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Here to Stay

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For most of high school, Bijan Majidi has flown under the radar. He gets good grades, reads comics, hangs out with his best friend, Sean, and secretly crushes on Elle, one of the most popular girls in his school. When he’s called off the basketball team’s varsity bench and makes the winning basket in a playoff game, everything changes in an instant. But not everyone is happ For most of high school, Bijan Majidi has flown under the radar. He gets good grades, reads comics, hangs out with his best friend, Sean, and secretly crushes on Elle, one of the most popular girls in his school. When he’s called off the basketball team’s varsity bench and makes the winning basket in a playoff game, everything changes in an instant. But not everyone is happy that Bijan is the man of the hour: an anonymous cyberbully sends the entire school a picture of Bijan photoshopped to look like a terrorist. His mother is horrified, and the school administration is outraged. They promise to find and punish the culprit. All Bijan wants is to pretend it never happened and move on, but the incident isn’t so easily erased. Though many of his classmates rally behind Bijan, some don’t want him or his type to be a part of their school. And Bijan’s finding out it’s not always easy to tell your enemies from your friends . . .


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For most of high school, Bijan Majidi has flown under the radar. He gets good grades, reads comics, hangs out with his best friend, Sean, and secretly crushes on Elle, one of the most popular girls in his school. When he’s called off the basketball team’s varsity bench and makes the winning basket in a playoff game, everything changes in an instant. But not everyone is happ For most of high school, Bijan Majidi has flown under the radar. He gets good grades, reads comics, hangs out with his best friend, Sean, and secretly crushes on Elle, one of the most popular girls in his school. When he’s called off the basketball team’s varsity bench and makes the winning basket in a playoff game, everything changes in an instant. But not everyone is happy that Bijan is the man of the hour: an anonymous cyberbully sends the entire school a picture of Bijan photoshopped to look like a terrorist. His mother is horrified, and the school administration is outraged. They promise to find and punish the culprit. All Bijan wants is to pretend it never happened and move on, but the incident isn’t so easily erased. Though many of his classmates rally behind Bijan, some don’t want him or his type to be a part of their school. And Bijan’s finding out it’s not always easy to tell your enemies from your friends . . .

30 review for Here to Stay

  1. 4 out of 5

    Catie

    How could a book about racism, homophobia, and “The Age of Assholes” make me laugh SO MUCH? I still can’t fully articulate why, but this book was such a bright spot in my life last week. Amidst ever more depressing news stories, this book felt like spending time with a good friend – an unapologetically dorky, loyal, witty, and authentic friend who would probably let me pick the movie and would stay to help clean up afterwards. Bijan Majidi is such a friend, and he also reminds me of so many stude How could a book about racism, homophobia, and “The Age of Assholes” make me laugh SO MUCH? I still can’t fully articulate why, but this book was such a bright spot in my life last week. Amidst ever more depressing news stories, this book felt like spending time with a good friend – an unapologetically dorky, loyal, witty, and authentic friend who would probably let me pick the movie and would stay to help clean up afterwards. Bijan Majidi is such a friend, and he also reminds me of so many students I’ve had over the years. A shy, 6’4” dork who mostly remains anonymous on the JV basketball team, Bijan gains sudden notoriety when he gets called up to varsity as a sub and unexpectedly leads the team to victory. Bijan now finds that he’s invited to elite parties and traveling in the same circles as the popular kids, including is long-term crush, Elle. Unfortunately, his new popularity also brings negative attention from some of his teammates whose hidden prejudices now rise angrily to the surface. When a doctored photo circulates depicting him as a terrorist, Bijan must decide how much he’s willing to stand for. Bijan is such a relatable character: a normal kid who, at the end of the day, would rather fit in than stand out. He doesn’t appreciate the frequent requests to explain “where he’s from” or the frequent assumptions about his religion and background, but he’s willing to tolerate it. Watching him struggle through the exhaustion and illness of being targeted was heartbreaking. Even Bijan’s easygoing friendliness and good nature is not enough to shield him from hate directed at his appearance. However, this is by no means a devastating, gritty tale. Bijan’s humorous habit of narrating his life, sports-commentator style, keeps the story light and even uproariously funny in places. The arcs of several of the side-characters (including Bijan’s type-A, super driven, nerdy friend, Stephanie) are equally moving. My only slight quibble is that the villains in this story are, at times, cartoonishly awful…but then, recalling the news stories that I mentioned earlier…perhaps they aren’t so unrealistic after all. The best thing about this book is how easily I will be able to sell it in the library: a middle-eastern boy who wins at basketball, gets the girl, and fights against hate? I won’t be able to keep this on my shelves.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joey Rambles

