The Authentics by Abdi Nazemian
Daria is a young teen, proud of her Iranian-American heritage and fast friends with her gang who call themselves “The Authentics” because of their commitment to continuing to be real, not fake. There are problems, of course; there is no love lost between Daria and her former best friend who leads a clique of girls that Daria calls “the Nose Jobs.” But life continues to get more complicated, as research into her past for a school project uncovers secrets. Daria is a delightful and believable protagonists. She worries about her appearance, wonders what her first kiss will be like, and struggles to find her niche among her friends. What I really loved was the the range of cultures, including:insights into the contemporary high school social world, Daria’s gay brother’s marriage and excitement about becoming a parent; mother-daughter dynamics and family relationships, and her Iranian-American world as well. At the heart of the book is a journey of self-discovery, told with humor, insight, and sincerity. Highly recommended!