High-school junior Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. Her Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when a sophisticated, beautiful new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, especially when it looks as if the attraction between them is mutual. Struggling to sort out her growing feelings and Saskia's confusing signals, Leila confides in her old friend, Lisa, and grows closer to her fellow drama tech-crew members, especially Tomas, whose comments about his own sexuality are frank, funny, wise, and sometimes painful. Gradually, Leila begins to see that almost all her classmates are more complicated than they first appear to be, and many are keeping fascinating secrets of their own.
This book was such a fun and cute and quick read. It also has diversity, since the narrator is a lesbian with a Persian background, and there are also some diverse secondary characters, in both race and sexuality.
There is a romance in this book between Leila and another girl, and it was adorable. I won't say who it is because it isn't obvious right away. This girl had had a crush on Leila when she was young, and how Leila found out, and the journey to them actually being together was so cute. I rooted for them so much, and I loved reading about their moments together. Also, there was a slow build to it when Leila had interactions with this girl when readers didn't yet know if this girl even liked girls or not. Anyway, I shipped this so much.
I liked reading about Leila's background with her family. Since they came from a country where being gay is illegal, this played into her fear of telling them that she was a lesbian. I liked her parents, and how they did try their best to accept her as she was, even if it was a bit difficult for them to understand sometimes.
If you like YA contemporary, read this book.