    You're going to read a lot of reviews soon about how incredibly relevant and timely this book is, which it is. But that's not the only thing that makes this book successful. I mean, it's certainly an important factor. We need more diverse books. The books we read, especially as kids, help build the context in which we view the world. Diverse books help us understand the problems of lives we will never live out, as well as give minorities a chance to see themselves as the hero. But much like The Ha You're going to read a lot of reviews soon about how incredibly relevant and timely this book is, which it is. But that's not the only thing that makes this book successful. I mean, it's certainly an important factor. We need more diverse books. The books we read, especially as kids, help build the context in which we view the world. Diverse books help us understand the problems of lives we will never live out, as well as give minorities a chance to see themselves as the hero. But much like The Hate U Give, this book isn't successful just because it's relevant and timely. It's successful because it's a well-written book. It's so, so funny, much more than a book this heavy has any right to be. The characters are so much fun to read about, especially our protagonist, Bijan Majidi, who is the true heart and soul of this novel. (I wish I had him as a best friend in high school!) This is the kind of book I can imagine a teenage boy somewhere reading over and over again because it comforts him so much and makes him happy. I really, really hope this book gets the readership it deserves. Sara Farizan is a terrific author, and while I've yet to read her previous novels, judging by this one, she's a much-needed voice in the YA canon. I certainly hope she's here to stay. And I hope books like this are here to stay. One thing's for sure, though - in my heart, Bijan Majidi is here to stay.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Bijan is, to put it loosely, kind of a dork. And he's really confident in being that. He loves basketball and is a JV on his private school's team. But when he's subbed in during a big game and makes the game-clinching shot, he finds himself suddenly elbow to elbow with a crew of cool kids he never hung out with before. But it's not all good. Not all of those kids like him. Bijan becomes an outlet for their overt racist and Islamophobic behavior in a way. While acknowledged at school, it's not t Bijan is, to put it loosely, kind of a dork. And he's really confident in being that. He loves basketball and is a JV on his private school's team. But when he's subbed in during a big game and makes the game-clinching shot, he finds himself suddenly elbow to elbow with a crew of cool kids he never hung out with before. But it's not all good. Not all of those kids like him. Bijan becomes an outlet for their overt racist and Islamophobic behavior in a way. While acknowledged at school, it's not taken particularly seriously. Kids being kids, of course. Then one of his friends becomes a target too -- and since she's white, the school steps up to figure out who is at the bottom of it. Farizan takes on a lot of meaty topics in this book but she does so in a way that is, at times, laugh out loud funny. Bijan is a superbly likable main character, but we know him as so much more than that. He wrestles with his family situation, having a single mom after losing his dad early; he wrestles with being at a school where racism is rampant, where student causes are ridiculed rather than taken seriously; with figuring out how much he wants to invest in pursuing basketball seriously, as he's wildly talented. And there's also a girl. But what makes this book excel is exactly that: Bijan can be the most likable character, but because of his skin color and heritage, he's still a target and still experiences micro and macro aggressions every single day. Even when he's a school hero. One of my favorite parts of the book is Bijan's quirk of externalizing self-commentary through the use of imaginary sports broadcasters. It adds a lightness to what is, ultimately, a heavy and hard story.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ivy

