Parents' Guide to

Like a Love Story

By Samara Meyer, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Emotional tale about self-acceptance set during AIDS crisis.

Like a Love Story Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

wonderful tale about friendship, first love and activism

Growing up in the 80s in Kentucky, I was never really aware of how the AIDS crisis affected families and teens since our Catholic household and schooling never addressed it. This was an enlightening book told from the viewpoint of an Iranian gay teen, who becomes friends and (eventually) romantic partners with two good friends during the AIDS crisis in New York City. Overall, the characters are wonderful, and the adults show a mix of great role models (Uncle Stephen), to horrible role models (Art's parents). It would be a great historical fiction read for younger readers too except for a love scene towards the end of the book; while it is a short scene, consensual and practices safe sex, as a doctor and mom of a 14yo son, I thought it was too graphic for readers who might not be emotionally mature enough for it (hence, rec'd for ages 16+). Older teens should definitely read it.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (5 ):

Author Abdi Nazemian has crafted a powerful, entertaining story with as many heartrending moments as there are laughs and Madonna references. Partially based on the author's own life experiences, Like a Love Story paints a vibrant and complex portrait of gay culture at a time when the LGBT community was facing one of the darkest chapters in its history. But even when things are at their worst, the resilience of Reza, Art, and Judy shines through and keeps the story moving. Each character feels unique and personal. As we witness the trio navigate such turbulent years, we get to know them at their lowest and highest points; their failures and successes become our failures and successes. And although it can be frustrating when one of them makes a wrong turn, it's all the more rewarding to see how they learn and grow from their mistakes.

The name-dropping of prominent celebrities, popular media, and fashion trends of the may be too heavy-handed for some teens to appreciate, but the wealth of influences present in Like a Love Story help enrich this compelling and worthwhile read.

Book Details

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