Reviewed by Kira M for TeensReadToo.com
Set in the summer of 1973, 17-year-old Pasha Shashed spends most of his summer on the rooftops with Ahmed, his best friend. They joke around and talk about the future, life, and love.
Crushing on Zari, the betrothed of his mentor, the neighborhood radical, Ramin Sobhi. Torn between his feelings for Zari and his loyalty to Ramin, he feels guilty over their friendship, but can't resist spending time with her.
Pasha's life comes crashing down, however, when the Shah's secret police take away Ramin and kill him. Forced to grow up fast and come to terms with his feelings for Zari, his country's ruler, and his connection to his dead friend, summers will never be the same for Pasha ever again.
A touching, endearing story about coming of age and falling in love. The characters are well-developed and believable. The plot is hard-hitting and well-done. Readers everywhere will relate to this novel of discovering one's self. Readers who like more modern historical fiction, stories from other countries, and semi-autobiographical novels will enjoy reading ROOFTOPS OF TEHRAN.
I can't sing enough accolades about this book - four friends come of age in 1970's Iran who face the brutality of political repression as their relationships deepen. At times poignant and at times horrifying, this is a tremendous debut novel. Strong characters and intense feelings. Seraji mentions that at some point he will write a sequel after he completes a second novel...I, for one, can't wait to pick up where Pasha and Zari's story left off. Highly recommended whether you like a love story, reading about Persian culture or history, or are just in the mood for something worthwhile with a twist.