    Short, sweet, and very needed. Full Review: https://bookpeopleteens.wordpress.com...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    Seems I'm in the minority on this one. First of all: we need more YA books featuring diverse protagonists. For a really strong read, see I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez or Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork or The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez or Darius and Twig by Walter Dean Myers. The premise of this is rife with potential. Bijan is a 6 foot 8 or so Jordanian American teen who gets a shot to play on his private school's varsity basketball Seems I'm in the minority on this one. First of all: we need more YA books featuring diverse protagonists. For a really strong read, see I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez or Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork or The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez or Darius and Twig by Walter Dean Myers. The premise of this is rife with potential. Bijan is a 6 foot 8 or so Jordanian American teen who gets a shot to play on his private school's varsity basketball team. In this new role, Bijan deals with Islamophobia in different degrees -- from outright hatred coming from teammates (one of whom is a white scholarship student) to veiled prejudice from that of his coach. The boy is one of a handful of diverse students at the school. Some of these students are characters, and to Farizan's credit, they each have a unique experience at the school (Elle, an African American character, is popular; Marcus, the star basketball player who is kind to Bijan, is also an African American teen). Unfortunately, I could picture high school students rolling their eyes at this book. The dialogue just doesn't ring true (I should say that I am currently working in a high school). It's sort of I think Farizan's envisioning of how high school students talk. But it just felt very contrived to me. I think I gave up on the book when I heard the popular Elle -- Bijan's crush -- utter to Bijan something like: Being popular isn't all it's cracked up to be. At this point, I just thought to myself -- I cant imagine any modern teenager on Earth saying something like that. I guess I could be wrong.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristel

    I was going to live my life. I was going to spend time with people who cared about me and whom I cared about. I was going to be comfortable in my own skin even when some people wanted to make that impossible for me. Important, frustrating, emotional, and funny! I didn't get much of the sport's terminology, but I still was on edge when they were playing. PLOT ---- The story follows Bijan’s life in high school; he’s part of the basketball team, is shy and has a crush on a beautiful girl. People, base I was going to live my life. I was going to spend time with people who cared about me and whom I cared about. I was going to be comfortable in my own skin even when some people wanted to make that impossible for me. Important, frustrating, emotional, and funny! I didn't get much of the sport's terminology, but I still was on edge when they were playing. PLOT ---- The story follows Bijan’s life in high school; he’s part of the basketball team, is shy and has a crush on a beautiful girl. People, based solely on ignorance and jealousy, feeling threaten by his newly found success in the team, start hating on him, photoshopping his face on a terrorist body. Just because of the colour of his skin. The book follows him during the days after the photo went viral at school, his feelings, the reality of things hitting him hard, and the eye-opening fact of what fear, however irrational, can do to people. It’s terrifying. CHARACTERS ---- The characters were nicely written; you hated who you were supposed to hate, and cheer for the ones you were supposed to cheer on. There wasn’t the usual case of loving the antagonist. Here the antagonist is so hateful you can’t do anything but despise everything he is and everything he stands for. I liked Bijan a lot. Trying to be strong, telling people he is okay when he’s everything but okay. Trying to be a high school boy, with a crush, with friends he trusts, playing a sport he loves. Trying to be a hero in his own story when the world wants to paint him as the bad guy. “Your mom raised you to be an upstanding young chap, you’re smart, you’re tall, and you can put together a mean bowl of cereal. You’re a catch!” THOUGHTS ---- I was furious. I'm always furious when I read about ignorant people making someone's life a living hell because of their own ignorance, misinformation, and fake patriotism. Like they know generic stuff because they read a few article titles, so they feel entitled to hate, because they are right, they read it somewhere even if out of context. These people should disappear like poof, you racist you gone! You bigot you gone poof!!! “Most people aren’t worth knowing, It’s the Age of the Asshole, man. It’s their time to shine. Doesn’t matter what race, religion, orientation, or gender. If you’re a jerk, the world is yours for the taking.” CONCLUSION ---- The book is short, it’s easy to read and you’ll find yourself finishing it in just an afternoon. Its themes are important, but the book is not heavy or dark. It’s the reality of high schoolers who just happen not to be white, and the ignorant people that put all of them in the category of their choice. Until it’s still something that happens, books like this one, are going to be needed. And as mad as they make me feel, I will keep reading them and spreading the love.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marjo

