I do not know the first thing about living as a young lesbian in Iran, so I can't speak to any of the factual aspects of this novel. The protagonist's tone, on the other hand, was pure anguished adolescent, no translation needed. Her despair and conviction that it would never, ever be better rang so true that it hurt to read. I was unconvinced of the desirability of her love interest, but there again, that's certainly believable. I wasn't ever quite sure about Ali, I think he cared for his cousin, but his shady life was never totally understandable. I found this to be unremittingly sad, a book without much hope. There's a glimmer or two, but ooof, what a way to have to try to make a life. 3.5, and Farizan is one to watch.I got this book free at ALA.