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Here to Stay

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  100 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Algonquin Young Readers
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Hannah Ens
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Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Joey Rambles
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
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
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, diverse, poc-authors
*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.
A.R. Hellbender
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Karen Reed
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle Arredondo
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
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!
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Short, sweet, and very needed.
Britta Lundin
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports
Powerful storytelling, and still funny. This book made me take notes.
Maggie Tokuda-Hall
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has a pure heart and I'd love it for that alone if I didn't also love Bijan so much.
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
(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
Claudia Silk
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Ms. Yingling
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
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
Belle Ellrich
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Here to Stay really changed my perspective on my everyday school life, and even aspects in my public life. Sara Farizan has to be another new favorite author, as this book of hers has really opened my eyes.

Farizan brings the topic of Islamaphobia—and even regular racism mixed with prejudice—into the light, and she doesn't let that light shine off of it until the point was made clear
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bijan Majidi is an up and coming basketball star, just recently added to the varsity team at Granger. But not everyone is thrilled about the change. Some of his teammates aren’t so happy to have him on the team, and when a petition to change the school mascot from the Gunners to something less divisive gets headed, Bijan becomes a target. An anonymous email featuring a photoshopped image of Bijan holding a gun reveals some deep-seated intolerance within the school. Bijan just wants to forget it ...more
Myron Brown
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Bijan just shot the winning basket during the playoffs. However, he didn’t expect to be the subject of an email which went viral which depicted him as a terrorist. Here to Stay covers a lot of ground over the course of its pages. While the main storyline is about how Bijan confronts the Islamophobia of his classmates, there are also plot threads involving romance, cyberbullying, high school cliques, and team building. Farizan does a great job with creating interesting characters with distinct vo ...more
Diane Magras
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At the start of this magnificent new YA, Bijan Majidi saves his high school's basketball team through incredible playing. That rockets him into semi-stardom, but attracts the ire of some players who don't want people of his ethnicity around, no matter how well he plays. Bijan isn't ever willing to back down, and his comebacks and defense of his friends result in cruel bullying: a Photoshopped image of him as a terrorist that's sent to the whole school. Sara Farizan captures beautifully the impac ...more
Nadia Elena
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Here to Stay

Bijan is an awkward, dorky, basketball loving kid who’s Iranian descent is only part of his identity. He attends a prep school in Boston and is like any other high school boy. Despite his love for basketball and his involvement in the team, he is benched nearly every game. However, one day his entire life changes when he is pulled off the bench to play a game and proves just how talented he really is. The rising star received attention not only from teammates and coaches, but girls a
Hannah Ens
Sep 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This book does a good job of portraying how one person shouldn't be held up as the poster child for their race/gender/etc. Bijan's love of basketball defines his character, especially as he refuses to quit the sport he loves though he faces aggression and outright harassment from certain teammates that the coach refuses to deal with in an official capacity, since he's more concerned with winning than worrying about his players' character. I appreciated how this book didn't have one central villa ...more
3.5 rounded up to 4 stars

ARC received through giveaway. Thank you to Goodreads and Algonquin publishing for the chance to read and review.

(I absolutely am not talented at writing reviews especially when they're positive 😬 but I tried!)

I absolutely loved Bijan and his voice; he made for a compelling, believable, and entertaining narrator. I wish the side characters had been a little more fleshed out (Bijan himself admits to neglecting his best friend,) because what we do get of them is delightfu
Carrie Shaurette
There is a stronger basketball book out there this year (I'm looking at you After the Shot Drops,) but this one is still really solid.

Bijan adds a new voice to YA lit as an American teen with Arab heritage that has to deal with being labeled a terrorist by bigoted classmates. The biggest strength here is the way he, as narrator, guides the reader through the pain inflicted on him by each microaggression, often intended as a joke. I also enjoyed the play-by-play and imagined commentary by two fo
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a really well done portrait of what racism and bullying can look like in a high school. Bijan just wants to fit in at his mostly white, mostly upper class high school. He has a love interest and has a best friend and basically wants everyone to forget that his parents are Iranian and Jordanian. But someone at his school circulates a really awful picture, and all of a sudden he is, in his words "a poster child for bullied children."

This book, thank God, transcended being an after school
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

A well done novel that incorporates so many issues in an approachable and relatable way. There were so many instances of humor and truth (I especially love when Bijan and Marcus bond over being an “other” at their school). A bit too much basketball talk for me but the biggest issue I have is that the writing is more middle grade level while the issues are more for the young adult genre.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-school, ya
3.5 stars
ARC provided by Algonquin via B&T ARC program

Great story! I did wish for a bit more character development in several places, so that characters' actions felt more believable. This is an important story, and I love how basketball is woven into the story line. This will hopefully help a wider audience pick up this book!
This is a story that is happening in schools all over the country. Until our students start to recognize the overt racist comments and behaviors they have, our country will not change. Books like this help students see into the lives of those who are different from themselves and hopefully build more empathy for those around them.
My long review is up at my blog Trish Talks Texts.

I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks to publisher and Netgalley for advanced copy. Out this week.
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Sara Farizan was born on August 2, 1984 in Massachusetts. Her parents immigrated from Iran in the seventies, her father a surgeon and her mother a homemaker. Sara grew up feeling different in her private high school not only because of her ethnicity but also because of her liking girls romantically, her lack of excitement in science and math, and her love of writing plays and short stories. So she ...more
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“If someone pushes you, you push right back.” 1 likes
“Because hate doesn't just touch the intended target, it spreads to every person who witnesses it.” 1 likes
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