    i finished it and i have concluded that i want to marry bijan. hes such a kind, soft boy and he deserves better than all the racist crap he deals with in this book. but in all seriousness, i really liked this a lot. i enjoyed the characters and their relationships felt so real. i adored the friendship bijan built with stephanie especially, but his bromance with shawn, his close relationship with his mom (who is the best and i wish we'd gotten to see more of her!), and his super cute crush on elle i finished it and i have concluded that i want to marry bijan. hes such a kind, soft boy and he deserves better than all the racist crap he deals with in this book. but in all seriousness, i really liked this a lot. i enjoyed the characters and their relationships felt so real. i adored the friendship bijan built with stephanie especially, but his bromance with shawn, his close relationship with his mom (who is the best and i wish we'd gotten to see more of her!), and his super cute crush on elle also felt completely authentic. i loved the odd group of popular kids and nerdy kids that end up becoming really close. it just worked SO WELL. and the way sara farizan tackles racism and privilege in this book. it hurts to read but it's an important story to be told. my only complaint about this book, is that this entire story takes place in an american high school, and in particular, around a high school basketball team in the us, with little to no explanation to how any of it works. i dont live in the us and i've never played basketball in my life (gym class doesn't count cause i banned all those memories forever), so at times i felt completely at a loss as to what was happening in some of the scenes. but it's such a small part of the book, and it definitely didnt stand in my way of loving these characters fiercely. in summary, this book is important, relevant as fuck and the characters are so lovable you'll wish this was an entire series. or a movie. or a tv show. or all of them. you get my point. you might want to read a little bit about basketball before you read it though.

  8. 4 out of 5

    McKinlay Dennis

    *i received an ARC of this book from edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.* This book basically solidified Farizan as an autobuy author for me. Bijan is a sweet, brave, loving, loyal protagonist. The romances were adorable. I was invested in so many of the characters! The friendships were amazing. And on top of all that, the way this book tackles Islamophobia and racism is relatable in a way most books aren’t. AND it’s funny! I can’t recommend it enough.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lane Joslin

    Is it differences or insecurity that make people hate? In Here to Stay, experienced novel writer Sara Farizan writes a book that connects to the prominent issues and addresses common stereotypes. Bijan Majidi is Iranian and attends Granger School. He gets involved in a quarrel with a varsity basketball teammate, and that night an email is sent to the school portraying him as the face of the school mascot: a gunman. His relationships change, and he is forced to confront the issue: racism. This bo Is it differences or insecurity that make people hate? In Here to Stay, experienced novel writer Sara Farizan writes a book that connects to the prominent issues and addresses common stereotypes. Bijan Majidi is Iranian and attends Granger School. He gets involved in a quarrel with a varsity basketball teammate, and that night an email is sent to the school portraying him as the face of the school mascot: a gunman. His relationships change, and he is forced to confront the issue: racism. This book is about building resilience in the worst of times. One of the intentions of the author is to expose and explore racism in the world and how different people can respond to it. Another component of the book is homophobia. The way two students identify makes them the target of negative feedback from their peers. Here to Stay teaches about empathy and how the victims of social issues and stereotypes can feel. Farizan gives the perspective to Bijani and uses him to give insight to how people internalize receiving hate. This book also explores the power of connecting with others who have similar experiences. Bijani cares for a popular girl who works on the school newspaper. Her name is Elle. She is African American and empathizes with Bijani while he’s going through this hard time. I thought this book had a stong storyline and events kept happening, keeping me reading. I loved the empathy felt and how it made me feel emotions that Bijani felt. This was a book that provided a different perspective. For those who love The Hate U Give, this book is an in depth exploration of empathy and understanding and issues that impact us all today.

  10. 5 out of 5

    A.R. Hellbender

    This is such a good story with the hard hitting relevance of The Hate U Give and Dear Martin (no one gets shot, but it still revolves around getting justice for a hate crime, and there are so many great quotes about what life can be like for people of color). There is so much diversity in this book as well. Not only is Bijan half Persian and half Arab, but his best friend is Japanese (and has 2 moms), the love interest is black (and so is another friend of his), and 2 other significant characters This is such a good story with the hard hitting relevance of The Hate U Give and Dear Martin (no one gets shot, but it still revolves around getting justice for a hate crime, and there are so many great quotes about what life can be like for people of color). There is so much diversity in this book as well. Not only is Bijan half Persian and half Arab, but his best friend is Japanese (and has 2 moms), the love interest is black (and so is another friend of his), and 2 other significant characters in the book are queer. What I love about Sara Farizan’s books is the way they create a likeable main character who you can’t help but cheer for and put them in crazy situations that put my heart in my throat with suspense because I can’t help but wonder how the main character will get through that situation. This book was just as good that way, and I could hardly put it down. The only thing I felt could have been done differently was one scene in which 2 students are making a presentation about why the school mascot should be changed, and they pull up a slide that’s supposedly relating to if the mascot was always the same thing, and it felt to me like there was a lot of buildup to what it was of, and the audience reacts to it in a surprised way (and not a good surprise), but we never see what it was, or have it explained why the audience reacted to the slide in that way.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    Read my full review on Forever Young Adult.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Karen Reed

