“Because hate doesn’t just touch the intended target, it spreads to every person who witnesses it.”
Here To Stay by Sara Farizan
Review by: Ivy
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Bijan Majidi is the rising star of his school’s basketball team, with a crush on the hottest girl in school, a loyal best friend, and a supportive mom. He may not fit in with his Neanderthalic teammates, but he cares more about the game than making friends. When a picture of Bijan, photoshopped to look like a terrorist, gets sent to the whole school, he’s thrust into the spotlight and determined to find out who put him there. He never asked to be the literal poster child for cyberbullying, but what’s happened has happened, and Bijan has to handle the hate that comes his way while longing to have a normal high school experience.
Here to Stay is, excuse me, a slam dunk. It perfectly captures the soul of a teenage boy, keeping Bijan’s character realistic and relatable. The cast of characters is realistic and interesting as well, making this a believable and natural book.
The most unique detail of Here to Stay is how Bijan’s life is narrated by imaginary sports commentators living in his own head. Their witty comments and insight keep the book light when the angst gets laid on thick. The commentating provided a Greek-chorus-y feel, which I really enjoyed and had never seen before.
Great for fans of Adib Khorram, Here to Stay reads like a much more PG and socially relevant Foxhole Court. A short and true-to-life story about growing up in The Age of Assholes, where cyberbullying can affect someone much more than words, and ignorance is just a click away.
Dribbling onto the scene, this book, like Bijan, fights for its rightful place on top of the scoreboard/your TBR list. Rating: 5/5 basketballs.
- “It felt kind of good to scream. I wished it were socially acceptable to scream more often. Not in class or anything, but maybe there could be some roped-off area or campus designated for screaming your cares away.”
- “If someone pushes you, you push right back.”