Like a Love Story (Paperback)
Growing up in New York at the end of the 1980s was exciting, right? The City, the vibrance… the fight against AIDS, the terror of what AIDS was doing to young, healthy mostly men, the horrific response of the world to a disease that, at first, targeted gay men. Reza has recently immigrated to the US with his mother, stepfather and stepbrother, but his biggest fear is that they will discover what he has known for a while, that he is gay. Judy is a designer in the making, adorning her friends and herself in the most lavish and exquisite designs while standing alongside her Uncle Steven who has AIDS and her best friend, Art in protesting the expense of AIDS drugs and the bewildering lack of government attention. Despite all of this, this is a love story, a celebration of the courage and love of the LGBTQ community and its allies in the face of hate. Would that the hate is historical fiction, but it is, unfortunately, a story of today. Within these pages, find the love, strength, humor and music that is the foundation of the fight that continues. Beautiful, tragic and filled with love, this book honors those whose shoulders we stand on and reminds us of the youth for whom we fight.— Linda
Summer 2019 Kids Indie Next List
“Like a Love Story broke me and fixed me at the same time. Set in New York City in 1989, it chronicles the lives of three teens as they navigate the AIDS crisis. Abdi Nazemian captures perfectly what it felt like to be both excited and repelled by the thought of finding other gay kids to share experiences with, as well as the constant fear of wondering if AIDS was inevitable for all young gay men. I finished Like a Love Story with tears streaming down my face; they were tears of recognition to see myself so accurately reflected on the pages of a book.”
— John McDougall, Murder By the Book, Houston, TX
Stonewall Honor Book * A Time Magazine Best YA Book of All Time
"A book for warriors, divas, artists, queens, individuals, activists, trend setters, and anyone searching for the courage to be themselves.”—Mackenzi Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
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 with AIDS who devotes his time to activism as a member of ACT UP. Judy has never imagined finding romance...until she falls for Reza and they start dating.
Art is Judy’s best friend, their school’s only out and proud teen. He’ll never be who his conservative parents want him to be, so he rebels by documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs.
As Reza and Art grow closer, Reza struggles to find a way out of his deception that won’t break Judy’s heart—and destroy the most meaningful friendship he’s ever known.
This is a bighearted, sprawling epic about friendship and love and the revolutionary act of living life to the fullest in the face of impossible odds.
About the Author
Abdi Nazemian is the author of Like a Love Story, a Stonewall Honor Book, and The Authentics. His novel The Walk-In Closet won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Debut Fiction. His screenwriting credits include the films The Artist’s Wife, The Quiet, and Menendez: Blood Brothers and the television series The Village and Almost Family. He has been an executive producer and associate producer on numerous films, including Call Me by Your Name, Little Woods, and The House of Tomorrow. He lives in Los Angeles with his husband, their two children, and their dog, Disco. Find him online at abdinazemian.com.
“Nazemian paints a picture of late ‘80s queer life in New York City that’s neither romanticized nor viewed as only tragic…. [His] latest will remind readers that first love is isolating and unifying, exhilarating and terrifying, and every paradox in between.” — ALA Booklist (starred review)
“Three characters discover their inner truths at a time that sometimes feels apocalyptic for their community and loved ones…. The intense and nuanced emotions evoked by the characters’ journeys help to give this powerful novel by Nazemian a timeless relevance.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“At the height of the 1980s AIDS crisis, three teens grapple with love and friendship…. [A] truly lovely romance to cherish. Deeply moving.” — Kirkus Reviews
“A book for warriors, divas, artists, queens, individuals, activists, trend setters, and anyone searching for the courage to be themselves.” — Mackenzi Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
“Like a Love Story is a fresh and poignant narrative about friends, family, friends who become family, and a society that is not always compassionate to those who need it most. I love this book with my entire heart. What a gift Abdi Nazemian has given us.” — Brandy Colbert, author of Stonewall Award winner Little & Lion
“A gorgeous, heart-wrenching book that explores love, loss, and forgiveness in all of their many forms. Abdi Nazemian deftly shows how we can only move forward by examining and embracing the past, and how anger and injustice can pave the way for a better and more hopeful future.”
— Robin Benway, National Book Award–winning author of Far from the Tree
“Like a Love Story brought me right back to the scene of my teen years... and it did so masterfully. This book made me sob, it made me laugh, it broke my heart and put it back together again. I absolutely loved it.” — Bill Konigsberg, Award-Winning Author of The Music of What Happens
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Praise for THE AUTHENTICS: “The ferociously authentic Daria is a memorable protagonist.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
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Praise for THE AUTHENTICS: “A charming and touching examination of everything that makes us who we are.” — Adi Alsaid, author of Let’s Get Lost and Never Always Sometimes
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Praise for THE AUTHENTICS: “Surprisingly powerful…will appeal to any reader searching for identity and belonging, particularly those whose lives include two different cultures.” — Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)