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. My 14 and 12 year old read this book extremely quickly and both said they really liked it. After finally picking it up myself I can see why. Even though I'm not as big a basketball fan as my boys , I found myself reading this quickly , not wanting to put it down, and wondering what was going to happen next. The pace of the book is excellent. Also, the author does a great job developing the voice of the main male character, Bijan. The way that he hear's sports commentary in his head, both as he p My 14 and 12 year old read this book extremely quickly and both said they really liked it. After finally picking it up myself I can see why. Even though I'm not as big a basketball fan as my boys , I found myself reading this quickly , not wanting to put it down, and wondering what was going to happen next. The pace of the book is excellent. Also, the author does a great job developing the voice of the main male character, Bijan. The way that he hear's sports commentary in his head, both as he plays and when he judges his actions in his life, seems spot on. I love the way she (the author) combined the fun of sports and the serious issue if islamphomia. Also, the author added a lesbian relationship in but it never felt like she was doing too much in this book. It seemed very authentic. Teens can really get a lot out of reading this story. And although their was partying, making out, and the mention of someone having sex it never felt too advanced. School library journal recommended this for high school (9th &up) but I had no problem with my 7th grader reading this. Bijan is a good role model for boys . He doesn't really back down from a fight but he is regretful about that at times, sad, emotional, and sensitive.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mary Thomas

    Thank you Sara Farizan for this beautiful and important book! Bijan goes from unnoticed to center spotlight when he subs for a star player on his private school’s basketball team. Unfortunately the attention he receives isn’t all positive and he is soon struggling to figure out who is the bully that sent an email to the entire school depicting him as a terrorist. This book has so much heart, and is genuinely so funny! Farizan masterfully weaves in a lot here: commentary on race and identity, a s Thank you Sara Farizan for this beautiful and important book! Bijan goes from unnoticed to center spotlight when he subs for a star player on his private school’s basketball team. Unfortunately the attention he receives isn’t all positive and he is soon struggling to figure out who is the bully that sent an email to the entire school depicting him as a terrorist. This book has so much heart, and is genuinely so funny! Farizan masterfully weaves in a lot here: commentary on race and identity, a subplot about a lgbtq romance, sports, and tradition. The scenes where Bijan is dealing with bigotry were so powerful and painful to read. I never once stopped rooting for Bijan! I recommend this heartily for ALL high school libraries!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Arredondo

    Such serious topics...and yet I was laughing throughout the pages. Here to Stay...aaaah, it pulls at your heart strings. You will fall in love with Bijan. You will fall in love and in frustration and back in love with the entire story. So much emotion. You can't be invisible to adversity if you are someone that comes from a different culture than everyone else around you. Bijan faces that adversity. It's powerful....witty.... warm...and moving. Highly recommend. Thanks to goodreads and to Algonq Such serious topics...and yet I was laughing throughout the pages. Here to Stay...aaaah, it pulls at your heart strings. You will fall in love with Bijan. You will fall in love and in frustration and back in love with the entire story. So much emotion. You can't be invisible to adversity if you are someone that comes from a different culture than everyone else around you. Bijan faces that adversity. It's powerful....witty.... warm...and moving. Highly recommend. Thanks to goodreads and to Algonquin Young Readers for the wonderful opportunity to receive this book free via giveaway to which I gladly and voluntarily reviewed.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Renata

