Written on Sep 21, 2020
Amir is the new kid at his highschool and because of that he meets Jackson (star football player) who is supposed to show him around the school and help him with anything he might need. The thing is Amir doesn't really need anything it seems, its his last year in highschool and he's not interested in making new friends when he's just going to be living in a year. This kind of ends up hurting him in the end because two people that go to his school star blackmailing him about his secret of being gay and he now must deal with this all alone. With the pressure of blackmailers wanting money and Amir not being able to get it in time before they are going to tell his family he makes a very rash decision and leaves. His leaving first has him going to New York and from there he ends up going to Rome after seeing gelato at the airport.
Once in Rome he ends up meeting Jahan who introduces Amir to all of his friends, and they end up spending the summer together as Jahan helps Amir get used to being out and living in Rome without his family.
This friend group is one that ends up helping Amir learn about the gay culture and how to be on his own, and even introduces him to someone he likes.
While all of this is going on though Amir's parents and sister are trying to get in touch with him and convince him to come back home. His sister Soraya ends up being the one who finds out Amir's secret and where he's at but doesn't tell their parents until she absolutely has to.
Overall I really liked this book. Amir was a character that had me laughing at times and wanting to cry at others. This book was so real and raw feeling, and because of that was one that I couldn't put down until I finished it.
The adventures that Amir got upto in Rome were so fun to read about and I loved getting to see all the little things he was learning about culture and himself as the story went on. The friends that Jahan introduced Amir caused so many different scenerious to happen, some that were fun and others that were a bit cringey at times.
My favorite parts of this story though was seeing Amir get to go on a first real date that he was able to enjoy. I also really loved Amir and Soraya's sibling relationship even if she did do something that I really wish she hadn't of but I also get why she had to. It was nice to see siblings be realistic for a change in a YA book. Soraya ended up helping Amir's parents start to come to terms with him being gay which is a big thing in their culture. She did her best considering the circumstances and I think in the end ended up helping her mom see things in a new light.
I found a lot of parts about this book to be very real for a change just like how they were in Ahmadi's first book, he does such a good job of bringing a story to life. I still need to go back and read his other book Girl Gone Viral and I can't wait to see what that one is like after having read this one.
I do want to mention something I didn't like in this book and that was that one of the older men that Amir was friends with ended up seducing him. This was just something that made me uncomfy because of the big age gap between the two of them, and I felt like the older man took advantage of Amir.