself is fiction. I didn’t become an activist. I wasn’t walking up to necessarily meet people who could get me out of my shell that young. But on an emotional level, it’s very real. It’s very much about the emotions I was feeling when I was a teenager, and I moved to this country at a young age like the Reza character, who is a character in the book who moves to New York City as a teenage with his mom, who’s getting remarried. And suddenly he meets queer people and has exposure to a community that his culture really shielded him from and

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Read: Publisher’s Weekly gives LIKE A LOVE STORY a starred review

Click here for full review. Text below: When Reza, a closeted teen, moves from Toronto to New York City (“by way of Tehran”) in 1989, the city feels like the epicenter of the AIDS crisis. In a heart-wrenching and bittersweet unfolding of events, he gravitates toward Art, the only openly gay student at his school, and to Art’s best friend, Judy, who represents everything he feels that he should desire. Though Reza tries his hardest to keep his attractions secret, dating Judy despite his chemistry with Art, he finds that he can’t live a lie, whatever that might cost him. A first-person narrative moves among the three characters as they discover their inner truths at a time that sometimes feels apocalyptic for their community and loved ones. Under the nurturing guidance of Judy’s gay activist uncle, the characters subtly investigate different family dynamics. The intense and nuanced emotions evoked by the

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