Like a Love Story

By: Abdi Nazemian

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.

Author’s note.

ISBN: 9780062839367

JLG Release: Oct 2019

Sensitive Areas: Homophobic slur, Strong language, Homophobia, Strong and pervasive sexual themes
Topics: AIDS (disease) , ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) , New York City , Gays and lesbians , Love , Homophobia , LGBTQ , Love triangles

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Grades 11 & Up

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Awards & Honors

NYPL Best Books - 2019
CPL Best Books - 2019
Stonewall Book Award Honoree - 2020

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist*, Publishers Weekly*, Kirkus Reviews

Book Details



First Release

October 2019



Dewey Classification


Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count


Accelerated Reader


Scholastic Reading Counts





Print Book


Hardcover edition


Balzer + Bray

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Homophobic slur, Strong language, Homophobia, Strong and pervasive sexual themes


AIDS (disease), ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), New York City, Gays and lesbians, Love, Homophobia, LGBTQ, Love triangles,

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Cover Art

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