    This is a really refreshing, nuanced story! I loove Bijan as a character/narrator, he's such a funny and self-aware kid. I liked seeing him excel at basketball and yet navigate the difficult terrain of "popularity" combined with an array of race/religion/class-based micro- (and macro-) aggressions. But also, it's funny! A great pick for fans of contemporary realistic YAs in general but also, I think sporty enough to hand to teens who just want sports books! (Which is tricky because there aren't This is a really refreshing, nuanced story! I loove Bijan as a character/narrator, he's such a funny and self-aware kid. I liked seeing him excel at basketball and yet navigate the difficult terrain of "popularity" combined with an array of race/religion/class-based micro- (and macro-) aggressions. But also, it's funny! A great pick for fans of contemporary realistic YAs in general but also, I think sporty enough to hand to teens who just want sports books! (Which is tricky because there aren't as many YA sports books are there are MG ones, but most kids don't just...stop liking sports after a certain age.)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Reba

    This was a good read on so many levels. It addressed many current, controversial issues including (but not limited to) bullying, cyberbullying, racism, classism, and immigration. The author is local, and I heard her speak at an event in the fall. This may have swayed me a bit when reading, because I really liked her. I feel like I need to delve into this review more, but my brain feels like mush. To be continued...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Abigail George

    This book was so predictable. I was able to tell who did what and who liked whom immediately. I feel like there were so many relationships going on in this book to the point where I couldn't keep up with all of them. I like the message the book is conveying (humans are humans and don't judge by appearances). I also didn't really ship Elle and Bijan, but hey, that is just me.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kim Clifton

    I liked Bijan so much, but I loved the commentators in his head and his wingman, Sean, the best. There’s a lot of hilarious sass in here, which helps balance the serious parts. It kind of reminded me of An Absolutely True Diary, but with tamer language.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Mangler

    Even after reading other reviews that alluded to this, I was still surprised at how entertaining this book was. This is a book full of diversity that tackles important topics, and the best part is you will really enjoy reading it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    Really enjoyed Bijan and his friends. And even though I don't usually like sports books, that's obviously not the main theme in this one. I liked the announcers in Bijan's head even if it didn't really add much to the story. I'm not in review mode right now, but I did like this one! That's all!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Wes

    What a sweet story. My community has done a lot of horrible, Islamophobic things to our Middle Eastern and Asian populations in the past couple years, so this book hit me really hard. I loved Bijan, and I absolutely loved his mother. A necessary book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    Leaving off a rating because this wasn't exactly my thing but it's really thoughtful and smart and if I was a school/teen librarian, I would be shoving this into teenagers' hands as fast as I could.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Britta Lundin

    Powerful storytelling, and still funny. This book made me take notes.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jayvier Dos

    I borrowed this book from my teacher because it interested me with the kid with a basketball on the front. But it was much more than basketball, which was relatable, but it covered lots of social commentary and was filled with relatable material, such as teenage drama. In addition some of the characters were unique, which brought different elements to the story. First what was different to me was the recognition of middle eastern people, who are discriminated against everyday, was amazing. Also I borrowed this book from my teacher because it interested me with the kid with a basketball on the front. But it was much more than basketball, which was relatable, but it covered lots of social commentary and was filled with relatable material, such as teenage drama. In addition some of the characters were unique, which brought different elements to the story. First what was different to me was the recognition of middle eastern people, who are discriminated against everyday, was amazing. Also Farizan tackles bullying which is also prominent in society today. These topics together created a great story and was fun to read. I also like how the book seemed like a lot time and effort was put into it. It was almost satisfying to read because of this to me. But I would recommend this to people who like a good story in general because it really hits home with the storyline for me.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    HERE TO STAY has it all: friendship, sports, bros, crushes, high school drama minor and major, issues both silly and significant. Like most YA we stock at Avid Bookshop, Farizan's novel would be great for teens and adults.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Tokuda-Hall

    This book has a pure heart and I'd love it for that alone if I didn't also love Bijan so much.

  27. 5 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this free book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Here to Stay hits you from the first paragraphs about how people of color don't get happy endings in stories like everyone else. I mean, come on. Why do you have to hit my emotions like that from the beginning Farizan? And the rest of the book goes on just like this - being all thought provoking and wonderful. Seriously timely, this book is one I want to share with everyone I (Disclaimer: I received this free book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Here to Stay hits you from the first paragraphs about how people of color don't get happy endings in stories like everyone else. I mean, come on. Why do you have to hit my emotions like that from the beginning Farizan? And the rest of the book goes on just like this - being all thought provoking and wonderful. Seriously timely, this book is one I want to share with everyone I know. full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Silk

