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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Fourteen-year-old Iranian-American Parvin Mohammadi sets out to win the ultimate date to homecoming in this heartfelt and outright hilarious debut. Parvin Mohammadi has just been dumped--only days after receiving official girlfriend status. Not only is she heartbroken, she's humiliated. Enter high school heartthrob Matty Fumero, who just might be the smoking-hot cure to all her boy problems. If Parvin can get Matty to ask her to Homecoming, she's positive it will prove to herself and her ex that she's girlfriend material after all. There's just one problem: Matty is definitely too cool for bassoon-playing, frizzy-haired, Cheeto-eating Parvin. Since being herself hasn't worked for her in the past (see aforementioned dumping), she decides to start acting like the women in her favorite rom-coms. Those women aren't loud, they certainly don't cackle when they laugh, and they smile much more than they talk. But Parvin discovers that being a rom-com dream girl is much harder than it loo…

Perfectly Parvin

by Olivia Abtahi

Overall Book Review:

What begins as a story about a freshman girl looking for validation through a boyfriend, ends up being a multi-layered coming-of-age story looking at what it means to be your authentic self, figuring things out as a teenager, and doing this all with a mixed heritage. Parvin has an American mother and Iranian father, and this novel thoughtfully looks at what it means to straddle two worlds as a teenager in America. Frankly, all teenagers are trying to understand who they are and who they want to be, but this narrative layers on that extra complexity which not everyone has to sort through.

All that may sound heavy, but this is actually a fun book with plentiful humor. The author has brilliantly given Parvin a vibrant personality which flows on the pages in a stream-of-consciousness manner from Parvin; this puts the reader right in the middle of her emotions and thoughts–and Parvin is funny. It reads like a smart rom-com movie and should appeal to fans of that genre or any reader who is trying to figure things out for themselves and would love to empathize with a great character as they do it.

Hot tip: The award-winning audiobook version is quite enjoyable.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 13 religious exclamations; 4 mild obscenities; 2 derogatory names; 1 anatomical term.

Violence/Gore: Characters bump/collide resulting in mildly injured nose.

Sex/Nudity: Characters of all gender combinations (boy-girl; girl-girl; boy-boy) hold hands; boy and girl kiss; girl and girl kiss; references to coming out as gay; discussions/reference to being pangender and about a character coming out to their parent; flirting; innuendo; many discussions and thinking about liking others romantically (all gender combinations); one of the major theme of the books is a female character trying to get a boyfriend/homecoming date; gay and pangender characters/topics.

Mature Subject Matter:

Ethnic and racial discrimination; gender identity; deportation.

Alcohol and Drug Use:

None noted

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

An accountant and CPA by profession, I found myself a book reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads by happenstance. When the opportunity came to transform that website into Compass Book Ratings, I was excited to seize it and meld my business background with my love of books. As the mother of three teenage sons, I have read a large number of children and young adult books and I believe that there is great value in a content review service. As much as we would love to read everything our children read, there just isn’t enough time. I also appreciate being able to select books for myself that are really worth my precious and limited reading time. I believe there is a book out there for everyone–they just have to find it!