Title: I Miss You, I Hate This
Author: Sara Saedi
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing Date: October 11, 2022
About the Book
Five Feet Apart meets Kate in Waiting in this timely story of two best friends navigating the complexities of friendship while their world is turned upside down by a global pandemic.
The lives of high school seniors Parisa Naficy and Gabriela Gonzales couldn’t be more different. Parisa, an earnest and privileged Iranian American, struggles to live up to her own impossible standards. Gabriela, a cynical Mexican American, has all the confidence Parisa lacks but none of the financial stability. She can’t help but envy Parisa’s posh lifestyle whenever she hears her two moms argue about money. Despite their differences, as soon as they met on the first day of freshman year, they had an “us versus the world” mentality. Whatever the future had in store for them—the pressure to get good grades, the litany of family dramas, and the heartbreak of unrequited love—they faced it together. Until a global pandemic forces everyone into lockdown. Suddenly senior year doesn’t look anything like they hoped it would. And as the whole world is tested during this time of crisis, their friendship will be, too.
With equal parts humor and heart, Parisa’s and Gabriela’s stories unfold in a mix of prose, text messages, and emails as they discover new dreams, face insecurities, and confront their greatest fears.
Content Warning: Anxiety
About the Author
Sara Saedi is the author of the memoir Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card and the Never Ever series. She is also a television writer, most recently working on the upcoming Green Lantern series for HBO Max. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.
When best friends Parisa and Gabriela decide to try alcohol and pot, it doesn’t go as planned. Parisa, who suffers from anxiety, has a massive anxiety attack and yells for her parents. The two get promptly punished and separated. And then a pandemic hits, and they are once again separated. Can their friendship withstand not seeing each other? And what about their lives? This is their senior year of high school, and it’s spent from inside their homes.
If I had one issue with the book, it was that Parisa treated her dad like crap, which doesn’t resolve. Of course, teens don’t always appreciate their parents until they’re older, but it would have been nice to see that behavior addressed other than Parisa knowing she treats him like crap but doing nothing about it.
As someone who’s suffered from anxiety for a long time, I feel Saedi wrote Parisa’s anxiety well. It’s relatable, and it’s true to life. I loved how Gabriela supported her, even when it didn’t make sense, even when Parisa didn’t want to admit that she was suffering from anxiety. I found Gabriela more relatable. While their friendship with Wes and Alexander played a significant part in the book, they weren’t in depth, which helps keep the best friends at the forefront of the story.
This is a cute story, with text messages weaved throughout to enhance the story. I liked the alternating perspectives as well. Thank you, Little Brown Books, for sending this over.
“For the first time in a long time, I don’t feel so damn alone.”
“Sometimes you just have to let comments like that roll off your back. It’s not fair. It’s not fair that we have to learn to do that sometimes, because of where our families are from.”
“No matter how you slice it, I’m the girl who works at the grocery store, and Parisa is the one who shops here.”
“There’s something about hearing a guy say your name aloud like it’s his favorite word in the whole world.”
“How do you make someone feel better when you can’t even reach out and touch them?”
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