    A heart warming, heart wrenching and funny young adult novel. Bijan is a prep school student in 11th grade who has flown under the radar of the cool kids until he is pulled up from jv basketball to varsity and scores the winning basket. Suddenly Bijan is thrown into the spotlight and not all of the attention is good because he is of Middle Eastern descent in a predominately white school. This book will make you think, will make you laugh and will make you sorry when it is over.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    ARC provided by Young Adult Books Central Bijan Majidi does okay in high school-- he has a good friend, Sean, is on the basketball team, and while he might be a little clueless about girls, he hopes that things will improve. After doing well enough on the basketball court to be moved to the varsity team, he hopes that he will catch the attention of his crush, Elle. Instead, after his victory on the court and a stint helping Stephanie Bergner gather signatures for a petition to remove "Gunners" as ARC provided by Young Adult Books Central Bijan Majidi does okay in high school-- he has a good friend, Sean, is on the basketball team, and while he might be a little clueless about girls, he hopes that things will improve. After doing well enough on the basketball court to be moved to the varsity team, he hopes that he will catch the attention of his crush, Elle. Instead, after his victory on the court and a stint helping Stephanie Bergner gather signatures for a petition to remove "Gunners" as the school mascot, he is the target of an awful e mail sent to all of the students in his private school, photoshopping his picture onto that of a "terrorist". Bijan's mother is of Persian descent and his late father grew up in Jordan, but Bijan doesn't really identify as anything but a US citizen. His mother, of course, is tremendously upset about the e mail, and goes to the school, but Bijan just doesn't want there to be a fuss and hopes everything will pass. Yes, there are some jerks on his team-- Drew is also on a scholarship and isn't pleased when Bijan intervenes during an issue with Drew's girlfriend Erin, and Will is just a general jerk-- but Bijan isn't entirely sure they are behind the photograph. He continues to work with Stephanie on the mascot change, which is not popular with all students, and does well on the basketball court, dealing with some additional unpleasantness in the locker room. That doesn't bother him that much, but when another photoshopped picture, this time of Stephanie and her girlfriend, is circulated, he is interested in finding the culprit and bringing that person to justice. Introducing racial tensions via sports books is a great way to get the attention of lots of readers, and hopefully open some eyes along the way. Bijan's insistence that this is a problem he shouldn't even be having is heart rending and will resonate with many readers. The rarified atmosphere of a private school makes this a little more complicated. It's good to see that there are a lot of people who take Bijan's side, and his most fervent wish is for people to just let him be himself. The budding romance with Elle is sweet, and the friendship with Stephanie even more interesting. I did like that he and Drew came to an understanding despite their differences. There is a lot of underage drinking in this, although Bijan listens to his mother and does not drink, and there are a few other situations that, while fairly calm for Young Adult fiction, make this more suited to high school readers. I was a little surprised that there would be students who would NOT want to change the mascot from the "Gunners", but this book would have been finished well before the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Graced with a fantastic cover, Here to Stay is a compelling read about basketball, unlikely friendships, and that current sociopolitical climate surrounding race relations in the US. How sad is it that we are still dealing with racial issues like this that were described in books like Cerra's Just a Drop of Water (2016), Budhos's Watched (2016), Walter's Bifocal (2007), and even Cooney's The Terrorist (1999).

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    While Here to Stay was a bit basketball heavy for my liking, the novel is an authentic portrayal of the struggles of many minority students in our country. When Bijan is attacked by a cyberbully, he wants to pretend it didn't happen. But when they bullying moves from online to IRL, he must decide how to fight back. Hand this book to athletes who will appreciate the team bond and mentality and who will enjoy the basketball descriptions and commentary much more than I did. But this is so much more While Here to Stay was a bit basketball heavy for my liking, the novel is an authentic portrayal of the struggles of many minority students in our country. When Bijan is attacked by a cyberbully, he wants to pretend it didn't happen. But when they bullying moves from online to IRL, he must decide how to fight back. Hand this book to athletes who will appreciate the team bond and mentality and who will enjoy the basketball descriptions and commentary much more than I did. But this is so much more than a "sports" story. It's a story about doing the right thing, even when it's hard. It's about standing up for friends and teammates, even when adults let you down. It's about fighting prejudice and being the change we need to see in today's world.

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