Here to Stay

Here to Stay

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...

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Title:Here to Stay
Author:Sara Farizan
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Here to Stay Reviews

  • 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.

  • Karen Reed

    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.

  • Kristel

    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.

    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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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!!!

    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.

  • Mckinlay

    *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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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,

    , 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

    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,

    , 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

    , this book isn't successful

    it's relevant and timely. It's successful because it's a

    It's so, so

    , 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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